Purpose - The study aims to expand on the concept of an early warning system (EWS) by introducing weak-signal detection, human-in-the-loop (HIL) verification and response tuning as integral parts of an EWS's design.Design/methodology/approach - The authors bibliographically highlight the evolution of EWS over the last 30+ years, discuss instances of EWSs in various types of organizations and industries and highlight limitations of current systems.Findings - Proposed system to be used in the transforming of weak signals to early warnings and associated weak/strong responses.Originality/value - The authors contribute to existing literature by presenting (1) novel approaches to dealing with some of the well-known issues associated with contemporary EWS and (2) an event-agnostic heuristic for dealing with weak signals.


Cerny, Jan;  Potancok, Martin;  Hernandez, Elias Castro

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  • pre-publication peer review (FINAL ROUND)
    Decision Letter


    Dear Černý, Jan; Potančok, Martin; Castro-Hernandez, Elias

    It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript OIR-11-2020-0513.R1, entitled "Toward a Typology of Weak Signal Early Alert Systems: Functional Early Warning Systems in the Post-Covid Age" in its current form for publication in Online Information Review. Please note, no further changes can be made to your manuscript.

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    Prof. Kalpana Shankar

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    Decision letter by
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    Reviewer report

    The authors have addressed my comments in the revised paper and I am happy to recommend its publication in the Online Information Review.

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    Author Response

    Dear Prof. Shankar,

    I would like to thank you for your decision letter. I really appreciate the positive feedback from the reviewer. Together with my co-authors, we have revised the manuscript to include the validation (new section 4.7). Library managers inspected and analysed the proposed model and resulting signals and transformed them into recommended proposals using their tacit knowledge and intuition.

    Together with the additional section, the list of references was updated. All changes are marked by turquoise colour.
    Thank you again for your comments. We have taken into consideration all questions and comments. I would like my name to appear with my report on Publons. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,
    Martin Potančok

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  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter


    Dear Dr. Potančok,

    Manuscript ID OIR-11-2020-0513 entitled "Toward a Typology of Weak Signal Early Alert Systems: Functional Early Warning Systems in the Post-Covid Age" which you submitted to Online Information Review has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewer(s) are included at the bottom of this letter.

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    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to Online Information Review. I look forward to receiving your revision.

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    Prof. Kalpana Shankar

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Major Revision

    The paper presents a conceptual framework of an early warning system (EWS) based on weak signal filtration and human evaluation. In principle, I have no issues with the proposed framework except that its validation remains a question which is not mentioned by the authors. Perhaps the authors may like to report a few experiments to show the validity of their model. This may increase the effectiveness of the proposed scheme for EWS.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper make a significant theoretical, empirical and/or methodological contribution to an area of importance, within the scope of the journal?: Yes

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored? Is the literature review up-to-date? Has relevant material published in Online Information Review been cited?: Yes

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate and fully explained? Have issues of research ethics been adequately identified and addressed?: Yes

    Results: For empirical papers - are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately?: Yes

    Discussion/Argument: Is the relation between any empirical findings and previous work discussed? Does the paper present a robust and coherent argument? To what extent does the paper engage critically with the literature and findings? Are theoretical concepts articulated well and used appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: Yes

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: Requires revision.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the fields and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Yes

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?: Requires revision.

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    Decision letter by
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    Reviewer report

    The paper presents a conceptual framework of an early warning system (EWS) based on weak signal filtration and human evaluation. In principle, I have no issues with the proposed framework except that its validation remains a question which is not mentioned by the authors. Perhaps the authors may like to report a few experiments to show the validity of their model. This may increase the effectiveness of the proposed scheme for EWS.

    Cite this review
All peer review content displayed here is covered by a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.