Update On Our Progress at Ledger

The purpose of this post is to update the community on our progress getting Ledger, the first peer-reviewed academic journal for cryptocurrency research, off the ground.  

Two of the stated aims of the journal were to encourage greater involvement by academics in cryptocurrency and to foster a culture of rigorous analysis and peer-review within the Bitcoin community.  Since our call for papers on September 15, 2015, we have received over 50 submissions, including many from academics, of which roughly half (24) were sent out for peer review. A total of 58 external reviews have been completed, comprising hundreds of pages of critical feedback for the authors. Thanks to the support from our distinguished Editorial Board, the commitment of our dedicated editors, and the hard work of expert reviewers within the community, the journal is beginning to achieve these two aims.

Peer-review is a time consuming process that requires cooperative interaction between authors, reviewers and editors. Ledger's average time between manuscript submission to notification of editorial decision was 8 weeks.  This can be broken down as 6.2 weeks for papers where the decision was "decline," 8.2 weeks for papers where the decision was "resubmit," and 14 weeks for papers where the decision was "revisions required." Although this is already comparable to similar academic journals, we intend to further streamline our process and expand our network of expert reviewers, to keep pace with the speed of innovation in the nascent field of cryptocurrency research.

There is still work head of us. Another stated aim of the journal was to spur the aggregation and filtering of important content generated by cryptocurrency practitioners. We feel there still exists an "impedance mismatch” here in that a great deal of excellent ideas are left partially developed as blog posts or abandoned Github repos, while academics may write careful papers on topics less relevant to the practice of cryptocurrency development.  An idea to help overcome this impedance mismatch is partnering practitioners with academics (especially graduate students): one to do, and the other to chronicle.  If you are a graduate student and looking for ideas for research papers or connections with active developers, please contact us at ledger@pitt.edu to discuss.  

As we work on assembling a first edition of the journal over the next few months, we look forward to receiving additional high-quality submissions for our future editions.