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Thanks for the detailed response. Just one clarification: I am not suggesting using just pure blog posts, but rather publishing properly formatted papers using a self-hosted publishing system a la Wordpress. Blog posts may or may not be added in order to promote the content.

It seems like the real issue here is prestige, which then translates to funding. "Publish or die" is how most researchers seem to live. Thus I think if we are able to show that self-publishing/distributed publishing brings the money to the researcher and the academic institution then this idea would get traction.

Re: edit. I see. That's great to know.




Ah, I see. I would still prefer the papers to also be hosted on a more reliable system (for example, the ArXiV, or an electronic journals website), simply because they become easier to discover this way and there is a certain assurance that they will stay online.

I think that Terrence Tao https://terrytao.wordpress.com/) has an interesting take on using blogs for math: He publishes in journals, but uses his blog to post lecture notes as well as short summaries of some of his papers.

But then this is not so different from a typical academics homepage: Usually you will find a list of publications (hopefully with PDFs, at least for the newer ones) and lecture notes there. But of course it differs for each author, and perhaps other fields have different conventions.


I think if the license was open enough a the paper could be hosted in multiple locations. Once again, there is already a precedent for this: when you publish anything on a blog you send a "ping" to Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. to re-crawl your site since you added new content. Your post ends up in the Google Cache, Coral Cache, etc. I think a system that would proactively tell ArXiv "hey a new paper is published!" or "hey a paper has been peer-reviewed and approved by X via their GPG signature!" could solve the issue you are seeing.

> But of course it differs for each author, and perhaps other fields have different conventions.

I think this is also spot on. The research lab where I worked was a collaboration between the Physics and Chemistry departments. The technology used by the two chief researchers was radically different, despite having worked together for decades. For example, my professor and his sub-group (Physics) used LaTex to typeset all his papers. The Chemistry professor and his sub-group, OTOH used Microsoft Word. From what I understood that was pretty common for the respective fields. So much opportunity here as well as so much resistance in just these types of issues...


I like the gpg signature of peer reviewers part. It would both lend credibility to the paper, and leave a trail of reviewers. It would lessen the chance of a reviwer not taking their job seriously.


  > It seems like the real issue here is prestige, which then
  > translates to funding. "Publish or die" is how most 
  > researchers seem to live. Thus I think if we are able to 
  > show that self-publishing/distributed publishing brings 
  > the money to the researcher and the academic institution 
  > then this idea would get traction.
That's basically right. Academic researchers are evaluated on the number and quality of their peer-reviewed journal articles. Blogging is a distant secondary concern for most researchers because it doesn't contribute, in a direct way, to tenure or grants. This is changing, but slowly.




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