Not signed in (Sign In)

Not signed in

Want to take part in these discussions? Sign in if you have an account, or apply for one below

  • Sign in using OpenID

Site Tag Cloud

2-category 2-category-theory abelian-categories adjoint algebra algebraic algebraic-geometry algebraic-topology analysis analytic-geometry arithmetic arithmetic-geometry beauty bundles calculus categorical categories category category-theory chern-weil-theory cohesion cohesive-homotopy-theory cohesive-homotopy-type-theory cohomology colimits combinatorics complex complex-geometry computable-mathematics computer-science constructive cosmology deformation-theory descent diagrams differential differential-cohomology differential-equations differential-geometry digraphs duality elliptic-cohomology enriched fibration foundation foundations functional-analysis functor galois-theory gauge-theory gebra geometric-quantization geometry graph graphs gravity grothendieck group group-theory harmonic-analysis higher higher-algebra higher-category-theory higher-differential-geometry higher-geometry higher-lie-theory higher-topos-theory homological homological-algebra homotopy homotopy-theory homotopy-type-theory index-theory integration integration-theory k-theory lie lie-theory limits linear linear-algebra locale localization logic mathematics measure-theory modal modal-logic model model-category-theory monad monads monoidal monoidal-category-theory morphism motives motivic-cohomology nlab noncommutative noncommutative-geometry number-theory of operads operator operator-algebra order-theory pages pasting philosophy physics pro-object probability probability-theory quantization quantum quantum-field quantum-field-theory quantum-mechanics quantum-physics quantum-theory question representation representation-theory riemannian-geometry scheme schemes set set-theory sheaf sheaves simplicial space spin-geometry stable-homotopy-theory string string-theory superalgebra supergeometry svg symplectic-geometry synthetic-differential-geometry terminology theory topology topos topos-theory type type-theory universal variational-calculus

Vanilla 1.1.10 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to nForum
If you want to take part in these discussions either sign in now (if you have an account), apply for one now (if you don't).
    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011
    • (edited Jan 14th 2011)

    One of the qualities I’d like the new journal to have is fully transparent refereeing. By that, I mean that a reader who comes across an article on the nJournal should be able to find out exactly what the statement “This paper has been refereed” means. There are various ways to do that and I’d like us to discuss them.

    Another aspect that I think is important is to separate the roles of peer review and referee. I think that we’ve actually already seen that in action with the two articles currently in the process. There’s been an announcement of the form “Here’s an article I’m thinking of submitting” whereupon lots of people have read through them and pointed out improvements that could be made (both here and on the cafe). This is great and something that I think we should encourage and possibly formalise. If submissions can be made to go through this preliminary stage then the process of actually refereeing becomes much easier. The referee can then focus on the quality of the contents and not on the presentation.

    Several articles in other journals by nAuthors have gone through this preliminary process by virtue of being announced on the nCafe first. One that springs to mind is John and Alex’s paper. After I’d written a load of comments, John replied (emphasis added):

    Thanks for the new round of comments, Andrew. I hope that when we submit this paper for publication — where? does anyone have suggestions? — you are the referee. And I hope that when you referee it, you write: “Thanks to the careful vetting this paper has received at the n-Category Café, it needs no further improvements.”

    Apart from the suggestion of me being the referee, this sums up exactly what I’m trying to say.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorTom Leinster
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011

    Andrew, I agree with most of what you're saying.

    A Roman Catholic friend of mine once told me that he'd just been to confession, which had consisted of him having a fireside chat with a priest who was a good friend of his. I was surprised, because I'd thought there was supposed to be at least a pretence of anonymity. He said no; in fact, the ideal was not to be anonymous, but the system had grown up in such a way that the anonymity was formalized. And although anonymity wasn't ideal, it was sometimes necessary, otherwise honest confession wouldn't happen at all.

    You see what I'm saying. It's not quite the same, because I'm not advocating that referees be non-anonymous. Rather, I'm agreeing with you that a lot of good can be done by an open conversation. Of course we have to bear in mind that (if the journal takes off) not everyone who submits will be someone we know.

    I think I disagree with you on a point of language, though. To me, "peer review" and "refereeing" are almost exact synonyms. I understand the distinction you're making, but if we publicly use "peer review" to mean one thing and "refereeing" to mean another, I think we're inviting misunderstanding.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011

    (Just a quick reply) you misunderstand me (I think) on one thing: I don’t mean that referees should not be anonymous. The refereeing should be transparent, but that doesn’t mean that the referee can’t be anonymous. But the statement “This article has been refereed” should be one that actually means something, and that meaning should be clear to all.

    I agree that the terms “peer review” and “refereeing” are used synonymously and it’s probably too late to do anything about it (I’m still smarting over the fight to reclaim “heuristic” so I don’t want to start another linguistic fight). I’d actually prefer to drop “peer review” altogether. Maybe “broad review”, or “polishing”? Anyway, whatever it’s called, I think it’s a Good Thing and we should consider whether or not we want to put it in as a formal stage in the process.

  1. If I’m correctly interpreting it, Andrew is proposing that when a paper is submitted, it has to stay for a period in an “open arena” where it can be openly commented, can receive sugegstions for improvement, errors can be spotted, corrections suggested, even harsh criticism can be done. after this “quarantine” period, the paper goes to the editorial board and to the reviewing process. I like this idea very much: can we formalize it?

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorTom Leinster
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011

    Hi Andrew. For what it's worth I didn't misunderstand you; none of us, I think, is suggesting that referees should be non-anonymous. I suppose the lesson of the confession story is that communication on a potentially difficult topic can be more effective (and pleasant) when it's done in an open manner.

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011

    Tom, I was reacting to this sentence:

    It’s not quite the same, because I’m not advocating that referees be non-anonymous.

    Nor am I advocating it. I have no problem with referees choosing to be non-anonymous, and would happily give them the opportunity (rather than wait for them to suggest it), but would not pressure them in any way. But your clarification of the important point in that story is well taken. Thanks, and I agree. I would like mathematics to be as open and impersonal as possible (whilst allowing for the personalities that make it such fun!), but, as MathOverflow shows, that doesn’t happen by chance. As this place shows, it happens best when the environment is set up to encourage it (not that I’m claiming it’s perfect, nor any credit, but I think that there’s something about this place that makes it easier to talk about mathematics than to sound off on anything and everything).

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2011

    I like the idea very much. “Community review”, maybe?