Doing research is a nightmare sometimes. There’s no network to connect with other researchers — to collaborate or inform others of their work. It’s kind of a mess. Grad students working on their theses will be able to relate. Combing through journals and papers, trying to find if anyone has already worked on your topic — it’s maddening. Physicist David Harris shares this sentiment, which is why he founded the Journal of Brief Ideas.
He said to The Scientist:
“There is intellectual capital locked up in the heads of scientists rather than circulating in the scientific community … 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.”
The premise behind his site is for scientists to be able to quickly publish something akin to a hypothesis on their research (in 200 words or less). This would enable other scientists, who may be working on the same project, to connect — it’s like a social network for research. It could also help settle any disputes on the “whose idea it was first” debate.
Also, researchers can receive feedback on their mini-hypotheses through the voting scheme on the site. However, it’s uncertain how scientists will react to this new form of “publishing research” — if they even want to call it that.
Any published scientists out there? It would be wonderful to get your opinions on this new site.
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