[EM] Amateur peer-reviewed "journal" for voting methods, criteria, and compliances?

Adrian Tawfik adriantawfik at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 29 08:25:28 PDT 2012

Here are some thoughts I had about how our wiki's pages could be:

Just a thought: Wikipedia's information is free to use including their entire definitions of the most popular voting systems including pictures and media.  I know for a fact that we can legally begin our project by copying what they have into our system and building from there.  This way the most uncontroversial stuff will already be Wikipedia published and therefore have more credibility.  We could be very clear to readers when the information is taken from Wikipedia obviously.  For instance, on our main page election methods we might want to have a more polished version of this table:

As far as the other discussion about who will control posting, I think it may make sense to add sections to the definitions pages that could be open to the public and where public discussion of the topics are featured.  Each page, say Approval voting, could have the information we have already discussed giving definitions, media and other uncontroversial info.  But also each page, unlike Wikipedia, could have comments on the bottom and forum(s) with conversation threads on certain aspects.  We also could theoretically have a system where users can use a voting system, perhaps score, to give their ratings on the voting methods themselves.  Maybe a special icon would indicate people's favorite method.  Or on the voting method's page there could be a listing of who likes this voting method best, second best and so on.  And perhaps just like on pandora or ebay registered users can have their own ratings people can vote on so that widely respected
 commentors/forum users can be easily identified.  Thoughts?

 From: Michael Ossipoff <email9648742 at gmail.com>
To: Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com> 
Cc: electionsciencefoundation <electionscience at googlegroups.com>; EM <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>; Adrian Tawfik <adriantawfik at yahoo.com> 
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 7:12 PM
Subject: Re: [EM] Amateur peer-reviewed "journal" for voting methods, criteria, and compliances?
On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com> wrote:
> My suggestion is not to provide a forum for opinion

Translation: Jameson's suggestion is not for free and open discussion,
in which anyone has the opportunity to answer any claim.

>, but for proven facts.

Regrettably, there are sometimes differing opinions about what's
proven. Are you saying that the only grounds for not publishing
something would be a criterion compliance claim, criterion equivalency
claim, etc., that is unproven? Or some statement that has been proven

Any one of some set of special individuals would be able to block
readers' access to an article

> This would be in addition to the existing space at Democracy Chronicles; it
> would not supplant it.

Then, presumably, if DC had a separate article-space, with your "peer
review", anything said in it could be answered in an equally
prominently shown non-peer-reviewed article-space?

And non-peer-reviewed articles could be published (as Adrian chooses)
in an equally prominently shown article-space?

My point wasn't complicated: If you disagree with something that an
article at DC says, then you can say so, in the comments space. But be
sure to say why you disagree. Be prepared to support your statements.

_That_ is the review system that already exists at DC.

There's no need to try to imitate the professional/academic journals.

>As to Ossipoff's suggestion that this material is
> already easy to publish in existing academic journals:

I didn't say it's easy. You can't have it both ways.

>I would suggest that
> the fact that the general knowledge on this list of systems, criteria, and
> compliances is far beyond the published literature prima facie refutes that.

What it shows is that the dictatorial exclusion policy that you want
has had, in the journals, a result that you admit that you don't like.

> In fact, I'd turn Ossipoff's own  logic back at him: if you're not
> interested in publishing in a peer-reviewed forum, then you have many
> non-peer-reviewed fora available

But i wasn't saying that need another non-peer-reviewed forum. You're
saying that we,for some reason, need to duplicate the academic and
professional peer-reviewed forums.

(The usual usage has been "forums". Often Latin nouns are used in
English with Latin plurals. Often an English plural is the accepted
usage. Certainly no one claims that Latin verbs, nouns, and adjectives
should have full Latin declension and conjugation. So how important is
it to use Latin plurals for Latin nouns? Often we don't.  "Forums" has
long been the accepted plural for "forum".  "Fora" has become
fashionable lately. Some authors refer to it as a pretentious

You want to make DC into a reviewer-exclusionary "forum".  DC is
already a forum that offers the opportunity for anyone to "review" any

You're asking DC to have two article areas. In addition to its own
already-existing article area, you want it to host a
reviewer-exclusionary journal--because you apparently don't like the
democratic freedom to reply that is inherent in the existing forum.

What you propose isn't democratic. I'm not saying that everything
should be democratic. I'm not saying that the academic and
professional journals should turn democratic.

But Democracy Chronicles is now  a democratic forum. It would be
inappropriate for DC to host the other kind of forum. Democracy
Chronicles is about the advancement of democracy, reporting it,
demonstrating it. The non-democratic forum that you want is not
appropriate for DC. You should host it elsewhere.

Mike Ossipoff

, and this proposal has nothing to do with
> you.
> Jameson
> 2012/9/28 Michael Ossipoff <email9648742 at gmail.com>
>> To: Jameson and all who received his message:
>> Whose head-up-the-a** idea was that?
>> Certainly not.
>> Who decides who your "peers" are? Who chooses them?
>> At Democracy Chronicles, there is free and open discussion. If you
>> don't agree with something said in an article, then there is a
>> comments space available, in which you can express your disagreement
>> and tell your reasons for disagreeing. ...and the author of the
>> article always has the opportunity to reply to your comments.
>> The readers can decide which argument is more convincing.
>> That's called "free and open discussion".
>> What Jameson proposes is something quite different. Among some small
>> group of people, and one of them, unilaterally, can block the
>> readership's access to an article.
>> There is already a system of such journals--the academic and
>> professional journals. I invite Jameson to participate in those
>> journals by submitting papers to them.
>> Several of us have used the Democracy Chronicles comment space to
>> express disagreement with articles there.
>> Richard Fobes posted in the comment space to exprress his disagreement
>> with my article about ICT and the ICT poll at Democracy Chronicles.
>> But maybe Richard doesn't like a forum in which both sides can be
>> heard in free and open discussion.
>> I, too, have used the Democracy Chronicles comment space to disagree
>> with an article there.
>> Jameson, if you disagree with one or more of my articles, then I
>> invite you to express your disagreement in the comments space.
>> Mike Ossipoff
>> On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM, Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > One subdomain of voting methods in which the peer-reviewed academic
>> > literature is decidedly behind the amateur enthusiast community (that's
>> > us)
>> > is in its coverage of different methods, criteria, and compliances. This
>> > lag
>> > is unfortunate for several reasons. For one thing, it affects whether
>> > known
>> > facts can be covered on wikipedia. For another, though some academics
>> > clearly are aware of the amateur knowledge, insofar as others aren't, it
>> > leads to needless misunderstandings and/or duplication of effort.
>> >
>> > I believe we can fix this by creating a peer reviewed open-access
>> > journal
>> > which combines the strengths of the academic and enthusiast communities.
>> > The
>> > purview of such a journal should be strictly limited to what is
>> > mathematically expressed and/or provable, so that sufficiently
>> > meticulous
>> > amateurs can be considered as qualified peer reviewers (when accompanied
>> > by
>> > at least one experienced reviewer).
>> >
>> > This would take significant work to start and sustain. I'm volunteering
>> > to
>> > do up to around half the work, but in practice that means I need at
>> > least
>> > two or three others to step forward as volunteers before we can
>> > seriously
>> > get started. Here's what I think we need to do:
>> >
>> > Managing editors
>> >
>> > These would be the people who would be ultimately responsible for
>> > everything. However, their role qua¹ managing editors would be more to
>> > shepherd things along; they may or may not also take the role of
>> > reviewers,
>> > authors, etc. I think a group of 3-5 managing editors would be
>> > sufficient to
>> > get things done without burnout. Among the managing editors would need
>> > to be
>> > at least one with a relevant postgraduate degree (for instance
>> > mathematics,
>> > statistics, economics, or political science).
>> >
>> > Site
>> >
>> > I think this would work best if it were a sub-branch of some credible
>> > existing site. That way, any existing credibility would be inherited. My
>> > first suggestion would be Adrian Tawfik's "Democracy Chronicles". I'd
>> > also
>> > be happy to discuss it if any existing organizations (hint, hint) wanted
>> > to
>> > lend their name and/or site.
>> >
>> > Hosting, software, etc.
>> >
>> > I suggest that the journal should be run MediaWiki software, the same
>> > software Wikipedia runs on. However, all "main space" articles should be
>> > protected from changes by all but a limited group of editors. This would
>> > allow freewheeling discussion on "talk" pages, but keep actual
>> > "published"
>> > content in a stable, citeable form.
>> >
>> > Purview
>> >
>> > I think that this should focus on only four kinds of articles: system
>> > definitions (or equivalent re-formulations to help with proofs);
>> > criteria
>> > definitions; inter-criteria implications and equivalencies; and
>> > system-criteria (non)compliance proofs/counterexamples. Initially, only
>> > single-winner systems and criteria would be considered, although that
>> > could
>> > change later. Systems and criteria would not be considered "published"
>> > without a certain level of "coverage" in terms of (non)compliance
>> > proofs.
>> > Thus, each individual "article" would frequently (though not always) be
>> > under a page in length. This short length and limited purview would
>> > establish an important differentiator between this effort and existing
>> > journals.
>> >
>> > Peer reviewers
>> >
>> > We'd need to have a broad, balanced group of peer reviewers. Reviewers
>> > would
>> > NOT be required to have any specific degrees, but WOULD be required to
>> > demonstrate a clear knowledge of the norms of mathematical proof. I'd
>> > think
>> > that 12-20 reviewers is a reasonable goal. I would expect that around
>> > 2/3 of
>> > these reviewers would be capable "amateurs"; I hope we can get
>> > participation
>> > from enough professional academics to constitute at least 1/3 of the
>> > reviewers. (I already have several ideas of whom I'd ask, though I'd
>> > also
>> > expect the other managing editors to help with this.)
>> >
>> > Peer review and other article life-cycle issues
>> >
>> > There would be a clear naming scheme to distinguish the various article
>> > types. Articles would initially be developed in the main namespace in
>> > unlocked form. This would allow any wiki user to help or comment.
>> > (Obviously, spammers and other troublemakers would need to be banned.)
>> >
>> > When an article was considered ready for peer review, its main author
>> > would
>> > tag it as such, and it would be protected from further editing (though
>> > the
>> > associated talk page would still be open for comments).
>> >
>> > Peer reviewers would have a chance to volunteer using one-shot
>> > pseudonymous
>> > accounts (for which the identities would be secretly verified by any
>> > managing editor). Thus, authors would NOT be anonymous, but reviewers
>> > WOULD.
>> > Reviewers would be encouraged to volunteer if they have any serious
>> > negative
>> > concerns on an article, even if they do not wish to fully review all
>> > aspects
>> > of that article.
>> >
>> > Each article would need at least 3 reviewers, at least 1 of whom must
>> > have
>> > prior experience with the peer review system at this or any other
>> > journal.
>> > If that requirement isn't met by volunteers, the managing editor would
>> > attempt to assign reviewers until it was.
>> >
>> > A review would consist of any number of suggestions, along with a
>> > determination of "acceptable as is", "acceptable with minor revisions",
>> > "potentially acceptable with major revisions", or "unacceptable".
>> > Because of
>> > the sharply limited scope of each individual article, it is expected
>> > that
>> > "acceptable as is" would not be as negligibly rare as it is in most peer
>> > review. Reviewers who gave one of the top two determinations would be
>> > expected to have carefully reviewed the entire article; those who
>> > didn't,
>> > wouldn't.
>> >
>> > Once an article had all its reviews, its author would be given
>> > permission to
>> > revise if necessary. When they tag it as "revisions done", those
>> > permissions
>> > would be revoked, and reviewers would have a chance to raise (or lower)
>> > their determination. This process could iterate if necessary.
>> >
>> > In order to be considered "published", an article would need to be
>> > unanimously graded "acceptable". At that point, it would be permanently
>> > locked, though the talk page would remain open.
>> >
>> > ....
>> >
>> > Supposing we have 20 "core" systems and 20 "core" criteria which are to
>> > be
>> > (dis)proven for each of the "core" systems. That's a substantial total:
>> > 400
>> > proofs. However, perhaps half of those will already exist in the
>> > published
>> > literature, and perhaps half of the remainder will be utterly trivial
>> > (such
>> > as well-known counterexamples). That leaves about 100 compliances that
>> > would
>> > need careful review. With 15 reviewers, that's about 20 "core"
>> > compliances
>> > each for review. Including non-"core" systems and criteria, I'd expect
>> > that
>> > to increase to around 30. If the average reviewer handled 1 a month
>> > (plus 1
>> > of the "trivial" cases), that workload would take around 3 years to burn
>> > through, with each month's "issue" containing around 5 serious and 5
>> > trivial
>> > compliances. I think that that's roughly doable, if we put our minds to
>> > it.
>> >
>> > Also, note that once we got the ball rolling and showed we were doing a
>> > good
>> > job, we could attempt to get an existing professional society to "adopt"
>> > the
>> > journal. If this were successful it would massively increase our
>> > credibility
>> > and ability to attract new peer reviewers and authors.
>> >
>> > ....
>> >
>> > The above gives a basic idea of what it would take. Obviously, there's a
>> > lot
>> > of minor and not-so-minor details still to work out. But I hope that
>> > this
>> > message is enough to get the ball rolling.
>> >
>> > So: please respond. Any comments, suggestions, or questions? Do you
>> > think
>> > you could be a managing editor or peer-reviewer? Is there someone else
>> > you
>> > think should be in on this conversation?
>> >
>> > Jameson
>> >
>> > ¹ "qua" in this case means approximately "as, per se"
>> >
>> > ----
>> > Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for list
>> > info
>> >
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20120929/656bb15f/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list