Tim Gowers has just announced an exciting new development where it seems that maths is leading the way into a new era of refereed publication. The idea (as I can fathom) is that a journal is a certified front for refereed articles posted on the arxiv. So for example, let’s suppose my fictitious journal — Journal of Good News in Mathematics — has a chief editor and 8 other editors whose job is to organise the refereeing of articles that are submitted to the journal as links to the arxiv. Because there is now no control of the typesetting, the editors may each ask at their discretion for authors to meet a typesetting standard: for example, that all submissions be originally typeset in LaTeX and that there be MSC numbers, keywords, and a concise abstract. Then control of typesetting standards can be administered through the editors refereeing process. It would be very interesting to see if the software can be made to make the initial setup as seamless as possible. That way, it would not take much effort at all for an already existing gold or diamond open access journal to convert directly to this revolutionary new medium.


9 thoughts on “Epijournals

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  1. Does the difference between an “epijournal” and (say) the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics just consist of where the papers are stored?

    1. In a word, yes, but I guess the main thing about epijournals is that if I want to start my own journal tomorrow, I don’t need to worry about the storage side of things, and perhaps the front-end software would also make things a lot easier.

  2. This is the logical next step; various journals already allow you to submit a paper to the journal by just sending the arxiv number which they then just send on to the referees, thereby ameliorating the tedious business of file handling.

    Ultimately a journal can just be a refereed window into the arxiv.

  3. One thing that’s not clear to me is: will it be clear if I click on an arxiv paper whether or not it has been refereed and accepted, and to which journal etc.?

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