Non-Blind (Open) and Double-Blind (Closed) Reviewing in IIIS Conferences
The conferences organized by the International Institute of Informatics and Systemics (IIIS) have, in their peer reviewing methodology, three-tier reviews: open (or non-blind), double-blind, and participative reviews. Final acceptance depends of the three kinds of reviews but a paper should be recommended by non-blind reviewers AND blind reviewers in order to be accepted for presentation at the conference and to be included in the respective conference proceedings. A recommendation to accept made by non-blind reviewers is a necessary condition, but it is not a sufficient one. A submission, to be accepted, should also have a majority of its double-blind reviewers recommending its acceptance. This double necessary conditions generate a more reliable and rigorous reviewing than a those reviewing methods based on just one of the indicated methods, or just on the traditional double-blind reviewing.
Double-blind reviewing is done by a random selection of a 3-5 reviewers from the about 20.000 IIIS reviewers who classified their research or expertise field in the same theme, area, or sub-area where the author classified his/her submission. The random selection (made by a computer program) has been conceived in order to avoid any conscious, or un-conscious, bias that might be done by a human being selection of the respective reviewers.
IIIS' non-blind reviewing is based on the essence of what Kaplan (2005, "How to Fix Peer Review", The Scientist, Volume 19, Issue 1, Page 10, Jun. 6) proposed in order to fix peer reviewing problems. Kaplan affirms that "Peer review subsumes two functions. First, peer reviewers attempt to improve manuscripts by offering constructive criticisms about concrete elements … The second function of peer review is to render a decision about the … significance of the findings so that the manuscript can be prioritized for publication. I propose reforming peer review so that the two functions are independent." With regards to the first function of peer reviewing Kaplan proposes that "Review of a manuscript would be solicited from colleagues by the authors. The first task of these reviewers would be to identify revisions that could be made to improve the manuscript. Second, the reviewers would be responsible for writing an evaluation of the revised work. This assessment would be mostly concerned with the significance of the findings, and the reviewers would sign it" (emphasis added).
IIIS tries to achieve the first function via Kaplan's non-blind peer reviewing and the second function by the traditional means of double-blind review. This is why submission acceptance by the non-blind reviewers is a necessary condition but not a sufficient one. The submission should also have favorable recommendations by the majority of the double-blind reviewers in order to be accepted by IIIS for its presentation and inclusion in the respective conference proceedings.
A third reviewing tier is the participative peer reviewing, which complements the two tiers described above but it is not a necessary condition for accepting a submission. An article submitted to a conference being organized by IIIS is immediately displayed for review to those authors who submitted articles in the same theme, area, or sub-area. Accordingly, each submitting author have access to all submission submitted to the same area where he/she submitted his/her article and can comment and evaluate any submitted article to the same area.
This is what is called in IIIS "Participative Peer-to-Peer Reviewing" or PPPR. This kind of reviewing provides additional input to the selection process and assists all participants in placing their presentations in context.. It is not a necessary condition but it has a complementary function, especially in those cases where the non-blind reviewers have a strong disagreement and no majority of recommendations are for accepting or not accepting the respective article.
In some circumstances, component conferences may use a somewhat different approach to selecting blind referees (such as requiring reviews by program committee members), but the general process will remain the same. Invited sessions organizers may have their own reviewing methodology.
As a consequence of the reviewing methodology, briefly described above, we IIIS provides the following notes to authors and reviewers.
Note for Authors
IIIS conferences, together with their component conferences, workshops, and tracks, are inherently a multidisciplinary event with an especial focus on interdisciplinary research and communication. Given the known problems with peer reviewing, and the use of reviewers across a broad scope of disciplines, the conferences use a combination of open (non-blind) and closed (double-blind) reviewing. The open reviews are intended to place the submitted work in the context of its own discipline(s) and specialization, and in the context of the body of work developed by the author(s). We therefore suggest that the open reviewers be individuals knowledgeable in the field, and acquainted with that body of work. It is perfectly acceptable therefore (and even necessary according to David Kaplan), to use research colleagues or friends.
Note for Open Reviewers
IIIS conferences, together with its component conferences, workshops, and tracks, are inherently a multidisciplinary congress with an especial focus on interdisciplinary research. Given the known problems with peer reviewing, and the use of reviewers across a broad scope of disciplines, the conferences use a combination of open (non-blind) and closed (double-blind) reviewing. The open reviews are intended to place the submitted work in the context of its own discipline(s) and specialization, and in the context of the body of work developed by the author(s). We also encourage open reviewers to identify technical or editorial problems, or propose additional references, modifications, extensions, or possibilities for future work. Please take this review seriously-your input will be useful for both the conference and the author(s).