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Tipping Point For Open Access CS Research?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the solidarity-brother dept.

The Media 116

First time accepted submitter trombonehero writes "Prominent Computer Science researchers from Google, Microsoft and UC Berkeley are starting to sign the 'Research Without Walls' pledge, promising to never be involved in peer review for a venue that does not make publications available to the public for free. Others have made similar pledges in isolation; could this be the start of something big?"

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So enmeshed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803686)

Hard to believe it can ever really happen. But whatever, I know I am a cynic.

Why is this a good thing? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804066)

My biggest problem is wading through the crap publications to find the good ones. 20 years ago we called publishing incremental results "salami" science. Oh goody your arbitrary change to an algorithm improved it on some meager special case test set, and your publication is so short in the intro and discussion that you don't link it to the extisting stream of knowledge or compare it broadly. Your publication is unlikely to have any value except to adding length to your resume. Otherwise is has almost negative value since it's indistinguishable from all the other ones like it that are actually wrong.

Publishers at as a bit of a gate keeper in this tragedy of the commons. Publish less not more.

So true! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804144)

I totally agree and you can see that many people have the same problem. For example, there's things like "Faculty of 1000" which are sort of a cross between peer review and social networking. Basically, important people tell you what articles they read and liked. It's not open to everyone's vote. This helps focus this sprawling mess.

I only read the very highest impact factor journals now. I only read other journals when they are linked from an article in a high impact journal.

One needs more filtering not less. If publishing is free, it leads to overgrazing. Entry fees help everyone including the person publishing. Moreover the fact that they might be prohibitive to an individual but not to an institution is a good thing. It helps science advancements spread when people work in teams not as lone wolfs, no matter how brilliant.

Open publishing may sound good but it's not something I will be reading.

Re:So true! (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804326)

So, why not go for an online rating system where the "peers" can vote on good papers?

Re:So true! (2)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804474)

So, why not go for an online rating system where the "peers" can vote on good papers?

Because Digg and Reddit have taught me that often the top rated items are of poor quality, and that most really good submissions/comments don't get notably high in the rankings.

Ratings is a popularity metric, not a quality metric.

Re:Quality Rating (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804732)

It's a start.

You wouldn't just allow mass audiences to review, you'd Meta-Rank the Reviewers. So if Dr. ______ reviewed something well, and most of his reviews are insightful, you just "follow him" or something. That's what the Peer Review is like in the normal course. "Is this article sane? I am staking a small portion of my rep giving my Yay or Nay."

Re:Quality Rating (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804820)

So you'd advocate non-anonymous referees?

Re:Quality Rating (1)

Pence128 (1389345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806142)

Call him Dr. Snickerdoodle if you want. It doesn't matter what his name is if he's a good reviewer.

Re:So true! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806442)

It is computationally expensive but possible to combine the web of trust with scoring systems. The name "MuVo" was originally created for a site to compete with cdnow etc and paid for by Creaf with such a feature, but they took a pass and used the name and logo for their insipid line of mp3 players instead. Netflix seems to have such a system, but maybe they do a lot of cheating.

Re:So true! (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807238)

They tend to form alliances - you will see specific research groups collaborate together and/or cite each others work.

Re:So true! (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807982)

You mean, like they do it now in real life?

Re:Why is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804288)

Publishers at as a bit of a gate keeper in this tragedy of the commons. Publish less not more.

But this has to go hand in hand with researcher being evaluated on the quality of their research (and the quality of their research papers) and not only on the quantity. When the metric to evaluating researchers shifted from quality to quantity the result is the quagmire we have today. 99,99% noise, 0,01% signal.

Re:Why is this a good thing? (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807848)

Having actually submitted to top-level conferences, I can tell you that I really doubt this kind of crap would get published nowadays. At the very least, reviewers are going to demand lengthy "Related Work" and "Discussion" sections in which the authors will have to cite the reviewers.

What about the patents? (0)

CapineiroCapaz (2491432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803750)

"Ok, let people learn and use our patented ideas so we can sue them later."

Re:What about the patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803760)

Not relevant... unless publication occurs before patent application, in which case, no patent.

Re:What about the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803794)

Stick with developing software, in which case no patent.

Re:What about the patents? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803834)

In the US you have a year grace period after publication, although your patent will become invalid in a lot of other places.

Until closed groups push back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803774)

This is all well and good, but considering how much money is getting thrown around for research and publication and patents, I wouldn't be shocked to see some organizations that require a fee for publication access go straight to universities and the like with a "Hey, your professors need to stop going to these completely open venues, or we're going to stop publishing every other professor you have!"

Sadly, I don't think academia is pure enough to make this work.

Re:Until closed groups push back (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803966)

I wouldn't be shocked to see some organizations that require a fee for publication access go straight to universities and the like with a "Hey, your professors need to stop going to these completely open venues, or we're going to stop publishing every other professor you have!"

... and be charged with extortion [wikipedia.org] . Great!

In extortion, the victim is threatened to hand over goods, or else damage to their reputation or other harm or violence against them may occur.

Neither extortion nor blackmail require a threat of a criminal act, such as violence, merely a threat used to elicit actions, money, or property from the object of the extortion. Such threats include the filing of reports (true or not) of criminal behavior to the police, revelation of damaging facts (such as pictures of the object of the extortion in a compromising position), etc.

Most CS research today is junk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803778)

Between the 1930s to 1980s, most of the important computer science research was done. Since the 1990s, however, much of it has been utter rubbish. This goes far beyond the general "95% of everything is shit". There is basically no good research happening today, anywhere.

Hell, just look at any list of recently published papers. Many of them will just be buzzword-laden crapfests. They throw in as many buzzwords as possible, likely to try to get funding from industry vendors.

Of the remaining papers, those dealing with programming languages will merely be the researcher or researchers rediscovering some fact or property that we already observed back in LISP in the 1960s.

Papers dealing with algorithms are often merely minor tweaks to existing algorithms these days. There hasn't been anything truly groundbreaking in this field for decades.

Those dealing with networking are often proposing some new protocol to do something we've been able to do for ages. Worse, they're often merely tunneling one protocol through another and calling it a breakthrough. These days it's usually "some-existing-protocol over HTTP".

Then there are those bullshit research papers that propose some useless "model" of some over-simplified system. These are perhaps the worst of all. Hell, a bunch of interns in industry can often come up with more useful and realistic models and simulations during their summer placements.

I'm very thankful that I was able to be a researcher in the field when there were real discoveries getting made, and at least had the opportunity to retire before things got too shitty.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803890)

Kids these days.

Or maybe groundbreaking articles are hard to spot when they're published (unless the author is already a star). How many subscribers to Communications of the ACM read "A Relational Model for Large Data Banks" in 1970 and said, Wow! There's the future of the database field right there! Instead, they probably read through the articles promoting the latest tweaks to established database models, and concluded that nothing much was new.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803990)

Well computer science is a very young science.
The signal to noise ratio was much bigger in the 60's, 70's and 80's than now.
Not only because the foundations of the field were being created but also because less people were in the field. Nowadays there are thousand upon thousands of articles, and how many are really groundbreaking ?
The situation is also worsened by the fact (and this affects also other fields such as physics) that researchers are pushed to publish a lot, so you see shorter less "profound" articles being produced by the tons, and less quality "bigger" articles.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804104)

You're actually proving the GP's point, while trying to disprove it. Almost everyone in the industry at the time saw the importance of Codd's work right away. That's why it took off. It was groundbreaking, it was important, and it has had a huge impact. He got it right the first time around, and that's why so much of his work is still very relevant today, decades later. But now look at some of the most recent database research. A lot of it has been focused on NoSQL crap lately. These researchers are merely rediscovering what us geezers knew about and used way back in the 60's. Too many of these researchers are too young and ignorant of even relatively recent history of their field, and thus don't realize that non-relational database systems existed well before Codd's work. Reading a modern paper relating to some NoSQL topic is like a walk down Memory Lane for me and many of my colleagues. It brings us back to the 60's.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804046)

Hmm, Artficial Intelligence met Natural Stupidity already decades ago, so things did not change much indeed.

CC.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (2)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804126)

Could you present some evidence for your analysis? You sound as if all the "ground breaking" research in CS during the early years originated out of thin air. This is ridiculous. Much of early ideas in CS are derivatives from established concepts in mathematics, physics and philosophy. Also, creating a new idea is not the same as proposing an useful idea. For example, parallel programming techniques have been around since the early years, but it took many years of small research steps to transform these initial ideas in useful, easy-to-use programming languages.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807868)

Don't feed the trolls.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804338)

Maybe all the low hanging fruits are taken?

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (1)

jpate (1356395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804780)

Maybe all the low hanging fruits are taken?

More likely the field has just moved on to new problems and methods, and the GP doesn't know enough about these new areas to have noticed. In a lot of domains, we've gotten about as far as we can get with deterministic, rule-based algorithms, and the vast majority of research on statistical methods has happened since the beginning of the 90's. Bayesian methods in particular have proliferated only in the last five years or so.

Re:Most CS research today is junk. (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806512)

Papers dealing with algorithms are often merely minor tweaks to existing algorithms these days. There hasn't been anything truly groundbreaking in this field for decades.

The AKS algorithm for deterministic primality testing in polynomial time was published in 2002. Is that not groundbreaking?

This should be left to the free market. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803786)

The free market would correctly price and maximize the speed at which research is done. It has been proven by history and is under attack by the modern socialist hippie culture. The one thing we could do to help is to reduce the amount of patent trolling.

This change and its causes IS the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804222)

It's a win-win situation. Guilds (which is exactly what many pay-for-access journals function as) eventually starve or die for a reason: given enough time they're eventually self-defeating, just like any other kind of hoarding/monopolization taken to extremes.

Re:This change and its causes IS the free market (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804330)

That really depends upon what they're providing and what they're charging. Guild membership in the past was hugely important as it was often times the only way in which a person could gain the ability to do the work. That's somewhat changed in recent times due to easier access to education, but even now I maintain a TESOL membership so that I can more easily keep up with developments in my field.

Even if the materials were otherwise free, there's something to be said for paying a group to screen out the crap and provide it in an easily accessible format.

But more than that, they also often serve as a way of demonstrating knowledge the way that a degree does.

Re:This change and its causes IS the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37806232)

Point taken, I should differentiate between guilds-as-monopolies (no work except through the guild) and guilds-as-trade-societies (voluntary non-monopolistic self-certification and collaboration).

Re:This should be left to the free market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804414)

Jackass - this is not about the speed at research being done. We are talking about access to results of research which are often funded by governmental funds. Currently, publishing a paper about your research in a journal, gives the paper's copyright to the journal. The journals then peddle these papers at stupidly large amounts.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804418)

There is no "free market" in science. Most of the science is done on government paid positions and grants. Most of the journals are bought by government paid libraries.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805110)

Absolutely. After all, just look at what the free market has done for our banking system.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805402)

What is this bizarre fetish people have for insisting that the centralized banking system (and the world's economy, for that matter) is in any way based on a free market?

Big Banks, Big Business, and Government are intricately intertwined; that makes what the world has a corporatist market. Capitalism is about lowering barriers to entry, but the powers that be do everything that they can to regulate competitors out of existence.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805432)

I should add that while it's certainly possible for a monopoly to develop in a free market, it's not necessarily an inherently bad thing; as long as Walmart is putting every "Mom & Pop" shop out of business because Walmart can deliver the same/better service for cheaper/same price, then that's a good thing (Mom and Pop should find some other way to contribute to society).

Re:This should be left to the free market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805656)

The problem with monopolies is that, once large enough, they can put every "Mom & Pop" shop out of business because of their size and clout, and no longer need to compete on price or service.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805994)

If a monopoly no longer competes on price and/or service, then it should be easy to start a competing business. On the other hand, let's say that the barrier to entry is a matter of economies of scale: If society really is upset about being mistreated by a monopoly, then society won't mind protesting by paying extra at a competing store.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806458)

Wal-mart does not deliver the same/better service, they offer an inferior product (if it's not inferior when they start, they often demand that they product be cheaped down so they can sell it, and yet also demand that the product be no different from what appears in the same package at other retailers, thus crapping up whole product lines because of their clout) and inferior service at a price so low that it's difficult to justify going anywhere else.

Mom and pop still need to find another way to contribute to society, though; they either need to specialize so particularly that they fill some previously-undiscovered niche, or excel so wildly that they make it anyway. It's not enough just to have a good work ethic any more.

Unfortunately, laws continue to be passed to make it more difficult to exploit your natural advantages. For example, many kinds of businesses can only be operated with extensive permitting which is often withheld from would-be small business operators for no reason other than protectionism.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805658)

What free markets? Banking is one of the most regulated industries we have. Ever wonder why there is "checking" and "savings" accounts? There is all kinds of types of banking accounts in countries where banks are less regulated. All this safety and homogenization comes at a price. Any time a regulatory wind blows the wrong way, it creates a disaster (because it effects everyone).

Re:This should be left to the free market. (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806044)

It's not just the regulations, it's the close ties between the banking and gov't. When the Treasury and Fed are both watching out for their personal bank interests of course there are going to be problems.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37806434)

Yeah, Fannie and Freddie, who had the biggest losses of all, are exactly what's wrong with the free market.

Re:This should be left to the free market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37806000)

The free market does not work here - just as it does not work, for instance, in
provision of reticulated sewage systems.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/academic-publishers-murdoch-socialist

No... (2)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803812)

[C]ould this be the start of something big?

Call me when you get medical researchers to sign up for something like this. CS is a small backwater that the general public (and other fields, frankly) will not notice.

It's a good thing, but not necessarily earth-shattering. It would be nice to see articles out from behind the IEEE and ACM paywalls, though.

Re:No... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803836)

This is surely a start, and may be an example wich others will follow.

Re:No... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803880)

what the fuck are you talking about. "small backwater"? eat shit.

easy kung fu panda (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804120)

what the fuck are you talking about. "small backwater"? eat shit.

Easy tiger. If you cherish an academic discipline so much, one would imagine that you could bring your point across in a more articulated manner. I hardly believe an academic discipline needs (or appreciate) 3-grade retorts, specially if it is an academic discipline that started as a branch of Mathematics, and in which Mathematical Logic plays an important role.

He does have a point in that CS is a very small discipline in terms of its body of knowledge (in relation to other STEM fields). CS by itself is just short of 4 decades old, and the study of computability barely a century old. This opposite with the other engineering and science fields that have hundreds of years, on top of millenia of study and practice.

Don't confuse the pervasiveness of computing in modern life with the pervasiveness of Computer Science proper among the other STEM fields.

I do disagree with him, however, on his assessment that this is or might not be earth-shattering. For one, the fact that is occurring at all is earth shattering. And secondly, most earth-shattering events in science and academia do not start with a bang out of nothing (instead, they start from seed events and findings that gain momentum over time.)

Furthermore, even if CS is small fish when it comes to academic research, the institutions (both academic and private) that are pushing for this aren't small fish themselves. There is enough muscle there to bend arms.

Re:easy kung fu panda (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805858)

He does have a point in that CS is a very small discipline in terms of its body of knowledge (in relation to other STEM fields).

One needs to be careful with this kind of pronouncement. Computer science branches from mathematics in much the same way that chemistry branches from physics. The PC revolution matches the great blossoming of polymer chemistry dollar for dollar, decade for decade.

Just one word: octane.
Just one word: Isoniazid.
Just one word: plastics.
Just one word: lithograhy.
Just one word: Visicalc.
Just one word: infoglut.
Just one word: megadata.
Just one word: entanglement.

In Archimedes' Puzzle, a New Eureka Moment [nytimes.com]

Since I'm presently under the late-month NYT blackout (the mote in god's eye), here is a refracted redaction, via In Archimedes' Puzzle, a New Eureka Moment [democratic...ground.com] :

The Stomachion, concludes the historian, Dr. Reviel Netz, was far ahead of its time: a treatise on combinatorics, a field that did not come into its own until the rise of computer science. ...
"People assumed there wasn't any combinatorics in antiquity," he went on. "So it didn't trigger the observation when Archimedes says there are many arrangements and he will calculate them. But that's what Archimedes did; his introductions are always to the point."

Modern computer science is more about praxis that theory. But then, so is lithography. And music, too. Computer science is what you get if Mahler composed symphony of 100,000 as a jazz improvisation. There is no slight body of work to navigate to work yourself up from cowbells to timpani.

Re:No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803956)

Actually, in the biomedical and life sciences an increasing number of journals are making (or have been encouraged to make) their content open-access within a year of publication and some are open-access from publication date. See these links for examples:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/

http://www.freemedicaljournals.com/fmj/E2.HTM

Re:No... (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803962)

Well, if I understood correctly Physics already do that. Anything that's worth reading in physic is on arXiv. The questoin is whether computer science will start following the physics style or will keep on following the medical style.

Re:No... (1)

whiteworm (1452871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804948)

arXiv holds pre-prints, and several fields, including some CS research, not only Physics uses the service. It doesn't count as publication in the academic world, since papers are not reviewed, so the entire edifice by which scholars get credit for their work doesn't apply. The open access movement, on the other hand, does apply to publications that count toward a scholar's reviewed work. Physics as a field, incidentally, is one of the more hide-bound in terms of adopting new publication schemes.

Re:No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804212)

The biology community is, actually, way ahead of CS. We did this around 10 years ago. Has it changed anything? Yes, it has. Has it changed everything? No -- still only about 30% of papers are freely available. But this is a lot, lot better than none.

I work on the interface between the two. Computing science is small. And it is much more closed. Pain in the ass, frankly. So, I see this as a good thing. But I don't expect the change will be rapid.

Phil

Re:No... (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804432)

Call me when you get medical researchers to sign up for something like this.

All papers whose work was funded by the NIH is required to be open access [nih.gov] .

Re:No... (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804868)

I agree with the "No" for the long term. It will be nice and everyone's happy until someone (management) realizes they are not maximizing their profit potential, initializing the echelon, spanking the baby, or whatever market-speak term is popular at the time. And then start charging money.

I seriously hope I'm wrong and this works. I'm just a bit of a pessimist.

Re:No... (1)

thetartanavenger (1052920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805880)

It would be nice to see articles out from behind the IEEE and ACM paywalls, though.

Many articles available on ACM are actually availble elsewhere outside of the paywalls. Every publication I've ever made is on both ACM behind the paywall and my personal site and uni sites for free. I personally just google the name of what I want to read and it often turns up somewhere for free (legitimately). Not ideal though I know.

As mentioned by someone else, ACM has now started a linking service effectively allowing free publication through ACM. Haven't got round to sorting it for my stuff yet, but looks like it's what is wanted for people like me.

Re:No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805896)

As a Princeton academic, I can tell you that people publishing biomedical research are also signing on to this (willingly or not). It is now our policy that we may only send it to journals where we are able to make any of our work open access. This is affecting where we can send my group's most recent paper.

Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803822)

CS people are really good at posting all their work on their personal pages, offering preprints and reprints for free (heck, CS people even post their research statements and tenure documents, their family photos and their book reviews!). So making this official would be a nice statement, but not a significant shift in practice...

Re:Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803856)

CS people are really good at posting all their work on their personal pages, offering preprints and reprints for free (heck, CS people even post their research statements and tenure documents, their family photos and their book reviews!). So making this official would be a nice statement, but not a significant shift in practice...

Not by a long shot. For some very important articles you have to hope someone has photocopied it and put it online on his personal webpage. Otherwise be prepared to pay 30+ $ for the article (if you're not a subscriber to the journal, and no single person can afford that kind of cost).
How about a nominal fee of 5$ per article downloaded eh ACM and IEEE ?
Especially the ACM is a treasure trove of important research articles (most of which date from the seventies and eighties) all behind the $$$$$$$ wall.

ACM now provides free access (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803832)

As of this week, ACM authors can now post copies on their personal/institution website, through a somewhat convoluted process. I think ACM already let you do this (I've never had any cease and desists in any case), but this is now integrated into their digital library and contributes towards your download count. A small step, but a good step.

Re:ACM now provides free access (1)

six11 (579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803900)

Thanks for pointing that out. Download count is not really important for tenure cases but it does help gauge interest. I might just have to point my own paper PDF links to ACM now to start tracking that.

Re:ACM now provides free access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37803922)

Yes, download count doesn't matter at all at my school. What counts is citation count, ie how many other papers have cited you, including your self of course.

Re:ACM now provides free access (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804344)

Here's the ACM link [acm.org] I failed to post before.

Re:ACM now provides free access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805184)

As of this week, ACM authors can now post copies on their personal/institution website, through a somewhat convoluted process. I think ACM already let you do this (I've never had any cease and desists in any case), but this is now integrated into their digital library and contributes towards your download count. A small step, but a good step.

ACM's policy does not allow you to post the official published PDF on your own website. Whether they enforce this policy or not is immaterial; they retain the copyright and all rights to your work. Some authors have worked around this by posting a similar "preprint" version of their paper on their personal website, but the long and short of it is that only ACM has the power to distribute the research you did and other volunteers in your field reviewed for free.

Let's also look at the asymmetry of benefits here: Authors jump through a pile of hoops and get download counts for their own papers from the ACM digital library. ACM gets a pile of personal information about the author, popularity statistics across their entire corpus of publications (so they could, say, charge more for popular papers), the right to withdraw this service at any time, and the ability to pass this off as "free access" to the public. The public gets official versions of the research that invested authors wanted to provide (for now) with more copyright restriction, to boot.

As for this "Author-izer" thing being "free access" - sure, for now. What happens when the author dies, or changes homepages or the department changes subdomain (eecs -> cs or cs -> cse, as I've seen happen before), or the ACM declares bankruptcy and their creditors are less interested in providing that same free access? Public domain or another system that grants redistribution permission is the only thing that really solves the underlying problem.

The "Author-izer" system does nothing but paper over the symptoms. Sadly, it will probably be enough for most people who just want to post the full version of the paper on their site, but I'm unconvinced that this is a good long-term solution for what researchers want - broad dissemination of their works, so anyone who would find their work useful and worth citing will be able to read it.

This *is* big (4, Insightful)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803838)

This is big. There are a lot of parasitic journals today, that is, journals that take work the public paid for, and lock it behind paywalls. Parasitic journals typically use big-name free labor from to do the peer reviews. If the world removes from the parasites many good peer reviewers, as well as many good papers (through policies like the NIH Public Access policy [nih.gov] ), then they will have to change or fold. I don't have a problem with organizations paying for work to be done, and then charging for use of the result. For example, most fiction authors get at least some money for their labor (not a lot, but at least some). In contrast, parasitic journals typically take publicly-funded stuff away from the public; time to change. By the way, there are a number of journals and publications that have always done this, like ACSAC. If authors would simply ONLY submit their works to open access journals and publications, the parasites would disappear.

Re:This *is* big (3, Interesting)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803988)

If authors would simply ONLY submit their works to open access journals and publications, the parasites would disappear.

The problem here is that someone needs to organize these things. Someone has to pay for the bandwidth, buy and run the servers, spend effort soliciting reviewers, run the reviewing software, respond to questions, request ISBNs, submit the work to indexing sites, etc etc etc..

Open access journals address this by having a publication fee, or by advertising, or by seeking volunteers and asking for charity. Paying for publication gets blurry with vanity press, and advertising ends up sucking up to the advertisers. Volunteering and charity seem wonderful, but have to compete with lots of other worthy causes.

In CS, most of the major publishers allow you to post a copy of your paper on your personal website (as long as you also link to the official version). Finding papers outside of the paywalls is only difficult when the authors are in industry (but those aren't the publicly funded papers you're talking about anyway).

Re:This *is* big (4, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804044)

You do realize, I hope, that many, if not most, for-profit journals also have publication fees? That includes a good number of very high-profile journals, and the fees are generally as high or higher than open access journals. Journal of Neuroscience, for instance, will charge you just north of $1000 for a paper - $950 in publication fee and $120 just to submit the paper.

Open Access journals are in general no more expensive to publish in that for-profit journals, and they have more generous exceptions for people that find it difficult to pay.

Re:This *is* big (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804450)

You do realize, I hope, that many, if not most, for-profit journals also have publication fees?

I don't, and while some perhaps do, I suspect most of the moderately prestigious ones don't. At least not the main ones in physics or IEEE.

When I was in grad school, if someone told my advisor that a fee would be charged for publication, he'd give them an earful and publish elsewhere. And it's quite telling that he never did this because he was never asked for a fee.

Re:This *is* big (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805186)

They all do. The "prestigious" ones especially and yes IEEE does too. 50USD per page is about as low as it gets. I have paid over 2000USD in some cases for my papers. Every single one has page charges, i know of no exceptions. I think your adviser is not telling you everything.

Re:This *is* big (3, Informative)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805296)

They all do. The "prestigious" ones especially and yes IEEE does too.

From the IEEE submission guidelines [ieee.org] :

Voluntary Page Charges and Reprints: After a manuscript has been accepted for publication, the author's company or institution will be asked to pay a voluntary charge to cover part of the cost of publication. IEEE page charges are not obligatory, and payment is not a prerequisite for publication. The author will receive 100 free reprints if the charge is honored. Detailed instructions on page charges and on ordering reprints will accompany the proof.

Emphasis mine.

Re:This *is* big (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806892)

Yeah right. Have you ever tried not paying to get your article published? Those charges are about as voluntary as paying for something in a shop.

Re:This *is* big (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807856)

Yeah right. Have you ever tried not paying to get your article published?

Perhaps you didn't bother reading my earlier messages.

I didn't pay.

My adviser didn't pay. The one time he was asked to pay for publication, it was because he had submitted to an open access journal. When he found out they required money, he remarked that the open access model's going to fail because they require money whereas the traditional ones don't.

If you paid, then either:

  • You submitted to an open access journal. This may be common in the medical/biology sector.
  • You wanted special treatment (e.g. color images).
  • You got duped and submitted to a sleazy journal.

Re:This *is* big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37806922)

For my latest article I pay 100 US$ a page, and the Journal keeps pestering me with questions like "Can you remove that one word from that sentence there?" and "You have uploaded your figures in the wrong order!" I'm not kidding! They have the LaTeX source for the manuscript, and all the figure files are named Figure_x, where x = 1, 2, etc. So they could just as well have made these small changes themselves, which would take them 5 minutes instead of 2 days. It would be very nice if they would do something for these 100 US$ a page!

Re:This *is* big (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807872)

Either you're submitting to an open access journal (or something similar (e.g. PubMed)), or want special treatment (e.g. color), or it's a sleazy journal, or things are just wildly different in your discipline than in physics and IEEE.

Mind you: I dealt only with journals published by a professional organization (IEEE, ACM, APS, etc). Perhaps some journals published by private companies (Springer/Elsevier) may require payment, but I don't think it's common for the "good" journals.

There's a reason why a lot of academics state that they think open access will fail: It's because the latter requires payment whereas the traditional journals most academics publish in don't.

Re:This *is* big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804952)

I haven't encountered this in CS yet, and would take it as a strong indication of lack of quality (i.e.: venue to be avoided, paper published there will likely damage career).

I have seen an IEEE conference which has an surcharge for each page over the page limit. While I find that questionable, I'm not yet convinced that that practice is outrageous. Dubious, yes. I don't know about outrageous yet.

But paying for publication? Wow, that sounds like a really good deal. [youtube.com]

Funding needs are far smaller (1)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 2 years ago | (#37806476)

The problem here is that someone needs to organize these things.

True, but not relevant. The necessary organization and infrastructure can be done quite cheaply, if organizations are willing to move from the past to the present.

Someone has to pay for the bandwidth, buy and run the servers, spend effort soliciting reviewers, run the reviewing software, respond to questions, request ISBNs, submit the work to indexing sites, etc etc etc..

I think you're grossly overestimating the costs if they switch to an exclusively digital realm, which is where they need to go. Bandwidth and running basic servers (which is all that's needed) are commodities. WebHostGiant will provide bandwidth and basic servers for $2.79/month with no bandwidth maximum. A serious journal will want more than that, yes, and there are other requirements too. For example, you'll need DNS registration (which companies like GoDaddy or 1and1 will do for cheap). But really, these are highly-competed commodities, so we're talking about petty cash budgets in most companies. You could probably set up the technical infrastructure for less than $100/year, plus 20 hours of volunteer time for the initial setup. Just get 5 people to contribute $20/year and you're done. The exact number isn't important; what's important is that it is REALLY REALLY small compared to paper-based publication.

Yes, you need some code to manage reviews, but not much. Existing programs can do the job; you really don't need more than a Wiki or mailing list. You can get some efficiencies using specialized programs, but their development could be amortized across lots of different journals (it's perfect for creating as open source software; there are probably several such programs already). It's clearly possible; Wikipedia's MediaWiki, for examples, wasn't developed by a for-profit organization, and it handles scales far beyond what journals require. You need an ISSN, not an ISBN, for a magazine, and that's a one-time expense.

The "soliciting reviewers" and so on can be done by volunteers, as is already often done.

The basic problem is that paper publishers haven't noticed that the digital economy is VASTLY cheaper (or they're scared BECAUSE they realize this).

Open access journals address this by having a publication fee, or by advertising, or by seeking volunteers and asking for charity. Paying for publication gets blurry with vanity press, and advertising ends up sucking up to the advertisers.

So stop pushing the paper. Push the bits, and let people print what they want. For academic works, what people (should) want is the information, not the pretty binding.

Volunteering and charity seem wonderful, but have to compete with lots of other worthy causes.

Absolutely true. But if it's easy, it's not too bad. Also, volunteering for journals is considered something valuable in many academic circles, so it's not just charity in many cases. The paywalled journals depend on volunteerism already, so it's not a change in that respect. And when people don't feel exploited, they're more likely to volunteer.

In CS, most of the major publishers allow you to post a copy of your paper on your personal website (as long as you also link to the official version). Finding papers outside of the paywalls is only difficult when the authors are in industry (but those aren't the publicly funded papers you're talking about anyway).

Fair enough. But typically CS researchers are writing papers because they want to get information out to the widest possible audience that would be interested. Paywalls just get in the way, for reasons that are now obsolete.

There are two aspect of the problem (3, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37803938)

And the one that matter for me (a researcher) is how I get funded. Basically I get funded when I can convince other people of how good I am. To estimate that, they look WHERE I am publishing my research; and most likely, they do not look at WHAT I am saying. The name of the conference or the journal is what matters most. What you are actually doing is not so important.

I know that suck. It makes me cry at night. But that is what it is. If I came not to publish in journal with no public open access, I won't be able to publish in journals that matter in my field. So I won't get funded.

I totally agree the public should be able to read what ever we write. But I can not give up my funding. (For the record: no funding, no food on my table.)

Moreover, that's basically a false issue. All journals and conference allow you to publish pre-print on your website. All my papers are on my website or in arxiv. So I am not even sure it matters so much.

Of course, complete open access for everybody would be better.

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804054)

But you can refuse to review for parasitic journals and only accept to review for those that have reasonable pricing.

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (5, Informative)

jameson (54982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804146)

The pledge is not about not submitting to these venues. It's about not reviewing for them.

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (1)

whiteworm (1452871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804982)

Pledge aside, it would be nice if the set of Google folks who signed up would start submitting some more of their work for publication. :) I understand that publication record doesn't count much internally at Google (unlike in more traditional corporate labs.).

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (2)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805892)

It is completely hyprocrit to submit paper to a journal and refusing to review for it on moral grounds.

When you submit a paper you consume reviewer time from peers. You have to give that time back to the community by reviewing papers.

You could claim that the publisher makes a lot of money on free labor from reviewers and that reviewers should be paid (which would make sense). But that wont make you progress toward open access journals.

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (1)

im3w1l (2009474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807468)

You, it is the smart move. Since the return for publishing in a high prestige journal is so great, it is unreasonable to ask people not to publish there. Asking people not to review for them is something that wont hurt the individual who practices that behavior. "When you submit a paper you consume reviewer time from peers. You have to give that time back to the community by reviewing papers." Or else? The journal fails? I think this is exactly what is intended...

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807474)

You can give that time back to the community by reviewing papers for other, open-access, venues. That way you fulfill your community obligations while also helping support open-access publishing.

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (4, Informative)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804522)

Actually, the ACM recently [r6.ca] refused to publish an author because he posted it on ArXiv.

This was a copyright assignment issue, but it directly impacts the strategy you suggest. As an academic myself, the copyright assignment issue is as big an issue as open access. For example, ACM does not allow me to let others use any figures I publish with the ACM. Sorry, Wikipedia, I may have the perfect figure to illustrate one of your articles, but the ACM won't let me give it to you.

I'm not even allowed to use my own figures for my own uses unless I put an ACM copyright notice on every copy of the figure and every slide with such a figure. This is not consistent with academic practice and custom (almost all presentations at ACM conferences violate this rule).

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (1)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807066)

If your institution has in-house counsel, ask them how small a change you could make in a figure to have it be considered a 'different' figure for copyright assignment purposes. If you do, I'd be interested in the answer you get.

Re:There are two aspect of the problem (1)

williamhb (758070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37807802)

Actually, the ACM recently [r6.ca] refused to publish an author because he posted it on ArXiv.

This was a copyright assignment issue, but it directly impacts the strategy you suggest. As an academic myself, the copyright assignment issue is as big an issue as open access. For example, ACM does not allow me to let others use any figures I publish with the ACM. Sorry, Wikipedia, I may have the perfect figure to illustrate one of your articles, but the ACM won't let me give it to you.

I'm not even allowed to use my own figures for my own uses unless I put an ACM copyright notice on every copy of the figure and every slide with such a figure. This is not consistent with academic practice and custom (almost all presentations at ACM conferences violate this rule).

This is one of the parts I consider most shocking. I could understand Springer or one of the commercial publishing houses being a pain like this -- they are for-profit businesses whose primary interest is supposed to be sustainability of their business. But IEEE, ACM, and others are learned societies -- charitable institutions whose raison d'être is to support science (rather than enclose and restrict it). And yet there are so many examples of them being, well, uncharitable and inhibiting the use of science by scientists. They should be the ones pushing open access, not having to have it pushed upon them.

False issue? (1)

openfrog (897716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805084)

And universities having to pay extortion money ($5,000 per year in some cases for a single journal) is also a non-issue?
You are simply describing as inevitable the mechanism by which parasites exploit your work, so you are just looking for the quick way out. Shortsighted.
Not a false issue.

Re:False issue? (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805866)

Well, of course it is a real problem. I would love the system to just switch to openness in a night. I believe if the publication system was open it would work. Right now if I do not publish in high end journals (which happen to have access fees), I won't get funded. If I don't get funded I don't get paid and I need to find another job. Then who cares I am not reviewing for these journals? I am out of the system anyway.

Of course I would love all publications to be freely available. But right now, it is a move I can not make. If there were free access journal that are respected in my field, then the policy would make sense. But right now there are none.

Before going for the kill on journals behind paywalls, we need good open-access journals that are recognized by institutes. Before that, stopping publishing in these journals is just commiting academic suicide (unless you are so famous people don't care about your publication record anymore, which is not my case).

circular butt sniff (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805556)

they look WHERE I am publishing my research; and most likely, they do not look at WHAT I am saying

It has become increasingly apparent that the value of education received in upper crust undergraduate programs or post graduate degrees rarely equates to the dollars spent. What people are really paying for is a premium rung on the social graph.

It's rarely clear how one recovers the investment, unless you're one of the bright lights that launch onto a lucrative career track. How many humanities graduates ever see tenure? I saw a study the other day which determined that out of an especially strong draft year in Ontario (long ago), of the 30,000 kids enrolled in hockey at the lowest levels, two players became well-known NHL regulars, and maybe twenty got a cup of coffee.

But people continue to sign up for big debt and small hope, more out of fear of losing your rung than a clear idea of how the loan is eventually retired.

I'm wondering if soon every good job out there is obtained after ten gruelling episodes on The Apprentice.

Perhaps we can train Watson to assess a little more importance to WHAT and a little less importance to WHERE, so that the parallel aristocracy of competence doesn't die out completely.

It would be funny, you know, if the computers are the first intelligent life form to curl their lip at the social graph.

The day we learned to love Microsoft? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804142)

Parable of the lost son and all that,

This is something BIG... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804456)

NO

This is what politics looks like now

Preprints are not bad! (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804512)

I don't know why the second link is really upset about the preprint policy. In fact, not long ago being allowed to put preprints on a public server was considered a victory.

For those who don't know, a preprint is not the version you submitted to the journal, but the version just prior to publication: After the peer review, after the formatting, and after all corrections. It's the one they send to the author saying, "This is how your paper will look - do a a quick glance to see if you find any errors." It's almost always identical to the final paper that is published.

So if they allow preprints, then it's as good as the final paper. To complain that they don't allow the final paper is just whining.

Re:Preprints are not bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37804914)

Nope, the preprint at least some journals allow you to publish on a preprint server is the version prior to you submitting the paper. It must not include feedback from the reviewers. Your journals may be different on this topic (are you sure?), but some other journals are not.

Re:Preprints are not bad! (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805326)

Nope, the preprint at least some journals allow you to publish on a preprint server is the version prior to you submitting the paper.

Perhaps in some journals, but not in IEEE, which is one of the two he was complaining about:

From the IEEE submission guidelines [ieee.org] :

Proof: Before publication, proofs will be sent to the author (or to the contact author who submitted the paper). Typographical, illustration problems and other errors should be marked according to the instructions accompanying the proofs. This is not the time to rewrite or revise the paper, and the cost of excessive changes will be billed to the author. However, it is important to review the presentation details at this time and carefully check for any errors that might have been introduced during the production process.

Emphasis mine.

They send you the proof (which is the preprint) after all the refereeing is done and any changes the referees suggest have been implemented.

Re:Preprints are not bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37805434)

That is a "proof", not a "preprint". In my field, the preprint is entirely generated by the author. The first will be their first version submitted to the arXiv. Then they will submit the same thing to the journal, who will send it to a referee or two. After incorporating comments from the referee, the author will make another preprint and send that back to the journal, whereupon the journal will accept it and send a set of "proofs", which are checked by the author for errors. So neither the first nor the second preprint have had any sort of input from the journal, only from the referees. Upon acceptance of the proofs, the author typically sends the second preprint to the arXiv as a second version. So the second preprint has the input from the unpaid independent referees, not the journal. So I agree that the preprint is just as good as the final paper (sometimes better, as it can be updated on the arXiv after publication to fix typos, and doesn't have the errors that the journal makes when retyping the paper even though the latex source was provided...!), but this is not the version that the journal created - the copyright on that belongs to them.

Re:Preprints are not bad! (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805576)

That is a "proof", not a "preprint".

In the journals I've published in, the two are the same.

And given the context of the discussion, the version the IEEE allows you to publish is almost the proof. From the complainer's own page, he links to the FAQ [ieee.org] , where it says:

The new policy retains substantial rights for authors to post on their personal sites and their institutions' servers, but only the accepted versions of their papers, not a published version as might be downloaded from IEEE Xplore®.

And the first question in the FAQ is:

How does IEEE define an "accepted" version?

  An accepted manuscript is a version which has been revised by the author to incorporate review suggestions, and which has been accepted by IEEE for publication.

This isn't the final formatted version, but the version that is final in content. No more revisions will be made. It is the one accepted by peer review, and is for all practical purposes as good as the published one.

Granted, the FAQ does define a preprint to be the one prior to submission, which conflicts with my usage, but then the complainer is factually incorrect in saying that the IEEE only allows preprints.

The fact, however, remains that the IEEE allows you to publicly post the final revision after peer review.

So I agree that the preprint is just as good as the final paper (sometimes better, as it can be updated on the arXiv after publication to fix typos, and doesn't have the errors that the journal makes when retyping the paper even though the latex source was provided...!), but this is not the version that the journal created - the copyright on that belongs to them.

So we're in agreement. It just seems silly to whine that you can't publish the final formatted paper, when you can publish one as good as it.

Something big? Let's hope so! (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37804904)

It's likely that many people here are sick of all the expensive academic periodicals that often contain interesting articles, but that almost no one without access to a university library can read... except perhaps for a summary. One of my interests is herpetology, which is pretty obscure, but nevertheless, there seem to be hundreds of periodicals published on this one very narrow subject alone. I've also heard stories about researchers who were upset to find out that their own papers, once published and on which they worked so hard, turned out not to be publicly available anyway. At that point the publishing company owns the copyright on your work, so AFAIK you can't even publish it on your own website.

Once upon a time, I suppose getting your paper published in one of these obscure and specialized academic periodicals was one of the only options available. Every few months a limited number would be printed and mailed out to university libraries around the world, but only to the ones with an interest in the subject (and willing to pay the subscription fee). Even today, however, the number of academic periodicals out there seems way out of proportion, so how come?

Well, it turns out that everybody would like to publish in the better known periodicals, but that most papers are rejected for various reasons. Still, as an academic you have to keep publishing (publish or perish!), so then you try to get your work published in one of the lesser known ones, perhaps with less peer review. This is one explanation. Another is that corporations often like sponsoring periodicals; sometimes just a little, and sometimes so much that they launch their own as a vehicle with which to advertise their products. However, peer review usually isn't worth all that much in cases of the latter.

The times, however, have now changed things rather dramatically. With the Internet, in my mind there is little or no need for these wretchedly expensive periodicals any more. Are they really good for science anymore, or are they only good for generating revenue for the publishing companies? Actually, it may be that things will change regardless. Of the periodicals that depend on sponsorship to some degree, many of their sponsors are now losing interest, probably because they think their activities on the Internet are more important. It's true that papers still needs to get peer-reviewed, but if it turns out that most researchers are now willing to do that even when the publications will be made available to the public for free, then everybody wins, right?

Perhaps I should add a note regarding medical periodicals. From what I understand, whether these are associated with expensive subscription fees or not, access to them is often restricted. If so, this is because it is felt that if the general public (e.g. journalists) had access to them, that the articles would more likely be misinterpreted. However, since this is bound to happen anyway, and it's worse if most people only have access to a misinterpretation of the article, I see no excuse for this practice either.

not a very controversial pledge (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37805622)

I would be much more impressed with someone making a pledge to never peer review any article which doesn't include (at least in the appendix) the experimental data on which the article is based. Most current publications do not have the requirement to publish the data. Which makes all publications nothing but inherently unreliable claims.

the promise doesn't go far enough (bioinformatics) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37806472)

This is a great start, but doesn't go far enough.

>promising to never be involved in peer review for a venue that does not make publications available to the public for free

If you want to publish in leading Bioinformatic journals, you must make your code freely available.

I don't think you necessarily have to make the source code public -- but at least the executables.
Because, um, "science" implies your results should be reproducible.

It would be an interesting project (if someone were interested in funding it) to compare the
requirements and response times for the many (many!) computer science journals.
Strawman questions:
    1. what percent make their articles freely available?
    2. what percent require code or executables to be publically available as a condition of publication?
            (this assumes the article is reporting results derived from working code, as opposed to
            theoretical results)
    3. what is the average turn-around time from submission to getting feedback
            from peer reviewers, and (if accepted) until publication?

And the results could be broken down by sub-discipline: bioinformatics; IT; high performance
scientific computing; etc, etc.

since I'm posting anonymously, with some trepidation I'll post
my (secondary ;) email: dhysom2@gmail.com

Off topic, in my experience, the peer review results are back to you within six weeks or less.
Very different from other areas, such as High Performance Scientific Computing, where
you may not hear anything for a year or more.

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