Talk:WikiJournal of Science

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Possible interest in submitting science videos[edit]

Hello, I've just had a meeting with someone who might be interested in submitting short maths and science explainer videos for Peer review by Wiki.J.Sci. The videos are created by teams of science students and animation students for their university coursework. Examples include Integration in Cruise control and Matrices in Forward kinematics. Some have obvious Wikipedia articles that they could be inserted into, but all should be relatively well made and have references. There is also apparently a backcatalogue that have never been put online. but could be submitted as a gallery article (equivalent to Wiki.J.Med's Blausen_Medical_2014). any opinions? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:59, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

I've looked at Integration in Cruise control! It's nicely done! How easy is it for the team to alter or add to the presentation? For example: there were some terms mentioned right near the end for mathematical functions to smooth the final approach in the controller to effectively reach 100 km/hr, but they need a short explanation. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 14:41, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
@Evolution and evolvability: Amazing! Saw the vids and they're excellent. I love the idea of adding videos to the Journal, not just for variety, but also to add a little color and sound! I think it's an excellent proposal, so please say yes, let them submit the videos so that we may properly review them. Cheers! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 10:16, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
My understanding is that the original video files are editable so that peer reviewer comments can be addressed. Corrections and updates would either be done by the original students, or by subsequent students who would be added to the author list. I'll pass on the information to the academic who organises the course. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Updating some pages[edit]

Hi all, I'm planning on updating and formatting some of the Wiki.J.Sci pages over the coming weeks based on Wiki.J.Med templates. If anyone has ideas/preferences for layout and features, let me know. I've built an initial unified submission page (WikiJournal Preprints) so that authors can submit articles via the same system for the different WikiJournals as they start up. Down the track, if the WikiJournals becomes a full Wikimedia sister project, I envisage a general landing page somewhat like this. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 05:30, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Sure, go ahead, but I urge you to keep the design, the user flow and also the wiki syntax as simple as possible. Most users will not be wiki experts and may be scared away by a difficult interface. Thanks! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 21:07, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
So far I've aimed to make the formatting of WikiJSci and WikiJMed look relatively similar (equivalent to that seen between journals from other publishing houses, e.g. PLOS bio vs PLOS med). Visual distinctiveness can be added later. There are still a few redlinks (e.g. bylaws) but these can be added as the journal grows (likely based on those developed for WikiJMed). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 02:53, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Ok, a general update of the templates has been done. I've aimed to keep the majority of the information unchanged, however I'll likely create targeted info pages for WikiJournal_of_Science/Editors and WikiJournal_of_Science/Authors, since they will probably need different information. I've also centralised the subpage talk pages of WikiJournal of Science to all point here for more consolidated discussion (comments moved across as was done for the WikiJournal User Group talk pages). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:52, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
I've implemented most of the infrastructure present in Wiki.J.Med. Even though it makes the site more complicated, I think it is necessary to attract contributors (especially those not accustomed to wikis). The templates also hopefully make several tasks slightly more automated, e.g. editorial board and associate editor applications (I suggest adding this and this to watchlists). This is important for SCOPUS-compliance when the journal applies for it. I've also formally applied to be on the editorial board. Finally, I've sent out some emails to scientists who might be interested in joining the editorial board in order to grow the journal. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 14:18, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Ok, the category system is now populated so that pages should be trackable. I've also placed a draft set of bylaws for discussion over the coming weeks. There are a few final bits and pieces to tidy, but i think that most of the infrastructure is updated. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 07:56, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Early history of the journal[edit]

Moved over from WikiJournal of Science/About
Extended content
Original name and logo
In a broad sense of the word "science", these neolithic cave paintings represent one of the first known sciences.

The original name of this journal was "First Journal of Science", chosen somewhat whimsically. The word "First" was in the spirit the practice in small towns in the US to designate churches and banks as "First", "Second", ..., and the intent was to invite other journals to form on Wikiversity. The word "First" was also selected because the journal is not a research journal, but focused on those "first" introductory courses often taken in the first two years of college.

The word "first" caused confusion, so the name was changed to "Second Journal of Science". This name was chosen primarily because it was an easy substitution for the templates, and also because Wikiversity's "first" journal is Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. The omission of "Wikiversity" in the name was deliberate: From Wikiversity, the link [[First Journal of Science]] makes it obvious that this is a Wikiversity journal. On Wikipedia or Wikibooks, the link would be [[Wikiversity:First Journal of Science]], which can be taken as an "onofficial" name for this journal.

If a guild emerges that requires a standardized name for this journal, two names come to mind: [[Wikiversity:Journal of Science Letters]] and [[Wikiversity Journal of Science Letters]]. The name Wikiversity Journal of Science Education should be reserved so as to also include articles on how to teach science. Such articles are not envisioned for this journal. It is fortunate that we have two similar names from which to choose, because the guilds should be decentralized as much as possible. This will permit the construction of two all-encompassing guilds, while allowing small informal guilds that include journals with names like [[Second Journal of Science]]

First name change

The original name of this journal was the Second Journal of Science. Back then, the concept of a guild as proposed so that journals could self-regulate themselves in a manner more efficient than the usual (long-winded) wiki-way of making decisions. The guilds would have little or no power beyond that which they earn by maintaining their own reputation. But, by having a few editors and referees making the decisions wiki wiki, it is hoped that less time will be wasted. In contrast with the situation on a Wikipedia article, where much thought must be given to the exclusion of information, the editor who is seeking to publish focused and readable articles must make snap judgments. To compensate, we many journals just like this one. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, the original (Second Journal of Science) refused to join any guild that would accept it. But the intention was to apply for probationary membership in a well-respected guild, if such a guild existed.

Two important communities govern the behavior of Journals hosted by Wikiversity. Most important is the Wikiversity Journal User Group, which for all practical purposes is the governing organization. However, if this user group were to ever misbehave (unlikely), or if no resolution to a dispute can be made, the next step up is the Wikiversity community itself. Wikiversity supports virtually all student efforts, and for that reason tries to accommodate low-quality efforts whenever possible. In contrast, reputation is an important factor with journals, and hence the need for some sort of "guild". With this name change, the old "Second Journal of Science" and the WikiJournal of Medicine have formed a de facto guild.

Second name change

In 2017, the journal was renamed to WikiJournal of Science to keep it in line with the WikiJournal of Medicine and give some naming coherence to the general WikiJournal project.

Guy Vandegrift

I've moved over a longer description of the journal's early history here from WikiJournal of Science/About, which now contains a more condensed summary. However I thought it should definitely be stored somewhere obvious for record, so I placed it here. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:26, 10 October 2017 (UTC)


To avoid duplicate posting, I've made an entry about some of the next steps that I think would be good to take on the WikiJournal user group talk page. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 08:08, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Great progress, and welcome to the board! Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 21:15, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

Discussing the editorial guidelines[edit]

How many peer reviewers?[edit]

Currently the guidelines say we need at least two. I would argue that as a general guideline a minimum of one reviewer is enough:

  • Finding reviewers is not easy.
  • Filtering an abundance of weak contributions may not be an important problem, at least initially.
  • In some fields (high-energy physics) and some journals (JHEP), one reviewer is the norm.

Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 13:18, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

I tend to agree. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 13:42, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm a little reticent about reducing down to just a single peer reviewer since I think its' worth erring on the side of caution. However, I realise that I'm biased by the norms of my field (biomed) where 2-3 reviewers is the norm. I think a case could be made for it depending on how in-depth the review is. I think it will be important to have the general consensus of the board and other editors on this issue, so I'll send an email to the mailing list highlighting it. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:57, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree, 2 would be good to be safe and more may be more difficult to get. --Joanna Argasinska (discusscontribs) 11:13, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
As part of the discussion, here are a couple of counterpoints on reviewer number:
  • Particularly whilst the journal is starting out, being thorough may be prioritised over being rapid (however taking too long can definitely put off authors)
  • Broad encyclopedic articles can benefit from reviewers from multiple backgrounds (though this will not nbe true of all articles)
  • Sometimes reviewers can have very different opinions on an article, and so having more than one reduces stochastic variation (though whether this is sufficient to make a difference is up for debate)
T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:22, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
How about we make one reviewer the default and leave it to the editor's discretion to involve a second reviewer (in particular if the first review was very short, and didn't have many specifics). Markus Pössel (discusscontribs) 11:56, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
We are not talking about desirable or best practices here, we are talking about a rule that should be obeyed in all cases for all fields. For the sakes of the quality of articles and reputation of the journal, I would trust the editors to do as they see fit on a case by case basis, and I would expect them to require at least two reviewers in most cases. The only reason that I see to set a limit on the number of reviewers is for the journal to officially qualify as a peer-reviewed publication. For this, a limit of one reviewer is enough. Having a higher limit just restricts the editors' options, for no tangible benefit. And given how widely practices differ between fields, I am not sure that it is feasible to have a default option as Markus Pössel suggests. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 12:06, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I think that we should set the standard of 2 peer reviewers and not one. It is important to maintain the standards of a standard journal and we should not compromise at least while setting norms. I understand that it might be hard to get reviewers. But it is also important to ensure quality. I think that the purpose does not get served if there is a single reviewer. We can review this norm after based on the hardship we face in the course of processing the next five articles that are submitted. Diptanshu💬 12:40, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I think that we need to have at least two reviewers for assuring quality of content. In clinical neurorehabilitation where I am doing my PhD, there would at least be three reviewers. I think two reviewers should be the default, and the editor can have the discretion to reduce or increase the number of reviewers depending upon the type of the article and the background of the chosen reviewers. --Netha Hussain (discusscontribs) 13:00, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I am surprised we are even thinking about allowing only one. If experts are hard to find in a field, we can always have one expert and one generalist who can comment on structure, English, comprehensibility, illustration, copyright, and layout. I would like to see three reviewers for everything but could accept a minimum of two if we're really in difficulty. Allowing only one opens us up to charges of bias and unprofessionalism, hardly a great way to start. Chiswick Chap (discusscontribs) 13:12, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I peer-review for some high impact academic journals in my field they only require one these days. I do comment on general issues too though so I agree with Chiswick Chap. It is going to be hard to find more than one disciplinary expert to per review. A second peer reviewer should speak to the general issues. Fransplace (discusscontribs) 20:18, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
A single reviewer strikes me as dangerous. I wasn't aware that was the norm in some fields and/or journals, but seeing how widely opinions re suitability can diverge even with some of the entirely non-controversial papers I have been involved in reviewing (prevalance of tail streamer asynchrony in frigate birds!...), I don't think it's a safe bet. Neither will it do any good for eventual acceptance of the journal as a reliable source. Three may be tricky to do, but I think we should shoot for a minimum of two. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 15:32, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
I also feel that one reviewer would be very dangerous, given the variability between reviewers, and would give an impression of low standards in the large fields where 2 or 3 is the norm. What can be done when it is difficult to find reviewers is to find one reviewer who is totally independent of the editor, and complete with a close colleague or student of the editor, or a review by the editor her/himself. I have done this (asking a student of my lab as 2nd reviewer) on occasion for traditional journal articles, and have performed the 2nd review myself in very rare cases.Marcrr (discusscontribs) 09:32, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Message templates[edit]

Most templates are in the format .docx. In my professional life I have never used this format, and all messages to and from journals have been in plain text or Latex. The format .docx would look like a baroque archaism to colleagues in my field. Why not have plain text templates? OK this would eliminate the pretty logo, but then the template could be directly pasted in an email body. And the template would be more easily edited. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 13:26, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 13:38, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
We originally had .msg format to be directly sent from outlook, however we moved over to .docx so that the content could be copy-pasted into an email (not sent as attachment). Copy-pasting from from MSword typically retains basic formatting in e.g. outlook and gmail (also images and hyperlinks). We could also have a plaintext version if it is creating copy-paste artefacts, however it can be harder to keep the two versions synchronised if changes are made to the template. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:12, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Outlook? .msg format? MSWord? What's that? Different communities use different tools, and some tools and formats you are mentioning are alien to me. It would be good to have a reference format for templates that would be universal, such as plain text, HTML, PDF. Also, it would be good to be able to change the template without having to upload a file somewhere. This would be possible if the template was part of a wiki page. This would not prevent people from uploading "secondary" templates in their preferred formats. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:14, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, these formats (alien to you) are alien to me, too. Though I understand that they (at least some) are habitual for persons alien to TeX. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 20:38, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
That's fine by me, we can make a WikiJournal_of_Science/Editorial_guidelines/Invitation_1 subpage etc to house the plaintext email templates. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:44, 21 November 2017 (UTC)