I got all your mails--no need to repost.
Mathieu ONeil wrote:
So we could have either a simplified choice of rating (outstanding,
excellent, fair) or an even simpler choice (yes, no) as in: this
paper is a grand grassroots testimony (Activist: yes) but the
English is not perfect (Native English: no) or: this paper is
academic-research oriented (Academic: yes) but it is not based on
empirical evidence (Empirical: no); or: this is a utopian fantasy
about how a peer-produced society would produce gastronomical
delights (Theoretical, Activist: yes); etc.
I like that idea.
A-For “objective” categories we could have:
That should be called "language quality" or something. Otherwise we
would discriminate against people who aren't native speakers but
write English almost as they were.
4-decision: review discussion system
The other point to be decided concerns the process of discussion of
submissions: should these be held on a restricted mailing list (to
be clear: not the one we are using now, which is open, but one that
would be reserved to reviewers and authors) or on a protected part
of the website?
StefanMn argued for the website option:
“Well, in general I'm a big fan of mailing lists. But in this case
I think a web based system would be more useful. I'd suggest to
offer potential authors a place where they can propose an article
in the way outlined above and reviewers can help the author to
write a great article. I think a web page is more useful because it
gives every stakeholder a clear structure where the subject is
*one* proposed article.” [See: lost the ref, sorry]
It's true that having one (restricted) mailing list where all
submissions are discussed could be messy (though less so if people
do not interfere with titles of emails thereby breaking threads).
And it might be easier to create files that can be used later on in
the website when publishing, I don't know. At the same time I see
some problems with setting up discrete pages for articles: a)
authors and reviewers might in fact benefit from reading
discussions on other articles; b) not sure about this, but there
might be complications in access rights – who can access what
article page, etc?: c) finally the advantage of the list is that
you are kept abreast of discussion as they go along, whether you
seek the information or not – otherwise many people (myself
included) might not go to the website very often: with a list, you
have no choice, you get the message. This is a strong advantage, in
So it would be great to hear people's opinion on this second issue.
Don't have strong opinion on that, but I think i web-based system is
advantageous for automatically processing reviewers recommendations
and comments. From a mailing list, some poor editor would have to
collect them manually (I presume), which sounds quite tedious. It's
true that a mailing list may encourage more participation, but if
the website is like a wiki with a "recent changes" page, it would be
easy for people to keep track of what's going on in *all* article
pages and involve themselves in all discussions they're interested
peer review process: main stages
Prospective authors submit a proposal to the list.
All list members vet this proposal during a reasonable period of
time (1-2 weeks?): is it appropriate for the journal, are arguments
or references missing?
Authors write their submission.
Authors submit to the journal.
The submission is posted by the editor to a password-protected part
of the website [mailing list?] who also alerts the main journal
list that he has done so.
The editor suggests two expert reviewers (volunteers welcome).
The two expert reviewers read and evaluate the submission during a
reasonable period of time (3 weeks?). Reviewers are encouraged to
coordinate their review.
Reviewers post their reviews and recommendations to a
password-protected part of site [mailing list?] and alert the list
that they have done so.
The list discusses this during a reasonable period of time (1-2
During this time consensus emerges: publish, revise and resubmit
(to two other reviewers, for example?), or
During this time consensus does not emerge: the decision then moves
to a formal vote on the Governance Board: publish, revise and
resubmit (to two other reviewers, for example) or reject.
Submission and review process published.
Readers can comment and rate.
Authors can respond in comments section [and add links in the text
to relevant comments and responses - no updating of text though].