Sunday, February 15, 2009

A new open access CG journal

The last few years has seen many attempts by researchers to break free from the shackles of (commercial) journal publishers. There's the whole-sale exodus that produced the ACM Transactions on Algorithms, as well as other journals, and technology aided creation of open-access free journals like the Theory of Computing. There's also a movement to create an open access computational linguistics journal, spearheaded by my colleague Hal Daume here at the U. of Utah.

Joachim Gudmundsson and Pat Morin have been investigating the feasibility of making such a journal for Comp. Geom, motivated by costs, and copyright issues with current journals. Here are posts one, two and three on the topic.

They've worked out most of the logistical issues involved in creating such a journal, and are now trying to reach out to the community to see what kind of interest there is. After all, the main currency of a journal is its reputation, and that comes from community participation (and then perception). So if you have any opinion on the matter, hop over to Dense Outliers, take the poll and post a comment (don't post comments here).

My personal view: I think open access is a great idea in principle, but I'm not seeing a pressing need within CG itself for such a journal at this point in time. (Disclaimer: I'm involved with the International Journal for Comp. Geom and Applications).


  1. Hello, I read your post and find Geomblog of great interest I will add you to my blog roll. Noting your theme here the following book and (lengthy) review may be of revelance:

    Digitize This Book! The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now
    Gary Hall, University of Minnesota Press

    Since posting this a query prompted the finding that 'accessibility' is not in the index. A further post today 1 Feb includes the book's author and addresses this:

    Hodges' model may also be of interest to you - especially the SCIENCES resource page - which includes GIS, Visualisation, Complexity...

    Kind regards,

    Peter Jones
    Welcome to the QUAD:

  2. Thanks for linking to the post. Btw, what do you mean with "no pressing need"? And when do you think there would be a pressing need for an open access journal?

  3. "Pressing need": Journals don't survive unless there's buy-in from the community. Thus, a successful journal will come from either a groundswell of desire within the community (that I have seen no evidence of) or a nascent desire tapped by a few motivated people (which I would characterize your approach as).

    Given the latter, I'm merely saying that I don't feel strongly about the need for a new journal, and from the votes on your site, I'm in a tiny minority ;). I do feel that either the new journal should have some explicit broadened mandate of the kind of that Jeff Erickson was suggesting, or should maybe act as a replacement for an existing journal (CGTA maybe?).

    In the absence of any such external motivation, the idea of creating open access for its own sake (especially when papers are so easy to access from author websites) doesn't enthuse me.


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