A concept essay has a narrow focus, is short and to the point

Concepts can be stacked to form 'constructs' (chapters, articles, workshops, mash-ups, whatever), that either encourage collaboration or emphasize controversy.

CONCEPT.ORG is a novel platform for compiling scientific texts (compendia, chapters, textbooks, articles, journals, workshops, etc.) for electronic distribution. The platform makes some assumptions about how best to gather and disseminate knowledge.

Instead of commissioning, say, fifty experts in a single discipline to each contribute a 5,000 word chapter with 50 references, we are asking thousands of academics (and real-world professionals) from multiple disciplines to each contribute a focused 'concept' essay of 50-to-500 words, with 2-5 references.

We will heavily tag these short narrow focused concept pieces, and publish them in a searchable format to be consumed as-is. And then we will encourage some of these same professionals to create 'constructs' by weaving a narrative around a dozen or so of these concepts. CON-structs, with the emphasis on the first syllable (no pun is intended): these can take the form of chapters, articles, workshops, mash-ups, whatever. Each construct, by virtue of its woven stack structure, would effectively be a collaboration between 5-10 scholars or experts, from 2-5 disciplines.

The concept format offers many advantages to (post)modern science writing.

FOCUS. A concept essay has a narrow focus, is short and to the point. Its knowledgeable narrator writes 'with conviction', or 'passionately', or 'with detachment', or 'in depth'. Any of these.

PORTABILITY. A single concept essay can appear in the results of dissimilar search queries and in various disciplinary silos, and can be recycled and reused in multiple constructs (see below).

COLLABORATION. The backbone of a construct (a compiled and interpreted chapter, article, workshop, mash-up, etc.) is a stack of concepts contributed by a dozen or so professionals. Often they will not all be in the same discipline. Multidisciplinary collaboration in the real world often requires a lot of logistical wrangling and coordination; it is the default mode here.

CONTROVERSY. Multiple contributors can write about the exact same narrowly focused concept, and the reader can read differing opinions side-by-side. That might happen in a modern journal, but rarely in a traditional textbook.

The ultimate goal is to produce a limitless stack of concepts (the back end) that can be sorted and re-sorted into various constructs and configurations (front ends). Over time CONCEPT.ORG might engender a variety of constructs: a series of chapters that can be configured as a textbook, or a number of workshops or tutorials, or a journal highlighting current controversies. Or perhaps all of these. And as the concept stack grows, its multidisciplinary character will become more apparent.


Margolis E and S Laurence S. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2011 (online)

Shoemaker PJ, Tankard JW, DL Lasorsa DL. How to Build Social Science Theories. Sage Research Methods 2004

Watt JH and S van den Berg S. Research Methods for Communication Science. CIOS 2002