Re: Self-Archiving Refereed Research vs. Self-Publishing Unrefereed Research

From: Arthur P. Smith <>
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 21:21:04 +0000

Some of you may be interested in the following "slashdot" discussion
from a day or two ago:

titled "Riemann Hypothesis Proved?" quoting a Swedish newspaper
(apparently the major print news outlet in Sweden) which bases its story
on an article "published" last year in, linking to:

This paper has been on the arXiv since August last year, with a couple
of revisions. Where does it fit in as a proof or non-proof of the
Riemann hypothesis? Will it actually receive any sort of refutation? It
seems not to have been written with mathematicians in mind,
particularly, and none of them in the various comments seem able to
follow the methods used; most seem very skeptical. Is it right or wrong
though? Nobody seems sure. Has it been submitted to a peer-reviewed
journal? It seems not to have been published in one. If citations of
this paper appear later, will they provide any evidence of its
correctness or otherwise? If the arguments are refuted as a proof, will
there be any link or indication of this on How would a future
"innocent" third party know what to do when coming upon a paper like
this in the arXiv, if there is no follow-up (as there currently is none)?

Normally, when a breakthrough of this magnitude (similar to the proof of
Fermat's Last Theorem) occurs, there is considerable publicity. In this
case there seems to have been almost none since last August, until now.
Is that because the authors are unsure themselves? Because the authors
are unknown? Because nobody reads what's on the arXiv if they don't know
the authors? Or because no peer-reviewed publication has been involved yet?

Incorrect articles certainly get published in peer-reviewed journals as
well, although at least in mathematics peer review tends to be quite
rigorous. But there seems to be some rather serious distinction being
made in this case - what is it, and what lessons should we draw?


[Moderator's Note] Relevent Threads:
Received on Tue Mar 04 2003 - 21:21:04 GMT

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