Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


A market for journal articles, again

George Akerlof shared the 2001 Nobel prize in economics for his paper on “Lemon markets.” While reading Akerlof’s Nobel Prize essay, I was struck by the comment:

I submitted “Lemons” there, which was again rejected on the grounds that the The Review did not publish papers on topics of such triviality.

It seems to me that a fair number of interesting papers go through this process. Ideally, they are strengthened by the reviews, but as Akerlof makes clear, no one bothered to provide a useful review. Worse, it seems that journals go largely unread. Papers are disseminated when someone takes notice and promotes them (this starts with the author, telling his friends that he just got something published.)

In Zetland’s model [link to no longer works], it would be reasonable to create a journal dedicated to interesting new ideas that are having trouble finding a place for publication. The goal would be to find new ideas, well presented. The journal would speculate on papers. It could drive readership on a promise to be interesting. I’m reserving the name “Curiouser and Curiouser” for my journal.