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Author Topic: Peer review of articles before publication  (Read 21290 times)
W8JI
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« on: August 21, 2011, 07:00:27 AM »

Here is my suggestion of what I think is a long term improvement to this site and our hobby. Why not have a volunteer group to make suggestions to authors BEFORE articles are published?

It seems to me having a comment session after an article is published never works well. It puts the author and the commenter in positions where both are uncomfortable. An author is generally much less willing to consider helpful suggestions after publication, and constructive commenters are much less willing to comment when they know comments are often taken as personal assaults against the author.

Also, once something is up in print, no matter how bad it turns out to be, it is out there forever.

Thinking back, I never subscribed to 73 Magazine because many articles were so terrible. They had no review process at all. They actually printed things that could kill people, like a transformer-less linear amp that required the power plug inserted a certain direction, and many of their articles were rejects turned down by QST or CQ for inaccuracy.

QST, on the other hand, has a somewhat good process unless the article is authored by QST staff. :-) QST has a review section where reviewers with some technical qualifications can comment on articles privately before publication. The consensus of comments are sent back to authors for consideration.

CQ was in between the two extremes back in the days.


Reviews before publication should be an easy task with Internet, and it would greatly reduce the embarrassment of grossly incorrect technical points being published. In the long term, I think this would encourage more articles because authors would know how their article would probably come across.

What's wrong with taking eHam up a notch in the articles section? It would be a win for everyone.

73 Tom
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K6LO
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 12:19:45 PM »

This is an excellent suggestion.  Articles published on eHam have instant world wide circulation and many need better grounding.  My question - how is a peer review group selected and deemed qualified?  Many of us are professionals in the electronic / communication industry but with quite varied backgrounds. What is the vetting process for volunteers?

73,

Luke
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W8JI
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 06:56:04 PM »

This is an excellent suggestion.  Articles published on eHam have instant world wide circulation and many need better grounding.  My question - how is a peer review group selected and deemed qualified?  Many of us are professionals in the electronic / communication industry but with quite varied backgrounds. What is the vetting process for volunteers?

73,

Luke

The ARRL just puts everyone in a message board where they can download and comment on articles. It sort of self-filters, and then the editor sends it back to the author with editing recommendations if required.

The group was always polite and people were naturally pretty honest. If they didn't understand a certain area, they just said so.

That always seems to work in a private forum.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 04:49:26 AM »

I don't think that a comment session after publication is bad.  People just may want to add tidbits that they've run across--or they may simply want to ask questions.  The real problem with the comment section is that all too many commenters are NOT uncomfortable with what they say/post.  If that could be reduced, there would be an immediate improvement.  On the other hand, people who can't take criticism shouldn't even be putting articles up for consideration here.  If their skin is that thin, they belong on Mr. Rogers' website--not E-ham!

Tom's suggestion is bang on for technical articles, though.  Too many people write articles with erroneous information in them, and those articles should be looked over and referred back to the authors for correction.
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VK2FXXX
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 05:45:01 AM »

Wouldnt be a bad idea for technical articles.
Might save the embarrassment which transpired on a recent article comment thread.
Unfortunately once an article is published , many authors  may feel constructive criticism , is an attempt to embarrass or humiliate them. No-body enjoys being told that they were wrong,less so in public.
While reading a Recent eHam article I was shaking my head ,not so much at the article itself ,but because I knew what was about to happen. The comments quickly deteriorated into near child like name calling .
I enjoyed the technical side of the discussion ,not the other crap.
Perhaps the eHam Editors knew a lively discussion would ensue, and left the animals to sort themselves out!   Shocked
Perhaps eHam feel that pre Publication  review, may put an end to the lively? post article comments?
We may never know!    Cry

Bye
Brendan
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 05:53:43 AM by VK2FXXX » Logged
KI4SDY
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 07:06:23 PM »

Because of predictable human behavior, you will probably end up with a smaller technically qualified group arguing with each other over the article and contents. We see it all the time on eHam.net!  Roll Eyes

Maybe, they should post the comments from the review committee, along with the final article, so all the technical points of view can be considered. The author could even comment on why he finally decided to go one way or the other in the final draft. In that format, you open up a more focused discussion of the technical issues.  Wink   
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W8JI
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 12:48:48 PM »

Well, here is an example:

http://www.eham.net/articles/26600

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 03:55:19 PM »

Well, here is an example:

http://www.eham.net/articles/26600



That's not really an article; it's just a rant.

Everyone has personal gripes.

I think it's ridiculous that I have to pay to buy a Lottery ticket when everyone knows I won't win. Cheesy
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 06:57:07 PM »

Well, here is an example:
http://www.eham.net/articles/26600

This should NEVER have been accepted as an article. It belongs in a forum...
Crap articles like this remind me why I rarely read the articles.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 06:59:03 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
KI4SDY
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 07:48:33 PM »

Well, it did start a discussion over a legitimate issue and for that reason it has some value. How much value is for the reader to decide. Are we going to start "controlling" information to the masses now? Gee, that sounds like many third world governments we have experienced in the last 100 years, and coming to a country near you soon!  Wink 
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W8JI
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2011, 01:16:28 AM »

Well, it did start a discussion over a legitimate issue and for that reason it has some value. How much value is for the reader to decide. Are we going to start "controlling" information to the masses now? Gee, that sounds like many third world governments we have experienced in the last 100 years, and coming to a country near you soon!  Wink 

Actually that article is toned more like the bullies who try to run third world governments.

The same thing can be said in a way that isn't nasty or demeaning to others who disagree, and without self-inflicted threats or wounds being threatened. Every important point could have been made without insulting others or being nasty. It's called being civilized and adult and disagreeing without personally attacking anyone who disagrees.
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N2EY
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2011, 06:06:42 AM »

I agree with W8JI 100%. Particularly on the technical issues.

There's a lot of misinformation out there, and it gets repeated all too often.

And it's not just newcomers who are the source:

http://www.eham.net/articles/20452

for an example.

There are also typos, math mistakes, etc. Why not catch them before they are public?

Nobody who really knows their stuff is bothered by the idea of having someone else who is knowlegeable review it.


73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 06:14:47 AM by N2EY » Logged
KI4SDY
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2011, 06:53:05 AM »

In your first post, you were talking about reviewing articles for "technical content." Now you have expanded that to articles you believe contain "nasty, demeaning, insulting and threatening content." I am glad that you came out of the closet before this got too far. In other words, you want to start censoring articles and comments you don't like. Sounds like mind control to me! Didn't the Communist and the Nazis try this type of thing already? Wink

I have an idea for you. Why don't you go start up another ham radio site all of your own that you can completely control and "sanitize" to your heart's content. Maybe you will get a lot of participation and maybe you won't. It could end up being too boring for the masses. At any rate, you have to build it to see if they will come. Good luck with that!  Kiss  
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 07:21:52 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
NI0C
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2011, 07:37:08 AM »

W8JI is spot on-- eHam "Articles" ought to be peer reviewed before display on the site.  There is a huge disparity in the quality of articles.  There are informative and constructive pieces by N4KC, K0FF, K0BG, WB2WIK, and others displayed among poorly constructed and ill-thought out rants that couldn't have taken more than five minutes to spew out and submit for publication. 

Common sense dictates that the latter type of submissions ought to be rejected.  Those who just can't contain themselves are free to spout off in the "Miscellaneous" or "Licensing" forums.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2011, 08:24:33 AM »

I read the article in question and did not find it offensive at all. It was just an opinion based upon actual experience. There were no "technical" issues or errors involved. The only grammatical error I found, if that is an issue, was that he spelled split as "spit" on the 17 meter band.  Shocked

Also, I noted that several people liked the article and agreed with the author, so not everyone is in "goose step" with your opinions. Are you going to try to "eliminate" them as well?  Undecided

It is my understanding that articles are reviewed by the eHam.net staff before they are posted and removed if found truly "offensive." Are you saying that they are not doing a good job or that you know more than they do?  Angry

If you fellows are unhappy with the free speech allowed, to some extent, on this site, why don't you band together and start up your own technical and politically correct ham radio site. You would have at least eight people on it.  Wink

Your other options are to not read the articles or post a rebuttal and or correction article if you like.  Grin  
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 08:39:34 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
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