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    It now has three votes to reopen, so I started a meta thread for

    I voted to close the question because it seemed a little ridiculous to me. No journal of any repute whatsoever would not accept submissions of papers that were posted to the arXiv. It would be impossible for them to publish anything!

    What do other people think?
    It wouldn't surprise me if there are journals that have an official policy that would implicitely prohibit submissions of papers posted on the arXiv, but that would never enforce such a standard. Knowing about such a gap between policy and implementation might be wrth knowing.
    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012

    Briefly (since I do not use meta anymore except in such cases):

    Question got reopened. I voted to reclose. I would have voted to close it also couple month ago, but now there is the already mentioned mathforge board and academia.SE (in public beta AFAIK), so really no reason to have this on MO.

    • CommentAuthorvoloch
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012
    I agree with Andy and voted to close the first time around.

    Here is an example.

    He posted his work to the arXiv under a public domain dedication; the ACM refused to publish it because of its copyright status. (I think Russell O'Connor is a MO member; perhaps he is reading this?)

    Of course, you might say he brought it on himself by being so fussy about copyright issues. If he had posted to arxiv under the standard license, it would probably be ok (maybe). Certainly, if he hadn't bothered to mention the copyright status of his paper, and just signed the copyright transfer, the ACM would publish it no questions asked. (If only editors are involved, there's surely no problem; if lawyers get involved, things change.)

    There is a definitely a grey area separating the usual practice (arXiv is fine!) with official policy; although the usual practice usually prevails, it's not obvious to me that it does so in every case.

    • CommentAuthorYemon Choi
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012

    Cast final vote to reclose, more for the reasons mentioned by quid than for the reason Andy gave.

    • CommentAuthororigurel
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012
    I think that the higher visibility and different population of MO does make this a worthwhile question. If it's so universally acknowledged that this scenario does not happen in practice, then at least we can have an answer saying that which could then be upvoted. This would make it clear that this is the consensus.
    • CommentAuthorHenry Cohn
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2012
    I voted to close since I think there are much more appropriate places than MO for this discussion, but I'm also not fond of the question, since it's purely hypothetical: it's based on the fear that crazy publishers might exist, rather than any evidence that they actually do. There are a lot of issues that seriously matter for authors' rights, and worries about hypothetical cases are a distraction from the real problems.

    There exist publishers that object to ways of trying to get around copyright transfers (like announcing that it's too late since you've already put the paper in the public domain), and there may be publishers that won't let you update the arXiv version to reflect the referee's comments or submit to the arXiv after acceptance (although Elsevier has now updated its policies to allow this, and any other publisher that doesn't allow it will now look foolish and out of touch). Journals in medicine have strict limits on public disclosure of papers before peer review, which would include things like posting on the arXiv, and Science and Nature have press embargoes.

    However, I don't believe there is any mathematics journal that would refuse to consider a paper for publication just because a preprint had already been put on the arXiv. I'd be shocked if anyone found such a journal, and it would immediately come under such great pressure that I'm certain it would change its policy.
    I have voted to reopen. I believe that Henry's description of the situation is probably correct, but I think it would be useful to have greater certainty about that. I think that in this case there is no better way to reach greater certainty than to ask a broad community for counterexamples and receive none.
    • CommentAuthordeane.yang
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2012
    I agree with Neil. It's a reasonable question and we shouldn't close it just because we believe we know what the answer is.

    I agree with quid. It's a reasonable question and we shouldn't close it just because we believe we know what the answer is, but MathOverflow is not the right place to ask it.


    I'm with quid on this one. In this case, I know where there's a better place for it.

    • CommentAuthorYemon Choi
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2012

    The OP has left a comment saying he has asked the question on the Math2.0 Forum. Perhaps people could vote the comment up for visibility?