An unusual new OA journal is the Journal of Brief Ideas, containing “citable ideas in fewer than 200 words” which are published under a CC-BY license. Interesting idea, but the title is not going into JURN just yet. The journal is in beta, for one thing. I also suspect that a clear focus on rational evidence-based discourse may be difficult to maintain, once wider audiences find it and realise it’s a free-for-all platform. The curation, such as it is, seems too light-touch to allow the journal’s reputation to survive a surge of articulate loons.

However, I’ve often thought that a normal journal might usefully have such short pieces — perhaps tight summary surveys of each of the field’s knowledge gaps (“what we know that we don’t know”). Perhaps such an article series might run alongside a series of imaginative ‘brief ideas’ articles on how those knowledge gaps might be filled. A third series might briefly outline the field’s as-yet unexplored interdisciplinary potentials.