Message 00452 [Homepage] [Navigation]
Thread: joxT00448 Message: 2/44 L1 [In date index] [In thread index]
[First in Thread] [Last in Thread] [Date Next] [Date Prev]
[Next in Thread] [Prev in Thread] [Next Thread] [Prev Thread]

Re: [jox] Chaos or transparency?

[Converted from multipart/alternative]

[1 text/plain]
Hi Stefan

I think some of this is attributable to our very different personalities and styles - you are very thorough and I am very impatient - and consequently to how we approach projects: you probably think everything should be documented in great detail, I am happy with what works and certainly don't have the same experience than you with software projects; when you do a magazine or journal (I've done several) you don't need to document everything in great detail; you just want to publish interesting articles. 

So upon reflection I agree that solely relying on the list to document our process is not optimal. I will try to use the site more. Though to be honest, I sometimes find it hard to navigate. What may seem perfectly obvious and easy for you is not perceived in the same way by everyone.

----- Original Message -----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Monday, January 24, 2011 6:59 pm
Subject: [jox] Chaos or transparency?
To: journal

Hi project!

From all I saw so far from Mathieu he really prefers chaos. Or 
do you
have an up-to-date overview over all the submissions and their state?

Yes, that would be my last two emails on the topic...

What we actually have is a mail by Mathieu once in a while where he
says what he currently thinks the state of things is. And it 
feels to
me that he changes his mind every week.

This is interesting to say the least. Is there any evidence to back it up? 

Well, I learned that transparency is not only necessary for democracy
but even more so for peer production projects (like I thought 
this one
should be an instance of). Therefore at least to me it is absolutely
crucial to change the situation.

I tried to built the web site so it allows for maximum 
transparency on
the one hand and fine-grained management of publicity of texts 
on the
other hand. It is designed to have a comprehensible structure 
and to
be easy to maintain - if you want it. From a technical point of view
it is easy to have all this - if you want it.

Sure. Like I said above, it may seem really easy to you, but to me some aspects are quite obscure. Frankly I find it quite clunky compared to other website software I have worked with such as wikis (Wikipedia, P2P Foundation) or blogs (Wordpress); though it may offer site management functionalities that these others don't.

Well, things reached a point where I need to make a personal decision.
If the rest of the project agrees with this rule of chaos then 
it is
fine with me. However, I'll stop putting energy in this project.

Guess what, I've wondered the very same thing over the last few months: can I keep working with someone whose reply to a direct question in an email I sent may come in a week, or a month, or more. Everyone has their own rhythm and all, but this is the first time I've had that experience. To be honest, I have found this incredibly frustrating at times but have always bit my tongue (until now) for the good of the project. I would never presume to call this method of working "chaotic", maybe you can come up with something?

If you would prefer transparency, however, I'll try to continue to
persuade Mathieu of solutions which build transparency as easy 
as a
finger snip.

OK, I'm all for transparency as well, though I can't help noticing that you want submissions to be non-transparent. At the same time, I'm the editor of the journal, so I get to select some reviewers and to tell people what I think about their papers. This seems to me pretty normal.
I will obviously also be put in a position where some people contact me directly and I may acquire more information than everyone else over specific issues. Then again I have always reported on everything that was going on. If you look around the Internet at webzines, online newspapers, academic magazines, I'd be interested for you to point me to an example of a similarly open approach to editing a journal? I'm not saying there aren't any, I'm just saying I really don't think I'm being that secretive.

One thing I did wrong (and I'm not saying that was my only mistake) was in relation to George Dafermos' early suggestions for the review process: I agree that I should have stated more clearly why I thought they were not so appropriate (old, some already published elsewhere). These were originally meant to test the peer review process: but since then we found original stuff to work with which we can actually publish. If George or anyone else has original material which they want to submit please do so. 
@ George (if you are reading): sorry for not dealing with this more transparently.

So to sum up I agree to try to use the site more. For my part, I would appreciate a little gesture once in a while along the lines of "really busy right now, will respond to this email later".



Comments are wholeheartedly appreciated.



Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University
email: mathieu.oneil[at]

[2 text/html]

Thread: joxT00448 Message: 2/44 L1 [In date index] [In thread index]
Message 00452 [Homepage] [Navigation]