42 Degrees Journal

42 Degrees: A Journal of Creative Latitude

Science publishing has evolved from a method of communicating research to a metric for evaluating and comparing scientists' productivity and value1. In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles are published each year; in the world, the number of articles exceeds 2.5 million2. The length and complexity of each article has grown due, in part, to requirements that a conclusive narrative / set of experiments be described3. The existing publishing structure relies on humans reading and mentally summarizing large numbers of texts and figures to keep up with the latest research in their field of study. This approach is time consuming and overwhelming as the human brain is unable to consider the endless number of dimensions within a research field, let alone across disciplines.

These and other "customer pains" make it impossible for scientists to stay abreast of the literature published in their own area(s) of expertise, and hampers pursuing cross-disciplinary curiosities, which is where revolutionary science brews. These challenges also make it difficult to identify and pursue truly revolutionary science. One solution to this problem is to integrate artificial intelligences, which can enable scientists to begin or focus their work by asking AI to summarize the current state of research in any field, or directly prompt the GPT with a specific question (e.g., has a broad spectrum tailocin been developed?). Using AI for summarizing and inquiring about research in a field can help guide researchers to focus their efforts on questions with no answers, i.e., novel research.

To use the power of AI to relieve customer pains associated with academic publishing, we created 42 Degrees: A Journal of Creative Latitude, which publishes "publons". The publon is a minimum publishable unit that retains some aspects of traditional publishing (written communication, figures, peer-review) while avoiding the customer pains. Two types of publons are accepted: (1) inductive research publons that communicate current research methods and empirical or experimental results and (2) prospective articles where untested or partially tested ideas can be presented; synthesis of diverse ideas is also welcome. Each publon is accompanied by a (1) graphical abstract, (2) a video abstract, and (3) an optional audio narrative, each of which summarizes the hypothesis and conclusions. Publons are reviewed by peers, AI, and the community.

The goal of 42 Degrees is to promote communication across disciplines, generations, and artificial intelligences using three types of communication: language, visuals, and data. We hypothesize that using multiple formats of unique information will allow humans and computers to communicate more efficiently. We will test whether communication has been successful by determining whether publications (e.g., publon and linked communications) are able to "teach" GPTs.

1 https://doi.org/10.5812/ijem-131812; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3002234
2 https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/scientific-and-technical-journal-articles
3 www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1511912112

Frequently Asked Questions

A publon is a very short paper accompanied by a short video; least/smallest/minimum publishable unit; not the commercial enterprise that traces reviewers.

A thesis is a collection of publons that make up a body of work.

Publons are reviewed 3 ways, all using the same review form.

  1. Peer review:

    Any paper with reviews from another journal can be submitted. The authors need to make a point-by-point response to the other journal's reviews and write a Caveats Section (see publon writing guidelines).

    Alternatively, authors can solicit reviews from experts and submit those reviews with their paper.

  2. AI will be used to review the publon following its submission to 42Degrees. The editor will prompt ChatGPT with the same review form questions.
  3. Members of the scientific community can add comments following publon publication on the 42Degrees website. AI can be used to provide authors with a summary of these comments, which can be addressed via editing the Caveats section (as described above for Peer review).

Tier 1 - Top 1% of papers. Do you think that this paper is better than 99 others you've read/reviewed?

Tier 2 - Top 10% of papers

Tier 3 - Solid working papers

Tier 4 - Reviewers & an editor believe that something is fundamentally wrong with the paper.

Author, editor, AI, and 2 reviewers provide their tier ranking anonymously & independently.

If the score is equal to 5 (i.e., 1+1+1+1+1). then the paper will be ranked a Tier 1.

If the score is equal to 6 (i.e., one of the scores was 2), then the editor will ask everyone to provide a rationale for their rankings. These rationales will be anonymized and the authors given a chance to respond. The ranking will then be done a second time to see if the paper moves up to Tier 1.

If the total of the rankings is <10, then the paper will be ranked in Tier 2. This leaves some wiggle room.

If the total of the ranking is >10, then the paper will be ranked in Tier 3.

All videos and papers will have a Caveats Section. This section will have points that both the reviewers & authors feel are limits to the study, as well as points that the reviewers and authors disagree on.

After peer and AI review, when the publon content is finalized, AI will be used to generate a short video based on the publon and its infographic.

42Degrees has been experimenting with AI and has found that it is capable of helping with tasks that include: reviewing and summarizing text; performing statistical tests or solving mathematical equations; creating videos with AI voice narration and AI-generated music; and providing initial reviews of content such as asking whether the work is original and what are the work's “big picture” implications. In contrast, AI has been found to be unable to write original content, set up or carry out experiments, create accurate graphics / infographics or fine art, and cannot judge the scientific validity of research articles.

Employing AI can save scientists' precious time and improve the quality of their output. AI enhances the capabilities of the human brain.

All 42Degrees content will be digitally preserved using Portico.

For ultra-long-term storage, over 1 million years, Memory of Mankind will be used. In this case, only the most important publons will be stored. Importance will be defined as those that are best able to teach AI and that represent revolutionary science.

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