Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The three paper day

I probably shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch (weird analogy at the moment), but today may have been a three papers finishing kind of day. And it is only Tuesday! 

I submitted one paper today, the second has a few details remaining to be attended to, and then it needs to be checked by the UK Super Secret Police before we submit (not entirely joking, due to my coauthor's part-time job doing top-secret stuff, they need to make sure he isn't giving away the master plans or whatever), and the only thing standing between me and submitting the third (single author) paper is... just doing it. 

Woo! No really, Woo! 

However, submitting a paper is not necessarily the most straightforward thing to do these days. From a technical perspective, I spent a week trying to submit my last paper, and was only able to do so with much help from the tech support folks (with 33 beautiful figures, the online uploader was quite hostile). But more importantly, there are currently some interesting things afoot in the academic publishing world. In particular, many mathematicians (and other scientists) are currently boycotting Elsevier journals. There are several reasons for this, chief among them being the high prices, the company's practice of "bundling" journals for sale to libraries, and Elsevier's support for several policy matters which are seen by some to curtail the open dissemination of scientific knowledge. All this is especially alarming when you consider that the journals receive free labour from their authors, referees and editors. 

I suppose the fact that I am not going to submit paper #3 to an Elsevier journal isn't exactly going to cause any ripples over there (not like the Fields medalists and other fancy math folks who are withholding their submissions). 

In other science policy news, here is an interesting article about Canadian scientists. 

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