Unjournal: call for participants and research


On behalf of David Reinstein, this is an open call for committee members, advisory board members, reviewers, and suggestions of relevant work for a new peer-review initiative (not a publication!) called The Unjournal.

  • If you are interested in being on the Unjournal’s Founding Committee, Advisory Board, or Reviewer Pool please fill out THIS FORM​(about 3-5 min).
  • If you have research (your own or others) you would like us to assess, please fill out THIS FORM (1 per entry), which will also make you eligible for a bounty prize.

Note: This is a linkpost to my general call in the ‘gitbook’ here. Below are a few excerpts and comments from this document.

Overview and call

The Unjournal team is building a system for credible, public, journal-independent feedback and evaluation of research. This was discussed in an earlier forum post. It has taken some shape since then.

Our initial focus: research relevant to global priorities, particularly in the fields of quantitative social science (including economics) and impact evaluation. We support formats for replicability and robustness, such as hosted dynamic documents, we wish to foster a living and continually-improved approach to research projects.

Briefly, the Unjournal’s process (proposed and under-discussion):

  • Identify or invite contributions of relevant research that is publicly hosted on any open platform.
  • Pay reviewers to evaluate and give careful feedback on this work. Elicit quantifiable and comparable metrics.
  • Publicly post and link all reviews of the work.

The Unjournal project has a small amount of funding and we are in a pilot phase. After our initial meeting, we are now putting out an open call for participants in three different roles:

  1. Founding committee members (help manage and set rules, small honorarium),
  2. Advisory board members (supporters, no time-commitment), and
  3. A pool of Reviewers (who will be paid for their time).

We are also looking for high-quality, globally-pivotal research projects to evaluate, particularly those embodying open science practices and innovative formats.

The roles are explained in more detail in the link, and the form is linked above.


Founding committee members: minimum of 5-10 hours total over the next 9 months, plus editorial activities, funding for a $50 per hour honorarium for the first 5-10 hours. We are seeking further funding.

Interested in people with a range of experiences and skills, including in global priorities research and related fields, other academic research, policy research and practice, open science and meta-science, and bibliometrics and scholarly publishing.

Advisory board members: more passive advisory board, to offer very light touch guidance. No time obligation, but you may occasionally be consulted. Looking for active researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders with a strong publication record who are affiliated with an academic, governmental or relevant non-profit institution.

Reviewers: we will reach out to reviewers on a case-by-case basis. We are also putting together a list of people interested. $250 per review (hoping for funding to increase this).

Feel free to reach out directly to David at this email address: dreinstein@rethinkpriorities.org


I’m excited to see the Unjournal moving forward @daaronr and @AnnabelRayner! (see previous forum discussion about this here) I hope we get some traction with this radical idea for reinventing peer-review!

This initiative touches on a few topics that have previously been discussed on the forum, including:

[as a COI note, I am on the founding committee of the Unjournal]


Great initiative Gavin and colleagues! :tada: