[OPE-L:7440] [OPE-L:973] Re: online journal

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 12 May 1999 07:09:55 -0400 (EDT)

Re Paul's [OPE-L:971]:

> No it would not distribute things to mail addresses. It would instead
> just be a web server. <snip>
> I suspect that this is going against the grain of online research journals
> where the advantage is that people can publish new research results faster
> than by orthodox means. Such research is an open and un-organized activity
> and to set given topics in advance would be too constraining.

I'm still trying to figure out what such a journal would look like. What
would be the difference between it and a WWW site where listmembers could
"publish" previously unpublished papers and new research? E.g. would it be
accessible at a WWW site but look like a conventional journal (sans
advertisements!) with an issue #, a table of contents, etc?

> There is a distinction between a pre-print server, and an online journal.
> A pre-print server like the one run at Los Alamos for physics takes papers
> without refereeing them. It runs the risk of having papers with technical
> errors in them that peer review would pick up. I know this from my own
> experience of putting in a paper to the Los Alamos server, and then
> submiting to Physical Review Letters ( you can submit to them by
> just giving a reference to the paper number on the server ) and
> having a serious mathematical error spoted by one of the two
> referees.
> Whilst people may exercise good judgement and scholarly practice
> by their own lights, unless third parties look at the paper you can
> not be sure that your own oversight or ignorance may not have led
> to errors.

Yet, this goes against the grain of what you say above where you say that
the advantage of such a forum is that it allows people to publish "new
research results faster than by orthodox means" and that such research is
an "open and un-organized activity".

Isn't a peer review process the "orthodox" way? Doesn't it slow
publishing? Isn't it "constraining"?

Well, I could see it done either way, but a peer review process would
increase substantially the amount of work required to produce the journal.
If it comes down to it, I'll volunteer to be a periodic referee ... but I
still wonder whether there isn't a better (and easier) way.

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: who is Mike Sosteric?