The Journal of Brief Ideas: An Intervention into the Academic Publishing Ecosystem

David Harris and Arfon Smith Part of CW18

In this paper, we describe a contribution to the scholarly publishing sphere in the spirit of artist intervention. The Journal of Brief Ideas (JOBI) is based on the idea of papers as microcontributions having a maximum of 200 words and one figure. JOBI is wrapped in the academic norms required for broader recognition as an incentive for authors to participate in this experiment. It has published 239 papers since launch in February 2015 and been cited in top tier journals and covered in news reports in leading journalistic publications. We present a descriptive content, citation, and commentary analysis of the journal with discussion its existing and potential influence and roles. We conclude with a brief discussion of the connection between the journal’s structure and ideas in creative ideation.