Wednesday, February 1, 2012

scientific journals in the e-publishing age

There's been a bit of discussion on Google+ (John Baez - Jan 30, 2012) on the future of costly scientific journals. As print fades into history, there is no reason why scientists cannot have a system where their so-called pre-publications (e.g. on, a current source for many of these) can be reviewed, and with revisions acceptable to a peer community be qualified as being designated as published.

Proposal: continues as it is and some group creates (completely independent of that accomplishes the intended goal of reviewing the articles of When an article on gets a pass from the scientific peer community, it's designated as published.

(The problem, as has been pointed out, is for some group to actually go and create

What would be the result? A free and open article submission and access system as it exists now ( and a independent review system (

Update (2012-02-02): Looks like the site has been created.
Created On: 02-Feb-2012 03:35:26 UTC

(There's also a Google+ Page: +ArXiv Review)

The first step is to provide a Primer and Goals and Mission Statement for the site (along the lines of

Here is a start:

arXiv-Review is an openly accessible, moderated forum for commenting on and reviewing articles. (For information about arXiv, see To provide for this, each article submitted to arXiv can potentially have a review thread in arXiv-Review for comments and reviews.

Each review thread in arXiv-Review is identified by following the same reference scheme described in For example, corresponding to arXiv:math/9910001v1 <> is a potential review thread arXiv-Review:math/9910001v1 <>.

Browsing arXiv-Review is open to everyone (the "readers"). Those who comment on and review articles (the "reviewers") must register on arXiv-Review. In addition, a reviewer may be a member of a select "board" (TBD) on arXiv-Review (and this identification will indicated).

arXiv-Review system for evaluating arXiv articles: TBD.

arXiv-Review sponsors and operators: TBD!

1. See also: Proposal for A New Publishing Model in Computer Science, Yann LeCun.
2. Elsevier's Publishing Model Might be About to Go Up in Smoke - Forbes. Remarks on Google+: John Baez - Feb 1, 2012