I'm not really familiar with the topic matter here, but I want to note that Michael Nielsen contradicts what you said (though Nielsen isn't exactly an unbiased source here as an Open Science advocate):

Perelman's breakthrough solving the Poincare conjecture ONLY appeared at the arXiv

The important point is that it doesn't appear that Perelman produced the paper for publishing in a journal, but he made it and left it on the arXiv, which was later (you claim) published in journals. That's quite a different view than "if it's not published, it's not science"

Indeed. However, you've raised a single remarkable exception to a general heuristic as if a single example is all that is needed to thorougly refute a general heuristic, and of course that's not the case.

The overwhelming majority of papers put on arXiv and nowhere else are:

  • [ ] comparable to Perelman's proof of the Poincare conjecture
  • [ ] not comparable to Perelman's proof of the Poincare conjecture?

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.