By David Harris

One thing slowing down the flow of research information is that the quantum of research, or the smallest publishable amount, is actually quite large, meaning that a lot of good ideas don’t get published (i.e. spread). Ideas stuck in a mind are no use to anybody except that one individual, and that limits the power of the idea.

Furthermore, in some fields it can take five years of work or more for a postdoc to gather enough data and do the analysis for a single strong paper. The quantum is definitely too large in those fields. The idea of a long paper of many pages is an evolved phenomenon with the original “papers”–letters in early journals–often taking half a page or less to print. But those days are long gone.

Ideas which might be important but are small in size don’t have a natural home. So what if there were the equivalent of a journal for these briefly-expressible ideas? It would also be a home for brief negative results, partial results, and plans toward a result.


Excellent idea! And simple plots are always helpful ;-)

Alberto Cereser · 20 Jun, 2016

Finding a more natural "quantum" for scholarly communication is (or rather, should be) the most important question in academic publishing right now. I have not found many other micropublication enthusiasts, so am glad to read this.

Nathan S Jacobs · 4 Sep, 2017

What I love about this concept, and why I can't let it go, is that it relieves individual researchers of the burden of building an entire house by themselves, which almost always leads to shortcuts and ethical violations. Instead, this approach let's researchers focus first on building really good bricks. Then, much larger and more stable buildings can be built at the community level.

Nathan S Jacobs · 4 Sep, 2017

So in my mind the motivation here is two-fold: first to get more ideas out there, but second to lay the foundation for much more compelling stories to emerge at the community level.

Nathan S Jacobs · 4 Sep, 2017

Nathan, you have succinctly identified some of the key motivations for this project. We certainly don't hope to replace other measures of research publishing, but to add a complementary method that enables the research enterprise to work more efficiently and effectively.

David Harris · 4 Sep, 2017

This could be a great way for scholars to initiate collaborations on budding and fragile ideas. Good luck!

Purav Patel · 7 Dec, 2018

The idea is fantastic to introduce to the comunity ongoing ideas, even concepts to debate contributes a lot to science development. It would be great if the Journal also included periodic information (volume, number, etc) and an ISSN registration. There should be an export tool, that allowed the idea, author, data or research paper cited to be included on a PDF file (like a printed paper), so academic reports where comprobatory documentation is needed could be more complete.

Paulo Fonseca · 3 Jul, 2020

There is also some movement around moving the venue of new ideas from conferences and journals to academic Twitter/Mastodon, blog posts, and arXiv.

Samuel Grayson · 12 Dec, 2023
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David Harris



Published: 1 Feb, 2015

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