Editors publishing in their own proceedings volume?

Workshops are typically created when researchers feel the need to discuss some new ideas in a specialized community. The proceedings editors of such workshops are a vital part of the community and it makes perfect sense that they have something to contribute, for example research papers.

The very first volume of CEUR-WS.org (KRDB-94) was co-edited by me and I actually also published a paper there. So, I did this in the past. Ir wasn’t my greatest paper I must say.

But times are changing. The number of workshops are growing and I see quite a number of workshops at CEUR-WS.org where a major portion of the published papers are co-authored by one of the editors.

I believe that all such papers are peer-reviewed but still I feel that there is something wrong if editors publish papers in their own proceedings volume.

So my question to the community is: Should we ban such papers in the future?

Cheers: Manfred

  1. Phillip Lord said:

    I would not ban such papers because it would make the CEUR proceedings an inaccurate representation of the workshop. The question should really be, do you think the worshop itself should be banned? Ultimately, this is a question about the peer review of the workshop not the individual paper.

    My own answer to this would be that the CEUR should have a policy rather like arxiv. If it is paper-shaped, and about what the title claims there is no reason that it should not be hosted. However, making sure that it really is a paper, rather than, for example, a fake paper generated by a Science journalist, seems perfectly reasonable.

    Of course, people will try and use a service to up their reference count, and self-hosting a journal or workshop to publish your own research has been done before. But ultimately, it is not your fault that flawed metrics such as “numbers of publications” are widely used.

  2. Thanks Phillip!

    I am aware that workshops require the active contributions of their organizers, at least in the first one or two editions of the workshop.

    I was however wondering whether a workshop that exists since several years should be allowed to have something like 50% of the papers co-authored by one of the workshop organizers. I would think that this requires great care with the peer review.

    I know that papers from PC members of conferences are typically welcome but they would rather not be accepted if they are borderline. Hence, the rules for accepting such papers are a bit stricter to counter any suspicion of collusion. In most conferences, the PC chair would not be expected to submit a paper to his own conference.

    Workshops are much smaller and thus need contributions from the PC and maybe also from the PC chairs.
    Still, if the workshop is mostly about the papers of the PC chairs, then I have doubts on the peer-review process.

    Arxiv accepts any paper, or? We demand peer-review. CEUR-WS is much more like LNCS rather than Arxiv, except that CEUR-WS is totally open and free of cost for the users.

    Cheers: Manfred

  3. I think a possible solution would be to have systematic collection and publication of metadata about peer review – which peer review process was used, how many reviews per paper, etc. This could be provided by a conference management system (such as EasyChair) or self-certified by the conference organizers. Of course, organizers could fake the info in the latter case, but they would then commit a misconduct. We have included collection of such info about peer review to the questionnaire LNCS volume editors fill and are planning to include such data in the Springer LOD repository: lod.springer.com. It would be great if we could come up with a single ontology of such peer-review characteristics.

    • Dear Aliaksander,

      it would be great to agree on a common ontology. If the ontology used by Springer is open, we could just take it over. Our technical editor Christoph Lange has a background in semantic web technologies and should be interested in such questions.

      It could be that certain workshop organizers just do not want to supply such information. Some told me that a publication service such as CEUR-WS.org should focus only on its main service (make proceedings available online) and leave the quality control to the workshop organizers.

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