Peer Review and Outreach

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NINES Peer-Review process for free culture projects on the web


A project is identified by a member of an editorial board, who makes an initial judgment as to its scholarly and technical suitability for NINES.


If this initial judgment is positive, he/she refers the project to the appropriate area board Heads, who, after confirming the judgment, pass it forward to the UVA group. The board Head may also decide to reject the project at this point.


The UVa group determines the level of difficulty in integrating the project into the NINES environment. If the project has well- structured data, the process should be simple. Once UVa signs on, the board Heads then contact the project director to inquire whether they would be interested in joining NINES and going through the peer- review process.

a. If UVa determines that the site does NOT meet the technical requirements of NINES, the board Heads may abandon the process, or may contact the project director to express initial enthusiasm and encouragement to attend a NINES workshop or otherwise proceed in revising the project into XML/TEI. The UVa group can advise in this process. Peer review pauses at this point until the project has been revised.

b. In rare cases, we as a group may decide to assist a legacy site with extraordinary content to integrate into NINES. Because this involves a substantial and ongoing commitment on the part of the UVa group (involving the generation of RDF by hand in most cases), it is a last resort. In such cases, peer review should proceed before technical integration, and should document the unique value of the project.


If the project director is interested in joining NINES, and the project has passed the first three phases, the peer review process formally begins. The UVa group will contact the project director to inquire about the generation for RDF: how difficult would this be, what would be a likely timetable, etc. The current process is that the project director submits RDF, and thereby initiates the peer review sequence. The board Heads secure two reviewers for the project, collect the reviews, and provide a final report and decision to the project director within 2 months; UVa should be copied on this report. The reviewers should evaluate scholarly content and usability, but need not comment on technical details. Meanwhile, the project is put into a staging area in Collex awaiting the outcome of the peer review process.


If the reviews are positive, the project is aggregated into NINES immediately. If negative (amounting to a revise and resubmit), the reports are sent to the project director by the board heads along with summary recommendations for revision. The board heads have final authority as to whether a project should be accepted.