Frequently Asked Questions (General)
Do ETAI Articles Count as Being Published?Yes, if an article has been accepted after refereeing, then it has passed the same quality requirements as in any of the best journals in the area. Provided that your promotion committee or research sponsor looks at the actual quality of your publications and the medium where they were published, and not only at historical prestige factors, ETAI articles must certainly count even today. Please click here for more information about how publishing, reviewing, and refereeing works in our system, and about the advantages of using it.
We are taking active measures to explain the strengths and the quality requirements of the ETAI scheme to those who evaluate research results.
How is the Colloquium Related to the ETAI?The Colloquium is an additional service on top of the basic publication scheme provided by ETAI, and is organized within one of ETAI's areas. In fact, the ETAI is a confederation of several areas within Artificial Intelligence, each of which has its own Area Editor, its own Editorial Committee, and so on. All areas share a common publication scheme for research articles, characterized by free on-line availability of articles, posteriori reviewing, and a distinction between public review discussion and confidential refereeing.
Why Do You Think This Will Work in the Long Run?The following things are very important in the communication of research results:
Who will wish to lose friends by writing public reviews?The problem is much smaller than you might think. In conventional journal reviewing, a critical review can be very damaging, because it delays the publication of the paper, thereby creating the risk that the author loses the priority (and the result) altogether. In our system, the author already has the publication date when the paper was published; noone can take that away from him or her. Therefore, it becomes much easier to see a critical review for what it is: a way of helping the author to improve the paper.
Besides, voluntarily writing a public review for someone else's paper shows that you consider that paper to be of importance. It should be seen as a supportive act, not as an aggression. A paper that inspires several people to write statements both for and against it is certainly much more interesting than a paper that doesn't.
Won't this system result in the publication of an avalanche of low-grade papers?No, because of self-control. The key point is that an article which has been published can not later be withdrawn by the author. If he has put it on the market, it's going to be with him for life.
Consequently, a researcher who publishes a number of papers of insufficient quality will find that his CV lists all those mistakes as papers that were published but never accepted. This will certainly weigh against him at promotion time, since it indicates a lack of sound judgement. Consequently, it is in the best interest of researchers to exercise self-control.
One of the buttons at the bottom of ETAI:s main web page gives access to the list of articles per author. These lists will be set up so that they include all articles that this author has published through the ETAI system, also showing their acceptance status (accepted, rejected, pending).
In traditional journals, the author (and the author's advisor) has the possibility of delegating responsibility to the journal editor or conference program committee. "We can always send in that paper and see what happens, at least we'll get some feedback". Such thinking is not very much punished in the present system; it will be in the system used by ETAI.
Certainly, all those senior researchers who feel the burden of reviewing large numbers of research papers, many of them of insufficient quality, and observing that all of this is accounted for as "service to the community" will welcome a development towards more self-control, fewer papers to reject, and consequently -- higher acceptance rates. In fact, the present situation that we have conferences with an 80% rejection rate should be an indication that something is wrong in the present system, and not merely be quoted as a reason for pride in the quality of those conferences.
Who Can Use This System?
Research contributions within any current ETAI area are welcome to the respective area. Research within AI which does not belong to any of the ETAI areas can not be received by the ETAI - all contributions go through the area editors.
The operation of the present Colloquium depends heavily on software support for generating the web pages and E-mail messages that carry and contain the information. If you are thinking of setting up a similar communication system for another area of research, within or outside AI, you may be interested in obtaining access to this support software. It is freely available - but be