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1. Jonathan Pridham writes (private email):

Dear Domenico,

I’m definitely interested in being an editor - I’ve often found the nLab a helpful resource. One tentative suggestion I might make is to encourage original research papers by relaxing the initial submission criteria (to allow pdf files or arXiv links, say), on the understanding that final acceptance will be conditional on the author putting the manuscript in nLab format.

Thanks for the invitation,

Jon.

• CommentRowNumber2.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 5th 2011

encourage original research papers by relaxing the initial submission criteria (to allow pdf files or arXiv links, say), on the understanding that final acceptance will be conditional on the author putting the manuscript in nLab format.

That sounds very reasonable. If this is what Mike was already suggesting over in the other thread, I apologize for not getting the point: what I think we should enforce is that the material ends up on the $n$Lab. But of course the trouble of converting it need not be started with before the material is accepted.

• CommentRowNumber3.
• CommentAuthorMike Shulman
• CommentTimeJan 5th 2011

I’m not sure if it was exactly what I was suggesting, but I’m happy with it as a conclusion.

• CommentRowNumber4.
• CommentAuthorTom Leinster
• CommentTimeJan 6th 2011
I've mailed Carlos Simpson asking if he's interested in being an editor.

Re Urs 2: I definitely agree, "the trouble of converting it need not be started with before the material is accepted". It's probably worth being explicit about this, as some journals do require you to put your work into their format before you submit it. But that's a terrible waste of people's time, and we shouldn't contribute to that trend.
• CommentRowNumber5.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 6th 2011
• (edited Jan 6th 2011)

Okay, would you mind editing Proceedings preparation (nlabmeta) accordingly? I am running out of time.

2. to keep things under control, let me try to fix a record of the current state of the editorial board:

tentatively confirmed: André Joyal, Tim Porter, Jonathan Pridham, Jim Stasheff, Gabriele Vezzosi

contacted: Carlos Simpson

possibly contacted by Zoran: Dmitry Kaledin

possibly contacted by Urs: David Ben-Zvi, Kevin Costello

• CommentRowNumber7.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 6th 2011

possibly contacted by Urs: David Ben-Zvi, Kevin Costello

Yes, I haven’t yet, though, since I am busy. I’ll maybe wait for Carlos Simpson’s reply.

• CommentRowNumber8.
• CommentAuthorzskoda
• CommentTimeJan 6th 2011

• CommentRowNumber9.
• CommentAuthorTom Leinster
• CommentTimeJan 7th 2011
Yes from Carlos! Great.
• CommentRowNumber10.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 7th 2011

Now that’s good news! Quite an impressive editorial board now. I would never have imagined that this would work out this way.

• CommentRowNumber11.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 7th 2011
• (edited Jan 7th 2011)

By email Carlos Simpson points out an $n$Lab article that he had wished to cite properly in the past: geometric realization of simplicial topological spaces.

This appears as an ordinary url as citation [77] in his article.

So this would be a good test case: we should find a referee and promote this article to the $n$Als!

3. Maybe David could include his unpublished proof with Danny Stevenson that good implies proper before we submit it to $n$als.

• CommentRowNumber13.
• CommentAuthorzskoda
• CommentTimeJan 7th 2011
• (edited Jan 7th 2011)

Kaledin seems to be, like Toen, currently too busy. His thanks and wishes are below.

Dear Zoran,

Thank you for the invitation! This sure looks like a thing I should do; but I am afraid I will not be able to. I don’t nearly have enough time these days. I actually almost never go to n-cat, too… Sorry! – and I wish you best of luck with this project.

Best regards, Dmitry

By, the way, did anybody try to contact/involve Denis-Charles Cisinski ?

Urs, 11: the link to geometric…does not work.

4. By, the way, did anybody try to contact/involve Denis-Charles Cisinski ?

As far as I know, not yet: the current status of the editorial board should be:

tentatively confirmed: André Joyal, Tim Porter, Jonathan Pridham, Carlos Simpson, Jim Stasheff, Gabriele Vezzosi

to be contacted by Urs: David Ben-Zvi, Kevin Costello

5. Any news?

• CommentRowNumber16.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 11th 2011

Any news?

I haven’t contacted anyone yet. I am feeling the formation of the editorial board is getting ahead of the rest of the project. I would rather first complete the test-publication of geometric realization of simplicial topological spaces and of Tom’s article, if possible, such as to be able to point potential editors to examples of what it is we are talking about. I am afraid otherwise we risk having editors who will be quite surprised what they agreed to be editors of, once it gets started.

• CommentRowNumber17.
• CommentAuthorTom Leinster
• CommentTimeJan 11th 2011
• (edited Jan 11th 2011)
On Urs's point: there's something I'd like people's opinions on.

At the moment I'm a bit involved in the setting-up of this journal (e.g. I wrote to Carlos Simpson, I'm handling the ISSN business, and I keep expressing my opinion here). But I've also submitted an article. At first I worried that this might be a conflict of interest. But no one seemed remotely bothered, so I just carried on. Actually, it seemed that I was playing a useful guinea-pig role by giving my reactions, as a potential author, to suggestions about the possible shape of this project. Urs's comment seems to confirm that this is indeed useful.

The question I'd like to ask is: does anyone see an ethical problem with what I'm doing?
• CommentRowNumber18.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeJan 11th 2011

Do you have tenure yet, Tom? I don’t see an ethical problem on our end, under the special circumstances. But somebody may see a problem on that end. You may want to leave this publication off of your CV when applying for tenure, grants, etc. (On the other hand, your CV could mention your work on setting up the journal!)

• CommentRowNumber19.
• CommentAuthorzskoda
• CommentTimeJan 11th 2011
• (edited Jan 11th 2011)

I disagree with Toby (edit: that there should be doubt about listing it). Tom should list the location of the publication in his CV, provided the referees accept this. If not it should be listed as regular preprint. If somebody done some research, exposition or whatever it is a part of somebody CV, and it is impossible to look at listing somebody’s own research as unethical. The fact that sometimes people who publish are also in the editorial boards by itself means nothing, unless they influenced in biased way the decision by their editorial influence. Gelfand for example has lots of papers in his Funct. Anal. and its applications as well as many others. It is a different thing when somebody makes things biased by some action. But people can always check editorial boards, and people can list their involvment in boards in CV as well, making it easier to check.

• CommentRowNumber20.
• CommentAuthorTom Leinster
• CommentTimeJan 11th 2011
Thanks, Toby and Zoran.

Toby, there is no tenure in the UK (a result due to Margaret Thatcher), but I have as permanent a position as anyone. Of course, applying for grants is still a regular part of life. If my article is accepted then I certainly plan to put it on my publication list; people can judge the quality of the journal as they wish. But I hadn't thought of mentioning my "work" helping to set the journal up; thanks for the idea.
• CommentRowNumber21.
• CommentAuthorTim_Porter
• CommentTimeJan 12th 2011
Tom: unfortunately that will not count as 'impact'!
• CommentRowNumber22.
• CommentAuthorTom Leinster
• CommentTimeJan 12th 2011
Sorry, Toby, I think I misunderstood your comment when I first read it. As I understand it, you're saying that it might look fishy for me to both list my (potential) nJournal article and mention that I was somewhat involved with the setting-up of the journal. I agree that that's risky. But I think I'm asking a more fundamental question: not "might it look bad?", but "is it bad?"
• CommentRowNumber23.
• CommentAuthorUrs
• CommentTimeJan 12th 2011
• (edited Jan 12th 2011)

Tom, since we want “transparent refereeing” on the $n$Journal, I think we will have some kind of stamp on the final $n$Journal version of your article (IF it will be accepted!) saying at least something like “Communicated by [Name of editor]” or the like, that will make clear that the article did go through genuine neutral refereeing that you didn’t influence in any way.

• CommentRowNumber24.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeJan 12th 2011

No, I don’t mean to talk about what looks bad, but what is bad. If you want people to give you grants in part because you wrote an article that was published in a journal that you helped to set up, then they might not want to treat that in the same way as publishing in another journal (that also isn’t listed in the impact indexes), so it would be unethical to list things in such a way that they did treat it in the same way.

But there’s an ‘if’ and a ‘might’ in there, so none of this may apply. I have a great deal of ignorance as to how much an agency would in fact care about this; in particular, any agency that relies on allegedly objective bean-counting statistics probably doesn’t have enough sophistication to notice. Based on Zoran’s comments, it looks like they probably wouldn’t care anyway. But if it turns out that they would, then leaving it off (or listing only the arXiv preprint) is one solution.

In any case, it’s not bad on our end.

• CommentRowNumber25.
• CommentAuthorTim_Porter
• CommentTimeJan 12th 2011
(This was put on the wrong thread, .... sorry!)
Tis the voice of the cynic, beware. The problem is not the bean counters but the way in which bean counting is used. Someone who wants to block a grant proposal or a promotion will use such bean counting to do down the candidate (especially if they have some protégé who is a rival); if they want to show largese, they will ignore all bean counting. (I speak from experience!:-()