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First Issue: Canadian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences is Live

Open access is a hot topic for academics. Recently, SavageMinds has raised questions about the ethical use of pdfs. Jason Baird Jackson has pleaded passionately (and frequently) for more open access books and journals. And, Quentin Mackie has reminded us of the utility of a great regional journal like BC Studies, which has recently open its archives.

This weekend, the Canadian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences has launched its first issue. Its arrival offers a response to calls for greater transparency in the publishing process, particularly at the levels of dissemination and peer review. The journal offers scholars in a range of disciplines a place to publish which is open access. Furthermore, it offers a place for readers to join in and augment the conversations started by the journals authors. Each article provides space for reader reviews – and the idea is that the majority of the peer review process will come from readers who identify themselves and comment publicly on the articles.

The current issue presents nine articles. The titles and authors are:

  • Delusions, by Leonard Angel
  • When Oppressions and Privileges Collide: A Review of Research in Health, Gender and Intersectionality in Late (Post) Modernity, by Daniel Grace
  • Environmental Racism and First Nations: A Call for Socially Just Public Policy Development, by Christina Dhillon and Michael G. Young
  • All Things Counter, Original, Spare, Strange: Why are We so Bad at Difference?, by Ann Dale and Lenore Newman
  • The Dilemma of Values in Social Work Education: Teaching and Learning the Contradictions between the Goals and Practices of Social Work, by Kathleen Piovesan
  • Metaphysics Masquerading as Science, by Jeremy SH Jackson
  • The Effect of Implicit Attributions towards the Environment on Environmental Decision Making, by Christopher Jennings
  • “I’m Just Kind of Land”: Finding Self in Place, by Matthew Heinz
  • Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry by Thomas Szasz New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers (2007); A review by John Breeding.
  • Please visit the table of contents for keywords, abstracts, and links to html and pdf versions of the papers.

    CJHSS is on Twitter @cjhssorg.

    (And, we’ve received no submissions from anthropologists. Please consider submitting your paper to the CJHSS.)

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    5 Comments

    1. qmackie wrote:

      Hi Tad,

      This journal looks great. I see you are on the Editorial Board – congrats on getting this out the door, it must have been a ton of work.

      The “crowd sourced” open review is an interesting model. Traditional peer review is anonymous of course, which has been one of its problems (and arguably a strength), but a problem in that there could be bitchiness, politics, and even idea theft behind that curtain. Sunlight being a good disinfectant, it’ll be interesting to see the process go public. I think some of the PLOS journals have the peer reviews published alongside the paper and is that something something this journal has thought of?

      Anyway, in an ideal world the crowd-sourced model would work but lets face it, some papers might not get reviewed, or serious review, and yet there they would stand. How will the journal go about clearly marking the two kinds of papers – I am thinking it almost needs to be in the title or something for once the paper escapes from the journal website. If Philip Rushton submits a eugenics paper to Open Review, will t be confusing to keep clear that it is not in a Peer Reviewed journal?

      I am cool with both models and we all know peer review is a mixed bag but just curious how to keep the apples away from the oranges.

      Also, will the author be able to engage in a back-and-forth with the open reviewers?

      It’s a grand experiment in any case and looking forward to seeing some traditional models get broken, and maybe get put back together.

      Monday, October 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
    2. Thank you for visiting Quentin and, more importantly, thank you for the feedback. We have discussed many of your questions and some still remain to have answers sorted out. We have thought about models like the PLoS model you mention – or the Current Anthropology model of paper, reviews, and a follow-up by the author.

      The “Philip Rushton Problem” is worthy of further conversation. I have not considered the life of these papers once they leave the website and labeling clearly each paper by type would be an effective way of making it clear to readers they style of paper they are reading. And, authors are encouraged to track the comments on their papers and respond directly to them on the website as often as they like.

      Thanks again for your interest. -Tad

      Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink
    3. qmackie wrote:

      Just to be clear, I don’t think my “worst case scenario” Chickenlittling should hold the journal back. The upside is huge. But a little preventative medicine on making a clear taxonomy of the origin and review process of the paper which actually “stuck” to the paper would be good. I am thinking, make it clear as part of the URL, in the file name of the downloadable PDF, and embed it in the metadata of both.

      e.g.

      http://cjhss.org/_cjhss/pubData/v_1/i_1/20100507-1/20100507-1.pdf

      becomes

      http://cjhss.org/_cjhss/pubData/v_1/i_1/20100507-1/PEER-REVIEWED-PAPER-20100507-1.pdf

      (In this instance if you could include the author name and title onto the PDF file when download, it is likely to “stick” as the file makes it way around the internet. Most people will rename 20100507-1.pdf right away.)

      I know this could all be edited out by the end user, but in many cases it wouldn’t be. We can’t control what the world makes of anything we say anyway, but a bit of a proactive defensive jab might be worth thinking about.

      Anyway, I am probably overthinking this!

      Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink
    4. No, Quentin, I don’t think you’re over-thinking this at all. Your points are well-taken and very useful. I’ve passed them on to the larger editorial board. We have spent some time discussing the implications of what we have done – and are very committed to as much transparency as possible. Clearly labeling the article files adds to that transparency. Making the types of papers clear to authors and readers is important for our credibility.

      Until now we’ve not had much response from users. So, thank you for the observations and suggestions for how we might confront them! -Tad

      Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink
    5. Thank you for your thoughtful comments Quentin. We will be discussing this issue at our next editorial board meeting. So far, we have had a large number of congratulations for the concept but also a large number of questions relating to the finer details of our editorial policy. This shows me that we are doing something people find intriguing but we have much work to do in developing our concept. Please feel free to email me directly so that we can discuss this further. Thanks again for your interest Quentin. Jeremy

      Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink