Democracy breaks out on message board webmaster demands recount

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Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers

Member
Phil,

Sometimes a thread, um, digresses into general "chatting" between folks on the Board. What about setting up a "General Chit-Chat" Folder, for threads which refer only indirectly to Titanic?

Regards,
Paul.
 
Maureen Zottoli

Maureen Zottoli

Member
Dear David Brown,

As a person who ends up writing ALOT in my day to day work, I can fully appreciate what you are saying about a "Peer Review" being quite helpful. But unfortuantely I can also see what Inger is talking about as well regarding many experts with all kinds of views.

But one serious thing that I woould take to someone involved in Copyright laws and that is first if you were to get input from folks especially anonymously, one could not provide proper credit. But also, you may wish to chcek out copyright laws regarding publication. If you send a letter or email to someone, does it become their property to do with what they want? For youyr own protection and others, I would recommend checking on that. Maybe there are others who actually know this stuff?

But I do think that it is a very good concept. Maybe something like a "reading room" where folks who wish to can "volunteer" by filling out a form with experince, skills and references. Authors can say reach into the pool and request say 2-3 "volunteers" to read and comment on their work with perhaps no expectation of payment but inclusion in credits or nothing at all if the volunteer so desires.

Some people can get a writing person motivated. Others can tear apart and help to contruct. Yet, others are exceptionally good at editing. These traits can be used at all phases of writing.

Just some thoughts.
Maureen.
PS- BTW Phil, I really like the new titles.
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
Maureen--

Copyright remains with the writer unless assigned. Ownership of the letter (a snail mail piece) resides with the recipient. Presumably, the same dichotomy would be applied to an e-mail posting.

Under current law, copyright originates with the creation of "the work." An author does not need to file copyright papers to have rights to his work. Filing copyright allows the author to collect damages for infringement.

Ideas are not copyrightable as such. For instance, I suggested in my book that Titanic ran over an underwater ice shelf and not into the side of the iceberg. My words describing this idea have been copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission. But, someone else can say the same thing in her own words without copyright infringement.

Thus, an author can take concepts or ideas from others and write them in her own words without violating copyright.

There is a more likely source of problems. Let me illustrate with a current situation. Parks Stephenson has told me some of his research which contradicts something in my book. I have agreed not to use his findings until after he publishes them. But, I would not be violating his copyright to go to his sources and write my own words describing Parks' research and conclusions. Obviously, such an act would be violation of a personal trust. So, I plan to leave my text as-is in any future editions until Parks publishes. At that point, I can properly cite his conclusions with the appropriate attribution.

Other than personal honor, there is no practicable way to prevent one person from using another's ideas. This situation exist currently, although the informal nature of the postings hides it from view. Just as any other writer, I am quite free to read through the postings for ideas that I can later develop in my own words.

After reading the posts on this web site I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people have specific knowledge about very narrow portions of the story. I think we need to promote the publication of this knowledge in a more formal manner that would be acceptable to the academic crowd. Right now, if I were to write another Titanic book, I could not cite much of the most valuable information posted here because it is not presented in an authoritative manner with attribution, etc. What I'm seeking is a way for the many part-time researchers on this site to get proper credit for what they have done.

Talk of copyright always preceeds discussion of money. Don't expect much from this sort of research. If you divide what I've earned from my book by the four year time it took to write, I've made wages of 42.7 cents per hour!

By the way, "publication" is a word with a very broad definition. It obviously means books and magazine articles, but also messages like this one on a web site.

-- David G. Brown
 
G

Gavin Murphy

Guest
David,

As a modest writer of sorts, I like the idea of a peer review. I always dread publishing something without a second set of eyes on same. I don't know how it would work, but in principle I like it.

As for copyright, that is a v. complex area. I think you are generally right, although there has been case law in UK saying as regards copyright and letters, that the paper belongs to the recipient and the words belong to the author, thereby maintaining the traditional notion of copyright remaining with the creator of the work. There is no assignment of the words. I would assume that principle would have some application in USA too, but I don't know to what extent. It would certainly be persuasive in Canada and Australia.

Hope this helps.

G
 
Maureen Zottoli

Maureen Zottoli

Member
David, I work for the US Federal Governement and therefore my words aren;t even worth two cents or copyrightable. So at 42.7 cents an hour, that's a wind fall!

I see myself as an encourager of sorts. I see some talent here on the board and when someone gets stuck, I like to give them that little push. But I am no Titanic writer. But I have no problem encouraging others with talent to write. My comment on the copyright stuff was just a thought. You know much more than I do on the topic. Thanks for sharing with me.

Maureen.
 
Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
As an experiment I have set up a separate user group called "Peer Review Group" and a separate discussion area "Work in Progress".

How do you want it to work

*** Is it moderated - i.e. posts are approved before being published.
*** Is one person nominated as moderator or do we have multiple moderators.
*** Is anonymous posting allowed?
*** Can the discussion area be viewed by anyone or only members of the Peer Review Group?

Let's thrash out these issues and then see if it works.

Phil
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Hi Phil, as peer reveiw is the idea, I can't see going for anonymous postings. The peer reveiw group needs to know whose work they're reveiwing, and the author of the work certainly has a right to know who is saying what about his or her work, and what their qualifications are.

Besides, if a posting is anonymous, how is the author to know if the reveiwer is even qualified to make any observations at all?

Moderators; If one is called for, I would see going for only one and at that to keep the peace...especially if the topic is controversial like salvage or the dreaded Californian thing. We all know how touchy those two issues are.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
I seem to have put my foot in my mouth over this peer review business. My failure to jump in again on this subject is the result of my being quite distracted by my current Great Lakes storm project. However, I will attempt to create a few moments of spare time during which I will attempt to explain in greater detail some of my thoughts.

In other words...stay tuned while I change feet.

-- David G. Brown
 
Maureen Zottoli

Maureen Zottoli

Member
Dear Phil, thanks for coming up with this forum for discussion on this.

A Peer Review is seen by different people in different ways. But in my line of work, a peer reviewing process can offer an author the chance without personal criticism to obtain techical topic area, functional area and editorial feedback regarding a work that is either complete as in a final draft or as a work in progress type of document. But knowledge of who the person is is absolutely critical for this to work. Anonymous comments may be as Standart has said, from someone who is not expert in this field.

It is therefore my opinion that the area where this is located be open only to those who have 1) technical expertise in the area of topic being written about, 2) functional expertise, and/or 3)editorial experience.

For example, if I were writing a document on say Lusy, technical experts could be Geoff, Michael Pirior and Randy would people I would use. Functional experts maybe Standart, Wood, Brown, Gittins, and Parks. Editing experts.....Phil!

For controversial topics, I believe that having 2 people for each side to an issue and then a neutral facilitator is essential.

Only the Peers and the author should have access during the Peer Review process. Perhaps a public forum for members only when the article or book is actually published would be interesting to review later on to see what was considered. And the section that was reviewed on the ET Board.

Offering David Brown to have my philosophy on wheel turning may be the thrill of his lifetime, but it may not be appliable to anything real. It also may be dangeroud to all of those on the sea. (giggles) So having me as a technical expert on anything to do with shiphandling would be futile; however, as a form and format person, I could be of help.

Just some thoughts. Phil, you yourself have experienced theft of your words and site by others. I really feel that if this is going to work that it must be people that you can trust and who are "professional'-like in their handling of these works.

Just my humble opinion.
Maureen.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Hmmmmmm...I don't know that I'd call myself a functional expert in much of anything. I have quite a bit of practical experience in seafaring, specifically on warships, but there can often be a wide gulf between knowing how to do something...standing a watch at the helm for example...and actually understanding how and why it all works.

Still, if there's some way I can help, let me know. I'll be glad to pitch in.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Maureen Zottoli

Maureen Zottoli

Member
A practical expert to me is what a functional expert is.

If I were to write :"The Lusy sank slowly due to a pleebe on the left coast of the port bow."

Randy and Geoff could help me out with my fantasy issues regarding the technical aspects of Lusy's sinking. They are the technical experts regarding her and her sinking.

You on the other hand are well versed in ships and could clear up my navigational problems, like left coast of port bow and stuff like that. But you could do that for a story I write on the USS Cole or the Nimitz for that matter. You have performed the function of a shiphandler, you do not need to be an expert of the exact ship in question.

The editor does not need to be a shipping expert nor an expert on the topic. They are only there to wordsmith and that is it.

I think that you would be a great functional expert Michael. Many people here really respect you a lot. People that you would be surprised to know that really look up to you.(Not me, but other people. Giggles! No accounting for taste. he he)

maureen.
 
Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
Reindexing the board seems to have sent things awry. A few messages from the 9th and 10th have gone astray. Sorry about that, if you wouldn't mind all resetting your watches back 24 hrs everything will be alright.
 
J

Jonathon Jedd

Guest
Oh no! I'd just posted the definitive treatise on the Californian, and have no notes! ;-)
 
Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
I knew that would happen!
Happy
 
Maureen Zottoli

Maureen Zottoli

Member
Happy


Okay Phil, President Taft said it was lonely at the top. But I still think you should write a book. We'll all Peer Review it for you!
Happy


g'day to you Sir!
Maureen.
 
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