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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2015
    • (edited Jul 21st 2015)

    It is unfortunate that we all ran out of steam with the open publishing project Publications of the nLab. At the same time it is understandable, those of us who worked on it already invested more time into it than was good for us, I suppose. But it is also a shame, as the authors of the two articles that were refereed, edited and published must feel their publication was wasted, if the Publications of the nnLab will have begun and also ended with them.

    With a little luck I might finally get a chance to ask for some funding for such matters. Not sure yet, I will have to talk to people. So for when I do that, maybe somebody could provide me with some hints as to what one might go for.

    Does anyone have experience with asking for “staff” of some kind for some online project? For the Publications-project we would need somebody dedicated to the, say, paperwork, something like a secretary, maybe. For the nnLab itself we might want some IT person with an interest in new forms of electronic scientific communication or something.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2015
    • (edited Jul 21st 2015)

    Speaking of which, I see that in Leinster2011 (publications) a big chunk of math code in Example 9 does not get rendered properly.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorspitters
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2015

    Sounds very good. There are a couple of successful free open access journals. LMCS, EPTCS. perhaps, epi-sciences might be something to look at. Once you have the “open” software in place, I am not sure how much use a secretary will be. IIUC, a lot of work goes into copy-editing, e.g. for logic and analysis.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2015

    So my attempt mentioned in #1 failed.

    Is the following thought crazy: how about applying Google AdSense to ncatlab.org and let it generate some funding itself?

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2015

    I’d be hesitant to do so. Is the issue that we ran out of steam, or people weren’t interested? The nJournal doesn’t exactly generated magical career points for people. I have a hard enough time trying to convince people that Forum of Mathematics: Sigma was ok to submit to, even though it doesn’t have an ARC ranking (A*,A,B etc, which rankings are officially done away with).

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2015

    Independently of the nnPublications. Would it make sense to activate AdSense for the nLab to make it generate some funding?

    What actually happens when one does this? Does one have control over which pages will carry ads? Could I activate it, say, for my personal web alone?

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2015

    Things are that desperate? I’m afraid I don’t know anything past what a scouring of Wikipedia and Google’s own material would get.

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2015

    Right now the server is supported by the HoTT MURI grant and not coming out of anyone’s pocket any more, right? So I don’t think there is any need for ads, and I think they would be likely to generate some ill feeling. When that funding expires, then we can think about other options.

    For me personally, I think I lost interest in the nJournal because I felt that it wasn’t worth the effort: what we need to help break the grip of commercial publishers is more “prestigious” free journals, and we don’t have the ability to make the nJournal fill such a role.

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2015

    @Mike I wasn’t thinking of support for the nLab.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorspitters
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2015

    A good way to think about ads is that your selling our users privacy and attention span. What makes you thinks it’s worth it, and why wouldn’t you go a bit further? Wikipedia is already having troubles with the donations it accepts. It will probably change the character of the nlab.

    For the nJournal, it really looks like it might fit in the framework of epi-math. It has a prestigious board as Mike requested.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2015

    @Spitters - it’s not quite like that with epi-math: the prestigious list of people you see are the ones who give proposed journals the ok. One has to propose a journal with it’s own board to them. We have a list of editors, it might be an option to ask them if they were happy to see the nJournal move there at least for the ’publishing framework’. The trick is that really the papers then should be going on HAL/the arXiv, rather than hosted on our humble platform. We do have the advantage, however, that there aren’t exactly competing journals in the higher geometry market segment…

    And I agree that having ads will change the character of the nLab. I don’t see people actually clicking through on the ads, and it would be a turn-off for many people.

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorspitters
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2015

    It would be interesting to hear their opinion on this. Would they be able to support the njournal in their framework? Would we want a copy of njournal articles on the arxiv? What formats would the arxiv allow? etc

    • CommentRowNumber13.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2015

    In the long run, ads cannot be cost-effective unless they are evil1; that's economics. In the short run, we might be able to take advantage of market inefficiencies, but I'd want to see either a concrete plan (enough to balance expected revenue from expected turn-off or distraction potential) or a good reason to expect a desperate need (and even then it should only be a short-term solution).


    1. This doesn't apply when advertising is a standard method of announcing new information, which it is in many commercial fields. (In a newspaper, for example, the full-page ads must be evil to be worth the money, at least in a commercial venture, but the classified ads in the back aren't evil at all.) But that doesn't apply here; anything useful could simply be announced in a post to the Forum.