FTCOR Rules of Engagement

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The JPE is pilot testing an innovative, fully transparent, cooperative, open review (FTCOR) process. All those who are participating in this process are asked to conduct themselves according to the following rules of engagement:

  1. Everyone involved in the JPE’s FTCOR process is expected to uphold the core values of the JPE: collegiality/community, honesty, integrity, the principle of charity, rigorous scholarship, clarity of content
  2. Everyone involved in the JPE’s FTCOR process is expected to respect every other participants’ time and to respond to other participants in a timely manner.
  3. Everyone involved in the JPE’s FTCOR process is expected to respect the JPE’s time by following the designated FTCOR Guide & Timeline. However, please note that the JPE understands that life happens and sometimes deadlines are missed. So the JPE asks that in such cases a notification is sent to all the other participants, and hopefully they will be willing and able to make appropriate accommodations. If necessary, either an editorial team member or associate editor will assist in negotiating accommodations among the participants after a notification has been sent to everyone by the relevant party.
  4. Everyone involved is asked to focus on ensuring that clarity between the author and the reviewer, regarding the contents of a manuscript’s review, is reached during the 10-day open discussion phase of the FTCOR process. This is the primary aim of this phase of the FTCOR process. Please note that ‘clarity’ is not synonymous with ‘agreement.’ The goal is to ensure that the reviewer understood the intent of the author’s article and that the author understood the intent of the reviewer’s comments.
  5. Everyone involved in the FTCOR process is asked to be open-minded and to actively practice the principle of charity by attempting to see things from the other participants’ perspectives.
  6. Everyone involved in the FTCOR process is asked to help establish clear communication and understanding not only by asking any relevant questions they have but also by clearly communicating their questions. One potential strategy for doing so is to first offer a short summary of what one believed was communicated by another person, and then follow-up with a question. For some more advice on “How to Criticize with Kindness,” follow the link to Maria Popova’s short article in BrainPickings.
  7. Everyone involved in the FTCOR process is asked to clearly communicate in the relevant FTCOR Forum “topic” session any relevant actions they have taken. E.g., once an author has read through their review, the author should communicate this fact by appropriately posting a comment in the relevant forum session or if an associate editor has a deadline in mind, the associate editor should communicate this deadline to the other participants by making a similarly appropriate post.

Comments to Authors and Potential Authors

The JPE understands that the FTCOR process is a difficult process for many academics. Opening oneself to the possibility of public scrutiny is always a difficult thing to do. As academics, however, it is an aspect of our profession to do so. As academics, we must be able to learn to overcome our fears of public scrutiny and to regard reasonable criticism as an opportunity to grow as professional academics.

The JPE invites authors and potential authors who are hesitant about the FTCOR process to survey the manuscripts that are currently being open reviewed. For the majority of academics, publishing is a labor of love. It is a difficult process that requires a significant amount of time and dedication (including lots of revisions before submitting an article to a journal).

The JPE also hopes to protect authors from being harmed by potential implicit or explicit biases, and the lack of clear communication, by opening the review process to the possibility of public scrutiny. The JPE believes that doing so will encourage self-awareness, and thus self-policing, and thereby discourage retaliation. If, however, authors believe they have been a target of backlash from the FTCOR process, we ask that they let us know by completing the FTCOR Backlash Report. We will make note of the actual or potential incident of backlash and take them under consideration during the evaluation phase of the FTCOR pilot test.

Comments to Reviewers, Potential Reviewers, Editorial Staff Members, and Potential Editorial Staff Members

The JPE aims to address some of the problems that have been associated with traditional blinded review processes (e.g., reviewer’s implicit biases, inappropriate comments, and unreasonable expectations) by employing the FTCOR process. The JPE believes that the FTCOR process can help resolve some of these problems by pre-empting such practices through its self-policing strategy, shedding light on such practices, and exonerating wrongly accused parties through the FTCOR process. If such problems do in fact exist, they can be addressed only after they have been brought to light and acknowledged. The JPE hopes that the FTCOR process can do so, and in doing so, that it can help restore some of the faith in academia that has been lost through either actual or perceived unethical academic practices.