Thursday, September 06, 2012

The future of journals III

I must admit to being disappointed with the result of the popular movement to reform mathematical publishing initiated by Timothy Gowers. This is old news which I haven't commented on, that Gowers, Tao and others together with Cambridge University Press have proposed two new journals with the policy that the authors pay and that readers have free access.

This is one possible model, but it seems to me unfortunate that it the only model to emerge from the movement. I much prefer a mixed system of archives plus free online journals organized by working scientists.

We continue to be flooded by proposals for fake journals to support a fake evaluation system. We have reached the stage in Italy, if I understand correctly, that the choice of who is suitable to decide positions in the university system is based on numerical indicators like citation indexes, impact factor etc. Judgement by scientists of quality of research does not enter into choosing selection committees.

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