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Ever been involved in publishing research? Answer this survey of mathematical publishing priorities

From Mark C. Wilson of the University of Auckland, a little public service announcement for anyone who’s ever been involved with a mathematical journal.

Dear colleagues,

There is much dissatisfaction with the current state of research
publication, but little information on community attitudes and priorities.
I have started a survey which I hope you will fill in (I estimate 10-15
minutes, and it is completely anonymous). The results will be made publicly
available later this year. I hope that it will help to focus our efforts as
a community by allowing us to work toward broadly agreed goals.  I want to
get as representative and as large a sample of the world mathematical
community as possible. Please forward to your  local colleagues.

Please answer this  survey if and only if you have been involved with a
mathematical journal as editor, reviewer/referee, author or reader in the
last 3 years. By “mathematical” we also mean to include theoretical
computer science and mathematical statistics journals, and disciplinary
journals used by applied mathematicians. Essentially, any journal covered
by Mathematical Reviews qualifies.

Answer the survey

The arXiv overlay journal Discrete Analysis has launched

discrete analysis

Discrete Analysis, a new open-access journal for articles which are “analytical in flavour but that also have an impact on the study of discrete structures”, launched this week. What’s interesting about it is that it’s an arXiv overlay journal founded by, among others, Timothy Gowers.

Elsevier maths journals up to 2009 are available for free, and in a convenient format

A year and a bit ago, we posted about Elsevier’s possibly-generous, possibly-cynical move to make all papers in its maths journals free to access four years after their publication. I lamented at the time that the only way to access the free papers was through Elsevier’s sanity-sapping ScienceDirect portal.

Well, not any more! The Mathematics Literature Project (which we never got round to posting about when it started, sorry) has collected together all the content that’s been made available and collected it into nice BitTorrent packages for anyone to download. The MLP page on Elsevier open access journals has links to torrents of the complete back-catalogues of 39 journals, going up to 2009. They intend to update the torrents yearly, as more papers become available under the permissive licence.

The MLP was set up by Scott Morrison, who deserves a big pat on the back for putting in so much tedious work downloading papers and compiling the torrents. The project is also analysing journals to get an idea of how beneficial Elsevier’s licence is – if papers are available on the arXiv anyway, it doesn’t matter too much what Elsevier does with their copies. So far, at least in the journals the project is concentrating on, the vast majority of papers are on the arXiv or authors’ webpages anyway.

More information

Elsevier open access mathematics torrents at the Mathematics Literature Project

The Mathematics Literature Project

Mathematics Literature Project progress at the Secret Blogging Seminar

Scott Morrison’s academic homepage


Previously: Elsevier has made lots more articles free to access

via David Roberts on Google+

Elsevier one year on: “essentially nothing has changed”

A new post on Gowers’s Weblog gives, with permission, a letter of resignation from the editorial board of Elsevier’s Journal of Number Theory sent by Greg Martin. Gowers promises that the letter makes “interesting reading”, and he’s right.

Martin points out that it has been over a year since the Elsevier boycott began (covered on this site in the Open Access Update of 25th of May). The boycott currently claims 13,656 researchers have signed up. Martin says that the boycott caused “a flurry of communication back and forth between Elsevier and our editorial board (and those of other journals, I’m sure)”, but, he says “now the dust has settled, and I must conclude that essentially nothing has changed”.

In an interesting letter, Martin reflects on the original Gowers blog post, and on the Elsevier reaction to it, including a proposal to pay a fee to editors for processing articles (Martin says, “we want access to be less expensive; we’re not looking for extra dough in our pockets”).

Read the letter: Elsevier journals: has anything changed?

Open Access Round Up

The march of the righteous towards victory over the rent-seeking publishers continues apace, so here’s another Open Access round up. I’m not even going to bother trying to remain impartial any more, for the following reasons:

Some Turing-related articles free to read for a short period of time, thanks to T&F

Taylor & Francis have generously made some articles related to Alan Turing from their archives freely available until the end of the year. They’re calling it the Alan Turing Centenary Collection, and it includes two reports written by Turing during the war, a few articles which they claim are “about Alan Turing”, and a 1978 article by 2011 Alan Turing Prize winner Judea Pearl. Grab them now, while you can.

They’re also offering 20% discounts on the books The Computer Science Handbook, The Universal Computer: The Road From Leibniz to Turing, and Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology if you enter the code 193CM at the checkout.

T&F have made a PDF leaflet with descriptions and links to all the material in the collection. Rather cheekily, the second page of the leaflet contains a list of related articles which you might assume to be part of the collection. In fact, they’re still ambitiously priced at £27 each.

(via @AlanTuringYear on Twitter)