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How to make revolutionary ideas publishable
送交者: jingchen 2019年11月25日01:20:02 于 [教育学术] 发送悄悄话

How to make revolutionary ideas publishable


The peer review system is good for conventional research where all people agree on the foundation of the theory and differ only in minor details. However, peer review system is not conducive for new fundamental ideas. The papers of Planck or Einstein are unlikely to get published under today's peer review system. 


Many people agree that today's mainstream economic theory is built on a wrong foundation. We publish a new journal to offer an outlet for new ideas. However, new ideas might come from very different perspectives from our own perspectives, although we all agree that mainstream economic theory is wrong. So the editorial processes often become very torturous.


To make a journal more friendly to revolutionary ideas, we need to follow the editorial environment of the time when revolutionary ideas were publishable.  In the time of Planck and Einstein, there was little peer review. An editor either accept or reject the papers. 


If it is impossible to abolish the peer review system in a journal, we can greatly simplify it. For example, we can classify a paper as acceptance, minor revision, or rejection. I suggest to remove the category of major revision. A major revision is often a requirement to rewrite the paper according to the reviewer's perspective, destroying the authors' original ideas in the process.


We can also change the acceptance criteria from the consent of two reviewers to the acceptance of either reviewer. It is very unlikely that both reviewers will agree on a new revolutionary idea.


We might concern that the simplification of editorial process will reduce the quality of the papers. This should be our last concern. The quality of papers in top tier economic journals, which go through extremely rigorous peer review processes, is extremely low. This is precisely because a potentially ruthless editorial process extinguishes any willingness to engage in intellectual adventure. When we challenge the mainstream ideas, we already put our career in jeopardy. This means we take our intellectual pursuit seriously. Anyway, a reviewer can always reject a paper he feels inadequate.


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