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Message from the CES Editors

Published onApr 06, 2021
Message from the CES Editors
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Blockchain technology is a rapidly-expanding area of research, drawing interest from academics, industry, and the general public. The recent explosions of DeFi, CBCDs, and NFTs have thrown more fuel on the fire, but as the body of scholarship grows, so do the number of needs and challenges. Several of these are specific to blockchain—for example, in stark contrast to the well-travelled conference or journal track that has (historically) vetted, advanced, and disseminated high-quality academic thought, blockchain does not have a clearly-defined publication venue that has been carved out specifically for this kind of work. Part of this is attributable to the difficulty in reconciling differences of culture and publication expectations between domains. Cryptography papers tend to undergo peer review but very little editing from the editorial staff during their relatively quick publication process, while legal papers, with a much more extensive editorial process that often omits peer review, are almost the exact opposite. Other historical and bureaucratic barriers ensure that research exists and is funded in de facto silos, with domain knowledge spread out over many different communities. However, bridging these gaps and creating a common language and methodology is important if we are to help move the field forward. Only then can we focus on transforming blockchain into a discipline in its own right.

We are positioning Cryptoeconomic Systems to fill this need, and optimistic that it will serve as a reputable publication venue for the blockchain space. Our ideal scope is fairly wide, and includes impactful original research, as well as surveys, meta-analyses, and systematizations of knowledge in all contexts, with multi-, anti-, and interdisciplinary approaches particularly encouraged. Above all, however, is a myopic focus on quality. By surfacing only the highest-quality research, and putting a premium on the speed of distribution, we believe that Cryptoeconomic Systems can grow into a critical piece of the research infrastructure. It’s not enough to simply collect knowledge—the end goal should be to remove barriers, connect disciplines, and nurture the blockchain field as a whole as it moves towards reaching its ultimate potential.

In keeping with the innovative undercurrent in blockchain, we are building Cryptoeconomic Systems to be a living, breathing entity. We are meeting many of the tensions present in traditional academic publishing head-on, and viewing this journal as an opportunity to think creatively about scholarly publishing and best practices. For instance, while peer review is widely considered to be the best (or, at least, the least bad) method currently available to objectively evaluate research, there are valid concerns about the efficiency and transparency of peer review. To combat this, we are employing a system of Open Peer Review in which a summary of reviewer feedback (with optional attribution), both positive and negative, is published along with accepted articles. Additionally, we are particularly conscious of the open-source lineage of blockchain. All of our choices, from remaining non-profit, to not charging any fees, to adopting a diamond open-access policy, are designed to follow this spirit as much as possible.

Cryptoeconomics Systems is led by two Editors-in-Chief: Andrew Miller, an assistant professor of computer science at UIUC and Associate Director of IC3, and MIT Digital Currency Initiative director Neha Narula; along with Managing Editor Reuben Youngblom (Stanford/MIT). We are published by The MIT Press using the open-source PubPub platform. 


Getting Involved

There are five ways to get involved with Cryptoeconomic Systems:

  1. Submit research to our Journal

We accept papers twice a year, usually in the spring and the fall. We are seeking original manuscripts that will help to advance the space, and are equally as interested in more traditional disciplines (economics, CS, law, etc.) as we are in disciplines that one may not immediately connect with blockchain. For more information, please visit our submission guidelines. Our current call for papers is open from April 6 – May 25, 2021.

  1. Engage with us on social media

We can be found on Twitter, and we are also starting a Discord server to keep our community up-to-date with news, research, and events. We will also be posting to our blog regularly, so be sure to check in for updates. For anyone interested in getting a sense of past and current research, please feel free to check out our Conference Archives (containing material from CES ‘19 and CES ‘20), as well as Cryptoeconomic Systems Volume 1, Issue 1.

  1. Serve as a reader or peer-reviewer

The lifeblood of any open-access journal is a network of readers and peer-reviewers, and we are always seeking knowledgeable experts to help us vet and review papers. If you think you may have a background that would be useful for this task, please get in touch: ceseditors@mit.edu.

  1. Help sponsor Cryptoeconomic Systems

We are completely non-profit, and are bootstrapping our Journal and Conference through sponsorships, grants, and other fundraising efforts. Please visit our Sponsorship page or get in touch if you are interested in supporting the journal or conference and being credited as a supporter of this effort: ceseditors@mit.edu.

  1. Consider hosting an event

Cryptoeconomic Systems hosts an annual conference, and is also beginning to pilot smaller, more focused events throughout the year. As part of our open-source vision and ethos, we hope that Cryptoeconomic Systems will be able to exist without geographic boundaries. To that end, we are actively seeking a host venue for CES ‘22, and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in holding a smaller event (from a talk to a full summit) outside of MIT. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss: ceseditors@mit.edu.

Beyond this, we want to extend a sincere thank you for supporting us as we make this journal a reality.

Cryptoeconomic Systems Editorial Team

Neha, Andrew, and Reuben

April 6, 2021


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