HJWYDK: the Journal our Community Has Been Awaiting

We’re excited to announce the Hackaday Journal of What You Don’t Know. This will be a peer-reviewed journal of white papers that goes well beyond “look what I did” and will provide full design, data, and everything else needed to reproduce the most interesting things the engineering world has to offer. It’s a complete description of your knowledge offered up for the benefit of all.

Topics will include original and creative research, engineering, and entertainment in the areas of interest to the Hackaday community. These papers should embody original insight, experience, or discovery in any sufficiently challenging domain knowledge. This will be the manual for the things you need to know, but probably don’t. HJWYDK makes that knowledge freely available using the Open Access model for publications. It will be a journal without paywalls or frustration. It’s the journal you will reach for whenever you need to do something that feels impossible.

Useful information doesn’t just happen. It’s won through struggle and leads to unique knowledge. Have your accomplishments recognized at a higher level, and make sure they live on and are freely available.

All papers accepted by the editorial and review process will be immediately published online. They will also be printed in the annual Proceedings of the Hackaday Superconference, with the best submissions invited to present in person at the conference. Submit your papers now!

We are currently seeking Associate Editors and Peer Reviewers. Editors should send your background info to journal@hackaday.com. Reviewers should join the team on the HJWYDK project page and mention your areas of expertise in the join request.

44 thoughts on “HJWYDK: the Journal our Community Has Been Awaiting

    1. Well, it looks like the people reviewing papers for this are mostly just ordinary folk without Ph.D.s, so I don’t think this will be in line with even low-tier scientific journals. It’ll at least have a few people do proofreading before things are published, so it’ll be better than the Hackaday blog, but comparisons to Nature are laughable.

      1. On the other hand we are likely not talking about cutting edge scientific research papers on gluon tomography here but on subjects more likely to be encountered by HaD readers. Also, and this might surprise you, there are plenty of really smart people out there who don’t have a PhD but are quite capable of peer-reviewing a paper on a subject they are familiar with. Reviewing is not about coming up with the stuff but being smart enough to understand the methods and results once shown the way

        1. Of course that doesn’t surprise me, and frankly I don’t care for that rude tone you took. My point was simply that comparing HJWYDK to “the largest and most important journals,” or even low-tier scientific journals, doesn’t make sense, not that you need to have a Ph.D. to review papers.

  1. Year a pronounceable name would be nice. I mean . what the hell does HJWYDK stand for . I get “HJ is probably Hackaday Journal”, but WYDK? ? Absolutely clueless as to what this means.

  2. Awesome! Way to go HaD Community! As to the pertinent comments above… uhmm… yeah no doubt.

    May be useful to have a “Writing Research Paper” or “Writing Laboratory Research Papers” tutorial or book referenced somewhere. A standard for formatting sections too. Then wow, more potential for funding. i.e. advertisers.

  3. Mike Szczys – I totally love this concept. I recommend also putting in research tools into the GUI like Customized Google links for looking up scientific papers, FAS.ORG, Google Scholar, Google define:, MIT.EDU, and other links to help us use them as idea-muses (idea generators).Also links to diagram templates that look like inventor’s/engineering templates for large companies. Maybe even links to inexpensive electronics suppliers since we lost our old buddies at Radio Shack – I really miss them ;-/

    NOTE: All links should open new pages/tabs so as not to interrupt an impromptu design in progress.

    I know all you old-timers here in USA remember Jonny Quest? Well the brain of the group was Dr. Quest, however Jonny’s best friend was really quite a brainiac too. And I was thinking of a way to how to pronounce the acronym HJWYDK. It’s a tongue twister but this little guy below; his name would be good for a memory hook and verbal shortcut to refer to this cool journal. I know our brothers in Bharat might appreciate the recognition too. Namaste 8-)

    1. The dog was pretty sharp. Anyway a mailing-list back in the day with the appropriate tools would have been better, and a lot more focused with less filler, and it would taste great to boot.

  4. Seems to be a decent idea backed by good intentions. But before we, the august community of hackers, commit our time, money, and largess to a technical paper, you need to have a well-defined format and a better writer’s guide. Note the IEEE templates for the EMC and Product Safety Engineering Societies.

    Perhaps the reviewers should commit to process where the first step would be the committee’s reading a preliminary abstract and outline and some ‘interim’ data before the weeks or months are wasted on a paper that would otherwise be rejected.

    1. Sounds like you’re calling for both an open-source rubric and writing template. It wouldn’t be hard to make one. However, it would be hard to find enough consensus to nail down just one format for both. What can happen is to cross the open-source model with some kind of versioning to allow for things to be forked in cased it doesn’t quite fit what was already agreed upon but can be easily followed just a bit more documentation to highlight how a paper is different so no one gets too lost in understanding the white-paper.

  5. Who do you expect to write for this new journal? It’s not likely to attract many academics. For those skilled in the matter writing is hard work. For most it seems to be nigh impossible today. If you’re going to publish it online before review, why bother with having designated reviewers?

    Would a paper on applications of L1 basis pursuits to compressive sensing, inverse problems, matrix completion, blind source separation, etc be of interest?

    This seems a tad grandiose.

  6. In the event this ends up being s duplicate sorry . A lofty pursuit. where there’s a chance it can perpetuate ignorance IMO a Wiki would be the best format. One where contributors, corroborators, editor aren’t allowed to hide behind pseudonyms. Yes a better name on considered. Something like the Wiki for DIY. Any hacker thinks that A DIY description is Beneath them, the shouldn’t sweat the small shit worth sweating. A simple all inclusive name might attract a broader range of contributors.

    1. Or maybe HackaDay Journal International (HaDJI)… (sim-sim-ala-bim!) – inside joke…

      To Mike’s detractors… It’s not supposed to be a REAL bona fide white paper journal worthy of PhD peer review… It’s just OUR THING… I’m viewing it as a evolution of hackaday.io. This is not the first time HaD evolved away from an older format to a better form – namely this WordPress forum.

      Furthermore, ACTUALLY read he AUTHOR’S GUIDELINE…

  7. It is not clear to me why anyone would want to go to all the effort to write a paper for HDetc. People write academic papers to further their career. It is essentially a requirement for an academic career. What does an author get out of having a “peer reviewed” (by whom?) paper published in HDetc.? Although I have published several papers in the past, they were part of my job. Nowadays, I would rather build stuff than write about it unless there is a significant advantage in doing so. Maybe junior engineers could help their career that way but I can’t see what is in it for experienced engineers or hackers. Also, the scope of subjects is broad and vague. It needs to be more specific to attract authors. I hope it proves successful but, right now, I can’t see its value beyond what Hackaday already offers. Now if authors were paid a realistic fee, it may be worth the effort but then it becomes more of an electronic magazine than a peer reviewed journal.

    1. hackadave – Many of us are NOT PhD’s or engineers… some of us are just really good SME’s (subject matter experts). I think’s Mike’s idea is to provide a SME point-of-view (POV) on a particular technical subject. The paper would explain a particular technology or an popular idea HaD’ers would be interested in. The peer reviewers would AUTHORIZED and dignified equivalents of “haters” and “flamers” as we don’t want another Reddit or YouTube horrid mess. The journal would not have to be the original inventors POV either. It could be things we don’t know about somebody else’s idea or subject.

  8. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t know, or don’t understand :
    Higher level math (div, grad, curl, directional derivatives, Maxwells Equations)
    Electromagnetics (TE waves, etc)

    I can’t write about it if I don’t understand it. If someone else writes it, MAYBE I’ll finally understand it.
    You could call such a journal: Some Hackadayers Explain Esoteric Stuff Here (SHEESH)

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