What is a grassroots journal?
- A grassroots journal collects, assess, categorises and ranks all articles relevant for a specific topic/community. In this case the homogenisation community.
- Thus it brings together articles that are now spread over many publications and helps novices and experts a better access to the homogenisation literature.
- It differs from a traditional journal in that it does not publish articles and has a narrow scope and within that scope includes articles of all quality levels.
- It differs from an overlay journal, which only reviews manuscripts published in repositories, in that it reviews the complete scientific literature: articles, manuscripts and extended abstracts.
- It differs from a collection in the greater focus on the assessment of the articles and on building an organisation to ensure assessments are actually made for all articles.
- At least initially a grassroots journal will not make several rounds of (closed) review to get a manuscript into shape for publication, but will focus on (near) final articles.
A grassroots journal provides a clearly superior, more informative review than traditional journals offer. It thus already provides a useful function while traditional journals still exist, while aiming to make them superfluous by making it irrelevant where an article is published.
While looking for participants the journal currently displays four mock assessments to illustrate how this new type of journal would operate. Real assessments would require at least four people, two editors and two reviewers and will hopefully follow soon.
All current assessments are for articles about validation and uncertainty quantification. This way the page on this category can show the value of an article list that starts with the most important articles for each type of validation study as an entry into the literature, mimicking the function of a supervisor.
The assessment of my own HOME benchmarking study using simulated data illustrates the general principles and the added value that it is now easy for an author to provide additional information. Authors naturally cannot write grading assessments.
The validation study by Zeke Hausfather et al. based on a reference network has three assessments, which partially disagree and shows how the editors resolve this in their synthesis.
Join this experiment
If you are curious how this is organised you can read the page on the tasks of authors, reviewers and editors. For more general design considerations and ideas on how multiple journals could help and strengthen each other see my blog on grassroots scientific publishing.