"Unjournal": Action plan, writing, resources
High-status ‘peer evaluation & rating’ of open projects (cf conventional 0/1 publishing) 2. 'Publishing'/credibility/feedback for EA & global priorities researchers/orgs; Organizer: David Reinstein

In a nutshell

The "Unjournal" (with funding from the Long Term Future Fund via ACX grants) will not 'publish any papers in a journal'; we will organize and fund public journal-independent feedback, rating, and evaluation of hosted papers and dynamically-presented research projects. We will focus on work that is highly relevant to global priorities (especially in economics, social science, and impact evaluation). We will encourage better research by making it easier for researchers to get feedback and credible ratings on their work.
Why? Peer review is great, but academic publication processes are wasteful, slow, and rent-extracting. They discourage innovation and encourage a great deal of effort spent 'gaming the system'. We will both provide an immediate alternative and also offer a bridge to a better system.
We will do this through:
  • Identifying relevant research work, to be hosted on any open platform in any format that can gain a time-stamped DOI.
    • Authors can present their work in the ways they find most convenient, complete, and legible. We will encourage and enable dynamic documents and other formats that promote replicability and open science.
  • Paying reviewers to evaluate and give careful feedback on this work. We will elicit quantifiable and comparable metrics of research quality as credible measures of value.
    • Reviews (or 'evaluations' will typically be made public, along with authors' possible replies. This will facilitate dialogue and a greater understanding of research.
  • Linking work but not 'publishing it'.
    • This process will not be 'exclusive': authors can 'submit their work to a journal' at any point. This will also serve to benchmark our evaluations against 'traditional publication outcomes'.
    • We will consider funding later rounds of review/evaluations of improved and expanded versions of previously-evaluated work.
  • Awarding financial prizes (combined with public presentations) for work judged strongest
  • Aiming to be as transparent as possible in our processes and judgments.
This is not an original idea, nor are we the only ones doing something like this...

This 'gitbook' ...

organizes ideas and resources to achieve the twin goals of:
  1. 1.
    ‘Peer evaluation and rating’ of open projects (instead of conventional 0/1 publishing of frozen pdfs) becoming a standard 'high status' outcome in academia/research, especially in Economics and social sciences
  2. 2.
    Creating and coalescing around an efficient system for 'publishing', gaining credibility, and getting feedback for effective altruism and global-priorities-aligned research
ACX/LTFF grant proposal (as submitted, successfull) grant (ACX passed it to the Long Term Future Fund, who awarded it). Discussion space: I've set up a post grant "'Unjournal'": Action plan discussion space" HERE. 25 Jun 2022 update: I have not kept the above discussion space fully updated; hope to level up soon.
Please let me know if you want edit/comment access to the present Gitbook. Please do weigh in, all suggestions and comments will be credited... See also Unjournal: public-facing FAQ in progress. Unsuccessful followup FTX application HERE, still seeking more funding


"Preliminary management group" discussion/meeting notes (private)