Blog on Mathemathical Journals

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The International Mathematical Union and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) jointly constituted a Working Group to study the issue of whether and (in the affirmative case) how both organizations should go forward with a Ranking of Mathematical Journals. The Report of the Working Group is available here.

Peter Olver(
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Jean-Paul Allouche
Directeur de recherche CNRS, Paris

I agree with most of what is said BUT one thing, namely "rating". Again this temptation to give marks like for pupils at school? This is slightly different from, but actually essentially equivalent to, ranking journals (see the other discussion): what universal criteria would be used? how to prevent fooling the system with your good friends-colleagues giving good marks provided you do the same with them, etc.

What is needed is validation, period. No mark, no ranking, no numbers: please let us stop this primary school tendency.

Sorry for my strong opposition, but the (mis)use of numbers and ranks is perversely invading everything: let us at least struggle against it in our scientific publications.

Anatoly Nikitin
Editor in Chief, SIGMA (Symmetry, Integrability and Geometry: Methods and Applications)

There exist an interesting project concerning scientific publishing in
the field of hep-th, namely, the SCOAP 3 project

Speaking briefly, this project is targeted to making all quality journals
in this field open access. These journals would be paid by some fund to make
the published articles open access, and libraries would pay not to publishers,
but to this fund.

There are certain criteria for the journals to be eligible for
this programme. At the moment the selection and evaluation of
journals is in process, and the procedure will be fully operational
from 2013.

It might be reasonable to consider using a similar funding model
also for mathematical journals, or just joining this project.

Benoit Kloeckner

It seems worth mentioning that a general discussion on this and related topics is currently taking place there:

Carol Hutchins
"The Scientific Evolution: Open Science and the Future of Publishing" Panel

Event chaired by S. Benjamin (Oxford Materials), including T. Gowers, Victor Henning (Mendeley), Robert Kiley (Wellcome Trust), Alison Mitchell (NPG), Alicia Wise (Elsevier), Cameron Neylon, and Lord Robert Winston.


Gowers discussion of review boards overlaid on begins after 1:23 in video.

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