A proposal for the OSGeo Journal
Reading everybody's reactions I get the feeling that what we need is closer to a newsletter and a step away from an academic/scientific journal. Although being an academic myself I a leaning more towards an academic character of the journal, I can also understand that people find more necessity into less academic tasks - which, on the other hand have or can eventually create their own forums for publication, under the OSGeo auspices or not. The idea of an academic publication can be pursued if more people find that useful and interesting either as a separate publication or as a sub-publication in the near future. To make things more clear: in my view an academic publication should be an independent fully peer-reviewed publication and cannot be a section in another publication. If we want that to carry any academic merit that is. So I suggest a more community oriented Journal that will have the goal to capture the community activities and the developments in projects and the local chapters. It will also include specific sections that will be more generic (like use cases or studies) and could possibly have a central theme in each issue (I elaborate a bit more in the "Contents" section). More or less we keep the character of the Journal with some changes and settle a publication schedule that we KEEP! :)
I suggest that we publish the journal twice a year, excluding any special issues that we might want to have like the Annual Report or proceedings of workshops and conferences. I suggest that we publish on "1st of December" and "1st of July" to capture people's free time during Christmas and summer and not to mix it up with anybody 's vacations. I suggest that at the beginning of each calendar year we send out invitations for Guest Editors of each issue (each Guest Editor can be selected by Tyler or by the group of Section Editors all together). The Guest Editor can be responsible for suggesting a special theme (or we can do that beforehand and then ask for Guest Editors). Guest Editors will be responsible for finding material for specific sections of the Journal that will adhere to the central theme, the material will still be reviewed by the appointed section editors and would follow the standard publishing guidelines that apply to all. I will mark in the "Contents" sections which sections the Guest Editor will be responsible (or semi-responsible) for. Moreover the Guest Editor would be responsible to write a guest editorial (or central theme essay or whatever we want to call that) introducing the central theme properly.
If we manage well and we have a wealth of news or other items for publication then we can reconsider the scheduling - make it 3 or 4 times a year.
I find Tyler's proposal excellent: "The Open Source Geospatial Journal" (OSGeo Journal for short).
I propose the following sections for the Journal:
1. Editorial (Tyler)
2. News & Events (2 section editors)
A. General News B. Developer News C. Events (possibly in calendar friendly format?)
3. Projects' Spotlight (1 section editor)
4. Sponsor Perspectives (1 section editor)
5. Local Community Reports (1 section editor)
A. Reports on Events B. Reports on Activities C. Individual members' reports
6. Central Theme Editorial (1 guest editor)
7. Studies (Related to Central Theme) (2 section editors + 1 guest editor)
A. Case studies B. Integration Studies C. Topical Studies
8. Programming Tutorials (Related to Central Theme) (1 section editor + 1 guest editor)
The Guest Editor will be responsible (individually or jointly) for sections 6, 7, and 8.
Also if we want to publish more than 2 issues a year, we can consider publishing some issues with sections 1 to 5.