Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tim Gowers: the good guys and the bad guys

Tim Gowers has written two posts in his blog, one on joining the bad guys and one on joining the good guys.
Both are about free access publishing in mathematics. The first is about author/institute payment for publishing papers. The second is about journals based on free archives with neither cost to reader or writer.

Unfortunately I don't think Gowers has much idea about the state of decadence in science today.

I quote one paragraph:
"There is another argument in favour of what publishers currently do, which is that they help your paper appear on citation indexes, they give you journals with impact factors, and so on. I hate all that stuff: the measures are incredibly crude and far less useful than a well-written reference. I think most mathematicians share my distaste. But a lot of other scientists don’t seem to, and there is a danger that if mathematicians are perceived as “not really publishing” any more, then they will not be understood or taken seriously in situations where they are competing with people from other subjects."

He feels distaste but does not realize that this use of numerical indicators is the end of academia. As I have mentioned elsewhere ( the committees which choose new staff in Italy are restricted to people with high numerical indexes, before any consideration of quality. The more rubbish you write the more likely you can choose your successors.



Post a Comment

<< Home