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Populus: A Hopefully-Soon-to-Be Journal with Crowd-Sourced Peer Review

As has been widely discussed both here (at least a couple of times) and elsewhere, there are numerous problems with traditional publishing models. Some of these have been admirably addressed by the move to open access journals like Philosophers’ Imprint and Ergo. For the most part, however, these journals have simply exported the traditional publishing process to the Internet. I think it’s time we try something genuinely new. To that end, I’ve put together a prospectus for a new project, Populus, that will be both a curated archive (think (the non-horrific parts of) Reddit meets PhilPapers) and a philosophy journal with an experimental crowd-source peer review process. I am coming to you, Soupers, because:

  • I’m looking for feedback on the project itself and/or its expression through the prospectus.
  • I’m hoping those of you who support the project, or at least think it’s worth a go, will help me spread the word.
  • I’m looking for help.
    • I’d like to put together an editorial board whose association with the project will boost its credibility. I anticipate this’ requiring little actual work. If you are a famous person who likes my idea and would like to get on board, that would be great.
    • This project will likely require some funding. I’m looking for suggestions for sources.
    • I need people with web development or other relevant technical experience who would like to donate (or, if we get funding, be paid for) their time.
    • I’m looking for people who want to help or get involved in any other way, especially ones with the general entrepreneurial skills I lack.

Here that’s link one more time: Populus Prospectus

4 Responses to Populus: A Hopefully-Soon-to-Be Journal with Crowd-Sourced Peer Review

  1. Robert Seddon says:

    ‘Crowd-sourced peer review’ sounds reminiscent of Andrew Cullison’s ‘Sympoze’ project; it might be worth asking him why it seems not to exist anymore.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20130302045826/http://www.sympoze.com/

  2. David Faraci says:

    Robert, thanks, I hadn’t heard about that, and it certainly does seem similar.

  3. Melody says:

    I would promote your idea on sites like Daily Nous and Leiter Reports (either paying for an ad or contacting them for a mention).
    Create a page in which donations can be made, and comments or questions posed. Continuing this attitude of wanting feedback and it to be a collaboration (obviously as the crowdsourcing element implies).
    Your proposal/project at least attempts to address some issues with traditional peer review and journal standards. This is a good place, I think, to start a discussion about those wider problems, how we address them, and the kind of role and responsibility we’d assume in the crowdsourcing model.
    Perhaps some fellow philosophers and intellectuals of yours might have a dialogue about this new method and this discussion about its merits and benefits, etc. might help promote its popularity further. If this becomes a subject of discussion on a few popular philosophy blogs–there is a lot of potential for more publicity by proxy.
    Other ideas for funding include leveraging it’s (hopefully) eventual popularity, or even it’s potential–and getting sponsors or having ads on the site, etc. I’m not sure how the inner workings of journals and academic publications usually run though.
    I don’t have any credentials, those are just my thoughts. Good luck!

  4. Andrew Cullison says:

    To consolidate my comments. I’ll post my reply on the Daily Nous Thread.