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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthordarij grinberg
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2014
    This has come up during an email discussion with an editorial assistent of an Elsevier journal disappointed by my recent boycott participation, but I really ought to have asked this a few months ago.

    What is the current status of epijournals (in particular episciences, to be launched in "early 2014") and of open-access fora for (public) scientific commenting on arXiv preprints? Both of these seemed very close in 2013, and they still appear to be quite doable projects to me (and far from being as pie-in-the-sky as arXiv must have seemed back in the 1980's). What difficulties arose that have been keeping up progress?

    (There has been only one arXiv-commenting project that I have been following -- --, and it was its coupling with google+ together with its lack of support for complex LaTeX that made me leave it a while ago. A lot of semi-commercial projects never took off because people were worried about submitting into another closed garden. But can't we learn from the experience of MathOverflow, and even use its source code?)

    Please don't get me wrong -- I am not criticising any of the above-mentioned projects. I merely want a peek behind the curtains to see what issues have arisen that have not been foreseen. It is somewhat sad that the whole discussion has somewhat died down (except for the very justified anger about Elsevier's DMCA takedowns); I'm wondering if it is because people have been waiting for results all the time.
  1. I can give a short update on episciences: the software is taking much longer to produce than initially expected, hopefully for the better result. It is in testing phase for a few months, and we hope to be able to open in the not-to-distant future. There will be a broad communication when the project really launches.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthordarij grinberg
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2014
    Thank you. Any kind of guess when the first epijournals will appear? What is the process for launching them going to be? Some pilots started by the project, and then soliciting further input from academics worldwide?
    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthororbit
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2014
    It's a shame that there is so little communication about the advancement of episciences/epimath. It makes the project look "abandoned" (even though I know very well it isn't).

    But I am very enthusiastic about the project, I think it is the way to go. Why not tell more about what's coming, like blog posts, etc? I understand that you prefer to spend your energy on the project itself rather than on communication, but a minimal amount maybe wouldn't take too much time?
  2. About the lack of communication about épisciences: I understand your frustration, but since the technical team is small the development has taken some time, and I feel that keeping communicating without having much new to propose could have been counterproductive. People know it has been proposed, and communicating largely once it is up and accepting submission might be more effective.

    When we launch, there should be a couple of starting titles as well as a standard way to process applications for creating new epijournal. Basically, an epicommittee (which has been gathered already long ago) will be in charge of examining the applicant titles. If you feel that a new journal is needed, or that a journal you are participating in should join, you can start gathering a editorial board or discussing the question in the journal and with us (

    Finally, I prefer not give a tentative opening date as the previous ones had to be delayed. Things are moving forward, please keep the project in mind but be patient.