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!