Science: Gettin’ pithy with it.
Time to get pithy, scientists. In an attempt to up the efficiency in scientific publishing, physicist David Harris and fellow scientist Arfon Smith have created The Journal of Brief Ideas. The concept is that instead of spending years researching hypotheses in private before announcing their findings to the world, scientists can now fire off their ideas into the scientific community as soon as they have them. This would allow researchers to claim ownership of their ideas from the get go, find out if there are any parallel thinkers out there who they could collaborate with for the longer paper, and generally inspire a more collaborative sense of community among scientists from all fields.
Image Courtesy AMC
“There is intellectual capital locked up in the heads of scientists rather than circulating in the scientific community,” Harris, editor-in-chief of the Twitteresque beta Journal told The Scientist. Consequently, “people often get similar ideas around about the same time, frantically work on it for quite a long time, put a lot of resources into it, without even necessarily knowing if there are other people doing the exact same thing.”
Some of the citable, searchable and archived ideas thus far include: “Ecofriendly Management of Plant Diseases by Biosynthesised Secondary Metabolites of Trichoderma spp.,” “Why research reputation trumps teaching reputation in universities,” “Phylogenetic tools and myths: reconstructing human prehistory,” and Harris’ very own “The Journal of Brief Ideas.”
Harris calls putting out this type of in-progress work into the world “part of being a good scientific citizen.”