This is a very exciting and long overdue development. Kudos to Tim Gowers for starting the revolt against outrageous journal fees and to Jean-Pierre Demailly for spearheading the Episciences Project to circumvent the traditional journal publishers. My only quibble is that funding is coming from the French government. Why not approach the privately funded Clay Mathematics Institute or tech philanthropists such as Bill Gates or Paul Allen? Regardless, it is certainly good news that those of us who do not have access to university libraries will be able to access the latest in mathematical research.
‘Mathematicians plan to launch a series of free open-access journals that will host their peer-reviewed articles on the preprint server arXiv. The project was publicly revealed yesterday in a blog post by Tim Gowers, a Fields Medal winner and mathematician at the University of Cambridge, UK.
The initiative, called the Episciences Project, hopes to show that researchers can organize the peer review and publication of their work at minimal cost, without involving commercial publishers.
“It’s a global vision of how the research community should work: we want to offer an alternative to traditional mathematics journals,” says Jean-Pierre Demailly, a mathematician at the University of Grenoble, France, who is a leader in the effort. Backed by funding from the French government, the initiative may launch as early as April, he says.‘
Additional information can be found at Tim Gowers’ blog.