Posted on February 18, 2013.
by Carol Hutchins and Laurie Reeves
Call for discussion topics
The Mathematics Roundtable is scheduled to be held at the annual conference in San Diego on Sunday, June 9th at 3:30pm. We would like this session to include a discussion of topics of current interest. Please send any and all ideas to co-moderators, Laurie Reeves (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Carol Hutchins (email@example.com).
MathSciNet enhancement 2012
Gathering information on soon to be published mathematics papers is now a bit easier. From MathSciNet: “MathSciNet now includes Preliminary Data items, which are created from bibliographic data received directly from publishers. This data allows users to view early information about new papers in mathematics while full processing, including author identification and editorial decisions, is ongoing.” Publishers that are including preliminary data items are the American Mathematical Society, the Canadian Mathematical Society, the European Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, SIAM, Elsevier, and Springer. For more information about this new tag, visit http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/help/fullitem_help_full.html.
American Institute of Mathematics, Open Textbook Initiative
As with other subjects, the cost of mathematics textbooks is increasing and becoming an even heavier burden for students. The American Institute of Mathematics’ Open Textbook Initiative is encouraging the use of open textbooks to combat the rising cost. The five member editorial board, composed of experienced mathematics professors, has developed guidelines for evaluating open mathematics textbooks and maintains a list of approved open textbooks. For more information, visit http://www.aimath.org/textbooks/.
Le Centre pour la Communication Scientifique Directe has developed a new platform to encourage the development of epijournals, “open access electronic journals taking their contents from preprints deposited in open archives such as arXiv or HAL, that have not been published elsewhere.” The project will be launched during the first half of 2013 with Episciences-Math, with the CCSD working with the Institut Fourier in Grenoble, France. Tim Gowers, of Elsevier boycott fame, will be taking part in the project as indicated on his blog.
Report on the present and future of Mathematics
The National Research Council recently announced a report entitled The Mathematical Sciences in 2025. The Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications within the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences examined the current state of mathematics, both in preparing future mathematicians and necessary changes for those currently in the field. As we all know, mathematics is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and this report expands on that observation. A prepublication version of the report is available for free from the National Academies Press.
Report on the Joint Mathematics Meeting
From January 5-9 over 6,000 attendees flocked to unusually chilly – but sunny – San Diego for this annual mega-meeting. This JMM was also the kick-off for the initiative called Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013. Several sessions treated topics of current interest to mathematicians and librarians alike. The Special Session on Electronic Publishing highlighted the variety of ways, means, and achievements of small, independent math journals, e.g Houston J. Math. and the J. of Humanistic Mathematics. Apart from these sessions, a Science Policy panel entitled “Who Will Pay for the Papers We Publish?” failed, in my view, to give a definitive answer to this most provocative and pressing question. We heard Sastry Pantula explain that the NSF is still pondering what its policy shall be regarding OA publishing. Rob Kirby gave his back-of-the-envelope estimate that the monies currently devoted to subscription payments could support journals via “page charges” (APCs). This latter point was sharply questioned by some in the audience. Perhaps most notable was the statement by David Goss, editor of J. Number Theory, (Elsevier) recounting his experience at the peak of the boycott in 2012, “I went through post-modern hell.”