CHICAGO, IL (March 1, 2016) – World-renowned Cambridge mathematician Sir Timothy Gowers and a team of distinguished colleagues are taking on for-profit academic journal publishers with the launch today of Discrete Analysis, a revolutionary open access journal.
The peer-reviewed journal marks a new era in academic journal publishing. Discrete Analysis will follow the “diamond open access” model – free to read and free to publish – and will be fully owned by the publisher with no publisher intermediary.
The fight against the for-profit academic journal publishing industry
Gowers has long fought against rising subscription prices from monolithic publishers like Elsevier. He thinks journals should be able to be open access without being bound by publisher subscription requirements or article submission fees.
“Unfortunately, many traditional academic journals — often filled with research from public taxpayers’ money — are controlled by commercial publishers,” Gowers said. “Before the internet, that made sense, because they had printing presses, distribution networks, etc. But today, it’s an anachronism that needs to stop.”
gowers hope Discrete analysis will be a powerful step against monopoly control by publishers, putting the ownership of journals back in the hands of their editorial boards.
Digital publication for academic journals
In addition to paving the way for publisher-owned journals, Gowers said he hopes Discrete Analysis will serve as a model for the digital-only edition. Discrete Analysis will publish each of its articles on an ongoing basis, rather than in monthly, quarterly or annual journals, in order to bring innovative research to light more quickly.
“If you have newspaper problems, you implicitly accept that the old method of printing was the correct one, and you end up with a faint shadow of a proper printed newspaper,” Gowers said. “We don’t want to be that. We want to be resolutely modern and use the internet properly. We don’t pretend to be a traditional newspaper, we are something else.”
Scholastica’s role in realizing Gowers’ vision
The first articles of Discrete analysis, which present Terence Tao’s solution to the unpublished solution Erdős gap problem, are the embodiment of Gowers’ vision and are sure to position it as a leading journal. Discrete analysis will be able to publish in open access thanks to its partnership with Scholastic, an innovative online journal platform that offers an integrated suite of peer review and publication tools.
Gowers plans to use a small grant he received from the University of Cambridge to cover the nominal cost of submitting Scholastica, but says he would have no problem adopting an author-pays model in the future. , which he sees as a viable solution for other journals. “I think authors wouldn’t hesitate at all to spend $10 for a submission, which is all they need to use the Scholastica software,” he said.
Gowers and his team feel the launch of Discrete Analysis is important because it sets an example that academics can publish the highest quality journals themselves and need not be beholden to for-profit third-party publishers.
“The amount of work I do as editor and publisher of the journal is very manageable,” Gowers said. “I don’t suffer because I don’t have the administrative help of a large commercial enterprise. Scholastica makes things very, very easy.”
Scholastica co-founder Brian Cody says his team is excited to partner with the pioneering journal, which is in line with the company’s mission.
“Discrete Analysis is a perfect example of our purpose,” Cody said. “Scholastica makes managing peer review and journal publishing incredibly cost effective and easy for busy academics.
Gowers is convinced that researchers who make the transition to publisher-owned, rather than publisher-owned, journals in the future could be a boon to open access.
“Commercial publishers cost money in a way that is generally detrimental to academic institutions. We need to rectify that,” he added.
On Discrete analysis
Discrete Analysis is a solid mathematics journal started by Fields Medalist Sir Timothy Gowers of Cambridge. The journal publishes a range of topics broadly related to additive combinatorics.
Scholastica is an online platform for academic journals with an integrated suite of peer review and open access publishing tools. Over 300 journals in many disciplines use Scholastica to easily manage their peer review and publication process at a price anyone can afford.
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