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Peer Review

Many people in industry, academia, research, and government institutions need to build a record of peer reviewed publications. Because of this, it's been proposed that we initiate a formal process of peer review for a subset of OSGeo Journal articles. This would add an additional level of credibility to these particular papers and will also make them more citable and so forth.

Proposed Paper Categorization While the peer review process can be useful for some papers, it should not necessarily be a requirement for everything that gets published in OSGeo Journal. Hence it could be useful to categorize the articles in OSGeo Journal as: 1) Editorials and Discussion Articles 2) Announcements and Project Status Reports 3) Peer Reviewed Papers

Proposed Review Process For the peer reviewed papers, the following review process is proposed: 1) OSGeo Journal Senior Editor (Tyler?) and the Journal Review Board have final say on the number of peer reviewed papers that will be accepted in any given edition as well as timing requirements and so forth, but generally assign responsibility for the peer review process to an associate editor - AE. (I've agreed to take a shot at this - or someone else can do it. - dpa) 2) Call for papers is posted on the web site. This call is on-going and describes the intended scope of the journal with respect to peer reviewed papers, types of papers sought, etc. (This text still needs to be worked out). 3) A call for reviewers is also posted, and a list of potential reviewers is maintained on the WIKI (hopefully this is a long enough list to maintain individual anonymity on specific reviews). 4) Authors send their manuscripts to the AE who goes on the WIKI and lists the title and authors (just as an FYI to the community - and also lets the authors know that their paper is under consideration) 5) AE contacts a few potential reviewers from the list of willing reviewers and sends them the manuscript electronically. 6) Reviewers are also given a link to the web site where a list of review considerations are posted. These will follow generally accepted considerations such as "Does the paper fit within the scope of OSGeo Journal?" "Does the paper make a new or original contribution to the field of geoinformatics and specifically the development of and/or application of FOSS4G software?" "Is the paper well written?" "Does the paper use correct English spelling, syntax and grammar?" "Is the title appropriate?" "Is the abstract succinct of the correct length and appropriate?" "Are the citations complete and correct?" "Are all of the figures and tables necessary, clear and informative?" "Do you have any suggestions for the authors that would improve the paper?" "Would you rate this paper as acceptable as is, requires minor changes (no re-review necessary), requires major changes (re-review necessary), or not-acceptable?" 7) Reviewers are given four weeks to submit reviews. 8) The AE notifies the authors of the reviewers decision as follows:

If two or more recommend "Accept as is" then the paper will be placed on the queue for publication in an upcoming edition with no further review required.

If two or more recommend at least "Accept with minor changes" then the authors will be sent the reviewers' notes and encouraged to make the requested modifications within a short time period. The associated editor will verify that the changes were made and then pass the paper on to the editor for addition to the publication queue

If two or more recommend at least "Major changes" then the authors will be sent the reviewers' notes and encouraged to make the requested modifications and then resubmit the paper for a follow-on review by the original reviewers. This would probably need to have a time associated with it so that the paper stays relatively fresh for the reviewers. Perhaps 4 weeks would be an appropriate time for turn-around.

If two or more recommend "Reject" then the authors would be sent a nice note indicating that the paper was found unsuitable for the journal and thanked for their effort, etc. They would also be sent the reviewers' comments.

Specifics for OSGeo Journal Volume 1, Issue 2

I think it is possible that we could initiate a test peer review process for the second issue of OSGeo Journal and would propose the following time line:

  • June 1 - Call for papers
  • June 15 - Deadline for papers (its expected that for this tight deadline we'll only receive a handful of papers which is probably good for this first effort).
  • June 22 - Target date for finding reviewers for the papers
  • July 22 - Four week deadline for reviews from reviewers.
  • July 27 - Final deadline for reviews from reviewers.
  • August 3 - Deadline for acceptable manuscripts (accept as is, accept with minor changes) to be submitted in final form.

Article Length

We need to define article lengths - do you have any past experience setting lengths or have you left them wide open? I think we should add them to the categories on this page. Tyler

Previous editions

I just did a quick skim through the last GRASS News volume and came up with some rough word counts. The following also include several screenshots, on average 1.5 images per page:

  • Event Reports - 750 words (1 page)
  • Short updates - 1200 words (2.5 pages)
  • Short Reports - 1500 words (3 pages)
  • Extended Reports - 2500 words (5 pages)
  • Interview - 3000 words (4 pages, only 1 image)
  • Project Reports/Announcements - 500-1000 words (0.5-1 page) (GRASS report was several pages in past, probably should reduce to make room for others)

Do these make sense?

main non-Wiki page for submission

shall we add a non-Wiki page for authors who want to submit articles? Just instructions and contact e-mail add. of Edt.? Wegmann 13:50, 28 February 2007 (CET)

Good idea - Tyler
Who do we have to contact to have a non-wiki OSGeo page for contact, download of templates + releases? Wegmann 18:05, 1 March 2007 (CET)

call for volunteers

Here is my call for volunteers, focused on building our team:

Hi all, As you may be aware, last year the GRASS News production offered to transition their great production into a brand new OSGeo Newsletter. Although branded as OSGeo, all open source projects are welcome to be part of it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the last volume, have a look at this: (5.3MB). As you can see it is much more than just some news clippings!

Well, now is the time to get a new team together to help make a great production. You are invited to be part of that team! Want some exercise for your writing skills? Would you like to get some more exposure for your project? Want to learn the ins and outs of some publication software? Or do you just want to help spread the word about some projects or case studies that you love?

There are several positions available for any volunteer who would help to coordinate collecting articles, writing content, reviewing content, helping with layout or graphics, and more. Want to sign up just for one volume or to test the waters first? That is fine too.

Please see the Newsletter wiki page for a list of open positions and categories for content that need editors:

If you have any reservations, comments, questions or concerns please just let me know! As we will work as a team, please do not be shy about your interests, even if you are going to need some help getting started.

After the team is gathered and production deadlines are finalised, then we will make a more general call for contributors. If you already have something that you would like to contribute, you are welcome to sign up now on the page:

Hope you will join us in putting this together!


Following needs to be forwarded to more lists. Copy raw text from edit more to get something that works well in an email.

From: Subject: Call for articles - OSGeo Newsletter Date: March 5, 2007 11:14:56 AM PST (CA) To:

The OSGeo Newsletter development team invites you to contribute news, articles, event summaries, programming tutorials and more for the upcoming OSGeo News - Volume 1. There are several sections planned for the newsletter. General descriptions of each category can be found on the Newsletter wiki page [1]. Specific committed articles are listed on the Newsletter Volume 1 wiki page [2].

There has been already been a lot of interest to contribute articles and some sections are already quite full. You are welcome to propose an article for any section, but we are specifically looking for more articles in the following categories:

  • News - any particularly newsworthy items you would like to pass along
  • Event Reports - have a conference summary that you would like to share?
  • Topical Studies - introduce a theoretical topic that is of general interest
  • Programming Tutorials - serving as an introduction to coding an application or task
  • Interview - conduct an interview with someone in the community
  • Developer Announcements - brief summaries of what your project team has been doing recently and future outlook for the project

To volunteer for an article add your name and article title to the Volume 1 wiki page in the appropriate category, along with contact information. Or join the Newsletter mailing list [3] and tell us about your idea. An editor will follow-up with you to arrange delivery and timing. Articles need to be delivered by March 23st. Length can vary depending on type of article and should be discussed with the editor for your category. If you want to contribute but a particular category is full (or you need more time), you are more than welcome to add yourself to the list of articles for the subsequent volume, Volume 2 [4].

We look forward to working with you on producing a great newsletter that is of interest to everyone in our communities and beyond.

Sincerely, Tyler

[1] Newsletter general wiki page: [2] Newsletter Volume 1 wiki page: [3] Newsletter development mailing list: [4] Newsletter Volume 2 (future):