Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 04:43:45 +0100
From: Geometry and Topology
To: gt-announce@msp.warwick.ac.uk
Subject: Site closure
Colleagues:
The purpose of this message is to inform you that in the near future
Geometry & Topology, and Algebraic & Geometric Topology, will no
longer be open access journals, free electronically to the world. We
have kept these journals open access for 10 and 5 years, respectively,
depending on volunteer labor and a minimal amount of subscriptions
income.
Although the journals are open access, we never granted libraries
permission to connect to our sites without paying us a very small fee.
However the income generated by this fee has never grown to cover our
modest costs and we have been forced, reluctantly, to close the sites.
Nevertheless, we intend that the journals shall stay freely accessible
to individuals and, to this end, we shall continue to store the
individual papers at the arXiv.
There is an ongoing evolution in the math libraries to switch from
paper to electronic journals. For example, UCBerkeley no longer takes
paper copies of any Elsevier or Springer journal. Since our two
journals were open access, and libraries were consequently unwilling
to pay for access, our modest number of subscribers has been
dwindling, just as our volunteer labor wishes to move on to other
endeavors.
Thus, within weeks, G&T and AGT will become accessible only to those
people whose libraries subscribe and provide us with their IP
addresses. Please use your negotiation skills to persuade your math
librarian to take out an electronic subscription for GT and AGT (which
automatically gives access to the monograph series as well).
Our journals will continue to sell at 10cents/page for electronic, and
15cents/page for paper. This is below almost all journals, as can be
seen by the tables appended. What follows is a discussion of quality
and the economics of publishing math journals, which you can skip if
you wish. This discussion will contain some arguments in favor of G&T
and AGT which you may want to use with your math librarian.
One way to measure quality is through citations and impact
factors. For a journal J one counts all the citations in journals
published in 2005 to papers that were published in J in 2003 and 2004,
and then divides by the number of articles in those two years. The
resulting number, roughly the average number of citations for a given
paper in the year 2005, is called the impact factor. This is the
method used by The Thomson Corporation's ISI Web of Knowledge, also
known as Science Citation Index, which can be reached at this URL:
http://portal.isiknowledge.com/portal.cgi?DestApp=JCR&Func=Frame
They list only 181 math journals, the journals which they believe are
established and worth of ranking (the AMS surveys 274 journals). The
top 20, plus selected topology or geometry journals, are listed below,
and you can see that Geometry & Topology is eleventh, or actually
eighth among regular math journals.
Rank Abbreviated Journal Title Impact Factor
1 J AM MATH SOC 2.323
2 ANN MATH 2.009
3 COMPUT COMPLEX (not math) 2.000
4 COMMUN PUR APPL MATH 1.841
5 B AM MATH SOC (not research articles) 1.800
6 ACTA MATH-DJURSHOLM 1.778
7 INVENT MATH 1.652
8 J EUR MATH SOC 1.414
9 MEM AM MATH SOC (monographs, not articles) 1.315
10 DUKE MATH J 1.304
11 GEOM TOPOL 1.275
12 J MATH PURE APPL 1.195
13 PUBL MATH-PARIS 1.182
14 DISCRET MATH THEOR C 1.061
15 DISCRETE CONT DYN S 1.025
16 INTERFACE FREE BOUND 1.024
16 RANDOM STRUCT ALGOR 1.024
18 ANN SCI ECOLE NORM S 1.000
19 ADV MATH 0.991
20 AM J MATH 0.978
37 TOPOLOGY 0.770
46 J DIFFER GEOM 0.676
84 K-THEORY 0.474
131 GEOMETRIAE DEDICATA 0.330
133 J KNOT THEOR RAMIF 0.323
149 TOPOL APPL 0.297
However G&T also has one of the the lowest subscription prices. If we
divide the impact factor by the price per page for an electronic
subscription, then we get a rough approximation of value per cost, of
bang-for-the-buck. Some journals do not have a separate price for the
electronic version, and some companies bundle their journals, so for
the purposes of this calculation, we have used 90% of the price per
page given at
http://www.mathematik.uni-bielefeld.de/~rehmann/BIB/AMS/Price_per_Page.html
For some of the more mainstream math journals listed above, here is an
ordered list based on this calculation. Note again that this is a
rather odd number, citations per article divided by price per page,
but it gives some idea of relative worth.
Annals Math 18.26 (= 2.009/.11)
G&T 12.75
JAMS 10.56 (= 2.323/.22)
(AGT) 6.76
American J. Math 5.43
Acta Math 4.20
Duke J. 3.10
J Eur. Math. Soc. 2.12
Pub IHES 1.85
Invent. Math. 1.72
Comm Pure App Math 1.61
Advances Math 1.48
J Diff. Geom 1.99
Topology .86
K-Theory .59
J. Knot Thy Ram .58
Geom. Ded. .38
Topology Applic. .28
Algebraic & Geometric Topology is not yet listed at Thomson ISI, but
it is possible to get citations and impact factors from the AMS at
mathscinet by entering journal names one by one. The AMS impact
factors are computed by counting citations to articles in the year
2000 through 2004. See
http://www.ams.org/mrcitations/search.html
The citations usually do not vary too much from Thomson, and the
ranking do not change much (unless a journal has changed quality in
2003-04 compared to the previous three years). The impact factor for
AGT at the AMS site is .676 (on 19 July 2006; the AMS figures change
as new information comes in, whereas the Thomson impact factors are
fixed for 2006). This is a remarkably good number for such a young
journal, and if you divide by its cost per page, the bang-for-the-buck
figure is an even more remarkable 6.76. This places it fourth in
the above table.
Take these numbers with a large grain of salt. If the approximations
in the above calculation all fall on one side, a journal can be quite
too low or too high. Note also that some journals which are not in
the top 20 in impact factors, are also very cheap, so their
bang-for-the-buck number will place them high on the list. A good
example is the Indiana Univ. Math. J. which has an impact factor of
.769 and a cost of .15, giving 5.13, placing it 6th on the list.
Other university press journals do well, e.g. the Pacific J. Math at
2.82.
Rob Kirby
Colin Rourke
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