[rfc-i] draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-00

John C Klensin john+rfc at jck.com
Wed Oct 22 15:22:55 PDT 2008



--On Thursday, 23 October, 2008 09:30 +1300 Brian E Carpenter
<brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:

> John,
> 
> On 2008-10-23 07:07, John Klensin wrote:
> ...
>> We have discussed the outlines of an alternative that involved
>> strengthening the Editorial Board, treating it as a
>> semi-autonomous subsidiary of the IAB (somewhat like the way
>> the IRTF is treated), and giving it the key role in selecting
>> the Independent Submission Editor/ Reviewer/ Approver subject
>> to some advice and consent process involving the IAB and/or
>> IAOC. The IAB may not like that suggestion, and it certainly
>> has drawbacks.  But, since I think we agree that the current
>> proposed plan has drawbacks too, let's not pretend that it
>> must be chosen and accepted because there are no plausible
>> alternatives to it.
> 
> Actually, if we really care about the independence of the
> Independent stream, and about its similarity to an academic
> peer review process, I rather like that idea. There would
> have to be care to avoid the model looking like a self-
> perpetuating oligarchy, of course. It may be something we
> should come back to in a year or two, but leave the door open
> to in the current document.

Well, here is where my procedural paranoia (see earlier notes)
sets in.  On the one hand, this doesn't require much change --
we would simply have to revisit RFC 4846 and the Ed Board
appointment process and then fix the model to work that way.  In
the interest of full disclosure, I'm probably a bit less afraid
of self-perpetuating oligarchies than you are, especially if the
alternatives are control of the Independent Submission process
by the IESG via the IAOC/IAD or even control by the IAB
(although I'm less concerned about IAB oversight there than Joe
seems to be).

On the other hand, if the undefined process of the model --some
combination of the IAB, IAOC, and unnamed committees-- manages
to create an Independent Submission Editor system that does not
work, two things happen.  One is that much of the current Ed
Board disappears.  If the Independent Submission Editor isn't
ISI, institutional memory goes away with it.  The other is that
the new Independent Submission Editor rebuilds the Ed Board in
his or her own image, making future independence of appointments
dubious.  So I believe that we should either do this now or not
expect to be able to do it at all.  Put differently, expecting
to be able to do it in a couple of years may be unrealistic.

     john




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