Re: ePrint Repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 12:16:52 +0000

Simon's online peer review system is very interesting and welcome, but
make no mistake about it: It is just classical peer review (implemented
online -- but that's irrelevant, because peer-review is
medium-independent anyway, and even on-paper journals are implementing
their peer review on-line these days) plus a subsequent phase of open peer

(Cf. BBS (since 1978) <>
and Psycoloquy (since 1989) <>
which both do the same thing, the former both on-paper and on-line, and
the latter on-line-only.)

So the rest is all down to the quality of the journal and its contents, which
takes some years to establish. New journals start with a handicap, having no
demonstrated quality standards or impact factor.

But these experiments on implementing peer-review on-line, and supplementing it
with open peer commentary, though they are eminently worth performing and will
be extremely useful, have nothing whatsoever to do with the question of either
"self-publication" or the untested merits of "open self-appointed,
post-hoc review," as putative SUBSTITUTES for classical peer review.
Simon's is classical peer review, implemented on-line, with post-hoc
commentary as a SUPPLEMENT.

Stevan Harnad

On Fri, 26 Jan 2001, Simon Buckingham Shum wrote:

> At 10:28 am +0000 26/1/01, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> ...
> >There are some ongoing experiments with "open review," where it is
> >self-appointed commentators' feedback that is being used to validate
> >preprints, but these experiments are far too small, and it is far too
> >early, to judge whether they have been successful in generating papers
> >of quality and useability anywhere comparable to those generated by
> >undergoing classical peer review.
> Two responses to the above points, on [1] process, and [2]
> infrastructure to enable it.
> We have developed a web-mediated, hybrid eJournal review process
> which is more Open than some Open models.
> Reviewers are:
> - APPOINTED (for their expertise and commitment to review the submission)
> - NAMED (though they can post anonymously)
> - and ANSWERABLE (encouraged to discuss a submission with
> EACH OTHER and AUTHORS, who are relieved to have the RIGHT OF REPLY)
> - this is initially a PRIVATE forum
> If it clears this phase, the submission is added to the main journal
> website as a PrePrint Under Review, and goes into:
> - PUBLIC open peer review, announced to relevant communities,
> inviting them to view the discussion, and contribute their own insights.
> You can see how this has been implemented in Jnl. Interactive Media
> in Education:
> Reflections on this action research experiment can be found at:
> The above is only possible with web publishing support. Our "Digital
> Document Discourse Environment" (D3E) []
> implements peer review forums tightly linked to a document, and we
> are moving slowly towards a version for free distribution. We will be
> discussing potential convergence with OAI at the March workshop on
> OAI and Peer Review Journals [].
> Anyone wishing to receive future D3E announcements is welcome to drop
> us a line.
> Cheers,
> Simon & Tammy
> Tamara Sumner
> Center for LifeLong Learning & Design & Dept. Computer Science
> University of Colorado at Boulder, U.S.A.
> Simon Buckingham Shum
> Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, U.K.
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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