Friday, 20 November 2015

New trend in academic publishing

This post is motivated by the launch of a new mathematics journal - Discrete Analysis as announced on Tim Gower's blog.

As some may already know, Tim has been a leading figure in the movement towards open access in academic publishing. His movement 'Cost of Knowledge' directed against Elsevier has attracted thousands of supporters.

As Tim mentions: will be purely an arXiv overlay journal. That is, rather than publishing, or even electronically hosting, papers, it will consist of a list of links to arXiv preprints. Other than that, the journal will be entirely conventional: authors will submit links to arXiv preprints, and then the editors of the journal will find referees, using their quick opinions and more detailed reports in the usual way in order to decide which papers will be accepted...
Most of the papers published in Mathematics are usually uploaded on arXiv first and then later submitted to journals for review. In the case of Discrete Analysis, the journal will have a rigorous review of the submitted articles and then will host the links of all the articles it deems worthy of its stamp of approval. Thus people can focus on the two things that matter most - the mathematics it contains and the competency of the editorial board.

Tim goes on to say:
Part of the motivation for starting the journal is, of course, to challenge existing models of academic publishing and to contribute in a small way to creating an alternative and much cheaper system. However, I hope that in due course people will get used to this publication model, at which point the fact that Discrete Analysis is an arXiv overlay journal will no longer seem interesting or novel, and the main interest in the journal will be the mathematics it contains. 
I sincerely hope it becomes true one day.