[seqfan] Re: R: Ombudsman needed for OEIS?

Charles Greathouse charles.greathouse at case.edu
Thu Jan 27 19:54:18 CET 2011

I agree with Eric Angelini that the editors shouldn't need to justify
themselves -- they should just do their jobs.  But this is why I think
an ombudsman would be good: if in the course of their editing a good
sequence, comment, or program is lost, the ombudsman can help to get
it recovered.  If such a thing happens it already means that
communication between the author and the editor(s) has broken down, so
a mediateur/umpire/tribvnvs/ombudsman would be useful.  In an ideal
world authors would be understanding when the ombudsman turned them
down (at least they had their second chance) and editors would be
willing to reconsider a sequence or addition from a new light when the
ombudsman thinks they have merit.

But Jean-Paul is right: it would be a difficult job.  We can only hope
that someone will step up to the task, otherwise all this discussion
is moot!

Perhaps we can agree to have a trial period in which we see how the
rôle plays out?  I would be happy to see Neil relieved of the
(apparent) *duty* to fill that position, while recognizing that in
some sense he will always be the Ombudsman of Last Resort (as well as
Editor of Last Resort, etc.).  Similarly, if someone would like to set
it up, I'd be happy to give Peter and Andrew's 'ombudsman-by-forum'
idea a try.

Charles Greathouse
Case Western Reserve University

On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM,  <allouche at math.jussieu.fr> wrote:
> IMHO, and after having read the serious arguments against an ombudsman
> for the OEIS, I would just like to stress on what an ombudsman really
> is. The French corresponding word would be "mediateur": in other words
> an ombudsman is only an external "referee", who does not judge or
> beaks any previous decision, but is someone to whom one can complain
> with the effect that the case might possibly (usually only in a few
> cases) be re-examined: not by the ombudsman! but by the usual "judges".
> And the role of the ombudsman is twofold: someone to complain to, but
> also someone who can SOMETIMES facilitate a second round.
> We all had papers rejected by journals without reasons or with
> obviously wrong reasons, and almost all of us asked for a second
> referee (and sometimes got an impolite answer :-)
> The only real problem I would see is that the ombudsman might be drowned
> by systematically uncontent cranks (sorry for that exagerated word :-)
> but it might be worth it.
> Best
> jean-paul
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