[LINK] eJournal Review Process

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Thu Dec 21 10:05:09 AEDT 2006

I signed up as a reviewer with the electronic Journal of Health 
Informatics <http://www.ejhi.net/> and after a few weeks received my 
first request to do a review. The eJHI uses the OJS e-journal system 
<http://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs/> and the review workflow process is largely automated.

The editor selected me as a reviewer and the system then sent me an 
automated message inviting me to review. I clicked on a link in the 
message and was taken to the journal web site, where I clicked to 
agree to do the review. I then downloaded a copy of the article for 
review, and looked at the offered guidelines on what to do.

After I wrote my review I uploaded it to the web site. Shortly after 
I got a message from the editor complementing me on the quick 
response. This all worked very smoothly and quickly. Perhaps I should 
not be surprised when an automated system works, but it was a relief.

There is, of course, a danger that the speed of the automation will 
encourage quick reviews and lightweight papers for on-line journals. 
But that is something which can be countered in other ways. As an 
example the OJS system has provision for the editor to rate the each 
review. Also some form of public assessment of the papers by the 
readers, perhaps after a traditional review process, is possible. OJS 
doesn't have a way for readers to rate papers, but they can post comments.

One way to counter the virtual nature of on-line journals would be to 
associate them with events. In the paper publishing world conference 
proceedings are separate to journals. Attempting to incorporate the 
papers from conferences in a journal is difficult as journals have 
regular fixed deadlines and page limits. Conferences need their 
papers ready to suit the conference and to be as big as necessary. 
Using e-publishing remove many of the constraints.

OJS have a companion OCS for conference publishing. But it is 
designed for one-off events. What is needed is a blending of the two. 
I have been doing a little of this by changing the wording of the OJS 
to suit conferences. Some of this can be done using the 
internationalization features of the system, without changing code 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU      Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml  

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