arXiv Funding

Missed this over the break: a facebook note about the future of funding of the arXiv. The post points to two documents of interest, the first a statement about support:

…We intend to establish a collaborative business model that will engage the institutions that benefit most from arXiv — academic institutions, research centers and government labs — by asking them for voluntary contributions.

and also a handy dandy FAQ about the changes.

Novel Torrent Technology For arXiv Archives?

Since it seems that the “arXiv on your hard drive” is dead I’ve been thinking a bit about if there is a better way to achieve the goal of distributing archives of the arXiv.
One thing I liked about the “arXiv on your hard drive” was that it used BitTorrent. This could alleviate some of the bandwidth pain associated with distributing the arXiv widely. But of course, one of the problems with using Torrents to distribute the arXiv is that, well, the arXiv changes daily! One solution to this is to update the torrent periodically, but in these go-go times this seems wrong. It seems to me that what we need is a BitTorrent-like protocol for collections that periodically get updated. A seeder could then update its collection and propagate only these new results to other hosts. Does anyone know if such a technology exists? A quick scan didn’t locate anything.
Of course then one would have to convince the arXiv folks to go along with this, but it would seem to me that the bandwidth costs for them could be made really fairly minimal.

Can You Have Open Science in the Dark?

The arXiv is a game changer for how large portions of physics (and increasingly other fields) are done. Paul Ginsparg won a MacArthur award for his vision and stewardship of the arXiv (something other institutions might want to note when they decide that someone trying to change how science is done isn’t really doing work that will impact them.) So…Given: The arXiv is great. But there is something that’s always bothered me a bit about the arXiv: transparency.
(Note: those of you who wish to complain about the fact that you can’t get endorsed on the arXiv, this article is not for you. Here is a place where that discussion will probably flourish)
Continue reading “Can You Have Open Science in the Dark?”