[open-science] Publication of In-Depth Content

Raniere Silva raniere at riseup.net
Tue Jan 20 16:31:26 UTC 2015

Hi Florian,

thanks for your email.

> it seems to me that it is quite challenging to publish in-depth
> material. I came across this problem while trying to publish
> mathematical content in an applied context (an analytical model for
> wireless networks). Most conferences and journals (open or not) have
> strict page limits for good reasons (e.g. concise presentation of the
> content and preventing long gibberish).

I want to believe that the strict page limits is more due the challenge with
dead tree based communication other than to enforce concise presentation and
avoid long gibberish because this two problems could be address by peer review.
> Though, this often leads to quite imprecise presentation of the
> mathematical content, so that if you want to reproduce the results, it
> might take weeks or months to work out the details, especially if you
> are interested in proving the results.

An unfortunately true. =(

> In my opinion this time is
> superfluous, because this work was already done by someone, but not
> published because of page limits.
> What are your ideas? How should content be published so that it does not
> bore readers in the first place, but allows for easy reproduction for
> interested researches?

Computational based research solved this problem by making the software and data
freely available in somewhere (e.g. GitHub, Figshare, ...) and some journals are
starting only accept papers that make the software and data available.

For math based research I don't see the need to store the long proofs and
intermediate steps in another place. If we the papers are delivered using
HTML+MathML we could use the details element,
so it does not bore readers in the first place but allows anyone interested in
the details get it with one click. And since all the content will be at the HTML
will be easy for a machine read it.

> An alternative might be to publish a (short) paper with the ideas, a
> brief summary of the mathematical content, related work and evaluation
> at a conference and publishing the actual groundwork (and only the
> groundwork) including all details elsewhere, preferably as open as
> possible.

I'm not sure if our currently academic system will valorize this second work.
I believe that is more easy for us find a technical solution for this (see my
previous paragraph) other than change how people get tenure.

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