Perelman's proof of the Poincare conjecture was never published in an academic journal, but was merely posted on arXiv. If that's not science, then being correct is more important than being "scientific".


Perelman's proof has been published, e.g. this by the AMS, which has a rigorous refereeing process for books, and this in Asian Journal of Math with a more controversial refereeing process.

Though Perelman's preprints appeared in 2002 and 2003, the Clay prize (which Perelman turned down) was not offered to him until last year, because the rules stipulate that the solutions to the prize problems have to stand unchallenged in published, peer-reviewed form for a certain number of years.

1CronoDAS9yIndeed, math isn't science. ;) I wonder - if Perelman was just "some guy" with no reputation as a mathematician, would anyone have noticed when he uploaded his proof?

Reasons for SIAI to not publish in mainstream journals

by lukeprog 1 min read10th Apr 201138 comments


Recently, I gave some reasons for SIAI to begin publishing in mainstream journals, and outlined how it could be done.

I've recently been made aware of some pretty good reasons for SIAI to not publish in mainstream journals, so here they are:

  1. Articles published to websites (e.g. Yudkowsky's work, Bostrom's pre-prints) seem to have gotten more attention, and had more positive impact, than their in-journal counterparts.
  2. Articles in mainstream journals take a relatively large amount of time, money, and expertise to produce.
  3. Articles in mainstream journals must jump through lots of hoops - journals' aversion to novelty, reviewer bias, etc.
  4. It is easier to simply collaborate with (and greatly influence) established mainstream academics who have already jumped through mainstream academia's many hoops (as Carl Shulman has been doing, for example).
I still think there are strong reasons to publish articles in standard academic form (for readability purposes), but I've recently updated hugely toward SIAI not publishing in mainstream journals.