[rfc-i] [irtf-discuss] RFCs accepted journal articles

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Fri May 3 09:40:24 PDT 2013

Peer review is just another name for community feedback.

Yes I know they dress it up as something different but seriously, I don't
think I am the only person who has done peer review for academic journals
here. the only reason I have stopped doing peer review for journals is that
my policy is that if someone else is going to profit from my work product
then they have to pay me for it.

We all know where the literature is going. The UK has already established
the principle that all work that is supported by public funds has to be
available to the public without cost. That model is going to win. The UK is
more than big enough to establish critical mass even if the for-profit
publishers manage to stave off that type of policy being imposed in the US
by lobbying (i.e. bribing) congress.

There will be an interesting transition process but the reputation of a
journal is only as good as the people who write for it. A lot of for-profit
journals will disappear and a lot of not-for-profit institutions that fund
themselves through publishing overpriced journals to academic libraries are
going to be in doo-doo even deeper than the newspapers are right now. The
paper journals that die will be quickly replaced by online journals
supported by open source workflow tools, many of which have the same
editorial boards as the ones that are pushed under.

The journal publishers are intermediaries that do not add value. They are
facing a disruptive change in their business model and they have absolutely
no chance of survival. None.

[And remember that I am not an open source zealot by any means]

So while I think it is good that we support the academics here, I don't
think we should worry too much about the extent to which it is going to
help them. Any tenure committee that is deciding a position in computer
networking that is not capable of evaluating the worth of a technical paper
on its own merits has no business being a tenure committee. They should
resign and take emeritus immediately.

When I looked at various frauds being perpetrated in the reputation systems
for online auctions and the like, my starting point was my experience of
the well known and long practiced frauds in 'peer-review'. Almost no peer
review is anonymous in a meaningful sense. Everyone who is established in
their field has a pretty good idea of what everyone else works on and what
their pet ideas are. The link spamming schemes designed to foil search
engine rankings were anticipated by decades by the citation cartels that
infest most of the literature.

I don't think we should worry unduly about the old system. Do whatever is
necessary to at least have the information being tracked. The review we
give is at least as good as 'academic' peer review. The people who are
trying to insist on a distinction are the legacy journal publishers who are
about to lose their entire market.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.rfc-editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/attachments/20130503/2616fc46/attachment.html>

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list