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January 25, 2011

Math Journal Workshop at MSRI

Posted by John Baez

Maybe mathematicians are finally getting serious about the problems with journals:

  • Workshop on Mathematics Journals, February 14-16, 2011, MSRI, Berkeley, California. Organized by James M Crowley (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), Susan Hezlet (London Mathematical Society), Robion C Kirby (University of California, Berkeley), and Donald E McClure (American Mathematical Society).

Here’s the description:

Mathematics relies on its journal literature as the main conduit for peer review and dissemination of research, and it does so more heavily and differently than other scientific fields. The conflict between universal access and the traditional subscription model that funds the journals has been debated for the past decade, while hard data on financial sustainability and usage under the different models has been slow to appear. However the last ten years have seen the move from print to the electronic version of journals becoming the version of record, and the workshop plans to take an evidence-based approach to discussing dissemination, access and usage of mathematics journals.

The workshop will discuss what is important and unique to the publishing of mathematical research articles and how we can best ensure that publishing practices support peer reviewed research in the long term. Much of the current discussion is taking place between funders and publishers, including learned societies, but not directly with mathematicians. A second goal is to see if we can find a consensus of opinion on what is important about journal publishing to mathematicians, i.e., where the balance lies between the desire for profits from publishing and the broader dissemination of research.

The invited speakers are:

  • Sir John Ball (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques - IHES, France)
  • David Clark (Elsevier)
  • Jim Crowley (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics)
  • David Gabai (Princeton University and Annals of Mathematics)
  • Robert Guralnick (University of Southern California)
  • Susan Hezlet (London Mathematical Society, UK)
  • Carol Hutchins (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)
  • Rob Kirby (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Hans Koelsch (Springer)
  • Matthias Kreck (University of Bonn)
  • Angus Macintyre (Queen Mary College, University of London, UK)
  • Paolo Mangiafico (Duke University)
  • Don McClure (American Mathematical Society)
  • Sam Rankin (American Mathematical Society)
  • Bernard Teissier (Jussieu Institute of Mathematics, France)
  • John Vaughn (Association of American Universities)
  • Mira Waller (Project Euclid)
  • Tom Ward (University of East Anglia)

It will be interesting to hear about the dynamics of this conference. Will someone ask the representative of Elsevier why we’re all required to buy Chaos, Solitons and Fractals? Or will it be a polite affair where the lion lays down with the lamb?

Posted at January 25, 2011 9:39 AM UTC

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Re: Math Journal Workshop at MSRI

Having participated in a mini-version with Elsevier,
the lamb will not lie down with the lion. The question
is whether the lamb’s speech will have any result.

Posted by: jim stasheff on January 25, 2011 1:05 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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