Harassed by Springer

Those of you who have ever submitted a paper to any mathematical journal may have noticed that it’s not a particularly speedy process. Nowadays, even a one year turnaround is nothing out of the ordinary. Thus, I always find it slightly amusing (once the paper is accepted) to receive breathlessly worded emails from the publisher demanding that you “review the proofs within 48 hours” with the (implied) risk that acceptance of your paper might be at risk if you don’t rush to meet their deadline.

What happens if you ignore these emails? Well, it turns out you get follow-up emails: “the message below was sent to you several days ago but we have not yet received your corrections. Please return your proof as soon as possible so as not to delay the publication of your article.” Of course, these emails are subtitled First Reminder, so it’s probably safe to ignore those as well. At this point, I’m kind of curious as to how long this process continues. Maybe they will write a short abstract for me and then publish the paper anyway. Presumably my co-author doesn’t mind (though I don’t want to get my editor in trouble).

This all leads me to the following suggestion for disrupting journal publications: submit your paper to journals, but then when they are accepted, put them on your website with an annotation along the lines of accepted by Journal X (you can even include the original acceptance email from the editor for authenticity purposes). All the imprimatur of the journal system, none of the cost!

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13 Responses to Harassed by Springer

  1. TG says:

    Am I the editor? If so then I don’t think you should worry on my account (and I would imagine your co-author doesn’t mind).

  2. DS says:

    Another solution is to move to Coq, and then verification is a little faster (though the move is long).

  3. DS says:

    Too many DS’s!

  4. Matthew Emerton says:

    You coauthor did read the proofs inflight (or preflight, actually) as promised, found a few corrections, and (I am told) will make every effort (that doesn’t interfere with other essential, or at least other important, or least other, activities) to send them to you tonight for your consideration.

    By the way, here is a conjecture that emerged in conversation on Friday afternoon (Pacific time) : the eigencurve (for any fixed p and N) is obtained from a (possibly disconnected) algebraic curve by deleting a finite number of points and countable number of closed disks. What do you think?

    (Aside to DS: I was also thrown by the sudden abundance of DS’s.)

  5. I once suggested getting the letter/email of acceptance from a journal, then posting that on the arXiv with the version of the article that was accepted. It’s basically then an overlay journal (cf the seemingly stalled Episciences project) without the hurdle of actually having to start one.

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