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Scott Morrison
Works at Australian National University
Attended UC Berkeley
Lives in Canberra, Australia
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Scott Morrison

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Noah and I gave a tag-team talk on how we prove classification results for small index subfactors. My talk is http://videos.birs.ca/2014/14w5083/201404151144-Morrison.mp4, and Noah's is at http://videos.birs.ca/2014/14w5083/201404151104-Snyder.mp4.
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Scott Morrison

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Kawow. Let's hope that this means I'm kept busy all day today keeping up with the flood of new editors and contributors!
 
There are many things wrong with the current system of mathematics journals with their expensive subscription prices. It is not easy to change this, because of bundling: even if mathematicians could rid themselves completely of their dependence on journal subscriptions (for example, by posting everything to the arXiv), libraries would continue to subscribe to bundles that included those journals, to meet the needs of people in other subjects (notably biology and medicine) who had still not noticed that there was an amazing new resource called the internet.

Rather than despairing about this situation, we should be doing what we can to bring about an environment where change becomes more likely. One small but valuable thing that can be done is to make information about the current system as easy to obtain as possible: a large contribution to the maintenance of the status quo is from the fact that many people have misconceptions about what the status quo actually is. (For example, I am told that many non-academics are still surprised to learn that all the serious editorial work -- as opposed to minimal formatting and copy-editing -- is done voluntarily by academics.) To that end , I cannot recommend strongly enough an initiative of +Scott Morrison, who has created a wiki in which one can provide information about which journal articles are freely available online and add links to those free versions.

The aim of the wiki is not to provide a new and worse alternative to Google Scholar. Rather, it is to make it easy to get hold of data that at the moment is somewhat hidden. For example, how much does your library actually need to subscribe to Elsevier's journal Discrete Mathematics? That depends on several factors, such as the quality of its articles and the number of people in your institution that work in combinatorics. But it also depends on the extent to which the articles in Discrete Mathematics can be found in preprint form on the arXiv, or from other sources such as authors' home pages. To find that out is, at present, rather laborious, though I'm sure that if someone at Google wanted to, they could make it easy. However, Scott has set up his wiki in a way that reduces the labour considerably.

I know this from personal experience. My last couple of posts here have reported on information I gleaned by Googling titles of papers. But now I have started using Scott's wiki and the process has become much faster. That's because he sets up lists of articles automatically, and then to enter the information about an article, you click on a button that automatically does a search for that article in Google Scholar. You can then see with at most one further click whether the article is easy to find, and with at most one click after that you can grab a link, return to the wiki, add the link, and you're done. What makes it quick is that the only cutting and pasting you need to do is of the link. Otherwise, you just click. With a small amount of practice, it's easy to get up to a speed of something like an article a minute on average. (It would have been faster for me, but from time to time I decided to try Googling titles of articles that didn't show up in free versions on Google Scholar, and occasionally that led me to links I wouldn't otherwise have found.)

If that sounds complicated, rest assured that it can't be, or I wouldn't have managed it. One reason I found it easy was that Scott has produced a very nice tutorial video that talks you through the process. It's pretty well impossible to watch that video (which lasts five minutes or so) and not find it easy to use the wiki.

So if you want to do something to change the system, then how about giving up half an hour of your time and inputting the information about an issue or two of a mathematics journal? It won't be necessary to deal with every issue of every mathematics journal, which would be a huge task. But if a reasonable number of people put in a smallish amount of time each, then there would be enough information for it to be possible to start drawing some useful general conclusions. For example, it seems to be the case that the proportion of articles in better journals that are on the arXiv is significantly higher than the proportion in worse journals. Does the data really support this conclusion? (I hope so, since then we can say to our libraries that we don't need bad journals because they're bad, and we don't need good journals because we've got them anyway. And if a journal doesn't like to be thought of as bad, then it can always encourage its authors to put their papers on the arXiv. Of course, this doesn't immediately help, because of bundling, but librarians need to be told that they are not buying expensive maths journals for the benefit of mathematicians -- if that is indeed the case.)
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+Mark C. Wilson, unfortunately there are some strong limitations imposed by running on mediawiki, and I don't see any way to have these bars update automatically. I have a script that re-runs periodically.
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I'd read it.
 
What happened to Susan after the Narnia books end?
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Have him in circles
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Scott Morrison

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We've recently developed a prototype tool for inserting citations on MathOverflow. This video shows you how to use it.
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Will the final version of this work with Safari as well or is there any way to tweak the script into a Safari extension?
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We’ve made some good progress over at the Mathematics Literature Project <http://tqft.net/mlp>. In particular, we’ve completely analyzed the 2013 issues of five journals:

 Adv. Math.
 Algebr. Geom. Topol.
 Ann. of Math. (2)
 Discrete Math.
 Geom. Funct. Anal.
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Perhaps the editors of (at least some) open access journals can be invited to add the links.
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Dear publisher,

when I write "By Kronecker-Weber [Kro57, Web86]" please do not take it upon yourself to change this to "By Kronecker and Weber ...".

(Also, don't go through and change every occurrence of "3-manifold" to "three manifold", etc. etc. etc.)
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+Allen Knutson, you may want to read +Yemon Choi's comment above. :-)

In any case, I must be extremely lucky: the copy-editing on my recent papers have largely been restricted to grammatical shortcomings and spacing issues. 
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Have him in circles
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Work
Occupation
mathematician
Employment
  • Australian National University
    Senior Lecturer, 2012 - present
  • UC Berkeley
    Miller Fellow, 2009 - 2012
  • Microsoft Station Q
    Postdoc, 2007 - 2009
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Canberra, Australia
Previously
Berkeley, CA - Sydney, Australia - Goleta, CA - State College, PA - Arolo, Italy - Madison, Wisconsin
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Tagline
I'm a mathematician at the Australian National University.
Education
  • UC Berkeley
    Ph.D., 2001 - 2007
  • UNSW
    B.Sc. (Hons), 1998 - 2001
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Male
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The Four Color Theorem
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Table of Contents: History. Why a new proof? Outline of the proof. Main features of our proof. Configurations. Discharging rules. Pointers.

AFP: Troy Davis issues parting cry before execution
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If you're looking for vegetarian food in Buon Ma Thuot, this is the place! Amazing selection of vietnamese vegetarian dishes.
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