Board, correspondence, errata, etc.

March 31, 2010 1 comment

Things have been moving quickly over the past few days.  We’ve added more members to the editorial board, and the board has been discussing the form this journal should take.

I’ve set things up to publish posts in the following categories:

  • Research papers, as you might expect.  We also have a separate section for short research papers.
  • Letters.  This is technical correspondence and discussion.  The IR community doesn’t have a solid forum for this at the moment.
  • Errata and corrigenda.  Another missing feature in the IR community.
  • Reviews of books and conferences.  SIGIR Forum has this as well, but it would be nice if it were more timely.
  • Surveys.  Everyone’s doing these nowadays (sometimes calling them books), we’ll see where it goes.
  • Meta.  You’re probably tired of those by now.

Another idea we’ve been discussing is rapid release of in-progress research papers.  The ordinary case for a research paper is that after submission, the board solicits reviews, and makes a publication decision based on those.  We intend a quicker turnaround than a traditional journal but it’s not quite web speed.

So alternatively authors could elect to have their submission posted while it is still in review.  The editorial board would decide that the paper is within scope enough that we would publish it if the reviews recommended it, then we post it right up on the blog in an “In progress” section.  The paper gets reviewed as above, but at the same time, the in-review version is available, folks can download it, read it, and comment on it.  Authors would want to do this for the quick feedback and community discussion.  And we want it because it adds to the review process.  There are still a few issues to be hammered out but I’m hoping this will go live soon.

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Welcome, a little more seriously

March 26, 2010 6 comments

One or two people asked me if I am serious, and I guess the initial post was a bit silly in tone.  So let’s try that again.

Welcome to Not Relevant, a new electronic journal for information retrieval research.  We want to publish bleeding-edge research papers, especially those that current IR conferences are rejecting due to an apparent lack of vision.  We will also publish letters, short research papers, reviews, and surveys.

Our editorial policies are being developed right now.  Here’s the prototype framework.  The goal is to publish solid advances in the state of the art, game-changing work, research that pushes the boundaries of IR.  We are not looking for incremental improvements.

Authors submit an article via email, and the editorial board solicits reviews from the information retrieval community.  These reviews are single-blind and confidential.  An editorial board member is appointed as the shepherd for the paper.  Once reviews are complete, the editorial board member writes an open (not blind) review summarizing the reviews.  If the paper is accepted, it is published on the blog along with the editorial review.

All published articles are open – there are no restrictions on access to articles aside from the authors’ copyright, which they hold; Not Relevant is not owning anyone’s content but our own.  Articles will be posted to the blog – the blog post is the abstract, and a link to the article hosted here.  Posts will allow comments and ratings.  We will monitor comments and only moderate as necessary.  Publication is on a rolling basis, and we’ll come up with a reliable citation scheme.

Is this a real journal?  Yep.  It’s brand new and has no track record, but the editorial board are all very qualified researchers.  We do not plan to publish substandard papers, and we hope you’ll help us grow the reputation that makes a good journal.

You can help by commenting to the discussion here, emailing me, sending us papers, and/or volunteering to help either as a reviewer or an editorial board member.

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Welcome to Not Relevant

March 25, 2010 8 comments

This blog was born out of reading complaints from lots of people that their SIGIR paper was rejected.  Ok, we’ve all been there, most of it is probably sour grapes but surely there are some gems there (including yours, my friend!).

So your paper got rejected with three two-liner reviews and a metareview that reads (summary) “Zzz. uh wah?”  What can you do?  You have three traditional choices:

  1. Send it off to the next conference (with optional revisions)
  2. Send it off to a journal (with optional revisions)
  3. Cry in your beer

But now you have a fourth option.  Send it to Not Relevant.  Our crack team of experienced IR researchers will review your paper (probably for the second time) and attempt to guide it towards publication here.  Think of us as an online journal for papers that the conference just doesn’t seem to get.

We aren’t agreeing to publish everything we get.  We are trying to find the discarded diamonds, the wheat in the chaff.  Everyone knows that conference review processes are fallible, and we want to be the sieve that holds the great stuff that they missed.

The editorial board and reviewing criteria are in process.  Stay tuned, or contact us if you want to be involved.

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