Recently, we started a new journal. This is not really standard procedure in the world of academia – many would frown upon it – after all, there are quite a few “scholars” who do not like the online journal world. What many people don’t realize is just how slow the process of publication can be. One review process we were involved in lasted 5 years because one of the reviewers simply did not like the fact that one of the main ideas that he had promoted for most of his career sort of went up in smoke with that particular publication. The fact is, many good and important Ideas are blocked at the publication stage because entrenched ideas are directly linked to tenure, promotion, and grants in academia, new Ideas could upset the comfortable apple-cart, and many people in academia, near retirement, worry more about their legacy than the advancement of human knowledge. This is the unspoken truth about academic science.
We, on the other hand, are ok with being wrong a lot of the time (we usually are) but we like to present our data and our opinions. We believe that it is really a good thing to have an opinion, or philosophize, or predict what the meaning of results are. And this is something that is often frowned upon by contemporary academics. They see it as threatening, and it causes them a lot of extra work. But science cannot advance by protecting old Ideas while preventing the publication of new Ideas. But ask anyone who works as a researcher at any university: they all share the experience that their Ideas are snuffed out by a cabal of stodgy academic “old-boys”. It is not just women or minorities they fear: they fear and reject new Ideas from all quarters. Everyone suffers, and many areas of science come to a standstill, as a result.
Perhaps the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and energized us to promote our new journal was the outright rejection of one of our papers (which is actually close to publication in another peer reviewed journal now). The paper used robotics to demonstrate deficiencies in different measuring systems that are commonly used. The reason for the editor’s decision to reject (the paper was not sent to reviewers) was that we (the authors) had not taken gender into account. This, and many similar incidents, made clear the fact that the peer review process was broken and that we needed to go another direction. Typically, we do not use anonymous review (this harkens back to a time when scholars were much more collegial) and we encourage reviewers and authors to communicate directly with one another. If you have ever watched Grumpy Science, then you know it is something we gripe about often. And if you have ever seen anonymous comments on the internet, you know just how vicious people can be. Not the best way to search for the truth.
Another reason for the journal? Well, you could say that we are not typical academics. We like promoting solutions to problems (it’s called translational research) and there simply are not many journals that publish that kind of practical scientific work. Much of today’s research targets repeating what others have done in the research world without providing solutions. And of course, we’ll probably irritate a number of people just for hinting that finding “peers” to review our work is difficult.
So to cut to the chase – welcome to JoSaM. There are articles from a wide range of topics that might interest you, particularly in the PEMF world. These include wound-healing, a case study of reversing renal failure in a cat, descriptive studies of pain, some articles about PEMF methodology and a couple that combine the Brain Gauge with PEMF to track TBI recovery.
Best place to start? Take a look at the journal at josam.org