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September 24, 2017 / porton

Peer review for open access math books

We have a new kind of math publishing: Free books distributed through Internet.

It is a new kind of mathematical culture. Some books of this kind appeared with daunting success. It has great advantages. It is how things should be done in modern times.

But it miss an essential part of math tradition, peer review.

For articles there are open access journals. But for book form of dissemination of knowledge it is pitifully missing! And my prediction is that as math advances and becomes more of integration of sets of related ideas rather than just a proof of a particular theorem, book form of research will become more and more appropriate gradually replacing traditional article-based publishing. Thus we need it even more.

I self-published a book with my (seminal) novel research. The book is structured like a textbook and is accessible for beginning students. I put it (and even its LaTeX source) online for free. But my book is not peer reviewed. That’s a problem. I sent it to several traditional publishers, but they don’t want to put effort and money into a book which is already available for free.

The ultimate solution would be an academic publisher which would peer review free books. Ideally, they would do it for free.

I urge the mathematical community to invest resources into making such a new kind of publisher. This would integrate both novel Internet way and tradition of peer review. Please distribute this organization idea at conferences, meetings, math forums and blogs. It would be really great to implement this idea. We just need a will of an academy and some little money. It is worth to use these money for a benefit of the world as they would enhance development of science in the world. Do it!


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