Advances in Combinatorics fully launched

It’s taken longer than we originally intended, but I am very happy to report that Advances in Combinatorics, a new arXiv overlay journal that is run along similar lines to Discrete Analysis, has just published its first five articles, with plenty more in the pipeline.

I am excited by the business model of the journal, which is that its very small running costs (like Discrete Analysis, it uses the Scholastica platform, which charges $10 per submission, as well as a fixed annual charge of $250, and there are a few other costs such as archiving articles with CLOCKSS and having DOIs) are being met, for the next five years in the first instance, by the library of Queens University in Kingston Ontario, who are also providing us with very useful administrative support. My dream would be for other libraries to have the foresight to support similar ventures, since the potential for savings if the stranglehold of the big commercial publishers is broken is huge. I do not underestimate the obstacles, but for a long time I have felt that what we are waiting for is a tipping point, and even quite a small venture can in principle have a significant effect on when that tipping point occurs.

The aim of Advances in Combinatorics is to be a top specialist combinatorics journal. Information about the editorial board, the submission process, and of course the articles themselves, can all be found on the website. Like Discrete Analysis, the journal has Editorial Introductions to each article, with the aim of making the webpage informative and fun to browse. We will be grateful for any feedback, and even more grateful for support in the form of excellent combinatorics papers while we are still getting established.

A final remark is that although I have reached the limit of the number of journals of this type that I can be closely involved in, I would be delighted to hear from anybody who thinks that they can put together a high-quality editorial board in an area that does not have a suitable journal for people who want to publish good papers without supporting the big commercial publishers. I know people who can offer advice about suitable platforms, funding, and similar matters. It would be great if free-to-read free-to-publish journals could cover all of mathematics, but we are still a long way from that at the moment.

14 Responses to “Advances in Combinatorics fully launched”

  1. David Roberts Says:

    Congratulations! I guess this is meant to be a challenger to JCT series A/B?

    • gowers Says:

      I’m cautious about drawing precise comparisons with other journals, but we want to be a journal where people will be happy to send their best papers that aren’t quite at the level where they would be accepted by major generalist journals.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics already “à suitable journal for people who want to publish good papers without supporting the big commercial publishers”?

    • gowers Says:

      We aim to be more selective than EJC. The result is that the two journals between them will be able to cover a wide range of combinatorics papers, so combinatorialists will have a good set of “ethical” options for their publications.

  3. Mark Meckes Says:

    Congratulations! I really like the editorial introductions in Discrete Analysis (and the overall look of the website, too), so I’m pleased to see that model being used again.

  4. Darij Grinberg Says:

    Glad to hear!!! I might have a preprint for that some time soon. How does it differentiate from Discrete Analysis? Less analysis-heavy (but still not entirely algebraic)?

    • gowers Says:

      I’d say it’s more like a regular combinatorics journal, whereas with Discrete Analysis the emphasis is more on topics at the interface of combinatorics with other areas, or even topics that are more fully in those other areas (such as analytic number theory for instance) and that don’t involve much combinatorics. But there is an overlap: for example, a paper about the Szemerédi regularity lemma would be suitable for either journal.

  5. srewog Says:

    You said “I’m cautious about drawing precise comparisons with other journals” when asked “I guess this is meant to be a challenger to JCT series A/B?” and then “We aim to be more selective than EJC.” Is the natural conclusion that advances in combinatorics will be as selective as JCT series A/B?

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