Accept that the commentators of suggested modifications are allowed to suggest reformulations of the original formulations. Also accept that, by default, the new formulation should bear the original author’s name, unless the author decides to give credit to those who significantly contributed to the new reformulation. This should be decided collegially by the author, the commentators, and the editors on a case-by-case basis.
One problem with the current scientonomic workflow is that the commentators of a suggested modification are not allowed to reformulate the original formulations proposed by the author of that suggested modification. When discussing a suggested modification, it sometimes happens that commentators come up with alternative formulations which, compared to the original formulation, have a better chance convincing the community. We've had cases like this during our off-line discussions. Yet, such reformulations are currently forbidden by the scientonomic workflow, which stipulates that any such reformulation should be suggested in a new paper, registered as a separate suggested modification, and assessed accordingly. Thus, even when all the discussants agree that a tweak to the original formulation can solve the problem, the current workflow doesn't leave them any choice other than working on publishing another paper with the tweaked formulation. This creates a bottleneck, as it postpones a possible consensus formation by adding an unnecessary bureaucratic layer.
Theories To Accept
- Allow Modification Reformulations (Shaw-Barseghyan-2019): The commentators of suggested modifications are allowed to suggest reformulations of the original formulations in the comments. By default, the new formulation should bear the original author’s name, unless the author decides to give credit to those who significantly contributed to the new reformulation.
This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):
- Workflow - Reformulating Suggesting Modifications: Are the commentators of suggested modifications allowed to suggest reformulations of the original formulations?
The modification was accepted on 25 February 2023. The decision was made during the 2023 scientonomy workshop. It was noted that the idea is compatible with other consensus systems where one is allowed to modify the proposal in order to reach consensus. The modification sparked important discussion about our iterative process. Paul Patton highlighted a potential problem with our workflow where, by the time we are discussing acceptance, the paper has already been formatted and published. He raised a question if it might be more advisable to use a two-stage process, where a paper is first posted in some preliminary form and then, following the debate on acceptance, it is reformulated as needed and the final version is considered published. Hakob Barseghyan responded that there always has to be a chance of commenting on something published post factum. Instead of the two-step process, he suggested allowing small alterations to modifications after the publication and publishing the commentaries to modifications in a separate article (as the community just accepted with modification 2019-0002), while leaving the original article intact. Greg Rupik also suggested the potential for a special designation for a tweaked modification identifier (e.g. 2019-0003a instead of 2019-0003) to make it more apparent which modifications were reformulated. Barseghyan responded that the wiki is well-suited to make reformulations apparent (most specifically, in the Preamble and Verdict sections) without the need to multiply modifications. He also emphasized that this modification pertains to smaller reformulations and not to significant changes to the content, making some concerns about the modification less immediately relevant. Barseghyan also addressed the question posted prior to the workshop by Ameer Sarwar: when other authors cite a modification that has been altered, what exactly should they cite? Barseghyan suggested that, since both the original modification and the altered one will be published, one can cite both. The modification was accepted unanimously.
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- Shaw, Jamie and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Problems and Prospects with the Scientonomic Workflow. Scientonomy 3, 1-14. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33509.