Re: Elsevier's ChemWeb Preprint Archive

From: Weeks, James (ELSLON) <"Weeks,>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 17:02:53 +0100

Dear Jim,

Thank you very much for your response.

To date, I haven't noticed any particular effort to increase the number of
discussion threads. In fact, I think more noticeable inaccuracies could
occur from "test" threads and reproduced threads. I suppose these effects
might become less significant as the discussions grow but in this sense I
agree that the other indicators might be more reliable.

In my opinion, the most robust indicators of subsequent publication would
indeed be "views" and "ranking". In fact, the articles with the most
discussion could be those which are still works-in-progress or which are
more controversial. We monitor the views on the number of unique users who
have viewed the article. Therefore, it really should not be possible to
manipulate this data. Similarly, authors are not permitted to rank their own
article and users can only rank an article once.

I hope that this helps to clarify.

Best regards,



James Weeks
Chemistry Preprint Server Coordinator
ChemWeb Inc.
84 Theobald's Road
London WC1X 8RR
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 4480
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7611 4301




-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Till [mailto:till_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA]
Sent: 19 August 2001 12:29
Subject: Re: Elsevier's ChemWeb Preprint Archive

On Fri, 17 Aug 2001, James Weeks wrote [in part]:

[jw]> each article that is submitted to the CPS has its own discussion
[jw]> group where users can comment on the content of the article. It
[jw]> is encouraging that there has been sustained use of these
[jw]> discussion groups. For example, 45 of the 282 preprints submitted
[jw]> now have more than 3 threads in their discussions. I think it will
[jw]> also be interesting to monitor how this feature is used.

Of the three indicators now available via CPS (views per preprint, score
on a 1-5 scale, and number of discussion threads), it's not clear to me
which indicator might be the least susceptible to manipulation. All seem
quite vulnerable to such manipulation.

If any of these three indicators is found to be a reasonably reliable and
valid predictor of subsequent publication in a "brand name" journal, then
its vulnerability to attempts at manipulation (e.g. via deliberate
attempts to initiate more discussion threads) might become a major

I'd be very interested in any comments that you may have about this
"manipulation issue".

[jw]> It is our intention that the CPS will be [OAI] compliant within the
[jw]> next two months.

Good news!

Jim Till
University of Toronto
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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