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It’s finally here!
The Selected Papers Network is up and running, as explained here and visible here. I think now is a good time for programmers interested in improving it to look at the list of issues on github and consider helping Christopher Lee with these issues (and other things). He is at
Chris Lee and Marc Harper want to implement some of the ideas described here:
I’m going to help them, and we’d like to know if you want to help, too.
Lee and Harper are good at programming, but their plan is to start something quickly and improve it later as people start to use it and give feedback. So, your feedback is welcome now… but the focus should be on keeping it simple and flexible, not on detailed fine-tuning or fancy features.
Also, if you dislike the general idea of this system, I urge you to spend your energy developing a different one yourself. Rather than seeking universal consenus, we need a healthy dissensus in which different groups of people develop different systems, so we can see which ones work.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but it sure looks to me like the SPN already exists, and (surprise!) doesn’t have any mathematicians using it. It has a horrible name, and a bit more emphasis on social media than I would like, but Peer Evaluation sure looks like it hits all the important points as described in Chris’s paper. I’m sure if other mathematicians started using it, it would quickly be a great and useful site, but not many people are there yet (as far as I could tell, a few mathematicians have signed up, but no one has yet to write a review of anyone else’s article).
(This is intended to be a more narrowly focused offshoot of this thread.)
Henry Cohn suggested (here and here, and perhaps elsewhere too) that it should be possible to have discussion threads on the proposed site which do not correspond to a single arXiv paper. For example, threads which discuss several related arXiv papers, or threads which discuss non-arXiv papers. Henry asked if there were any downsides to this more flexible organization scheme, and I didn’t notice any answers to his question.
This (not restricting discussion topics) seems like a good idea to me. As Henry points out, it should be possible to keep track of which threads mention a given paper, so even if one’s only interest in the site is to accumulate commentary on specific papers, this proposal offers advantages.