Low Dimensional Topology

February 12, 2012

Math 2.0: Discuss

Filed under: Misc. — Jesse Johnson @ 9:24 pm

Scott Morrison (of Secret Blogging Seminar) and Andrew Stacey (of the nLab) have created a discussion forum called Math 2.0 to discuss the future of mathematics publishing: Should journals continue to exist? If so what should they be like? What roles will other types of publishing (arXiv, blogs, wikis, MathOverflow, etc.) play in the future landscape? Clearly, this is an important conversation to have – The major role that journals still play (as I see it) is to provide non-experts with a means of assessing and comparing mathematicians, areas within mathematics and even mathematics relative to other fields. Hiring and tenure decisions and agency funding decisions, to name just two, require a system of vetting (to borrow a term from politics) that administrators can understand and believe they can trust. The one strength of the current system is that it has a sense of legitimacy (at least to outsiders.) It seems that we, as a community, now have an opportunity to change the system, or perhaps even create a new one.  I hope that the discussions on Math 2.0 will help ensure that the new system is fair and effective, but also a system that will be deemed legitimate by non-mathematicians.

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