CIP-189: The Center for Virtual Organizations and Communities and the DAO Journal


The Institute for Research and Theory Methodologies (RTM) is an American non-profit organization (501c3) founded in 2021 to help promote research and scholarship. This proposal seeks $9,990 for a three-year sponsorship for RTM to create a Research Hub for Virtual Organizations and Communities and the world’s first peer-reviewed, open access DAO-related journal (official name TBD). As a sponor, the benefit to CityDAO could be enormous – leading scholars, government think tanks and research institutions with huge communities around the world would be introduced to CityDAO. RTM will create and run the journal. We will benefit from its marketing and advertising CityDAO.

How would this benefit CityDAO?

Simply put, this is the best form of marketing that CityDAO could possibly ask for when it comes to recruiting researchers and institutions. Establishing CityDAO as a sponsor for scholarship on DAOs opens us up to an enormous potential group of citizens and participants that we could not possibly find within the web3 ecosystem. The people reached by this project will be highly-educated adults and industry leaders, those with the funds and the understanding to make real contributions to CityDAO rather than those who are just motivated by the NFT prices and the hope of a quick profit. In addition, we can be assured of quality because this journal is being run by RTM, a group of well-published scholars and academic professors with over twenty years’ experience.

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

In the world of legitimate academic research, only peer-reviewed journals matter. This is a harsh but true statement. DAOs operate in a world of blogs, mirror articles, YouTube videos, Twitter posts and various centralized servers. While they serve a purpose, none of these have true validity in the world of scholarship, research and government funding. A peer-reviewed journal is the gold standard.

Peer-reviewed journals publish studies that have been reviewed by academics, in order to create a body of knowledge that is accepted by professors, universities, and institutions around the world. While web3 has produced an endless waterfall of information, very little of it has been rigorously studied and published. As one of the most legitimate DAOs in existence, CityDAO is perfectly poised to sponsor a journal on DAOs. While there are very few journals devoted to blockchain and AI, there is nothing yet devoted to DAOs.

It is extremely complicated, bureaucratic, and time-consuming to create a peer-reviewed journal. It is similar to creating a university; it cannot be done by the average person, which is why this is such a tremendous opportunity. I have worked with RTM for over a year on DAO-related research and this opportunity would put us in contact with many of the most highly placed individuals who are studying DAOs. It would put CityDAO’s name into the minds of highly funded government and research institutions around the world.

But this isn’t web3, is it?

Much of the initial hype and notoriety regarding CityDAO was due to a single blogpost by Vitalik Buterin and the subsequent purchase of citizenship NFTs by a few celebrities. This was followed by news stories in traditional media sources, such as the Wall Street Journal, and a TED talk by CityDAO’s founder.

Since then, despite two years of development, working on various projects, hosting events and contests, participating in conferences, teaching university courses, maintaining partnerships and collaborations, running a consistent podcast, publishing twitter posts and monthly newspapers, nothing has significantly drawn people to CityDAO. Our community has not strengthened. Our Discord server is not an exciting place.

The bear market could be blamed, and may have contributed, but a possible issue is that we have only targeted the web3 community. In web3, while some people care about ideals such as decentralization, transparency and disrupting traditional paradigms, many people only care about NFT prices. However, a focus on price without value will never flourish.

One thing we have learned is that people must be attracted to our ideas and to our community, or else no one will want to join or participate, whether we buy one office or twenty. RTM is presenting an opportunity to join forces with researchers from around the world who study DAOs, each of whom brings with them a wide audience. This is a one-time opportunity.

Background to RTM

The Institute for Research and Theory Methodologies (RTM) was founded in 2021 by Dr. Kara Vander Linden, who has been a research professor for 20 years, working at Saybrook University in California for almost 12 years. The purpose of her organization is to train, mentor, support and connect students, faculty and researchers worldwide. As a relatively new organization, RTM is willing to partner with a smaller organization like CityDAO to focus on research about the DAO space. I have personally worked with RTM and Kara for over a year (unpaid), and have found the organization to be well-organized and run.

How would the funds be used?

Journal Fees: $1500 per year. For three years, that would be $4500.
Operating Costs: $1000 per year. For three years, that would be $3000.
Honorariums: (given to Editor-in-Chief, Assistant Editors, Copy Editors) $2990

Given that this is funding for a three-year project, this project may seek funding from other sources in addition to CityDAO.

If this passes, the funds will be transferred into a 3/5 multisig wallet controlled by two members of CityDAO and three members of RTM. All expenditures will be documented.


From the time of this CIP passing, it will take approximately 6 months to get the research hub and journal platform set up, establish an ISBN number for the journal, handle administration, recruit and train peer reviewers. Then a call for articles will be put out, which will go through the peer review process. It would be approximately one year before the first edition is published, which will be properly ranked as an official academic journal. These steps are critical for the long-term success of this project.


That is the thing we want.


I love this! Sounds like an amazing opportunity for us!

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I really like this idea and the DeSci movement! I am just thinking CityDAO is not the vehicle for it. A DeSci/research DAO seems that it makes sense, and I know of at least one similar effort going on in talentDAO. They are trying to create a decentralized social science journal. Even though I know the CityDAO mission is broad, I think it converges around the network state. @Da3vid since the DAO space is so fluid, why not try this proposal in one that feels more aligned?


CityDAO would not run this, and it’s not DeSci. This is being run by RTM, an organization of professors who have experience running peer-reviewed journals with serious publications to their name. CityDAO would be the sponsor and it would provide marketing for our name. This is not a decentralized web3 project. This is a legitimate peer-reviewed journal.

While TalentDAO may be creating a journal, if they’re doing it without an ISBN, an SJR rank, Scopus and Clarivate citations, then, no disrespect, but it’s a web3 project. There are lots of those. While they may provide some valuable information, only peer-reviewed and ranked academic journals are taken seriously outside web3.

This is a chance to have CityDAO’s name affiliated with the first official, ranked, peer-reviewed academic journal about DAOs. It’s not a web3 project, and typically only universities and professional academic organizations can run peer-reviewed journals. Most researchers and scholars have never heard of web3. This is an opportunity to potentially bring CityDAO’s name to an enormous global group of highly educated adults.


Ah! Thank you for explaining



Some questions…

1- This journal will be sold or its free ?
2- Hard or soft copy ?
3- Consumers will get this from where and how ?
4- I’m wondering how our brand would take place in this project ?

… journal by CityDAO
how we will place our logo and where ? topics related to sponsorship



Hi @Da3vid is there any other DAOs or web3 projects that you have talked with that might be interested in this initiative as well? I see a bigger group of projects helping in two ways:

  • 10k for 3 years feels a little low if we really want to invest in a successful journal
  • Having other brands bought in would help signal boost and legitimize it more

Also is there any ways we could do a proof of concept whether an academic journal might be right for the community before fully diving in? I am thinking in the sense of how much engagement our newsletter/newspaper is getting?


Dear @Da3vid and the CityDAO Community,

I am incredibly excited to see the proposal for the Institute for Research and Theory Methodologies (RTM) to create a Research Hub for Virtual Organizations and Communities, along with the world’s first peer-reviewed, open-access DAO-related journal. This is a big ol’ step in the right direction, and I wholeheartedly support this initiative.

Firstly, I’d like to commend the vision behind this proposal. Cities have long been hubs of innovation, research, and creativity. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book “The Tipping Point,” talks about the importance of connectors, mavens, and salesmen in spreading ideas (1*). Cities, and by extension, communities like CityDAO, can act as these critical junctions where ideas are not just generated but also disseminated effectively. Richard Florida, another influential thinker in urban studies, has also emphasized the role of the “creative class” in driving innovation in cities (2*). By establishing a Research Hub and a peer-reviewed journal, CityDAO is positioning itself as a leader in the DAO space, attracting the kind of intellectual capital that can drive meaningful change.

The focus on peer-reviewed research is particularly commendable. As you rightly pointed out, the world of DAOs is filled with blogs, mirror articles, and social media posts, but what it lacks is rigorous academic scrutiny. Peer-reviewed journals are the gold standard in academic research for a reason. They provide a level of credibility that is universally recognized, not just within the academic community but also among policymakers and industry leaders. This is the kind of marketing that money can’t buy (3*).

However, I’d like to propose a few points for consideration:

  1. Physical Publication with Citizen Discount: While the focus on open-access is laudable, a physical publication could add an extra layer of prestige and tangibility to the journal. Could there be an option for a physical copy, perhaps at a discounted rate for CityDAO citizens?
  2. Guaranteed Brand/Logo Placement: Given that CityDAO is sponsoring this initiative, it would be beneficial to have guaranteed brand or logo placement for a period of three years. This would not only serve as a constant reminder of CityDAO’s commitment to academic research but also provide additional visibility among a highly educated and influential audience.
  3. DAO Partnerships Council: Since other citizens have rightly pointed out there are other DAOs working in similar areas, I propose that we create a Partnerships team, which I will voluntarily lead for 5 months – the goal is to assemble, listen to, and filter the pulse of the ecosystem into strategic partnerships. Having someone like me on the team (unpaid) will allow us to create bridges of knowledge. Since I won’t be paid for 5 months, I’ll have to build a scaffold and walls to protect my (and by extension, this team’s) time.

In conclusion, this proposal is a game-changer. It aligns perfectly with the ethos of CityDAO and has the potential to elevate the community to unprecedented heights. I am excited about the endless possibilities this partnership with RTM could bring and look forward to seeing this proposal come to fruition.

Best regards, Tippi Fifestarr


Thanks for your reply. To answer:

  1. The journal is free, open access.
  2. Digital copy, though publishing a paper copy may be possible. Most journals come out four times per year.
  3. Consumers can get this from CityDAO’s website, or from any recognized list of academic, ranked journals. It could drive more traffic to our website from people would otherwise would never have heard of web3.
  4. Good question. Our brand would be prominently displayed and we would be mentioned in most or all articles as sponsors of this journal. I will get confirmation.

And again, the journal isn’t run by CityDAO. No web3 project has run an actual academic journal. Some say they do, but none of them are officially recognized.


Thanks for the comment. Yes, I’ve worked with quite a few web3 academic projects over the years, and CityDAO hosted a full academic conference in 2021 (links provided upon request).

The mistake is in comparing this to ANY web3 projects. They get no real academic traction. Web3 is a relatively tiny community with few scholarly connections to the real world of academics - the world of universities, governments, institutions, which is all web2. I am a very strong supporter of collaborations, and RTM absolutely wants to partner with other DAOs. Similar to t0wn or DAO Council, this will be a collaborative project as it expands. And if we sponsor it, we get the marketing rather than anyone else.

No DAO has ever run a peer-reviewed journal. This journal is being run by academic professionals with 20 years experience. CityDAO would be sponsoring it and getting marketing from it, and introducing the CityDAO name and the concept of DAOs to the wider web2 world.


Thanks for that excellent comment and for those suggestions. I think they’re great ideas and I’m strongly in support of a physical publication that we could at least bring to events and a citizen discount would be great. We will definitely have a guaranteed brand / logo placement. No question about that. Your offer to lead a partnership team would be gratefully ACCEPTED and it would be a joy to work with you on this!


I think this makes sense. In support

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happy for being the 21st like!


Good to see this

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