In brief, indeed. A scientific journal launched this month publishes “papers” that are 200 words or less. (Most of the papers are more like hypotheses or study proposals than typical papers.)
The co-founder of the Journal of Brief Ideas, physicist David Harris, wanted a platform that allowed scientists to publish their ideas quicker than ever, he told The Scientist. Quick publishing could help scientists discover if others are working on similar projects. Otherwise, a researcher may spend years working on a study without necessarily knowing if another lab has the same idea. Publishing briefly could also help researchers lay claim to having an idea first, if there’s ever a dispute.
Once they appear on in the Journal of Brief Ideas, papers get a digital object identifier (DOI), like formal papers do, so others may cite them. The papers are not peer-reviewed, but then again, neither are papers in pre-print databases such as arXiv. Those with an account with the journal may vote for papers they like. The founders plan eventually to rate the papers by citation numbers and pageviews, too.
Whether scientists will take to this unusual form of publishing remains to be seen.
This post is 200 words long.