Sunday, December 16, 2007

Economics: A Public Peer Reviewed e-Journal

Economics is a new type of academic journal in economics. By involving a large research community in an innovative public peer review process, Economics aims to provide fast access to top-quality papers. Modern communication technologies are used to find for every research issue the best virtual team out of a network of highly motivated researchers from all over the world. Thus, publishing is seen as a cooperative enterprise between authors, editors, referees, and readers. Economics offers open access to all readers and takes the form of an e-journal, i.e. submission, evaluation, and publication are electronic. economics embodies the following principles:
  • Open Access: Following the principle that knowledge is a public good, all readers have open access to reading and downloading papers. The simple and free access ensures maximum readership and high citation records for published papers.
  • Open Assessment: The traditional peer review process is substantially supplemented by a public peer review process in which the community of active researchers from all over the world has a hand in the evaluation process. Due to interactive peer review and public discussion, Eonomics provides fast and efficient quality assurance. Within a two stage publication process, much of the research evaluation takes place after rather than before an article is published.[snip]
  • Submitted papers that have been identified as sufficiently promising for a referee process are made available on the journal’s homepage within three weeks. Thus, the time for new ideas to find their way into the scientific community is substantially reduced.
  • Add-on Services: To foster scientific exchange, Economics embeds forums on special themes, where authors and readers can communicate and possibly conduct joint research. In addition, interested readers can take advantage of alert services announcing new papers in their fields. As far as possible, Economics also provides hyperlinks to the referenced literature.

Style and Contents: Economics aims to cover all the main areas of economics. Inevitably, articles in different areas of economics are addressed at different audiences. Many of the articles submitted to the journal are standard technical pieces, addressed to a purely academic audience. Others concern economic policy and thus are addressed both to economists and policy makers with some economic background. Yet others are surveys and overviews, often interdisciplinary, addressed to a non-technical audience. To attract this variety of contributions, Economics will contain the following areas, in addition to the standard contributions for a purely academic audience:

  • Policy Papers
    E
    conomics Policy Papers are concerned with the economic analysis of current policy issues. The analysis is rigorous, from a theoretical and empirical perspective, but the articles are written in non-technical language appropriate for a broad spectrum of economic decision makers and participants economic policy discussion. The rigorous analysis is contained in the appendix of each article.
  • Surveys and Overviews
    Surveys and Overviews
    aim to integrate the analysis and lessons from various fields of economics with the aim of providing new insights, that are not accessible from any particular sub-discipline of economics. The contributions may include survey and review articles, provided that the broad perspective is maintained. They are addressed to a general audience interested in economic issues.
  • New Frontier Papers
    New Frontier Papers
    contain articles that make potentially fundamental contributions to economic thinking. The papers are meant to change the way we conceptualize economic phenomena or transform the way the profession thinks about important economic issues. Contributions will be reviewed by renowned, top-flight economists, including Nobel prize winners.

[http://www.economics-ejournal.org/about-economics/aims-and-scope]

Review Process
Economics aims to allow the research evaluation process to be market-driven. The traditional peer review process is substantially supplemented by a "public" peer review process in which the community of active researchers from all over the world has a hand in the evaluation process. This is realized within a two-stage publication process.

First Stage: Publication of the submitted version as Economics Discussion Paper

Access to public peer review (less than three weeks)

The author submits a paper, if possible with hyperlinks to the referenced literature. [snip].

The managing editors check formal and professional standards and pass the paper to an associate editor in the relevant research field ... [snip].

The associate editor decides on whether to accept the paper for the further peer review process by answering two questions: (i) Whether the paper shows promise of making a significant contribution and (ii) whether it meets basic scientific standards. [snip]

If these questions are answered in the affirmative, the paper is published on the platform of the Economics Discussion Papers.

Open assessment of the submitted paper (eight weeks)

The Associate Editor appoints at least two referees for reviewing the paper and uploads their comments on the discussion platform within six weeks. The referees’ comments may be anonymous, but referees are encouraged to allow their reports to be attributed. Referees are asked to provide short reports that focus on two questions: (i) Is the contribution of the paper potentially significant? (ii) Is the analysis correct? [snip].

While the referees are reviewing the paper, the corresponding public discussion platform is open for eight weeks (the “discussion period”). On this platform, registered readers may review the paper by uploading comments (anonymously or with the name of the contributor published on the web). In addition, the referees´comments are posted on the Web site. Authors are asked to respond to these comments. All comments and responses are published and archived in the economics discussion paper section. This “public” peer review process lasts 8 weeks.

All registered readers can rate the comments by the criteria "extremly helpful, helpful, not helpful, unacceptable" (the results of these ratings are not made public). The editorial board of Economics reserves the right to delete unacceptable comments and exclude their commentators from the community of registered readers. [snip]

During the discussion period, the editorial staff sends the paper to potentially interested researchers (invited readers) to encourage them to post a comment in the discussion platform. [snip]

The author is free to respond to all comments.

Second Stage: Publication of the final version in Economics

Peer review completion

Based on the referee reports, the author replies, and the comments made by registered readers, the associate editor decides whether the paper is accepted or rejected for publication in Economics.

[snip]

If accepted, the discussion paper or its revised version is published in Economics. The Economics Discussion Paper with all comments is permanently archived and remains accessible to the public for documenting the paper’s history.

Market-based evaluation of published articles

Readers are asked to rate articles in economics on a scale from one to five ... [snip]

Readers are free to upload comments.

Authors are free to respond to all comments.

Authors are free to upload revised versions at any time.

Statistics on ratings, downloads and citations are collected to compile rankings of papers in the various fields of economics. Based on the rankings, prizes for the most outstanding papers in special fields are awarded each year.

[http://www.economics-ejournal.org/about-economics/two-stage-publication-process]

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