Our new BIES Interactive Forum allows readers to submit a comment on articles published in the journal Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies. Other readers—as well as the original authors—are free to make additional contributions to the debate. With this innovation in academic journal publishing we hope to involve our readers more actively in the dissemination and discussion of the fruits of academic research on the Indonesian economy. Not only are they able to read papers that report such research, but they are able to add to it, constructively criticise it, propose alternative perspectives, and so on. In this way, the Forum becomes a truly interactive debate, bringing together authors, readers and other experts in the field, in a way not previously possible.
Comments can be submitted on any article as soon as it has appeared, and are published as soon as they have been approved by the forum moderator. Moreover, readers can be quickly updated on every new comment through the automatic RSS feed mechanism. There is no limit to the number of comments that can be published.
The Forum is moderated by the editor of BIES, with the assistance of members of the editorial and international advisory boards. The objective of moderation is to maintain appropriately high standards of academic discourse. Comments may have a different tone and allow for more spontaneous response than in published, refereed articles, but must move the debate forward in a positive way, and be readily comprehensible. All comments posted will be archived and permanently citable.
It has always been open to readers to submit comments on previously published articles, but in print such material could not be published until the following issue, and it was rare for more than one comment to appear. In fact, the practice of serious debate engendered by letters to the editor has almost disappeared in most journals, for a variety of reasons. We hope that the Forum will stimulate the re-emergence of this collaborative dialogue to the benefit of the whole journal community—authors and readers alike—participants, all.