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Re: [jox] Draft CFP

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Thanks for all that initial work and the CFP .

perhaps it should be a wiki page now, so that we can add/correct personal
and other data that you require?


On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 4:16 PM, Mathieu O'Neil <mathieu.oneil>wrote:

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Hi all

First, thanks to everyone who contributed so far to the journal project,
you know who you are! Then, a belated happy 10th birthday to the [ox]
project and its maintainer! I am happy to be actively involved. For personal
reasons I will not be able to start "full-time editing" until September /
October. In any case it is now the northern summer and I get the impression
that not everyone is around. Plus, this fits in with stage we are at which
is still to get the basics organised.

Specifically, we need to establish a webpage listing the journal mission
statement, topics of interest, contributions sought and submission criteria,
editor/scientific committee, maybe publisher. Ultimately this will be used
to issue a first general call for papers (CFP). BTW, StefanMz and StefanMn,
I would much prefer it if the address was http:cspp.ox.etc rather than
http:csipp.ox.etc… "sipp" does not sound great to me and it make me think of
sipping a cup.:-(

OK, enough whinging! The journal generic call for papers (CFP) or front
page should ideally comprise the following elements (inspired by another CFP
I just got):

1 <journal title / mission statement>
2 <topic and type of submissions sought>
3 <selection criteria>
4 <scientific committee: members and affiliation>
5 <publisher>

I address sticking points I identified for each of these in turn and then
suggest a draft frontpage / CFP.


1 <journal title / mission statement>

I added "multidisciplinary" – not wedded to it but thought it might be

I took out "self-organized" in part because of what StefanMn said
("capitalist firms are self-organized also") though I think what was
intended here is that these projects are less hierarchical than traditional
corporations or bureaus, but also because it was redundant with the
self-selection of tasks mentioned later in the selection: brevity is best!
I also added "contradictions" of peer productions to flag that peer
production is not without its problems (see point below).

2 <topic and type of submissions sought>

This is important as it shows what we are interested in specifically. I
incorporated George's suggestions and some of my own for this list.

<The following is a side-issue regarding a particular subtopic - please
skip ahead if you want to focus on the CFP itself>

Regarding the issue of whether we should discuss the possibility of FLOSS /
peer production being coopted within capitalism… Defined as "junk"… A
perspective that I found interesting is in the book "The New Spirit of
Capitalism" by French sociologists Boltanski and Chiappello. In a nutshell
their argument is that capitalism needs to _justify_ its essentially amoral
purpose (which they define as "the peaceful unlimited accumulation of
capital" – whatever: insert any definition you would prefer), so that it can
motivate its managers.

In 1968 in France there was a powerful challenge to capital which took two
forms: a social critique of exploitation ("life under capitalism is unequal"
as expressed by trade unions) and an artistic critique of inauthenticity
("life under capitalism is boring and repressed" as expressed by New Left
avant-garde groups like the Situationnists). What has happened according to
B&C since then is that capitalism has integrated the artistic critique to
disarm the social critique: work (for some people) in the informational
economy is less rigidly organised, workers have more autonomy, personal
creativity is valued, there is a blurring between the personal and the
professional (work as a creative vocation)… and meanwhile work (for others)
has become less stable, less remunerative, more explotative.

A powerful idea they have is that capitalism needs critique to survive and
reinvent itself: in informational capitalism successful individuals
establish connections with interesting others and move from project to
project thanks to their agreeable personality, they have a degree of
autonomy, similarly computer professionals work for Google in unconventional
ways etc. In my view if the journal is going to be "critical" it would be
useful for it to also be self-critical and self-reflexive. So acknowledging
the role that free software and free labour can play in capitalism is
important, at a simple level like I said before: "build Debian / Wikipedia
for free; buy a new computer"); but also in terms of understanding how
injustice is now framed not in terms of exploitation but of exclusion (from
networks, from power, from employment).

I'm not for a second saying that peer production does not have very
positive qualities (germ form for future society…). But I think that
cooptation exists and should not be ignored. In fact clarifying and
overcoming the tension between the cooptation of critique and peer
production's emancipatory potential is for me an important task of the

[end side-topic]

<length of articles>
I suggested some lengths which seemed pretty standard?

<citation style>
APA, Harvard, Chicago??...

3 <selection criteria>

Most people (who expressed an opinion) seem to prefer an open system. I'm
not against it but not having blind reviewing in favour of open discussion
may turn some academics off ( StefanMn: remember how the academic organiser
of the Manchester conference decided against pursuing with [ox] for this
very reason?)

What I would suggest is that at this stage we just say "all articles are
peer reviewed" and discuss further the way this would work once we have more
people on board – for example we could have blind peer review for
new/unpublished submissions which are then discussed on the list? StefanMn
may be right that openness will have a moderating effect.

4 <scientific committee: members and affiliation>

It's important to have a decent number – so far we have 7 people which is
too low in my view – so we need to build up the scientific committee with
like-minded and credible people. What I am planning to do once the text
below has been properly discussed and amended is to send it to a few
academic researchers I think may be interested in joining in.

Regarding non-academics, if anyone has any ideas of people who might be
suitable (have practical experience of peer production and can write well)
that could be discussed as well. Maybe send me a private email?


George N Dafermos wrote:
About inviting *other people* to join in the list and in the journal
process if we think they would be interested: I suppose this
ultimately hinges on Mathieu who as the maintainer of this project
(lead editor of the journal) is in a position to assess the value of
recruiting others. Anyhow, I reckon we should be careful not to end
up with a list/editorial group of a hundred people who, having
hardly anything in common, only aggravate the organisational costs
of cooperation, thus encumbering the progress of the project. Also,
we should take account of the effect of such a recruitment on
theoretical coherence.

StefanMn said: "Valid points. May be we should set some deadline then after
people are only invited by the existing group?"

I don't think we will have a hundred people… I'm all for getting people who
are good and who we get on with etc. We will see how we go over the next few
months with recruitment and then indeed once we have a critical mass /
minimum number, we will stop this phase and from then on the group could
suggest new people. This will need to be reviewed in the northen fall.

<Next is the issue of affiliation or identification.>

University people are a priori unproblematic, they are identified by their

The question is, how do we present non-university based people? Do we put
the same term(s) for all of them – activist, practitioner – or the name of
their specific projects?

For example, Michel is across both areas but is probably better-known for
P2PF so it seems natural to put him as P2PF?

For StefanMn it would make sense to put [ox] but then below it might say
[ox] is the publisher – does that make him the publisher? Does this create a
confusion between distinct areas?

5 <publisher>
… Or do we not have a publisher?
However if CSPP is hosted by [ox] it makes sense to say what [ox] is IMHO.

Anyway, here is the proposed CFP…


Critical Studies in Peer Production is dedicated to the multidisciplinary
exploration of peer production, understood as a mode of commons-based
production in which participation is voluntary and predicated on the
self-selection of tasks. Notable examples are the collaborative development
of Free Software projects and the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Through the
analysis of the forms and operations of peer producing communities in
contemporary capitalist society, the journal aims to open up new
perspectives on the implications of peer production for social change.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

-history of peer production
-peer production and expertise
-political economy of peer production
-critical theory and peer production
-forms and functions of peer production
-peer production and exchange
-peer production and social movements
-peer production as ideology in capitalism
-governance in peer projects
-peer production of hardware

Critical Studies in Peer Production is seeking contributions from people
active in peer production around the world, whether as researchers or
practitioners. In addition to research articles, the journal encourages the
submission of:

-reflections and critical essays on peer production
-interviews with peer production practitioners
-reviews of peer projects and products

Articles should be 6000 words, critical essays and interviews between
1000-3000 words, and reviews 500-1000 words. The editor is happy to discuss
other possibilities with potential contributors. All contributions will be
peer reviewed. The journal follows the [insert citation style] standard.

Mathieu O'Neil, University…

Scientific Committee:
Michel B, P2P / University?
George D, University…
Athina K, University…
StefanMn, ox?
StefanMz, ox?
Christian S, ?
Graham S, ?

CSPP is published by Oekonux. Oekonux is a non-profit organization devoted
to the theoretical and practical advancement of the "Linux economy", or peer
production. [It was founded by Stefan Merten in 1999 and is based in

----- Original Message -----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Friday, July 24, 2009 7:25 am
Subject: [jox] Re: Topic style and/or issue style
To: journal
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten>

Hi Mathieu and all!

I agree with what StefanMz replied. But to make this very clear I'll
repeat this myself.

5 days ago Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
My second point is the relationship beween Oekonux and the journal.
Obviously both these projects are interested in the same things
(researching and extending peer production) and equally obviously
Oekonux is in a sense the "patron" or "publisher" of the
journal as
it will be hosting the journal website.

Yes. Though I admit that I would make me proud if the journal is
hosted on an Oekonux domain I could also imagine that it has its own
domain. In other words: The main point are technical reasons. However,
they can be changed if needed.

But, I think we should be
careful about making them too integrated in terms of content - or
rather I don't agree with how you formulate the direction of this
integration. What I'm trying to say is that what in my view
would be
the best is a space where people in the Oekonux network can
communicate and exchange with other people including academic
researchers in an equal way.


If however there is a perception that the journal and [ox] are one
and the same (so that for example anything that is published
on an
[ox] website can automatically translate to the journal)

I don't think I ever even remotely suggested something like
this. If
something interesting on [ox] happens *and* someone comes up with
creating an article from it *then* it *could* be a candidate for the
journal - no different from other candidates. I don't see any
automatism and would even think this would be counterproductive for

[ox] is a discussion platform and on the mailing lists anything can
happen. This is fine. The journal needs far stronger quality gates.

So in brief what I would say is that the peer-reviewed
"pearls" in
the journal could happily be featured on the [ox] website, rather
than the other way around.





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