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Idea for a publishing model Steve Black 07 Jun 2000 15:28 UTC

I have this idea for a process of publishing papers in our own field of
librarianship, that might also work for other fields:

1.  Author submits paper to a moderated listserv (like this one).

2.  Moderators choose the papers they feel worthwhile, along with other
worthwhile items like summaries of responses to a queries, and post them
to a preprint archive.  Moderators could also combine the individual posts
of an insightful thread into one item, and put it into the archive.

3.  Editors of journals monitor the preprint archive, and contact the
authors whose papers they are interested in publishing.  (Conference
program committees could refer to it, as well).

4.  Author may respond to publisher and formally submit the paper for the
normal peer review and editing process.  (And/or accept an invitation to
speak at a conference).

5.  When the reviewed and edited paper has been published, a note is added
to the preprint to inform readers of the published version.

  I see several potential advantages of this model.  First, existing list
discussions would be enhanced, without hurting the free, informal flow of
information we now have.  Second, the valuable middle category of
information that is based on some investigation, but doesn't make the
grade of a full-blown paper, would be more widely available.  Some of
those are available in listserv archives now, but a second level of
selection by moderators would improve access to the good stuff.  This
system should also encourage the posting to lists of some more in-depth
information than is now the norm.

  By putting papers into a pool accessible to many editors, it should be
easier to match an author with the best journal for his/her paper.
Picking the right journal to submit to is a gamble, even when the author
has good knowledge of the publications.  Editors would have a larger pool
to select from, relative to having to wait for whatever comes in the mail.
This model would not prevent authors from sending a paper to one journal
as is done now, but it would add another option.

  We could probably get by with fewer published journals, since the second
tier of papers would be available in the online archive.  The published
journals could be reserved for what journal editors consider to be the
very best stuff.  If a good paper is overlooked, it will still be
available in the online archive.

  The main drawback I see right off is that there would be significantly
more work for list moderators.  They should be compensated, but how?
Also, there would be uncertainty in the rank & tenure process of how to
count works that make the archive, but aren't picked up by a journal.

Steve Black
Reference,Instruction, and Serials Librarian
Neil Hellman Library
The College of Saint Rose
392 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
(518) 458-5494