March 17, 2005

Open Peer Review

Following on from discussions on peer reviewed papers, I checked an up and coming conference (Econ & Security), and the call for papers had closed. Adam points out we should invent an open peer review process, so as my curiosity is piqued, here is a proposal of sorts.

Take a paper and blog it in some fashion. (Perhaps limit the blog entry to the abstract and a link to the full paper.) Then, open the blog entry for comments and trackbacks.

Hey presto, we have peer review but not peer gatekeeping. (So far this was all Adam's idea.) We can also include substantial milestones such as major review periods, closing off one blog entry and shifting to another when the author has enough material to rewrite.

Reputation is built in as over time, the volume of attention should indicate the importance of the work. Let's draw a line in the sand and say that papers should be licensed under a Creative Commons licence.

Now, blogs already do this. But they are spontaneous, free flowing and full of spelling errors. So in order to turn the blog more to a weighty forum suited to the gravity of academia, we could put some links on the blog front page indicating the papers under spotlight.

Has anyone got an FC paper ready to roll? As Digital Money and FC-conference have just passed, and Econ&Security is closed, there seems to be a bit of a hole for the next 6 months in the peer review process. I would point out that the workshop in Electronic Contracting is open for another month. Oops, no, it's closed too. Double-oops. It's cancelled for lack of critical mass! Well, that just goes to show how hard the conference game is - having been there myself.

Having said that, in general, most of these conferences presume that Internet discussion does not count as publication. So you can have the best of both worlds, you can take advantage of a blog peer-review forum to hone your argument, then go for old world dead tree publication as well. (As long as you are careful not to muck up the licensing...)

Posted by iang at March 17, 2005 08:42 PM | TrackBack

Nice idea. One can even have a closed user group by restricting access to authenticated users.

Posted by: Axel at March 18, 2005 03:34 AM
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