[hackerspaces-theory] ping

Yves Quemener quemener.yves at free.fr
Sun Dec 9 05:53:12 CET 2012

Just to clear up an issue : there seems to be two distinct journal creation
proposals being intertwined in this discussion :

- (initiated by Jan) The creation of a journal that would focus solely on
"hackerspace theory", that is, the sociology of hackerspaces. I am not sure
why existing journal would be unable to accept articles on hackerspaces,
but I am personally not into sociology, so what do I know...

- The creation of a journal allowing hackerspaces to publish about their
works in a format adapted to their own processes.

Most people (including me) seem to talk about the second one but I have the
feeling that some posts mix the two proposals.(e.g. Andrew's question "Is
the goal to disseminate practical technical information or discuss
"theory"?"). This is a tool for disseminating technical information that I
would like to discuss. I indeed think that while "hackerspace theory" is a
worthwhile theme, the producers of scientific literature on that theme will
likely be external observers.

On the subject of the technical information journal, I think Andrew asks
two crucial questions:

Why do hackerspaces need publication, what is there incentive? I would
argue that there are several gains for that:
- Ease of looking for existing projects
- Ease of reproduction of past result
- Creation of a sort of "reputation currency" (like it or not, this is a
tool that is more and more lacking in the growing loose federation of *spaces)
- Ability to apply for grants
- Visibility gains
- Individual authors get "science creds", whether they are researchers or
technicians, an articles in a CV is a good point.

Do we really need to obey the formalism of regular science journals for that?
It really depends on the option we choose : either we publish in existing
regular journals, or we create a new one.

A new journal, with a credible committee, can choose its own criterion, can
adapt to the hacker's crowd and processes, and find a format that will make
it easier to publish articles while still making it possible to be taken
seriously as a "journal". This is, IMHO, the hardest path. How will you
convince hackerspaces to comply to a format if they have no immediate
reputation gain (as long as the journal does not have a good reputation)? I
think that this solution should be chosen only if there is a total
incompatibility between hackerspaces processes and the process of
scientific publication.

For now, I fail to see such an incompatibility. Unless every journal
answers "no, you are not PhDs, and we can't recognize something labeled a
hackerspace as a credible organization" to article submissions, (and I
seriously doubt that such a reaction is the norm) I don't think it will be
necessary to make our own.

I do believe (and Dr Glass' experience seems to confirm) that many existing
scientific journals can publish about hackerspace projects. This option
requires to follow the usual formalism of articles. It is, in my opinion,
the path of least effort : it takes a bit more effort for documenting the
project but really does bring an immediate reputation boost. I also believe
that most constraints in science articles writing do have a good reason for
existing and that if we were to create a journal, there would be a need of
very similar constraints to achieve credibility.

On 09/12/12 13:52, Dr. Glass DPM wrote:
> I agree that it shouldn't be a our sole purpose.  I don't want to derail
> the current movement from being hell-bent on publishing, to please old
> schoolers.  I merely propose that we think of the practical benefits to
> such effort.
> Think about this: Many of us work in science and science related
> professions; therefore we already know how to think and speak in technical
> terms.  Many of us already have Masters and Doctorates which require us to
> publish on a regular basis anyhow.  I have published several medical
> research manuscripts and book chapters and I feel comfortable with the peer
> reviewed process.  I am an editor for a few medical journals as well
> (volunteer).  I would be delighted to volunteer to lead and edit a peer
> reviewed publication, Open Access, for hackerspace knowledge.
> I believe the current energy in X-spaces is not just the technology, but
> the socialistic implications.  I feel, like many others, that this is an
> incredible time for humanity that merits journalistic documentation (in
> addition to everything else).
> Take this example.  E-Plasy is a medical journal which is open access and
> free to browse.  However, it is a legitimate journal which is indexed by
> Pubmed (via NCBI) and is a good example of what we could model after.
>  http://www.eplasty.com/
> I don't think peer reviewed publication is the only road towards "proof",
> but I'm not going to avoid it, when it is a useful tool that civilization
> has come to trust.
> Nicholas Giovinco
> Dr. Glass DPM - Video Podcast
> www.youtube.com/DrGlassDPM <http://www.youtube.com/DrGlassDPM>
> www.drglass.org <http://www.drglass.org>
> glass.dpm at gmail.com <mailto:glass.dpm at gmail.com>
> On 8Dec, 2012, at 9:40 PM, Andrew Schrock <aschrock at usc.edu
> <mailto:aschrock at usc.edu>> wrote:
>> I think that's a good question: the intention to get credibility? There
>> are very real stakes for those of us in academia to adhere to journals
>> that have a higher reputation. Publishing of research in these journals
>> is connected with better chances at promotion, getting grants, and so
>> on. Scientific research should be open-access, authors are rarely paid,
>> and there are increasingly few reasons to justify the exorbitant fees
>> charged by journals to universities. The stakes are high for academics,
>> but if you're not in that world, the rewards for participating are much
>> lower. 
>> So maybe we can come back to thinking about what hackerspaces hope to get
>> from a more formalized publishing venue. What would the audience be for
>> such a publication? Would even it need "peer review"? Is the goal to
>> disseminate practical technical information or discuss "theory"? IMHO
>> members have a great interest in the former and a near allergy to the
>> latter. If the test of worthiness is like code (does it run? Is it
>> useful?) is there even a need for relying on a publishing metaphor like a
>> journal? 
>> Just to throw it out there, one trick from the academic world is to look
>> in cons or other gatherings for interested parties to write articles.
>> Thematically, I am thinking more about topics that are about what
>> hackerspaces do well, rather than think exclusively about empirical
>> science. In which case the audience would be crossover
>> academics/hackerspace members/tinkerers. Topics might include
>> histories (think about a larger scale chapter in /the beginning /PDF),
>> organizational patterns (what's working and why), case studies of
>> projects, and pedagogy (why is hands-on learning necessary?). 
>> A
>> On Dec 8, 2012, at 3:54 PM, Dr. Glass DPM wrote:
>>> Our intention with pursuing this was for establishing credibility for
>>> the Hacker/maker movement, with the traditional academic world, no?  I
>>> don't feel that the traditional academic arena's are 100% flawed beyond
>>> hope.
>>> Good scientific exploration and application is already being done
>>> everyday by x-spaces around the world.  Why not organize a publication
>>> effort for a standalone science journal?
>>> Nicholas Giovinco
>>> Dr. Glass DPM - Video Podcast
>>> www.youtube.com/DrGlassDPM <http://www.youtube.com/DrGlassDPM>
>>> www.drglass.org <http://www.drglass.org/>
>>> glass.dpm at gmail.com <mailto:glass.dpm at gmail.com>
>>> On 8Dec, 2012, at 6:47 PM, Jo Walsh <metazool at gmail.com
>>> <mailto:metazool at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>> Bollocks. There's no such thing as real science. There's only natural
>>>> history.
>>>> For reference management worth looking at openbiblio.net
>>>> <http://openbiblio.net/> and other projects of the Open Bibliography
>>>> group of the Open Knowledge Management. For a modern perspective on
>>>> academic data sharing. Journals are 18th century technology run by a
>>>> cartel, and plugging into that system ain't going to help it.
>>>> quemener.yves at free.fr <mailto:quemener.yves at free.fr> wrote:
>>>>     > From: "maxigas" <maxigas at anargeek.net <mailto:maxigas at anargeek.net>>
>>>>         i think for most hackers/hackerspace participants it is too much
>>>>         hassle to engage with formal science, which is deemed simply
>>>>         too slow
>>>>         and top-down. you know the joke that "real programmers don't write
>>>>         documentation". i would be happy if more of the cool stuff which
>>>>         people make in hackerspaces would be at least documented. :)
>>>>     Well, I am of the opinion, like many open source developers and people
>>>>     I met in hackerspaces, that a project is useless, unless it can be
>>>>     easily reproduced in another place. That usually means to have a 
>>>>     correct documentation. 
>>>>     One of the first question, when a cool video is posted, is : where is
>>>>     the source code
>>>>      ? What
>>>>     chip/engine/batteries/display are you using? How
>>>>     did you wire that thing? The open source/hacker community do not have
>>>>     clear commitees to accept a project as interesting, but some emergent
>>>>     criterions appeared, and the ability to make the same thing at your 
>>>>     place is a crucial one.
>>>>         De: "maxigas" <maxigas at anargeek.net <mailto:maxigas at anargeek.net>>
>>>>         when i wrote my first proposal for my phd, several people commented
>>>>         that what hackerspaces do is not "science", so i can't interpret it
>>>>         as a science going against some basic tenets of mainstream science.
>>>>         :)
>>>>     Well it is true : what hackerspaces do is not science, and the tenets
>>>>     opposed by "mainstream science" are actually very good. Typically,
>>>>     hacking projects are just fun things you want to do. That is ok, you
>>>>     don't HAVE to do science. But _some_ projects do f
>>>>      ollow
>>>>     the basic 
>>>>     steps of science research : 
>>>>     - find existing projects that come close to what you need
>>>>     - try several solution, examine them objectively
>>>>     - choose a final solution, make some tests
>>>>     - propose new projects that can be based on yours.
>>>>     Thing is, today, you get hackers cred by making a cool video, a funny
>>>>     articles and by putting some basic technical informations. Most people
>>>>     see a bibliography and description of the state of the art as boring 
>>>>     parts that few people would read if you put it first (and they are right)
>>>>     If there was an incentive to use such a format however, I think that 
>>>>     several projects could document their work as a scientific article and
>>>>     be recognized as real science. 
>>>>     And all projects documentation do not suck, a lot of the things on 
>>>>     Instructables are actually very detailled. I think that the main thing
>>>>     missing is a references list, and the typical structure of a scie
>>>>      nce 
>>>>     article.
>>>>     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>     Theory mailing list
>>>>     Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org <mailto:Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org>
>>>>     http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/theory
>>>> -- 
>>>> Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Theory mailing list
>>>> Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org <mailto:Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org>
>>>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/theory
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Theory mailing list
>>> Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org <mailto:Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org>
>>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/theory
>> Andrew Schrock
>> USC Annenberg Doctoral Candidate
>> Twitter:@aschrock
>> Email: aschrock at usc.edu <mailto:aschrock at usc.edu>
>> Phone: 714.330.6545
>> _______________________________________________
>> Theory mailing list
>> Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org <mailto:Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org>
>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/theory
> _______________________________________________
> Theory mailing list
> Theory at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/theory

More information about the Theory mailing list