04 February 2010

A serendipitous discovery

The Breaking News section of the Fortean Times website had a link that caught my eye and my imagination.

The site announces a new online scientific journal that will be fully peer reviewed and will have open access
The new publication is to be called the Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results. What better title could you ask for!

According to its mission statement “an important component of scientific discovery is a disciplined examination of research results that contradict or negate extant hypotheses. However, there is a distinct lack of a forum in which such results can be presented and discussed in any meaningful way. We believe a forum for and dialogue on serendipitous and unexpected results will provide valuable insight and inform modern research practices.

JSUR is an open-access journal that aims to provide such a forum, that is complementary to existing journals and conference venues. JSUR is primarily focused on recent research in the computational and life sciences, two burgeoning fields in which there is much to be gained by reporting, and providing a forum for understanding, discoveries that seem difficult to explain or that are surprising and contradictory to conventional wisdom.”

This sounds like fascinating stuff. I hope the articles will not be utterly incomprehensible to someone who last graced a lecture theatre in the early 1990s!


CalumCarr said...


Do you think if some day my blog got 50 visitors that I could claim that as a Serendipitous and Unexpected Result?

jams o donnell said...

I'm sure it will be pleasurable. I Felt delighted when I first got that level of traffic

Unknown said...

Two of the three founding editors are from Massachusetts. Where the election of a Republican to fill liberal Democrat Edward Kennedy's vacant seat - that is itself serendipitous and unexpected.

By the way, Lotame is not a town in Massachusetts, it's a company out of Boston.

Ramgopal Mettu
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Massachusetts Amherst; Amherst, Massachusetts USA

John Thomas
Director of Research & Development
Lotame; Massachusetts USA

Anonymous said...

Glad I spotted that. Have subscribed to get a look at what they are about, when Issue 1 arrives.

jams o donnell said...

It is certainly unexpected. I have reservations about Obama but people look like they are throwing toys out of the pram!

I hope it is as interesting as I hope it will be Andrew!

Steve Bates said...

I am reminded of the old Journal of Irreproducible Results from 50+ years ago. I actually have a bound library volume I bought at a yard sale, and I'm still wondering why anyone would part with it.

"Lotame" ... hmm; from the large person's self-advertisement? "I'm not good-looking, but there's certainly a Lotame"? (PS could have spared himself that by omitting the political dig in the comment, but honestly, that's the first thing that passed through my mind.)

jams o donnell said...

What a find Steve. I would love a journal like that all my life!

But not a lotayou Steve!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Fortean sciences sounds a bit off key. But OK, I am sure that you, Jams, will watch it like a hawk and let us all know if something serendi... ow, what the heck, something scoopy will come out.

jams o donnell said...

Indeed but a Fortean will take a major interest in science. Charles Fort himeslf didm even though he was most interested in the anomalous or "damned" data

I love the Fortean Times myself, I've been reading it for 25 years. Fascinating but not one for the tinfoil hat nuts