[Linux-aus] Minutes of Council Meeting 03 June 2014

Tennessee Leeuwenburg tleeuwenburg at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 12:00:50 EST 2014

My 2c, just a set of opinions...

I am the co-chief editor of "The Python Papers", a small journal offering a
supportive peer-review publication for people using the Python language. We
have multiple publications, including our main magazine, and also a
monograph edition (suitable for large works, editorials, or conference
proceedings). We offer partnership to Python conferences who don't want to
manage compiling proceedings themselves or want to offer a peer-review

Almost nobody is interested in doing this at Python conferences in
Australia, but it has been done overseas (Singapore).

I don't think we could offer to support LCA, but I thought our experiences
might be useful.

I would recommend against enforcing a singular standard for the whole
conference. Offering a peer-review process to those who want it would be of
benefit, particularly to a small niche of people for whom the publication
is a part of getting approval from their (usually academic) employers. It
can also help to lift the standard of submissions. Even without going to a
formal peer-review system, offering peer-review of abstracts would be a
useful thing.

With The Python Papers, we take care of matching submissions with
reviewers, generally this it not restricted to conference attendees, so
there is a potentially larger pool of appropriate referees available.

Partnering with a journal makes things easy. It would also be fairly
straightforward, although some small effort, to establish a journal
specifically to support linux-based conferences. Reasons for doing this
include being able to set your own rules and policies, set up your own
peer-review process, and generally stay "in charge" of things. You could
review abstracts only, or also allow non-PDF documents such as
presentations. I think the most useful thing in terms of lifting the
standard of the conference would be to have an open abstract review process
prior to the formal conference submissions, the focus mainly being to allow
potential presenters to workshop their ideas with peers.

In general, whenever there is an Australian Python conference, we offer to
the organisers that they can send attendees who wish a peer-review process
in our direction. Since the uptake is usually small (zero to three per
conference), we usually don't do a special issue, but simply publish the
papers into the next edition of the journal. This works well, because the
effort involved all-round is very low, and everyone gets what they want.

In general, a publication associated with a Linux Conf would be unlikely to
be treated with a particularly high degree of academic regard unless it
came from someone already recognised academically. I would suggest there is
no need to try to partner with a top-tier journal or otherwise worry about
impact factor.

With the advent of universal video recording of presentation, the need for
source document collections is much lower. However, a well-written document
is still generally of higher value than a presentation, since it is easier
to subset, share, annotate, cite and search. I personally miss having a
dead tree version of conference proceedings which I can thumb through, and
I also miss being able to store searchable-text docs into my personal
knowledge base where I pop copies of key articles I come across.

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 8:49 PM, Glen Turner <gdt at gdt.id.au> wrote:

> I think the simplest way forward here is to approach an academic
> publication to work with LCA.
> The person would present their work at LCA and would be published in the
> academic publication as a "paper presented at linux.conf.au". If there are
> enough papers, then there would be an "linux.conf.au proceedings" section
> or edition.
> Note that the very top tier of journals will not do this. They will always
> insist that a paper presented at a conference use the feedback from that
> conference to improve the paper. So you need to be prepared for the most
> excellent papers not to wish to appear in the proceedings but to make a
> bid for publication in a top-tier journal; and if you insist on papers
> appearing in the LCA Proceedings, for the academic not to present at LCA.
> That is, peer review is a two-edged sword as far as attracting academics.
> The journal's usual reviewers would do the peer review. What LCA brings to
> the table is up-to-the-minute content.
> Someone could write an overview article for the journal (note carefully:
> "article" not "paper") describing advances of interest to computer science
> academics. There is no doubt in my mind that such advances exist. You
> could readily outsource that authorship to the staff of lwn.net.
> Of great value in bringing closer together Linux practice and academic
> concerns would be review articles for the specialist journals describing
> the developments of interest. For example in my own field of computer
> networking, a review of networking presentations at linux.conf.au would
> certainly find room in SIGCOMM's Computer Communication Review, which is
> the work-in-progress publication of academic computer networking.
> Finally, you shouldn't assume there is a huge gap between Linux practice
> and academic networking. In my own field Linux is the operating system of
> choice for developing new networking technologies and academic
> practitioners are scarily across the most obscure details of the Linux
> networking stack.
> Best wishes to all,
> glen
> --
> Glen Turner <http://www.gdt.id.au/~gdt/>
> _______________________________________________
> linux-aus mailing list
> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/listinfo/linux-aus

Tennessee Leeuwenburg
"Don't believe everything you think"
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