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I find these Q&As on philosophy, physics & mathematics very useful. It seems to be a Very Good Idea if some clever dude(s) & dudesses(s) modernised the Arxiv to do this. What are the pros & cons of such an approach? Are there any plans afoot to do this, or is the planning process of the Arxiv shrouded in enigmatic mystery?

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closed as off topic by Arturo Magidin, Asaf Karagila, Jyrki Lahtonen, Benjamin Lim, Hans Lundmark Jun 13 '12 at 8:13

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I think this is simply off-topic in math.SE. Voted to close on those grounds. If you want to suggest changes to the arXiv, it seems like you should bring it up with the administrators or the arXiv, not in a vacuous discussion among parties that are not involved. Their contact us page says how to contact them. –  Arturo Magidin Jun 13 '12 at 5:53
And math.SE is not a place for "discussions", mature or otherwise. It's a Q&A site. So if you were hoping for a mature discussion, you aren't trying to have it an appropriate venue. –  Arturo Magidin Jun 13 '12 at 6:02
@Mozibur: Nothing wrong with what you want to do. The problem is with where you are trying to do it, which is in a site for which it is inappropriate. Just like there is nothing wrong with exercising your freedom of speech, but plenty wrong with trying to do so in the middle of a movie theater while the movie is playing. –  Arturo Magidin Jun 13 '12 at 6:08
I heard that mathematicians are not often using their kitchenware and I would like to purchase a quality Chef's knife from a mathematician. Should I post a question here, after all... the majority of the [long-term] users are mathematicians. The logic is flawed, even if this is the crowd you seek to ask - this is not the place to do so. –  Asaf Karagila Jun 13 '12 at 6:25
No, the soft questions category is deviations from the norm to begin with. Your argument is a slippery slope one, if those are allowed then this one should be allowed. By the same slippery slope I could post my chef knife question here as well (this is not really of commercial nature because I am not selling anything). Your question is an exception to an already-exceptional category of questions, and it is unfit for this site. You should publish this thought on a personal blog; arXiv related forum; or a forum dedicated to discussion about mathematical publishing. –  Asaf Karagila Jun 13 '12 at 7:42

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The ideas of arXiv evolving are being discussed a lot. Special forum for this http://publishing.mathforge.org/ it orginates from T. Gowers post http://gowers.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/a-more-modest-proposal/ . Some version of the software is already implemented based in redit:


(See thread http://publishing.mathforge.org/discussion/83/frontend-to-the-arxiv-httparxalivorg-based-on-reddit/#Item_12 for its discussion).

however it seems quite small number of activity there. The problem of creating community of people who will use seems very serious. You might know that still many mathematicians do not send papers to arXiv... So making "comment site" to work may take another generation to come.

PS I think such question is of value for community and would like to see it open !

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Thanks. One of the reasons I asked this question is because of Gowers blog-post about the iniquity of scientific publishing. I don't belong to a university, so the Arxiv, plus a couple of open journals constitute my research resource, I don't have the benefit of being able to gauge the importance of a paper by being within a research group. Further, I am a software developer by trade, so would like to join in such a beneficial social resource if at all possible. –  Mozibur Ullah Jun 13 '12 at 6:15
@Mozibur Ullah Thanks for question. I think the more attention the subj would have the better. I am currently also our of university and understand yours concerns. –  Alexander Chervov Jun 13 '12 at 6:44
@Chervov: I think Gowers 'modest proposal' addresses a lot of the concerns flagged up by contributors to his blog. I'm very taken by his idea of trading brownie points. I think the most serious objections are that once Q&A/Comments began to matter in terms of real reputation then abuses would occur, and the centralisation of the system into the handful of adminstrators is dangerous. –  Mozibur Ullah Jun 13 '12 at 10:15

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