Open and Direct

Again, no time to post properly today but here’s another variation on the theme of Open Access. The idea described in this post sounds very familiar, actually…

Gowers's Weblog

For some months now I have known of a very promising initiative that until recently I have been asked not to publicize too widely, because the people in charge of it did not have a good estimate for when it would actually come to fruition. But now those who know about it have been given the green light. The short version of what I want to say in this post is that a platform is to be created that will make it very easy to set up arXiv overlay journals.

What is an arXiv overlay journal? It is just like an electronic journal, except that instead of a website with lots of carefully formatted articles, all you get is a list of links to preprints on the arXiv. The idea is that the parts of the publication process that academics do voluntarily — editing and refereeing — are just as…

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One Response to “Open and Direct”

  1. At present, once a journal has accepted my paper, there is nothing to stop me putting a different version of it on the arXiv, with the same title and abstract, and with the correct journal reference. That is, I could take out changes the referee made me put in, or put in things that were not in the refereed version.

    Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic: another, more likely scenario is that I could put the first draft on the arXiv, and simply add the journal reference number after revision and journal acceptance, without updating the actual document, either through laziness or whatever. I’ve seen several examples of this, so I know it happens.

    The point here is that the journal version of the document acts as the definitive version that has passed peer-review. It is usually taken on trust that the most recent version on the arXiv matches the definitive version as closely as possible, but this is not always the case.

    If your new journal website simply consists of links to papers on the arXiv this will need to be checked – perhaps by insisting that only document versions already hosted on the arXiv can be considered for review, and then having the link on the journal webpage point to a specific version number.

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