[Commons-research] open review model for upcoming workshop

Alek Tarkowski alek at creativecommons.pl
Thu Jan 8 04:08:14 EST 2009

Dear all,

The issue on how to setup the peer review process requires probably more 
time and thought than I have right now... But two things came to my mind 
reading the discussion:

Regarding Giorgos's last post, I'm not surprised no one commented 
afterwards the abstracts. I don't think it's an issue of their length - 
it's rather that they are not as meaningful as full texts, in my opinion 
you only get a "feeling" of what the research / paper is about. Of 
course, experiments with online commenting prove that people don't 
comment too much at all (look for example at things done with the 
Commentpress system - a plugin for Wordpress - by the Institute for the 
Future of the Book).

Secondly, I am not sure about the argument that you need secrecy to have 
healthy relationships in the community. It's plausible to be critical 
without being offensive. I'm sure all of you do informal commenting / 
reviews for fellow researchers / friends - and in those reviews I'm sure 
you're sometimes critical. And it works. If the comments are sound, 
what's there to foul a relationship?

I am not hundred percent sure about this - secrecy of reviews is such an 
entrenched rule in our communities... The main difficulty I have with 
open reviewing is that people might review "too nicely" - but on the 
other hand blind reviewing allows for some level of un-accountability on 
the part of the reviewer...

Having said all this, personally I do not find this *the* most important 
issue - open reviewing is for me a nice addition to a portfolio of 
"experiments with openness", but even with traditional reviewing things 
work well (as proven by last years workshop). Though I think there is 
always a level of randomness (and thus unfairness) to every selection 

Philipp, it would be good to know, how the open review process works for 
the editors and authors of the journal you mentioned.



dr Alek Tarkowski
koordynator / public lead
Creative Commons Polska / Poland

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