For as long as I can remember our community has been complaining about the costs of "our" scientific journals. I looked up the institutional prices for the journals I usually submit to: Discrete and Computational Geometry ~1000 USD, GeoInformatica ~800 USD and SIAM Journal on Computing ~700 USD. This adds up to a lot of money for the libraries.

So instead we should all submit to cheap/free journals such as the ACM journals (ACM TALG is ~250 USD), Journal of Graph Algorithms and Applications and Chicago Journal on Theoretical Computer Science (is it still alive?). I have two questions:

1. With the exception of the ACM journals, the cheap/free journals don't seem to be doing very well. So why don't we submit to cheap/free journals?

2. Is it hard to start a new journal? If not, why don't we have heaps of new journals? There are new conferences popping up every day, why no new journals? Also, if it's easy why don't we just start one?

## Friday, February 22, 2008

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I guess the difference is the quality of proof readers these non-free journals have.. I never had a problem finding a paper online though .. The authors generally put them online for free ... but then i am just amateur :)

ReplyDelete> 1. With the exception of the ACM

ReplyDelete> journals, the cheap/free journals

> don't seem to be doing very well.

I disagree. The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics is doing very well. It published 83 papers last year, and is highly regarded by the combinatorics community. Other free electronic journals are doing well: New York Journal of Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science, Journal of Graph Algorithms & Applications, Contributions to Discrete Mathematics, Theory of Computing, etc.

> So why don't we submit to cheap/free

> journals?

Because people keep saying they are not doing well.

> 2. Is it hard to start a new journal?

No.

> If not, why don't we have heaps of

> new journals?

We do have many new online journals. See http://www.emis.de/journals/index.html

and http://www.doaj.org/

> Also, if it's easy why don't we just

> start one?

I think it would be better if existing journals that are not published by major publishers, such as Geombinatorics and the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics became freely availble online.

- David Wood

> I disagree. The Electronic Journal of

ReplyDelete> Combinatorics is doing very well. It

> published 83 papers last year, and is

> highly regarded by the combinatorics

> community. Other free electronic

> journals are doing well:

Looking through the links and the journals you pointed out it is clear that the discrete math/combinatorics communities is doing much better than the algoriths/CG community. Some of the free journals even have a high impact factor (whatever that means). However, I still believe that in my area there are hardly any successful freebies. I looked through my bibtex file to see how many of the entries that are published in free journals. It turns out that it's very close to zero (the exception is a couple of JGAA entries). So my conclusion is that a paper on algorithms/CG published in one of the free journals will hardly have any impact in the community (which probably wouldn't make much of a difference in my case).

The boring bottom line is that if no one cites my papers and/or my papers are published in journals with no impact factor I won't get any money.

> I think it would be better if existing

> journals that are not published by

> major publishers, such as

> Geombinatorics and the Australasian

> Journal of Combinatorics became freely

> availble online.

I fully agree!

> So my conclusion is that a paper on

ReplyDelete> algorithms/CG published in one of the

> free journals will hardly have any

> impact in the community.

If a paper is good enough, then regardless of where it is published, people will find out about it, and it will be cited. So even if everyone else is not doing it, buck the trend, start a trend, and send your

bestpapers to free journals.