New role? Curriculum developer for journals

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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:57 am

New role? Curriculum developer for journals

Postby mark » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:14 am

I've been thinking about a new role of OJS -- Curriculum Developer. The functionality provided by the role would be for a user to create basic forms of reading/exercise/assessment materials for the other roles. For example, a new Reviewer may be given some reading materials and a quiz to help them know if they've learned what they are supposed to learn for reviewing.

I'm not the only one who has made this point. Beno's et al (ref below) proposed starting an international on-line accreditation program for reviewers. And the British Medical Journal also publishes educational material for their reviewers ( ... -materials)

A Curriculum Develop could make materials to refresh Section Editors, Editors, Journal Managers, etc. An advantage of this is that through the curriculum, people presently working on one role could become increasingly ready and recognized to take on new roles.

While a journal may want to customize curriculum for their journal, some curriculum could be exchanged between journals. For example, science journals may have a unique need for a particular sort of knowledge (e.g., reviewing statistics) compared with humanities journals; or there may be unique issues every Canadian journal would be interested in compared with journals in New Zealand. So journals should be able to exchange the curriculum between journals easily (e.g., import/export feature).

The basics of the feature set would be for a CD to gather curricular material (e.g., pdfs, etc.), build modules, sequence modules into courses, and then specify who can enroll in that course (and have course evaluations). Some modules can be imported from elsewhere while some are custom made by the journal.

The end result would be a scenario like: One day a reviewer logs into the Journal of New Ideas in Medicine and goes to a Curriculum section where he works his way through a set of material on Editing. He learns that some editors provide feedback to reviewers after the review is over and he learns a bit about the unique mandate JNIM has been striving to meet in the last 10 years. After doing this and with a few reviews under his belt, the Reviewer asks the Journal manager if he could become a section editor. That's one scenario.

Would this be more than a plugin? Or is this actually a much more major addition to OJS?


Benos, D., et al,. (2007). The ups and downs of peer review. Advances in Physiology Education, 31 pp.145-152.

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Re: New role? Curriculum developer for journals

Postby asmecher » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:51 pm

Hi Mark,

This is an excellent idea, but one that we are unlikely to be able to develop ourselves, given its scope. It would certainly be possible to write this as a plugin, but I wonder whether or not a search and survey would turn up another open-source tool that provides most of the functions you mention and which it might be possible to integrate into OJS with a minimum of new code.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

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Re: New role? Curriculum developer for journals

Postby mark » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:03 am


I hesitate to look to open source projects beyond because I imagine most would be over kill.

I think much of the code or design patterns are already built into OJS. Think of a Curriculum Developer as creating issues that are accessible to Journal Managers or Editors or Reviewers, or to groups of roles, like Journal Managers + Reviewers, Reviewers + Authors, or All Roles, or Public.

The CD, like an editor, creates an issue with a name like "The Drama of Peer Review", and then populates it with articles (.ppt, .ppt, .doc) and then makes it accessible to a particular audience (e.g. Reviewers+Public). Some of these articles may be written by a member of the journal or it could be a reading list of articles in professional magazines or academic journals. So to this point, the significant feature tweak is to be create a role called Curriculum Developer who can create issues that have accessibility limits that can be set by each journal.

There are some more features that would be needed of course. For example, basic ways for people to provide feedback on the curriculum after going through it or a place where they can express their curricular needs. But application code may already exist (e.g., when reviewers provide comments to author, author/editor).

A second feature would be a way to easily import/export a issue (i.e., curriculum module) so that journals can share/exchange.

And third feature is a way for to support journals to find existing curriculum that has already has been developed by another OJS journal.

Note that in this overall scheme, the actual development of curriculum is left to each journal rather than PKP/OJS.

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Re: New role? Curriculum developer for journals

Postby mark » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:22 pm

If anyone wants to fill in a survey about the idea of a Curriculum Developer role for OJS, there is a survey here:

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