Talk:WikiJournal of Science/2016-2017

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Wording of this sentence

Was reading about this since this seems quite intriguing, and came across this sentence (in this section):

But since most contributions will also wiki resources and articles, others will have the opportunity to later modify your work

Since I don't necessarily understand a lot about the "First Journal of Science", I'm going to let you deal with this sentence. Thanks :P ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:42, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

People think of a Journal as somewhere that they send a manuscript; the journal publishes it and that is all. In this case, its better to think of the journal as sitting in mainspace where anybody can edit it. What FJS does is captures a version of that evolving manuscript in the history page and "publish" it.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 08:06, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I forgot the sentence "be"...Thanks!

Sorry for being a wet strawberry

So I can submit a nomination to add The periodic table, so this project can be submitted on the front page of the First Journal of Science. If so, then that is really exciting! It would be awesome to gain more attention on this project, especially knowing how it can be really useful (especially for people around my age with the "wonderful journey" of Elementary to High). Again, sorry for being a "wet strawberry" and coming up here and asking so "early". Thank you! ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 02:09, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Yes. I have to warn you that we might not accept it, and also that it will need some editing if we do. To nominate it just replace the boilerplate text with a link and sign your name. I just rejected two of my own submissions and yours might suffer the same fate. And, I know journal editors always say this, but I am being 100% sincere when I say Thank you for your submission!--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:18, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
My page won't suffer the same fate, because I haven't submitted yet ;-P I know it's still going through work (as I have been contributing to it lately, also notified mu301 about the page (he seems to also be helping). And no problem! I'll make sure to stop by here to nominate it once its finished from its "reconstruction" (haa..)) phase. ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 02:20, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I have not decided whether to support that submission. If you submit, I will explain both sides of the issue. It has nothing to do with the quality of your work, but whether a periodic table is an appropriate submission. The argument in favor is that it be permalinked and immune to vandalism. Do you know if the table on Wikipedia is page protected? If not, then we have to at least consider it. I will insist that you remove all the cute talk--that's for talk pages, not refereed submissions.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 02:34, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

On the question of declaring certain sections "off limits" with yellow highlight

Like an editor of Балканска зора, I usually wear a bow tie to remind students that I want projects that will be accepted for publication in First Journal of Science.

The wiki way is to allow editors to be bold because all edits are reversible. But certain acts on Wikipedia are irreversible and strictly forbidden. Two that come to mind are harassment and the deliberate placement of untrue statements, even as a joke. Factually incorrect articles permanently damage Wikipedia's reputation for reliability in the mind of each person who detects such errors. Likewise, the acceptance of one misplaced article permanently damages the image of the journal. And the rejection of an article that belongs ruins our reputation with the contributing author.

It is important to distinguish between a "democracy" the noun, and "democratic" the adjective often used as a synonym for egalitarian. It is also important to distinguish between the idea of a journal on Wikiversity and the actual resource in namespace. Decisions regarding the content First Journal of Science or Wikiversity Journal of Medicine are made by a small board or perhaps only one person. On the other hand, the idea of a journal is as democratic as the First Ammendment. The editor-in-chief of the Wikiversity Journal of Medicine wrote this that tells readers exactly how to make journal just like his. His actions and my words indicate that we both strongly believe that Wikiversity needs to host journals. My motive is based on belief in Wikiversity as a democratic entity, not democratic because majority rules, but because we all have an equal opportunity to create a journal. With a bit of practice, I could set one up for somebody in about an hour.

We should all know that about this failed proposal for a peer-review journal to allow/encourage academics to write Wikipedia articles to start a journal a few years ago. I have not analyzed what went wrong, but perhaps it's because they took a "top-down" approach. Certainly the phrase a peer reviewed Journal suggests that scenario. Wikiversity needs many journals because we have many individuals, all equal, who have different perspectives. A Wikiversity journal should be a place for a small group of individuals with similar perspectives without regard for what the majority wants. Ironically, a collection of disparate journals managed like little dictatorships is a very democratic idea. So please don't touch the highlighted prose. If you don't like it, start your own journal. I will tell you how.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 03:16, 19 January 2016 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be a category for this? Like Category:First Journal of Science ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 16:27, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Sure, why not.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:55, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
Great! It has been created! ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 23:59, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Why the editors page is protected

The WikiJournal_of_Science/Editors page is protected because minor edits to the catalog of submitted manuscripts might not be noticed, but would greatly disrupt the process. 01:17, 23 January 2016‎ Guy vandegrift (discuss | contribs)

It is completely unclear

What it is that one may do, to be involved with this initiative. Clarification, where? Le Prof ([[User:Leprof_7272, at English Wikipedia). Leprof 7272 (discusscontribs) 02:10, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Needed here are

…scope and function documents such as the typical "Instructions for Authors" pages at journals. I include here one specific to biological chemistry (therefore bridging physical and biological sciences), and the other the premier general science journal, Nature. Here are those two instruction page examples, from JBC, and from Nature. Minimally, this journal needs a clear statement of the types of science, and the types of articles, it intends to publish. Another ready source of such example documents on the scope and type of journal that is planned would be the PLoS series of journals. Bottom line, no one will take this effort seriously, if the bare necessities of information that serve to define the journal, and its function, are not in place. Le Prof Leprof 7272 (discusscontribs) 02:19, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

@Leprof 7272: Thanks for the links, they will be very useful! I agree, there's still much to do before this becomes a proper project. So far it's work in progress, no more. However, it's difficult for me to define things like the scope of the journal when a discussion such as this one is going on. Would you mind taking a look and leaving your opinion? --Felipe (discusscontribs) 02:51, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

A minor Grouch

I would have corrected the spelling of Grouco Marx, but w:Groucho_Marx doesn't have the quote, so it seems pointless. On the other hand,
I xquickly located it elsewhere. I'll change the link to this, but if Guildmasters prefer to keep links in-house, it can be reverted or deleted.--Alkhowarizmi (discusscontribs) 10:24, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

WikiJournal of Neuropsychology and Neurosciences

I wish to start a new journal titled WikiJournal of Neuropsychology and Neurosciences. --G10sinha (discusscontribs) 19:49, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Hello G10sinha. I would recommend combining your efforts into the WikiJournal of Science. It is just starting out (much newer than WikiJournal of Medicine) and includes all biological, physical and chemical sciences. Having a broad scope will be useful to start off with for ensuring enough articles and editors to run it. If you're interested, you could contact User_talk:Sophivorus and/or User_talk:Marshallsumter, who are the main editors for it, I'm sure they would be welcome additional editors to expand it. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:17, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
Hello G10sinha. I agree with T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo) that it would be best to combine efforts into improving WikiJournal of Science, since Neuropsychology and Neurosciences fits well into that field. Many aspect of them fit well into WikiJournal of Medicine as well, and I appreciate your interest! I'll have your studies of interest in mind upon future submissions that need peer review. Also, there are many ways to contributeto the journal. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 19:45, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Naming election is now open

An election for determining the future name of the journal activities in Wikiversity is now open at: Talk:Wikiversity Journal/Future as separate Wikimedia project. The name of the project will be the entry that gets the most points during an election lasting from 12 (noon) on August 6, until 12 (noon) August 16 (GMT time), wherein each voter gets 5 points. Those eligible to vote are:

The science journal should start with the chosen name as well, but I guess there's no rush. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 12:34, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Review process

Does the journal intend to implement an academic peer review process for articles? Currently they are editorially reviewed, but it would be good to know what the journal intends for the future. The difference between editorial review and peer review could strongly affect how the journal evolves in the future. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:04, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

I once wrote messages on a number of talk pages on Wikipedia science articles. I also placed several messages on Astronomy and Physics pages, see for example w:Special:Permalink/745249374 and w:Special:Permalink/699771579#How_do_I_post_this_announcement.3F. Only one person responded, and he declined to review any more articles. I also got zero submissions. With this lack of community interest, I saw no way to go forward. Perhaps you could try a similar campaign with the new name, but I doubt it would work. So, I have decided to try the following: Force my students to contribute for a grade, and do it on private wikis, so they have personal responsibility and control over their efforts. Instead of a journal, I will "showcase" the best efforts on a Wikiversity page. Perhaps this is a better way to trigger that trend towards open source academic proceedings that we all are trying to create. See and Wikiversity Roster and a "mock" edition of the showcase.--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 00:33, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
It took Wiki.J.Med a while to gain momentum too. I think that the low response that you experienced is from two sources.
  1. I think that editorial review can seem to many observers like a less-thorough version of GA and FA, whereas external peer review can offer something above these. I think that if you were able to get external peer reviewers for a couple of the articles in the zeroth issue, it would demonstrate to people why contributing might be worthwhile.
  2. I think that some of the avenues that you promoted through might not be the most viewed. Posting notices to some of the bigger science, maths and engineering wikiprojects (Full list). I intend to post a message to WP:MED, WP:PHARM, WP:MCB, WP:GA, WP:FA, and WP:PR about Wiki.J.Med at the end of January. I'd be happy to write something similar for Wiki.J.Sci and post it to the science/maths/engineering-related wikiprojects to solicit both additional editors and submissions (even special interest groups such as birds, aviation, trains, or cyclones might be interested).
What do you think? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 09:22, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree that we need to be patient. About 8 years ago I looked at Wikipedia articles with a view to use them as teaching materials, and the articles weren't very good. Most (but not all) Wikipedia articles have improved dramatically. I think Creative Commons progress is always going to be much slower than those funded either through capitalistic or government-sponsored education efforts. To continue the analogy, CC wikitext writing is like "communism", a disaster in the economic world, but remarkably viable in the realm of creative endeavors. Hopefully, the new format and name will eventually bring the science journal up to speed. I don't expect it to happen quickly, and I expect most efforts to fail. But we can't worry about failure, can we?--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 15:58, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Ok, I've put together the advert for use on Wikipedia at Template:WJS_advert_2017_Jan. I'll start transcluding it to relevant science WikiProjects' discussion pages tomorrow. It's based on a similar one that I made for Wiki.J.Med. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:39, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Hi fellow board members Guy vandegrift, Felipe Schenone, Marshal Sumter and Michael Umbricht!

We need to decide whether WikiJournal of Science currently offers peer review of all submissions. Otherwise, it would need to be renamed "Preliminary WikiJournal of Science" until it's ready to offer peer reviews. This part of the Bylaws will after all make sure that WikiJournals follow a certain standard. However, I am not able to find and invite peer reviewers myself for WikiJournal of Science, since there is more than enough to keep me busy already at the medical journal. On the other hand, I can assist with renaming the pages if we choose that option. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 13:22, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

So far all submissions to WikiJournal of Science are being reviewed or have completed reviews by some four volunteer reviewers. Two with completed reviews are awaiting input from authors before final decisions on acceptance are made. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 04:31, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Sounds good! It thus seems WikiJournal of Science can continue without needing any "Preliminary" added to its title. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 10:09, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Can submitted articles be posted elsewhere?

I might be interested in submitting some articles, but before I do, I would like to know if submitting an article to the journal will prevent posting of the article on Wikipedia until after the journal is published. The article I am currently working on is in sandbox at Wikipedia:User:Spinningspark/Work in progress/planar (transmission line technologies). Would this be a suitable article for the journal? If it is, do I have to hold off posting to mainspace for now? As a corollary, would you accept recently created articles from Wikipedia? Ones I have recently created are air stripline and transfer function matrix. What about ones that have been significantly improved? Elastance and Historical comet observations in China were both rubbish pages about to be deleted but are now essentially new articles written by me.

Getting technically competent reviews of these sort of articles is very difficult on Wikipedia. I do hope that this journal becomes a regular thing and succeeds in attracting quality reviewers. SpinningSpark 12:33, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

@Spinningspark: Although I'm not on the editorial board of Wiki.J.Sci, the medical sister journal handles completely new articles attributed to just the author, and existing/overhauled Wikipedia pages by attributing to the author(s) who submitted with an "" that links to the full list of anyone who's ever edited the Wikipedia page. The journal publishes as CC-BY-SA by default and treats Wikipedia as a compatible preprint server. Wiki.J.Sci is still finalising its structure, but I suspect (/recommend) that it will follow a similar model. (ping editorial board users Guy vandegrift, Mu301 & Mikael_Häggström). Hope that clarifies somewhat, whilst Wiki.J.Sci's publishing details are finalised. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 04:45, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
SpinningSpark, as a minority of the editorial board of 3 people, I would even recommend that you add your work to Wikipedia first, or at the same time as submitting it to this journal. This journal is still early in development, so it is difficult to say how long time the peer review will take. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 05:33, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Possible interest in submitting science videos

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

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

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

How many peer reviewers?

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)

I may be similarly biased from a biomedical standpoint and I am fully sensible to the fact that finding 2 expert peer reviewers can significantly prolong the peer review process and may even be impossible... I would also suggest to have 2 reviewers as default but leave it to the handling Editor's discretion, with or without back-up discussion with the editorial board, to allow other alternatives as mentioned here by others. -Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 20:13, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

I am rather neutral regarding whether we should have a minimum of 1 or 2 reviewers. The minimum of 1 means much easier and faster article processing, and still means that we can request additional reviewers if there is any doubt, and there will be additional quality assurance by readers after the work is published. On the other hand, a minimum of two reviewers means a more reputable journal, with a greater chance of being included in major scientific websites, which will increase readership and probably also participation. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 18:45, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

To summarize, allowing one reviewer seems dangerous to many people. I propose to leave the guidelines unchanged for now with the "two external peer reviews", with the option of revisiting the issue later if need be as Diptanshu suggested. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 21:57, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

Message templates

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)
I agree having them in wiki will be easier. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 18:48, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
I propose to create one subpage for all message templates, rather than one subpage per template: WikiJournal_of_Science/Editorial_guidelines/Message_templates. This would make it easier to add new templates. And that subpage could then have some structure, and a table of contents. It seems that I cannot create such a page myself, could someone authorized please do it, as soon as there is an agreement on this? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:04, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
You cannot create such a page? Strange. I have no additional rights, but I just did it. We both are implicit members of: Autoconfirmed users. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 22:33, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! Then it was my technical limitations rather than the lack of authorization. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:41, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, a single page is a sensible structure. I'll copy in the text today and link over from the editorial guidelines. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:47, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Original research

"Original research on any medical or biomedical topic can be submitted. Such papers follow the standard Introduction, Results, Discussion, Methods format, with any relevant ethics approval. Publication of supplementary data sets is encouraged." — No more medical, and probably not just this format. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 09:20, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for spotting this! It was a copy and paste error from the Medical journal's guidelines. Should be corrected now. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:03, 25 November 2017 (UTC)

How to deal with epistemology and history of science?

In scientific texts, we often have some words on the history of the subject, if only to summarize previous works and say who did what. For example, in the historical section of the Wikipedia article on General relativity, we find the statement:

The Einstein field equations are nonlinear and very difficult to solve. Einstein used approximation methods in working out initial predictions of the theory. But as early as 1916, the astrophysicist Karl Schwarzschild found the first non-trivial exact solution to the Einstein field equations, the Schwarzschild metric.

On the other hand, some higher-level historical statements result from the works of historians of science, rather than scientists themselves. For example, in the historical section of the Wikipedia article on Quantum mechanics, we find the statement:

Following Max Planck’s solution in 1900 to the black-body radiation problem (reported 1859), Albert Einstein offered a quantum-based theory to explain the photoelectric effect (1905, reported 1887). Around 1900-1910, the atomic theory and the corpuscular theory of light first came to be widely accepted as scientific fact; these latter theories can be viewed as quantum theories of matter and electromagnetic radiation, respectively.

Similarly, some high-level interpretative statements are not about science itself, but about epistemology. The question is how to deal with such statements about epistemology or history of science. It is difficult to ask the usual editors and reviewers to assess these statements, since they are scientists, not historians or philosophers. I can see a number of possible attitudes, in increasing order of difficulty:

  1. Ignoring the issue as not very important.
  2. Asking authors to remove any statement that is not clearly scientific in the submitted texts.
  3. Recruiting an editor who is a historian of science.
  4. Coordinating with WikiJHum in order for them to assess the relevant content. Similarly there could be some coordination with WikiJMed for articles that involve both biology and medicine.

Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 14:40, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

It would be my expectation that such statements could be assessed by subject-area expert reviewers; or if necessary, flagged by them as in need of further investigation. I.e., I'd think that a qualified reviewer of an article on quantum mechnics would be able to pass some judgement on a statement about the history of their field, or note statements that require sourcing. After all, such general introductory passages are not rare in scientific articles, and AFAIK journals do rely on the standard reviewing process to vet them along with the more specialized content. --Florian (Elmidae) (talk · contribs) 14:29, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

Tables of contents

Why does this submitted version of a Wikipedia article not have a table of contents? Shouldn't we at least have the option of toggling a table of contents? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:12, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

Ah yes, I disabled TOCs when first making the {{Article_info}} template. For the majority of WikiJMed articles it ended up looking odd. However, it's definitely a useful feature to have somewhere, so I'll add a parameter to reactivate it for longer articles. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:07, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Now implemented by writing anything in the |toc= parameter of the {{article_info}} template at the top of the page. The expansion limit can be set by using a number (e.g. toc=1 will only show top level headings). I suggest a limit of 1 as default in order to keep them of manageable length. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:55, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
On second thoughts, its actually the minority of articles for which a TOC is inappropriate (e.g. this one). I've therefore made the default to show a TOC, and it can be hidden by setting |toc=off. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:51, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

That's great progress, thanks! But I still do not see why we show only the highest-level subdivisions rather than the full TOC. The full TOC would be very helpful for editors and peer reviewers, and maybe ordinary readers too. If the full TOC takes too much space relative to the rest of the article, the solution is maybe to restructure the article, not to hide the TOC. Well-structured articles tend to have beautiful TOCs of reasonable lengths. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:14, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

You're right that just 1 TOC level was was too short. I've put it up to two levels as a default, since three was unweildy (in the lead draft as my example). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:18, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
OK, I can survive with two levels. In the lead draft there is only one level at the moment, two would be better imho, but I am not changing this since I am not in charge. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:18, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

And why don't we display section numbers? We are used to having these numbers in Wikipedia, is there a reason for removing them? Section numbers can be very helpful when doing peer review. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:20, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

For numbering, I referred to a few other journals to check common practice. TOC numbers are only included if each section is also numbered. However, you're right that they could be useful for reviewers, so we could omit them in the published version, but include in the version as under review. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:23, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Given that WikiJSci covers so many fields, I fear that the practices of existing journals may differ a lot. In physics most (all?) journals number sections, cf JHEP, JCAP, Nuclear Physics, SciPost, Physical Review. If journals do not have a common practice, why not follow Wikipedia? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 08:50, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Browsing my own math articles I observe that sections are always numbered; TOC is present sometimes; "introduction" is numbered sometimes; "references" is never numbered. Boris Tsirelson (discusscontribs) 09:47, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Really useful feedback, thanks. As you guessed, I've far less exposure to mathematical and physical science journals! It's really useful to have people involved who can bring different perspectives. So currently the TOC should be numbered and, on published articles, also stick to the top of the page when scrolling. In order to maintain VisualEditor compatibility, articles in review can't have the scroll effect. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:44, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

Academic standards vs Wikipedia standards

The quality standards for academic articles and Wikipedia articles (including Featured articles) certainly overlap: in both cases, the articles should be clearly written, in good English, and concise enough. There however seem to be significant differences:

Wikipedia Academic
Comprehensive Not necessarily
Neutral Not necessarily
No original content Possible original content
Preferably cite books, reviews Preferably cite original research
Cite sources whenever possible No references for well-known statements
Not necessarily Up to date, aware of latest research

There are good reasons for such differences. In particular, Wikipedia articles are supposed to permanently survive and evolve, while academic articles are practically immutable and destined to be superseded by later works. For an example of an encyclopedia article that is quite good according to academic standards, and poor according to Wikipedia standards, see the Scholarpedia article on gauge theories.

This raises the question: which standards should WikiJSci adopt? It seems inevitable that academic authors and reviewers will follow the academic standards they are used to, if WikiJSci is to attract people who are not already Wikipedians. If we wanted WikiJSci articles to follow FA standards in addition to academic standards, we would need an extra mechanism for that.

I would argue that WikiJSci need not impose Wikipedia standards in addition to academic standards, for the following reasons:

  1. The extra work and unfamiliar requirements would dissuade potential authors.
  2. The responsibility for enforcing Wikipedia standards is not WikiJSci’s.
  3. WikiJSci articles might have various uses in Wikipedia: They could be copied in totality or in part, or paraphrased, or summarized, or serve as authoritative references. If copied, they could be Featured Articles in some cases, and article of lower (Wikipedia) standards in other cases, to be improved later.

Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:20, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

I would argue that you are contrasting original research articles and Wikipedia, while at WikiJSci the plan is to solicit both original research articles and review articles. My interest, admittedly, is more in review articles, since those are of most direct benefit to Wikipedia.
For review articles, the comparison is probably more like:
Wikipedia Review article
Comprehensive Reasonably comprehensive
Neutral Should be fairly neutral
No original content Existing content more important, some original content permissible
Preferably cite books, reviews Cite original research, reviews, books if applicable
Cite sources whenever possible One function is to give an overview of the literature, so sources crucial
Not necessarily Up to date, aware of latest research
So at least for review articles, I believe we should have harmonized criteria taking into account both the common scientific standards for review articles and WP standards. As the table shows, those are none too different to begin with.
Markus Pössel (discusscontribs) 09:53, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I'll try to reply with more details later, however here are my general thoughts. I think that fully Wikipedia-integratable articles are some of the most valuable. These would have to conform to both Wikipedia's guidelines and the scholarly standards necessary for the journal's SCOPUS and PubMed applications. In particular:
  • Encyclopedic review articles in their entirety (either submitted from Wikipedia (example), or written fresh (example)
  • Focussed or figure reviews to have parts that are integratable (example)
However, not every article needs to be integratable into Wikipedia. Although such articles would miss out on some of the moat unique and powerful aspects of the WikiJournal format, they still benefit from the open access, low cost, collaborative nature, and can even be integrated into other Wikimedia projects. These need not comply with any Wikipedia policies, only scholarly journal standards. For example:
  • Original research articles that are never directly integrated into any Wikimedia project, but may serve as a reliable source (once the journal is established and appropriately indexed) (example)
  • Original research articles that can be used as teaching aids in Wikiversity (example)
There are also plenty of possible formats that we've not tried yet.
  • Plain language article that are suitable for those who do not have English as a first language could be integrated into Simple English Wikipedia (example)
  • Textbook-style walkthroughs to accompany a highly-technical Wikipedia article
That being said, we should absolutely try to make our guidelines as clear as possible for both editors and prospective authors. It's particularly important for authors to know what level of integration to expect for a given set of style guidelines. In general, I am willing to leave a lot of decision-making up the editors involved in processing individual articles (since even different areas of Wikipedia have different standards for e.g. number of references, and whether those should be primary, secondary or tertiary). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:15, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
It would indeed be good to have a lot of flexibility, given how widely practices differ across fields, both in the academic literature and in Wikipedia.
Now I am not sure that we really control the level of integration of a WikiJSci article into Wikipedia. We can certainly integrate an article into Wikipedia, but if we do not integrate we cannot prevent someone else from doing it. Wikipedia has a rule that says "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it". In other words, an encyclopedic review article could be integratable as soon as it is better than an existing (or non-existant) Wikipedia article. It could happen that an article is rejected by WikiJSci and nevertheless integrated into Wikipedia.
By the way, what do we do with rejected articles? Erasing them (and the corresponding work) sounds dumb, I guess they will survive as preprints? Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 22:32, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
They should certainly be categorised and labelled. I'll draft a template that can be added. I think authors should have an easy option to delete the rejected page, since it seems harsh to force retention of something that the author may no longer stand by. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:07, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I've made a brief template here: {{WikiJPre_declined}}. It can be added to the top of any page, and will also be added by adding a |declined="any text" parameter in the main {{Article_info}} template. It also puts articles into the new category Category:Article_preprints_declined_for_publication_by_a_WikiJournal. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:03, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
On Arxiv, preprints are never deleted: on submission, authors grant Arxiv a perpetual license to distribute the text. In contrast to Arxiv, we expect preprints to receive comments. This is an additional reason for not deleting preprints, as we would have to delete the corresponding discussions too. On the other hand, on Arxiv, authors have the option of making drastic changes, and even emptying the text. But then older versions remain accessible, although not prominently. See for example this withdrawn preprint. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 13:08, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Why allow confidential submissions?

In the pages on Submission and on Peer reviewers, it is explained that WikiJSci accepts confidential submissions by email.

A stated motivation for allowing confidential submissions is that some journals will not accept previously disclosed material. In physics and mathematics this motivation is non-existant: most articles start their life on Arxiv. Biologists too seem to warm up to preprints recently. And at WikiJSci, do we expect any submissions to be rejected and later submitted to other journals?

We could simplify the workflow, and the explanations to authors and reviewers, by not having this possibility. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 20:56, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

I know what you mean. There are fewer and fewer holdouts that don't allow preprints. For WikiJMed, the main problem was the New England Journal of Medicine. For WikiJSci, I actually can't find any big publishers that still don't allow submissions from pre-prints! However, I think it's a big enough issue that we should probably put it to a vote on the editorial board in case others know of something we don't. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:04, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Another simplification that would follow from having all submissions public: as written in this reviewer invitation template, "Peer reviews for accepted articles are public". If all submissions were public, all peer reviews could be public too. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 21:51, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

@Sylvain Ribault:, your proposition is indeed noble and perhaps we do not have definite journals which do not accept publication material that have otherwise been previously open, we cannot ignore the possibility that there can be some notable or non-notable journals where the author can decide to re-submit. It would therefore be worthwhile to maintain the provision of submission by email. Nevertheless, we need not encourage it. Diptanshu💬 08:16, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
I am not proposing this as a matter of principle. Rather, I think that the journal's workflow, and the guidelines for authors and reviewers, should be as simple as possible, with no 'ifs' and 'buts'. Allowing special cases might lead to a net loss in submissions, because some people will be turned away by the apparent complexity of the process.
A possibility would be to display 'standard guidelines' on the main Authors page, with a link to another page for all the special cases, including private submissions. Sylvain Ribault (discusscontribs) 09:14, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Using WikiJournal of Science as a reference in Wikipedia

Discussions have been held previously about WikiJournal of Medicine as a reference in Wikipedia ([1]), but W:WP:Identifying reliable sources (science) is not the same as W:WP:Identifying reliable sources (medicine), and previous discussions were held before 2+ reviewers became mandatory.

I've therefore started an entry at the "Reliable sources noticeboard" whether articles in WIkiJournal of Science can possibly be used as sources in Wikipedia:

Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 16:56, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Editorial board vs Advisory board

The editorial board of WikiJournal of Science already has 16 members (including advisers) and there are still a few more unprocessed applications. Possibly we should decide upon whether we wish to set a soft limit on the number of board members we are willing to have. Furthermore, I think that we can have an independent Advisory board for the journal as well as for the WikiJournal as a whole. There are a few national or international figures whose experience could benefit us and yet we might not or they might not be very keen on having them/joining the editorial board. They can surely be accommodated there. The editorial board can nominate people who can be invited. Perhaps others too can place nominations while the editorial board finally approves it. The proposal needs further discussion and is not complete in itself. Diptanshu💬 08:25, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

I would invite the responses and inputs to be posted in the thread Talk:WikiJournal User Group#Editorial board vs Advisory board. -Diptanshu💬 16:35, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Location of mailing lists

I have initiated a discussion Talk:WikiJournal User Group#Location of mailing lists, the scope of which extends to WJS. I would encourage the participants to join this discussion (please contribute directly to the mentioned thread). Diptanshu💬 15:31, 9 December 2017 (UTC)