New journal for “single observation publishing”
2 December 2015

There’s a new open access journal in town: Matters. Their tagline: “Stories can wait. Science can’t.” Science magazine has an article delving into the motivation for its creation. According to that article, “[Matters] aims to create a freely accessible venue for single findings, even confirmatory data and contradictory data.”

I’m ambivalent. A lot of data falls through the cracks or are otherwise not part of a coherent, compelling, or “impactful” story. Matters provides an important means to quickly publish and archive this data.

Yet I cannot keep up with the coherent stories published in my field as it is. How will I be able to keep up with the “single observations” that will, doubtless, flow from Matters?

And the broader question of researcher incentive remains. The simultaneous, and somewhat dissonant, pressure to publish either eye-catching stories in high-impact journals or prolifically in middle-tier journals—the “minimum publishable unit” comes to mind—remain.