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Re: [jox] Multi-rating mode of evaluation (was: Multi-rating mode of evaluation / Updating papers)

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This is an interesting discussion - sorry I cant participate fully due to a current overload. 

By our First Monday analysis journals accepting only the best, and those "open to all", are both paths well travelled in academic publishing, with known outcomes - the first gives rigor but not relevance and the second reduces quality and recognition. 

Statements like "We should publish only papers that we agree are fit for publication" or "We should ..." in general assume that we control the journal. Our paper at opposes that control mentality to introduce the ideal of democracy in academic publishing, i.e. government by the people for the people 

Reviewers imposing grades on accepted publications only denigrate authors if the journal makes them publish. If authors choose to publish how can they be offended? If they were offended they would just choose not to publish. Reviewing is then just the journal doing its job. 

A journal that cant be bothered rating its submisions doesn't deserve to succeed. Equally one that selects the best and leaves the rest is elitist. There is no easy way between these options, so we suggested both highly selective reviewing and completely open publishing. The multi-grade system lets anyone publish but all neednt be rated equal - though there can be multiple criteria. I guess this goes against the politically correct idea that we are all equal, but actually some of us run faster, others cook better and a few of us can actually do mathematics - so really "equality" is a myth. The real equality is of opportunity not ability, which is why this approach lets everyone in who wants to come in.  

Likewise the ratings of registered readers, while informal, are not unexpected nor imposed. The public is always entitled to its opinion. The system need only identify and ban spammes and trolls, as Wikipedia does. The view of the public should not be a secret, so people can rate what they read.

The social principles outlined in our paper were fairness, public good, transparency, freedom and order. Achieving all these in one jump is probably impossible, as socio-technical systems are still struggling to evolve. It is all very compex. Hopefully this journal can make some advance on what went before, even if we dont get it right first time. 

Regardless of the outcome, thank you for trying!

Brian Whitworth
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Felix Stalder" <felix>
To: <journal>
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 1:36 AM
Subject: Re: [jox] Multi-rating mode of evaluation (was: Multi-rating mode of evaluation / Updating papers)

On Wednesday, 2. December 2009, Stefan Merten wrote:

We should publish only papers that we agree are fit for publication.

But "fit for publication" is not based on a single reason. There may
be articles which we consider great in many dimensions but they lack
some certain feature. Lack of this feature normally would make them
unacceptable but if we can express this lack by a rating then the
credibility of our journal is maintained and the article is

I think multi-rating models are too complicated, and patronizing to both 
the author and the reader. I mean, if we like the paper enough to publish 
it in our journal, we should do it. Period.

Do we really need to say something like: we give this paper an 'a' in 
grammar, a 'b+' in originality, an "a-" in methodology and a 'b-' for its 
bibliography? Shouldn't the reader be able to figure it our him/herself?

If we think a paper would be great to publish, but lacks some critical 
aspects, we should ask the authors to revise it before publishing. I don't 
see this as censorship or forcing anything upon the author, but rather as a 
process of critical evaluation that leads to an improvement.



--- ----------------------------- out now:
*|Mediale Kunst/Media Arts Zurich.13 Positions.Scheidegger&Spiess2008
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 


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