Opinion 135: The "Mathematical Analog" of Edward Snowden, Who is offering to reveal the identity of "anonymous" referees of Rejected Submissions to their authors, Should Not be Expelled from The American Mathematical Society!

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: April 1, 2014

It is an open question, beyond the scope of this column, whether Edward Snowden is a hero or a `traitor' (or some linear combination of them). But, his "mathematical analog", let's call him Dr. Ploni Almoni [his screen name is palmoni, his real name is classified], who is currently building a website where any rejected author can find out the identity of the stupid referees who rejected his or her submission (to most math journals), is a true hero.

Surprisingly, this brave soul did not get `in trouble' from his employers at the NSA, since after all, revealing the identity of sadistic and narrow-minded referees who reject good papers, just for the "fun of it", is not a breach of national security. But he did get the cold shoulder from the American Mathematical Society's Ethics committee, who recommended to the president of that society to revoke his membership until he agrees to cease his `unethical' conduct, and close that useful website [currently under construction].

Excuse me, the AMS's Ethics committee. It is the whole institution of anonymous refereeing that is unethical, to put it mildly, in fact it is outright immoral! If someone thinks that my submission is not "good enough for the Transactions", he or she should have the courage to say it openly. Trashing an article anonymously is at least as bad as a KGB informer, as I have already said many years ago.

I am emailing the link of this opinion to the president of the American Mathematical Society, and urge everyone to email him too, urging him not to expel Dr. Almoni. If you do that, we would all be soon rewarded and would be able to find out who is the idiot who had the nerve to reject our masterpiece, and would give us a chance to retaliate when, one day, we would be asked to referee that idiotic referee's submission.

Opinions of Doron Zeilberger