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Following the discussions in

Area 51 community peer review

and links therein, I have created the following proposal

Mathematics Open Community Reviews

hoping to get things started. The proposal needs at least 5 followers within 3 days to remain alive. I would be very happy for any support.

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    $\begingroup$ I suggest asking permission of Terry Tao (and coauthors as needed) to post links to his recent ArXiv submissions on this forum. You can sell it to him as: (a) he needs only to give assent; you will do all the rest of the work of submission (b) he will get a collection of open reviews which he can choose to incorporate to his blog (or not) (c) if successful, he will get credit for supporting a new and improved process of scientific review. You should come up with a few other selling points. If he responds, consider his feedback. Gerhard "If This Is Worth It..." Paseman, 2019.08.14. $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Paseman Aug 14 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ @GerhardPaseman I would definitely directly ask a number of colleagues for that. The main problem to overcome now is to get 5 supporters(=users that do nothing apart from subscribing to the site) in the next 4 days to keep the proposal alive. $\endgroup$ – Thanasis Stylianou Aug 14 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ @GerhardPaseman Right now one can only post sample question titles (no links etc) and only 5 of them. $\endgroup$ – Thanasis Stylianou Aug 14 at 15:42
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Questions appropriate for a Stack Exchange-style Q&A are on topic for Mathematics SE and MathOverflow. If you would like to experiment with this type of content on MathOverflow, it might be something you can try; but unfortunately, we are not currently accepting proposals for new sites whose core premise is to solicit critique, reviews, or other types of discussion — See http://discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/24050/announcement-sites-soliciting-reviews-recommendations-comparisons-collaborat. Sorry about the confusion.

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    $\begingroup$ Let's see if I can reframe this: community review of science preprints may be a good idea, but is outside the Q&A model and we can't make it fit here on StackOverflow. Is the reason for the nonfit that discussions (no matter how scholarly and well-intentioned) are harder to manage and moderate for acceptable community behaviour? Or is there a better reason for the nonfit? Gerhard "Been NonFitting Since Early 2010" Paseman, 2019.08.14. $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Paseman Aug 14 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ @GerhardPaseman Discussion: not only harder to manage, but explicitly discouraged by the design -- i.e. a system of non-threaded responses which shuffle around based on the user vote, and a comment structure where followup is hidden or disappear in a way not particularly well suited to contribute directly to the main canon. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Aug 14 at 18:25
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed. If Thanasis were able to suggest an alternative that would fit in with the Q&A format, would you (StackExchange) consider it? For example, a question would be a link to a preprint, and a set of answers would be links to reviews possibly on other websites, with discussion, rebuttals, critiques of reviews kept off of the forum and outside the StackExchange Network? Gerhard "Is Looking For A Win-Win" Paseman, 2019.08.14. $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Paseman Aug 14 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertCartaino I see the point. But I would like to mention again that this system works very well over at PO. And to quote Dilaton "..MO would be just fine keeping the normal voting system for the review questions". $\endgroup$ – Thanasis Stylianou Aug 14 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ For people who did not follow the previous discussions, I'll add that PO in the previous comment stands for PhysicsOverflow. physicsoverflow.org/faq#a4807 physicsoverflow.org/answers/refereeing $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 14 at 18:56
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    $\begingroup$ @GerhardPaseman It sounds like a worthwhile project. I would actually like to see more support for this on Stack Exchange. But in our current UI, once you start having to chase folks around constantly re-explaining what you really mean by a "question" and what should be posted as answers and how comments and voting should work, etc, it becomes a poor end-user experience to just about everyone not privy to the extensive support discussions explaining why the UI doesn't fit the content. We've been down this road many times. I hope we can support this someday, but not at this time. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Aug 14 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Robert, I appreciate your response. My takeaway is that your answer is "Yes, we will consider another take, but not to the extent of chasing down users to reexplain what is going on and how to behave." Also "We suspect using the PhysicsOverflow template here will lead to too much chasing, reexplaining, and poor UI and poor UX." Feel free to correct my takeaway. Gerhard "Has Seen Poor UX Here" Paseman, 2019.08.14. $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Paseman Aug 14 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertCartaino I think I am missing the point now. Having a pure scientific peer review site means that the questions are well defined ("please review this"), and answers are standard peer reviews. There must be a group of users acting as editors that moderate the process. No discussion on the article is supposed to follow. Any comments on reviews must only stick to technical details and point out errors that the reviewer has possibly made. Straying away from good practice means that the editor (or the community itself) reacts in a drastic way. The community actually knows how this works. $\endgroup$ – Thanasis Stylianou Aug 14 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Thanasis Have a look around the site tour. Look at the interface for asking a question. The buttons say, "ask a question/add another answer". There's nothing about posting reviews anywhere. The instructions say "We prefer questions that can be answered, not just discussed." Voting would have to be redefined. The help center is entirely wrong, and every close reason from too broad to primarily opinion-based would apply. Yes, we can explain away all the UI inconsistencies to force-fit the tool to fit the content, but without further dev support, that rabbit hole runs very deep $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Aug 14 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertCartaino Is there any way to achieve this support within the SE community? The reason is that I do not think that the project stands any chance unless it is backed up by an already well-organized and active community like MO. Starting from scratch would need an immense recruiting effort that no community members would be able to cope with... $\endgroup$ – Thanasis Stylianou Aug 14 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ I just want to say that I don't think this is a very good idea. Dilaton is not a spokesperson for MO; neither am I of course. But the question has been raised a couple of times, and people have downvoted it. $\endgroup$ – Lucia Aug 14 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ @ThanasisStylianou Submitting a proposal is already predicated on having a community (on SO/SE or elsewhere) organized and ready to support the idea, so that's already policy explicitly required by our process. The Community Team has wrangled with hundreds of these ideas over many many years, but we ultimately resolved to stop pursuing these out-of-band SE sites until we have the backing from Engineering to support alternate content types. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Aug 14 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia This is true. But all discussions about community peer reviews have only been upvoted and I haven't read about an argument against it. So I suppose that although people support this idea, they do not want to have it realized here. By the way, could you please elaborate on why you think that this is not a good idea? $\endgroup$ – Thanasis Stylianou Aug 15 at 3:37
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It appears there exists a widely used (and sponsored) platform:

openreview.net

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