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Author Topic: The need for editorial review on articles  (Read 9013 times)
AA4HA
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Posts: 2620




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« on: October 01, 2015, 08:17:25 AM »

As a suggestion to the site managers and editors of e-ham;

Can you please practice some editorial review of the technical merits of the articles that get put up on e-Ham?

It seems that many articles regarding antennas, installation practices or theory are way wrong. They espouse designs we know that do not work, things that are downright dangerous or dead-ends that have been horse-whipped many times before.

I understand wanting to put "something" out there, and in recognizing the courage and effort it takes to write an article in the first place. I believe it is ill advised to just put out articles to generate content for the web site. In many ways this reminds me of some of the (um, junk) that used to be on '73 magazine back in the 1970's.

It amounts to amateur radio quackery and does not advance the art. Those who are technically competent then try (repeatedly and unsuccessfully) to dispel these bad ideas for many years to come. Constantly it gets tossed back "well, I read it in an article in 1995 so it must be right". What happens is that we get burnt out in trying to elmer new hams because 90% of the effort is taken up in dealing with the snake oil medicine sellers.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
AB7RG
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Posts: 3


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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 03:00:30 PM »

A high percentage of “articles” never see the light of day. There isn’t any need to “take apart” every article submitted and critique every technical aspect, as what one person views as the “right” way to do something is “wrong” to another. It’s like the old saying; if there were two hams in a town there would be two ham radio clubs.

If someone doesn’t like an article or the content, they can counter it in the comments, or better yet, write their own technical article (not a rant), with their own explanations of the merits of what they are presenting. Then readers can figure out what will work best for them, combined with their own ideas and experiences. That, in my opinion is the way to do it; not pick things to death. It’s not like the authors of the articles are getting paid for them, nor are (most) of them professional writers and/or engineers.

You can’t keep everyone happy, and sometimes articles that generate a lot of talk end up being the best, as they do inspire others to write their own articles, which generates not only more, but a higher quality content for the site. The bottom line is to write what you want to see on the site. That is the only way to truly change things; as if only the “best” or “peer reviewed” articles were published there wouldn’t be anything to read, or anything to talk about.

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WI8P
Member

Posts: 639




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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2015, 11:54:18 AM »

A high percentage of “articles” never see the light of day. There isn’t any need to “take apart” every article submitted and critique every technical aspect, as what one person views as the “right” way to do something is “wrong” to another. It’s like the old saying; if there were two hams in a town there would be two ham radio clubs.

If someone doesn’t like an article or the content, they can counter it in the comments, or better yet, write their own technical article (not a rant), with their own explanations of the merits of what they are presenting. Then readers can figure out what will work best for them, combined with their own ideas and experiences. That, in my opinion is the way to do it; not pick things to death. It’s not like the authors of the articles are getting paid for them, nor are (most) of them professional writers and/or engineers.

You can’t keep everyone happy, and sometimes articles that generate a lot of talk end up being the best, as they do inspire others to write their own articles, which generates not only more, but a higher quality content for the site. The bottom line is to write what you want to see on the site. That is the only way to truly change things; as if only the “best” or “peer reviewed” articles were published there wouldn’t be anything to read, or anything to talk about.



Good answer!   Grin
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2015, 10:02:03 AM »

This has been argued before... several problems... who decides?  You'd need an editorial review board.  And getting them all to agree can be like herding cats.  I suspect you will find that the best qualified individuals will have the least interest in being involved.

Considering the state of the technical material being past off in ham journals, I'd have to opine that anything questionable or out right wrong, will be almost immediately commented on if it appears in an open internet discussion forum. That is peer review at its best, since the feedback is almost immediate.  I doubt most site administrators want to deal with additional layer of responsibility... and it is all too obvious that the ham press abandoned the idea at least 20 years ago.

Pete
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KD0REQ
Member

Posts: 2148




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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2015, 04:10:28 PM »

there has been suspect expertise in QST before, some of it dangerous as in the "cheat the interlock and measure..." variety, some partially amusing (did anyone say nichrome?)

as a tired out burned up old newsie, I can tell you anybody can get fooled, at least once.  this is what Correction Corner, or whatever each outfit calls it, exists for.  even purebred reviewers can get one slipped by them.

as in everything else on the Internet, not all sources are any good.  watch for quality technical rebuttals, not "yer nuts, the spec sheet says left-handed watts" reactions that are not grounded in science.  when the quibbles get down to where the commas go, the parts they agree on that the article was wrong on should be gospel.
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