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Rejecta Mathematica

by Count Iblis
Tags: mathematica, rejecta
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cesiumfrog
#2
Nov21-07, 09:45 PM
P: 2,050
the FAQ says it isn't a joke..
Count Iblis
#3
Nov21-07, 10:08 PM
P: 2,157
Quote Quote by cesiumfrog View Post
the FAQ says it isn't a joke..
Yes, it is serious. I was trying to get information about the journal "Journal of Combinatorial Theory-Series A". I submitted a paper to that journal some time ago and I haven't heard from them since, soI was wondering how much time they take to review a paper (I'm more familiar to publishing in physics journals than in math journals). Anyway, to my horror I found this. Zeilberger is not so positive about this journal. He mentions Rejecta Mathematica here

Chris Hillman
#4
Nov22-07, 03:26 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 2,340
Rejecta Mathematica

Hmm... I probably would have rejected the book also, which to my mind reads like notes for a first draft rather than a first draft. As for the paper on enumerating tilings, I agree that algorithms have value but generally one submits a paper on an algorithm to a journal which specializes in (math-related) computer algebra or "experimental mathematics", but his paper seemed a bit slender to me in comparison to others I've seen at such journals.

BTW, such complaints may be moot since numerous pundits fortell the Death of the Book within a few decades if not before (see for example recent comments by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, who was interviewed on "The Charlie Rose Show"), and others fortell the Death of the Scientific Paper. I find these prospects horrifying and am curious if anyone else feels strongly either way.
cesiumfrog
#5
Nov22-07, 05:19 PM
P: 2,050
Quote Quote by Chris Hillman View Post
fortell the Death of the Book [..and..] Scientific Paper. I find these prospects horrifying
Realistically, though an acceptable technology may still be a good few decades away, it seems reasonable that an electronic paper will eventually replace the pulping of trees for most purposes. I can't imagine that this would ever deter the production of scientific research articles (even if their precise format were to progress slightly.. certainly, when an experimentalist gives a talk, an embedded movie taken in the lab conveys something that ordinary overheads may not).
Chris Hillman
#6
Nov23-07, 12:33 AM
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Quote Quote by cesiumfrog View Post
Realistically, though an acceptable technology may still be a good few decades away, it seems reasonable that an electronic paper will eventually replace the pulping of trees for most purposes.
I agree, but I worry that this may be forced to happen before the technology has matured. Booklovers know that paper books with a good index really are a wonderful and hard-to-beat technology for information storage and retrieval (random access, portability, and as even Bezos concedes is a criterion for some humans, reading outdoors in natural light, or reading in bed).

Quote Quote by cesiumfrog View Post
I can't imagine that this would ever deter the production of scientific research articles (even if their precise format were to progress slightly..
Not that alone. There was a discussion of the changing face of scientific publication recently in The Scientist. Many amateurs (mostly cranks IMO) are calling for the dismantling of peer review, which I think would be a disaster, and due to the utter disarray of professionally published journals (prices have gotten really outrageous in some but certainly not all cases), this might come to pass. Particularly since there are powerful forces calling for the dismantling of the university itself, and even for the dismantling of Big Science.

Quote Quote by cesiumfrog View Post
certainly, when an experimentalist gives a talk, an embedded movie taken in the lab conveys something that ordinary overheads may not).
Yes, but I like to have something I can keep, refer to, and study under a variety of circumstances.
CRGreathouse
#7
Nov23-07, 02:01 AM
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Quote Quote by Chris Hillman View Post
I agree, but I worry that this may be forced to happen before the technology has matured. Booklovers know that paper books with a good index really are a wonderful and hard-to-beat technology for information storage and retrieval (random access, portability, and as even Bezos concedes is a criterion for some humans, reading outdoors in natural light, or reading in bed).
As much as I like paper, I must admit I've taken rather rapidly to computerized references. Full-text searching (albeit imperfect, either because the text is scanned or simply because it's essentially impossible to search inside formulas) really does make my life easier.

Quote Quote by Chris Hillman View Post
Many amateurs (mostly cranks IMO) are calling for the dismantling of peer review, which I think would be a disaster, and due to the utter disarray of professionally published journals (prices have gotten really outrageous in some but certainly not all cases), this might come to pass.
Heaven forbid!
matt grime
#8
Nov23-07, 04:04 AM
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Personally, I'm against the current peer review system in mathematics, and the importance some place upon it. But I emphasise the word current. The current system has two major flaws - expense and time - as well as other minor ones, which would be tolerable if it weren't for the time issue.

Some journals are expensive to buy. But more than that, they cost a lot of man hours in terms of (unpaid) editorship and refereeing. I don't know what the profit margin is on them, but none of the money is seen by those who do the hard work.

Then there is the time issue - several months, a year or more in some cases, before you hear back. When you remember who actually has to do the work, this is not surprising, but it isn't exactly a point in its favour.

Everyone has their anecdotes about acceptance criteria, which we don't need to go into here, as well. But at the end of a prolonged wait you get a referees report of variable use. And correctness of the paper is not one of the things that has to be commented on, which many people seem to forget; there is a reason why the Clay Institute requires an 18 month period to elapse after publication before they hand out a prize.

A trend I have noticed, and an unfortunate one at that, is that of splitting up one good paper into several smaller ones. This often increases the chance of acceptance, increases the number of publications on your cv, and increases the number of citations you get. All of which is good for playing the game of getting funding, but isn't necessarily defensible.

There do seem to be moves to take back the journal system. I can think of several new journals which don't have big publishing houses running them. They are properly run by and for academics. Dealing with them seems to mean faster turn around, and they put papers on the web as soon as they're accepted.
ObsessiveMathsFreak
#9
Nov23-07, 06:59 AM
P: 406
Quote Quote by Chris Hillman View Post
BTW, such complaints may be moot since numerous pundits fortell the Death of the Book within a few decades if not before (see for example recent comments by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, who was interviewed on "The Charlie Rose Show"), and others fortell the Death of the Scientific Paper. I find these prospects horrifying and am curious if anyone else feels strongly either way.
Books aren't going anywhere. There's no computer terminal, or software that can surpass the readability of bound paper. Books are simple, easy on the eyes and still (somewhat) cheap. It's also rare to find a resource online that is as comprehensive as a textbook. Books are king and will almost certainly remain so, though there's an outside chance that technologies like e-paper might change their appearance.

As to the death of the scientific paper, this too seems unlikely. However, I for one would like to see the death of the current scientific paper regime, whereby papers are put under lock and key by greedy publishers.

One thing the scientific paper might benefit from is a move from a format to be printed, to a format for the web. Instead of publishing a paper in a form meant to be printed off, writers could instead write a kind of mini-web site, i.e. a series of webpages that journals would put online. This would have the advantage of being able to include things like movies, or simulations, or code in a hyperlinked format. Then again, as mentioned above, people like their printed pages.
zetafunction
#10
Aug8-09, 04:23 AM
P: 399
i would support 'Peer review' but only to check that paper is correct , the problem with people evaluating papers is that some personal convictions could yield to rejection of paper Euler or Ramanujan (to citate someone) could NOT pass Peer-review system due to a lack of rigor in their results กก , and we are talking about two of the best mathematicians in history


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