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    Reviewer A

    This article has many errors and much (badly!) plagiarised text, and it is unfinished. I imagined maybe it'd get better. It's hard to review something that's a draft, without any obvious handover. Either one has to abandon the idea of refereeing/reviewing, or one has to devise a modified wiki mechanism so peer activity (aka peer review) still works - in all reviewing I've done, it's at least depended on the author's roughly finishing and polishing the arguments.

    Here, I felt it a waste of my time to contribute as a referee; it was also a waste of time to offer to co-author. In normal refereeing, the author has generally finished the work, and put some effort in. What I read was a mess.


    It is difficult to respond to a review that is so non-specific in its condemnation. Any professional quality review gives examples and specifics of the deficiencies that it claims to have identified.

    This is the most complete history and explanation of the autostereogram ever published. Unless the reviewer can provide specifics, I have no option but to ignore the comments.

    Reviewer A

    Well, I was emailed draft anonymous text for this article, with no wiki-context. When I saw it, I thought it wasn't ready to be reviewed. In my '''email''' above back to the editor, I was trying not to review it, not trying to provide a hateful review in this wiki back to the author(s) or to anybody else who cared to look. In any conventional sense, the article when I was sent it was not ready to be formally reviewed, whether or not the author(s) may have been ready for collaboration (through the wiki or otherwise).

    What I was sent made Steven Pinker's text simple plagiarism; now, it's a bit more clear in the wiki format, but it's still bad because it isn't clear what Steve actually said and what the author(s) of the wiki say(s).

    This is now Chinese whispers; if authors are not quoted properly, ideas gradually shift and the original author is credited or blamed with the consequences. With such a large body of text, Steve should be quoted correctly (ideally with edition and page numbers, or URIs), with any commentary from the current authors made clear. Or the current authors can write what they believe to be true, and cite Steve rather than lift text from him.

    Now, obviously, if I've got the right edit permissions, I can contribute and do something much more constructive! However, I haven't read Steve's book, and I think there is an obligation on the original quoting author(s) to be clearer on the attributions, if not the copyright issues. If the authors include Steve Pinker, that's fine, but then that authorship too should be clear.

    Harold Thimbleby, [1]


    I still think that it is very strange to react in such a condemnatory fashion. It seemed to me very much in the cooperative spirit of the wiki concept to include a fully attributed description from another author. I did so with both the permission and the blessing of the author (Pinker) as the fuller attribution now makes clear. I felt that his description was both a model of clarity and able to make points that would have seemed self-serving coming from me, as the inventor. I hope that these changes resolve the issue.


    The ? after Editor in the title is because, since late 2011, I am no longer a Scholarpedia editor. I was at the time I recruited Dr Tyler to write this article.

    Dr Thimbleby is right. I felt that the original version of the article was not ready for publication. The borrowed text was a model of clarity but the rest was rather complicated--not suitable for an encyclopedia. I also recruited another reviewer, but despite numerous prompts, that reviewer failed to deliver a review. I will try to recruit another to bring some closure to this article (although I may not be able to do so, because of not being an editor), but in the meantime I thought I should weigh in with my thoughts, for whatever they are worth.

    Dr Thimbleby is also right about his sending me an e-mail in which he begged to he relieved of his reviewing duties. Nevertheless, I felt his reaction gave useful feedback, and I imposed on him to provide it here. I am sorry it upset Dr Tyler.

    I've made a pass through the original text to give my interpretation of some of the more complicated parts. I may well have been mistaken in most, and failed to clarify in the remainder. I do know that Dr Tyler can write prose that is simple and lucid, and even, occasionally poetic. I hope he will do so.

    Robert P. O'Shea, Southern Cross University


    I resumed work on this article on 31 Dec 2013 as some sort of editor (an Emeritus Editor?). I made further changes to the text and tried again, with Tyler's help, to encourage the tardy reviewer to submit a review. Over the next couple of months, Tyler added another section to the article, Geometry of the Autostereogram. I also asked another expert whether he or she would be willing to review the article. That person said yes and gave some initial impressions of the article. This reviewer was also troubled by the section containing the extended quotation of Pinker (1997), saying it was unnecessary. I let Tyler know about this, but he opted to retain the quotation. The tardy reviewer finally approved the article, I did some final copyediting, and now it is ready to be published.

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