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Re: [jox] Draft CFP

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Hi Stefan

In response to some of your points. Regarding the exact text of the CFP I will respond in a later mail together with a new version of the CFP.

a) Electronic system for submissions: sure, why not, if it helps and we can do it with minimum hassles. 

b) Bug in list archive: OK, will wait until this is resolved. Thanks for letting me know. 

c) Setting a webpage up: no need yet, once we have more people on the scientific committee we can put it up. It would be good to do this sometime in September when people are back from vacation and we can formally announce the existence of the journal as well as releasing the CFP. It would be better if the journal webpage is right away in the Plone template rather than the old website template – is that what you had in mind?

d) Regarding your concerns about having too many people involved and sort of losing control over the project (what George referred to as the risk of diluting "ideological coherence")
In terms of what scientific committee members are expected to do, I would suggest the following:
-contribute submissions
-review submissions
-discuss submissions on the list
-write rejoinders or dissents to submissions
-contribute thoughts on the direction of the project

So, potentially, you might argue that new people could hijack the project and drag it where it should not go. There are two ways in which this is not such a big risk in my view.

First, I will naturally approach people who I think will be a good fit. 

Now, you might say that this was not a very satisfactory answer because it relies on one person's judgment too much: I agree. But there is a structural way to preempt any mistakes I might make. I would argue that the very nature of this project (the clear adoption of peer production principles such as the rejection of proprietary software for submissions, the focus on transparent and publicly archived discussion - via this list - for peer reviews, the fact that the journal is hosted on the Oekonux website, etc) means that only those people who are comfortable with these principles will self-select to participate. 

The CFP/mission statement will act as a kind of founding document or charter in this respect. It is up to us to use it to make it as clear as possible what it is that we want to do. This document is being discussed _now_ and though there may be evolutions or nuances in the future it will fundamentally frame whatever direction the project takes. In this way you could say that ideological coherence will derive from the required adherence of participants to the above-mentioned principles.



----- Original Message -----
From: Stefan Merten <smerten>
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009 4:00 am
Subject: Re: [jox] Draft CFP
To: journal
Cc: Stefan Merten <smerten>

Hi Mathieu and all!

I'm replying to this mail before I go through the whole thread.

Last week (10 days ago) Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
In any case it is now the northern summer and I get the 
impression that not everyone is around.

This is well possible. During (Northern) summer things go slower...

Specifically, we need to establish a webpage

As you can see on [pox] we are in the process of setting up Plone.
Personally I worked on using Ubuntu packages recently and I 
think this
will be complete next weekend latest.

If you want to have a webpage before the Plone site is up we can
easily put something to and we could
also setup the journal domain to point there. Just raise your finger
(and provide the material you would like to see online).

BTW, StefanMz and StefanMn, I would much prefer it if the 
address was http:cspp.ox.etc rather than http:csipp.ox.etc... 
"sipp" does not sound great to me and it make me think of 
sipping a cup.:-( 

Whatever you (plural) want. It is also possible to set up multiple
domains like

1 <journal title / mission statement>
2 <topic and type of submissions sought>
3 <selection criteria>
4 <scientific committee: members and affiliation>
5 <publisher>

Sounds good to me.

1 <journal title / mission statement>

I added "multidisciplinary" - not wedded to it but thought it 
might be useful.

I like "multidisciplinary" - in fact I think our aim *is*
multidisciplinary. Also I remember that this once was a real 
hype in
science - though this might be past.

I took out "self-organized" in part because of what StefanMn 
said ("capitalist firms are self-organized also") though I think 
what was intended here is that these projects are less 
hierarchical than traditional corporations or bureaus, but also 
because it was redundant with the self-selection of tasks 
mentioned later in the selection: brevity is best!

Very good. In fact self-selection is a very fine word conveying the
meaning very well.

I also added "contradictions" of peer productions to flag that 
peer production is not without its problems (see point below).

Can't find "contradictions". Forgotten?

2 <topic and type of submissions sought>
This is important as it shows what we are interested in 
specifically. I incorporated George's suggestions and some of my 
own for this list. 

<The following is a side-issue regarding a particular 
subtopic - please skip ahead if you want to focus on the CFP itself>

A very interesting point. I'd love to see this in [ox-en].

In my view if the journal is going to be "critical" it would 
be useful for it to also be self-critical and self-reflexive. So 
acknowledging the role that free software and free labour can 
play in capitalism is important, at a simple level like I said 
before: "build Debian / Wikipedia for free; buy a new 
computer"); but also in terms of understanding how injustice is 
now framed not in terms of exploitation but of exclusion (from 
networks, from power, from employment). 

I'm not for a second saying that peer production does not have 
very positive qualities (germ form for future society...). But I 
think that cooptation exists and should not be ignored. In fact 
clarifying and overcoming the tension between the cooptation of 
critique and peer production's emancipatory potential is for me 
an important task of the journal! 

Well, I understand peer production as a germ form process. According
to germ form theory in the expansion step a germ form becomes an
important thing in the old system. In this sense it is absolutely
interesting to understand in which way peer production "matches" the
current state of capitalism.

<citation style>
APA, Harvard, Chicago??...

Nice Bohemian villages to me ;-) .

What would be more important to me: In what form(at) do we require
contributions? It should be something which can be integrated into
Plone easily but also needs to be common enough. I always wanted to
create this converter converting OpenOffice to 
reStructuredText... We
should *not* accept Word format, however. I mean if someone writes
about these topics we can expect that s/he aligns at least a little

3 <selection criteria>

Most people (who expressed an opinion) seem to prefer an open 
system. I'm not against it but not having blind reviewing in 
favour of open discussion may turn some academics off

True. And a blind review is not an end in itself of course but -
AFAICS - a nice instrument to judge on content instead of person.

( StefanMn: remember how the academic organiser of the 
Manchester conference decided against pursuing with [ox] for 
this very reason?)

No. May be I'm not remembering but I think I never heard this. Who
said this about which (possible) supporter? (Answers by private mail

What I would suggest is that at this stage we just say "all 
articles are peer reviewed" and discuss further the way this 
would work once we have more people on board - for example we 
could have blind peer review for new/unpublished submissions 
which are then discussed on the list? StefanMn may be right that 
openness will have a moderating effect.

Well, what is the goal of a blind review? AFAICS the main goal 
is that
reviewers / editors are not able to judge a contribution because of
the person who contributed. In this case it would be totally
sufficient if in an open process we remove the contributor's 
name in
the open process and keep the name secret. The names are 
revealed only
when a contribution is accepted. I'm pretty sure this could be
supported by a technical system so it even doesn't need a special
person who keeps all the secrets.

4 <scientific committee: members and affiliation>

It's important to have a decent number - so far we have 7 
people which is too low in my view - so we need to build up the 
scientific committee with like-minded and credible people. What 
I am planning to do once the text below has been properly 
discussed and amended is to send it to a few academic 
researchers I think may be interested in joining in. 

Regarding non-academics, if anyone has any ideas of people who 
might be suitable (have practical experience of peer production 
and can write well) that could be discussed as well. Maybe send 
me a private email? 

What is the role of the scientific committee exactly? Exactly if you
say that they "write well"?


George N Dafermos wrote:
About inviting *other people* to join in the list and in the 
journal>> process if we think they would be interested: I 
suppose this
ultimately hinges on Mathieu who as the maintainer of this project
(lead editor of the journal) is in a position to assess the 
value of
recruiting others. Anyhow, I reckon we should be careful not 
to end
up with a list/editorial group of a hundred people who, having
hardly anything in common, only aggravate the organisational costs
of cooperation, thus encumbering the progress of the project. Also,
we should take account of the effect of such a recruitment on
theoretical coherence.

StefanMn said: "Valid points. May be we should set some 
deadline then after which
people are only invited by the existing group?"

I don't think we will have a hundred people... I'm all for 
getting people who are good and who we get on with etc. We will 
see how we go over the next few months with recruitment and then 
indeed once we have a critical mass / minimum number, we will 
stop this phase and from then on the group could suggest new 
people. This will need to be reviewed in the northen fall.

Well, my experience is that if a new social space is set up that in
the beginning it is never fully clear in which direction it will 
run -
regardless on how much you talk about it. The first few contributions
make this clear. If you like they set a direction for everyone 
to see.

If we start with a lot of people then the very start can become
difficult and the result can be confusing which IMHO would be no good.
If we start with a focused team then the team can expanded later.

But may be we should talk about goals. My goal it would be to define
the journal in practical terms first and then open it up more. The
basic issue here is who makes the (initial) decisions. That is 
also my
question about the role of the scientific committee. If it just a
number of reviewers then this is one thing. If members make decisions
then it is a different thing.

<Next is the issue of affiliation or identification.>

University people are a priori unproblematic, they are 
identified by their institution. 

The question is, how do we present non-university based 
people? Do we put the same term(s) for all of them - activist, 
practitioner - or the name of their specific projects?

The name of the project is definitely needed. Also the role may be
given more precisely - such as "founder and maintainer" in my case.

For example, Michel is across both areas but is probably 
better-known for P2PF so it seems natural to put him as P2PF?

Could that be up to the respective person?

For StefanMn it would make sense to put [ox] but then below it 
might say [ox] is the publisher - does that make him the 
publisher? Does this create a confusion between distinct areas?

I agree that this confusion needs to be prevented. But if we put the
publisher on the page the room for confusion is small - right?

5 <publisher>
... Or do we not have a publisher? 
However if CSPP is hosted by [ox] it makes sense to say what 
[ox] is IMHO.

Well, I think *we* don't need a publisher - do we?

Again: What is presenting a publisher good for? What is the role 
of a
publisher? Who are we appealing to with presenting a publisher? 
And if
[ox] is the publisher: What does that mean exactly? The registered
association in Germany being the only legal body we have? Hardly...

Anyway, here is the proposed CFP... 

I comment only for which I have questions / suggestions:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

-history of peer production

May be also

  - future of peer production

-peer production and expertise

May be we could make this more generic by

  - preconditions for peer production

-political economy of peer production
-critical theory and peer production

By critical theory I understand Marx' theory - right?

-forms and functions of peer production
-peer production and exchange
-peer production and social movements
-peer production as ideology in capitalism

  - peer production in/vs./and capitalism

would be more generic.

-governance in peer projects
-peer production of hardware

  - expansion of peer production

would be more generic.



Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University

E-mail: mathieu.oneil
Tel.: (61 02) 61 25 38 00
Mail: Coombs Building, 9
Canberra, ACT 0200 - AUSTRALIA

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