Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Thu, 2 Sep 1999 05:44:02 -0400 (EDT)

Sorry if I'm a little late in putting my two cents in, but ...

On Wed, 4 Aug 1999 (when I was sailing on Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound,
if I recall correctly), Alfredo wrote:

> *****************************************************************
> (1) STRATEGIC ISSUES We are in favour of OPE-L starting a series of
> e-publications. If we start a journal, the proposed title is Online
> Political Economy (OPE). <snip>
> *Question:* Should we start a journal or a discussion paper series?
> Unless we can solve these problems, the best alternative is probably to
> start a refereed discussion paper series <snip>

There is in my mind _only 1_ major issue: do we have enough people on the
list who are willing to actively participate in one way or another? The
more volunteers we have, the more a journal is workable: the less
volunteers there are, the more a discussion paper series becomes a

Am I being simplistic?

> 1. Online Political Economy (OPE) is owned and edited by Online Political
> Economy (OPE-L), a closed electronic list. The editorial board of OPE
> includes all OPE-L list-members.

OPE-L (i.e. the current list) stands for "Outline in Political Economy".
Nonetheless, "Online Political Economy" sounds like a catchy and simple
name for the journal (or discussion paper series).

> <snip> We can then have a separate
> www.ope-l.org/archives page for the list archives, which would require a
> username and password.

The current www archives, hosted at Iwao Kitamura's site, does _not_
require a username or password. That used to be the case when we had a
archives only accessible to listmembers. Now anyone can access the
archives so long as they agree to adhere to the list policy about
citations. Let's keep it that way and not regress to the old system.

> (b) We need technical and design resources to produce our pages. Allin has
> agreed to work on this, but he may need help. There is a lot to be done! If
> we decide to go ahead, we will need more volunteers.

That's what it all comes down to. Alfredo, Allin, and Paul C (please
excuse me if I unintentionally omitted anyone) have put a lot of thought,
work, and time into this proposal. We should all be grateful for their
effort. They functioned together in the best spirit of OPE-L as a
collaborative project. Nonetheless, more volunteers _are_ needed. And we
need to work better as a list at coming to a timely agreement (aye or
nay) about proposals.

FWIW (for what it's worth), my position is:

a) if we have "enough" volunteers, let's start the journal.

b) if we can't start a journal at this time, let's start a discussion
paper series with the intention of moving towards a journal at some point
in the future.

c) If we don't have even enough volunteers for a discussion paper series,
then we need to think anew about other possibilities for expanding
communication and encouraging research.

In solidarity, Jerry