Written: Feb. 10, 2021

For a long time traditional scholarly journals, including mathematical ones (starting with Crelle's)
served the vital need of communicating information, using the **print** medium. In the 20th century, with
the exponential growth of math (and science) and the growing number of specialties and subspecialties,
the canonical organs of the math societies, e.g. the *Transactions* and the *Proceedings*,
could not accommodate the flood, and commercial publishers started publishing journals.
They did a great service, and the relationship was *symbiotic*.

Then came the internet, with infinite disc space, and mathematicians (and scientists) realized that
they can do without the commercial publishers, and started a new *trend* "open access journals".

They introduced the following *transform*

Journal of X → X (journal)

[see e.g. here].

But "open access" is such a *non-issue*, nowadays, all papers are now **freely** available on the arxiv,
and, very often, also in the authors' web-sites.

Much more important than "open-access" is *open-mindedness*, *full disclosure* and
*accountability*. All refereeing and editing should be *above board* with the
names of the accepting **and** rejecting referees (**and** editors, there are often quite
a few "editors-in-chief"),
**made public**. Anonymous
refereeing is *immoral*, trashing people anonymously. Also authors should have the
option to have their rebuttal published, and a truly open-minded journal should have a
section "rejected papers" where the authors would have the option to explain why
they believe that the rejection was wrong. Of course, this option should be optional!
In fact I asked the journal mentioned in Opinion 178, to put a link to my
rebuttal in their journal's web-site,
but they **refused**.

It is also disappointing that these new "innovative" journals have the same protocol and
policy as traditional journals, the only difference is that they are electronic, and do not cost money.
But as I said above, this is such a *non-issue*.

It would be nice if these "innovative" journals would be truly innovative, and
in addition to being open-access, and use **zero-blind** refereeing, would have the
option for readers (and authors) to leave comments, putting links to follow-up papers,
announcing the solutions of open problems made in the paper, and possibly pointing out errors,
or alternative proofs. It would also be nice to be able to put a "like".

Let's have truly **open** journals. Being "open access" is a *necessary condition*,
but very far from *sufficient*.

Doron Zeilberger's Opinion's Table of Content