On top of today's activities, here is some more food for thoughts. To Serve Science points to the slowness of the peer review and publication process as currently implemented. Some undesirable side effects directly affect the quality of our future production. In short, it has become unfair to us and Science as a whole.
Putting StackOverFlow on top of Arxiv would seem "easy" to do especially with StackOverFlow clones and Arxiv providing the ability to use their metadata. The tagging of papers and therefore of communities would be enhanced by the tags/keywords provided by Arxiv. Based on my small experience with Nuit Blanche, the StackOverFlow functionality would have to be changed. In particular, let me wonder aloud some questions and important details:
- Starting the process: The system unilaterally uploads the Arxiv metadata on the Q&A site and every question in that site becomes: "Is this paper worthy ?"
- In Q&A sites, the author of a question can select one of the comments and promote it as the selected "Answer" among many comments. One cannot do that here since the uploading is automatic, i.e. the owner is not a person. I am thinking along the lines of Doron, the answer would be "Published in such and such Journal". This information would be provided by the authors with attendant bibtex and other niceties. In effect, the judgement of the editor of a publication would be based on how the discussion went on and the "points" of the different commenters.
- Some reviewers want to remain anonymous, yet want to get some credit for providing useful input. The point system for every person should be dependent on whether they provided useful feedback (as given by the number of points they have gathered). I am not sure how to handle that part.
- Editors of publications want to identify who is good in a certain area so they can trust the reviewers' judgement. The point system could be a good indicator.
- People can only provide comments (i.e. reviews). They can also upvote other's comments, but have to provide meaningful reasons for downvotes ?
- Should everybody be anonymous ? but can still use their points to show knowledge ?
- Who pays for this ? Reviewers pay ? Authors pay ? Wikipedia style ?.university libraries ? Publishers (one way is for them to pay for some indication of the quality of the review (points of reviewers in certain areas)?
With a system like this one, the Question is "Is this paper worthy ?" and the Answer is "It is worthy for such and such journal" ? We need to address the "details" on the anonymization process and the point system.
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