In its recently published 5th issue, the Journal of Unsolved Questions (JUnQ) invites readers to take a look behind the doors of researchers' offices and laboratories, presenting "reports from the academic workforce". Researchers from archeology to neurology were invited to reflect upon "Scientific Labor". With this cover topic, JUnQ continues its endeavor to promote a realistic view of academic work.
The actual day-to-day business of producing scientific knowledge is not always about success. Many research projects are unsuccessful stories producing ambiguous or 'null'-results that do not lead to unambiguous conclusions. Current publication practices often neglect this fact, since only positive results and clear conclusions have a chance to get published in scientific journals. JUnQ has set out to change this, gathering null-result research and open problems and offering a platform to communicate projects which just did not work, ambiguous data without exaggeration, and investigations which raise more questions than they answer.
The journal was founded in 2010 by doctoral students of the Graduate School of Excellence "Materials Science in Mainz" (MAINZ) in cooperation with scientists from around Europe. Since then, a total of 25 scientific contributions from various fields of research featuring null-results were published from international scientists. To provide legal stands, the non-profit organization JUnQ e. V. was founded in 2011.
In 2012, JUnQ was awarded the German Prize of Ideas (DeutscherIdeenPreis), which shows the great impact of the journal as well as its ideas of making null-results publishable in an open access community. JUnQ is published biannually as an open access journal.
The 5th issue of JUnQ is available online; a print edition can be obtained through the office of the MAINZ Graduate School of Excellence. Furthermore a promotion is planned for 28 January and 5 February 2013 during lunch time in the Mensa building at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, where printed issues will be available. The next issue will be released on July 1, 2013.