Peer Review History

Original SubmissionJune 14, 2019
Decision Letter - Jennifer Edmond, Editor

PONE-D-19-16978

Structural patterns for transmedia storytelling

PLOS ONE

Dear Mr Javanshir,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to PLOS ONE. After careful consideration, we feel that it has merit but does not fully meet PLOS ONE’s publication criteria as it currently stands. Therefore, we invite you to submit a revised version of the manuscript that addresses the points raised during the review process.

==============================

Dear Mr Javanshir,

Many thanks for your submission to the PLOS One 'Science of Stories' collection. As you can see from the attached reviews, a lot of value was found in your work, but also some flaws. On this basis, I am recommending it for potential acceptance pending major revisions. In particular, it seems to me that the following are the most crucial areas for improvement:

1. Your theoretical foundation has a number of significant gaps in it, something all three reviewers noted in different ways, in particular Reviewer 2.

2. The layout and construction of your central argument is based on a perhaps too large sample to be presented as you have chosen to do so.

3. A thorough copy editing is needed.

I hope you will consider revising your article for resubmission.

With every good wish.

Jennifer Edmond, Academic Editor

==============================

We would appreciate receiving your revised manuscript by Oct 18 2019 11:59PM. When you are ready to submit your revision, log on to https://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/ and select the 'Submissions Needing Revision' folder to locate your manuscript file.

If you would like to make changes to your financial disclosure, please include your updated statement in your cover letter.

To enhance the reproducibility of your results, we recommend that if applicable you deposit your laboratory protocols in protocols.io, where a protocol can be assigned its own identifier (DOI) such that it can be cited independently in the future. For instructions see: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/submission-guidelines#loc-laboratory-protocols

Please include the following items when submitting your revised manuscript:

  • A rebuttal letter that responds to each point raised by the academic editor and reviewer(s). This letter should be uploaded as separate file and labeled 'Response to Reviewers'.
  • A marked-up copy of your manuscript that highlights changes made to the original version. This file should be uploaded as separate file and labeled 'Revised Manuscript with Track Changes'.
  • An unmarked version of your revised paper without tracked changes. This file should be uploaded as separate file and labeled 'Manuscript'.

Please note while forming your response, if your article is accepted, you may have the opportunity to make the peer review history publicly available. The record will include editor decision letters (with reviews) and your responses to reviewer comments. If eligible, we will contact you to opt in or out.

We look forward to receiving your revised manuscript.

Kind regards,

Jennifer Edmond, Ph.D.

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Journal requirements:

When submitting your revision, we need you to address these additional requirements.

1. Please ensure that your manuscript meets PLOS ONE's style requirements, including those for file naming. The PLOS ONE style templates can be found at

http://www.journals.plos.org/plosone/s/file?id=wjVg/PLOSOne_formatting_sample_main_body.pdf and http://www.journals.plos.org/plosone/s/file?id=ba62/PLOSOne_formatting_sample_title_authors_affiliations.pdf

2. In order to meet the requirements for the Science of Stories collection, the Guest Editors ask that you please make the code to reproduce your analysis available in a stable, public repository (for example, Zenodo, or GitHub) or a suitable cloud computing service (such as Code Ocean) when submitting your revised manuscript. The code should include a license file and detailed readme so that someone with access to the dataset is able to reproduce your analysis using the code. We ask that you include the DOI for the repository holding your code in an updated Data Availability statement with your revised manuscript.

3. Please expand the acronym “EPSRC” (as indicated in your financial disclosure) so that it states the name of your funders in full.

This information should be included in your cover letter; we will change the online submission form on your behalf.

4. Please ensure that you refer to Figures 3 to 20 in your text as, if accepted, production will need this reference to link the reader to the figures.

5. We note you have included a table to which you do not refer in the text of your manuscript. Please ensure that you refer to Tables 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in your text; if accepted, production will need this reference to link the reader to the Tables.

6. Please include captions for your Supporting Information files at the end of your manuscript, and update any in-text citations to match accordingly. Please see our Supporting Information guidelines for more information: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/supporting-information.

[Note: HTML markup is below. Please do not edit.]

Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

The manuscript must describe a technically sound piece of scientific research with data that supports the conclusions. Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls, replication, and sample sizes. The conclusions must be drawn appropriately based on the data presented.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Partly

Reviewer #3: Yes

**********

2. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: No

Reviewer #3: N/A

**********

3. Have the authors made all data underlying the findings in their manuscript fully available?

The PLOS Data policy requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception (please refer to the Data Availability Statement in the manuscript PDF file). The data should be provided as part of the manuscript or its supporting information, or deposited to a public repository. For example, in addition to summary statistics, the data points behind means, medians and variance measures should be available. If there are restrictions on publicly sharing data—e.g. participant privacy or use of data from a third party—those must be specified.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

Reviewer #3: Yes

**********

4. Is the manuscript presented in an intelligible fashion and written in standard English?

PLOS ONE does not copyedit accepted manuscripts, so the language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. Any typographical or grammatical errors should be corrected at revision, so please note any specific errors here.

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

Reviewer #3: Yes

**********

5. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about dual publication, research ethics, or publication ethics. (Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #1: The paper is clear and proposes a useful framework that is demonstrated through 20 examples. There were some in-text citations missing for the example narratives, some misspelled names (e.g., McCluhan), and lack of consistency of capitalisation and italics for the names of titles and the identified patterns. There is also a lack of consistently referring to the “case studies” in the beginning of the paper vs “examples” at the end. Two scholars that have worked on narrative structures and patterns that could be referenced and used as a basis to differentiate this work are Espen Aarseth’s Game Variable Analysis Model and Marie-Laure Ryan’s “Narratives as Virtual Reality 2” book which includes several examples of narrative structures/models.

More explanation of how the authors came up with the terminology for the different patterns (e.g., more stories, portmanteau, and subsidiary) would help contextualise them further and aid other researchers in identifying the same patterns in their own case studies. The authors could add some signposting or introductory paragraphs to contextualise the overall broad patterns that were found and the wider implications of these patterns for future studies.

In the section “6 forms of transmedia storytelling” the authors further explain the narrative patterns in the case studies. It would help solidify the arguments if these sections were integrated with each case study’s graphical pattern rather than as its own separate section at the end so that the reader does not have to scroll back and forth and the rationale and identified pattern would be clearly reinforced.

Reviewer #2: Overall I admire and appreciate what the authors are trying to do here. They are right that the term transmedia is broad and takes on different meanings in different concepts. More consistent language could therefore the valuable. The article is well written and clearly structured, with some useful terms.

However, I cannot help but feel that the authors are overlooking a vast amount of recent research into transmedia studies that does some of this work for them. The authors rely on understandings of transmedia from 2006-2009, but ignores almost everything else. Transmedia studies has done much work since then, employing all kinds of new terms, models and approaches. For example, look at:

- Susana Tosca and Lisbeth Klastrup's work

- Matthew Freeman's work

- Routledge Companion to Transmedia Studies

- Elizabeth Evans' work

- Renira Rampazzo Gambarato's work

All of these, and others, have developed new models and terms re transmedia, and these should be acknowledged if the author's aims are genuine and to be of significance. Without engaging with this work, the the article feels outdated - though admirable in its intent.

The other issue, for me, is the number of case studies. 20 is surely too many for qualitative analysis, which leaves very little room for detailed analysis. Perhaps more of a quantitative approach would be better? In fact, very little research in transmedia studies takes a quantitative approach, so this would make it more original.

Reviewer #3: This article deals with an original analysis of Transmedia productions and strategies, offering new methodologies and a pattern which could easily be reproduced.

The methodology is well described and we can easily follow the arguments of the authors throughout the article.

The authors used different cas studies, allowing them to draw some conclusions and provide a relevant pattern.

We would have liked to have a final table at the end of the article, presenting a summary of the projects and findings. It could help the reading.

The authors should give their own definition of Transmedia storytelling and Transmedia projects, since the case studies they have chosen to use in this article do not match Jenkins' seminal definition.

There are still some mistakes and misspellings in the text.

**********

6. PLOS authors have the option to publish the peer review history of their article (what does this mean?). If published, this will include your full peer review and any attached files.

If you choose “no”, your identity will remain anonymous but your review may still be made public.

Do you want your identity to be public for this peer review? For information about this choice, including consent withdrawal, please see our Privacy Policy.

Reviewer #1: Yes: Nicole Basaraba

Reviewer #2: No

Reviewer #3: Yes: Melanie Bourdaa

[NOTE: If reviewer comments were submitted as an attachment file, they will be attached to this email and accessible via the submission site. Please log into your account, locate the manuscript record, and check for the action link "View Attachments". If this link does not appear, there are no attachment files to be viewed.]

While revising your submission, please upload your figure files to the Preflight Analysis and Conversion Engine (PACE) digital diagnostic tool, https://pacev2.apexcovantage.com/. PACE helps ensure that figures meet PLOS requirements. To use PACE, you must first register as a user. Registration is free. Then, login and navigate to the UPLOAD tab, where you will find detailed instructions on how to use the tool. If you encounter any issues or have any questions when using PACE, please email us at figures@plos.org. Please note that Supporting Information files do not need this step.

Revision 1

1. Grammar - We have edited the document to fix grammar and spelling mistakes. (Reviewer 1, Reviewer 2, Reviewer 3)

2. References and Background – We have updated our background section to include more context to our research, and further related work. (Reviewer 1)

3. Signposting – We have expanded our introductory paragraph in section 5 to provide more signposting for the reader. (Reviewer 1)

4. Integrate section 6 with case studies – We felt that this would in fact make the reading much harder, and would risk talking about the same things twice. Our findings in section 6 are grouped according to the forms of the case studies. (Reviewer 1)

5. Table – We have added a table in section 6 to summarise our findings (Reviewer 3).

6. Definitions – We have included more background literature for definitions, and included our own (Reviewer 3).

7. Case study amount – We feel that we needed at least this amount to be able to identify the patterns that we did. Our objective was not to do a detailed qualitative analysis, but rather a structural analysis of how these experiences operate. (Reviewer 2)

Attachments
Attachment
Submitted filename: Response_to_Reviewers.docx
Decision Letter - Jennifer Edmond, Editor

Structural Patterns for Transmedia Storytelling

PONE-D-19-16978R1

Dear Dr. Javanshir,

We are pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been judged scientifically suitable for publication and will be formally accepted for publication once it complies with all outstanding technical requirements.

Within one week, you will receive an e-mail containing information on the amendments required prior to publication. When all required modifications have been addressed, you will receive a formal acceptance letter and your manuscript will proceed to our production department and be scheduled for publication.

Shortly after the formal acceptance letter is sent, an invoice for payment will follow. To ensure an efficient production and billing process, please log into Editorial Manager at https://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/, click the "Update My Information" link at the top of the page, and update your user information. If you have any billing related questions, please contact our Author Billing department directly at authorbilling@plos.org.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please notify them about your upcoming paper to enable them to help maximize its impact. If they will be preparing press materials for this manuscript, you must inform our press team as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours after receiving the formal acceptance. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information, please contact onepress@plos.org.

With kind regards,

Jennifer Edmond, Ph.D.

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Additional Editor Comments (optional):

Dear Mr Javanshir,

Thank you for your revised manuscript, and for the attention you have given to the reviewer feedback. I am happy to recommend acceptance on this basis.

With every good wish,

Jennifer Edmond

Reviewers' comments:

Formally Accepted
Acceptance Letter - Jennifer Edmond, Editor

PONE-D-19-16978R1

Structural Patterns for Transmedia Storytelling

Dear Dr. Javanshir:

I am pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLOS ONE. Congratulations! Your manuscript is now with our production department.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please notify them about your upcoming paper at this point, to enable them to help maximize its impact. If they will be preparing press materials for this manuscript, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact onepress@plos.org.

For any other questions or concerns, please email plosone@plos.org.

Thank you for submitting your work to PLOS ONE.

With kind regards,

PLOS ONE Editorial Office Staff

on behalf of

Dr. Jennifer Edmond

Academic Editor

PLOS ONE

Open letter on the publication of peer review reports

PLOS recognizes the benefits of transparency in the peer review process. Therefore, we enable the publication of all of the content of peer review and author responses alongside final, published articles. Reviewers remain anonymous, unless they choose to reveal their names.

We encourage other journals to join us in this initiative. We hope that our action inspires the community, including researchers, research funders, and research institutions, to recognize the benefits of published peer review reports for all parts of the research system.

Learn more at ASAPbio .