Search FQXi

If you have an idea for a blog post or a new forum thread, then please contact us at, with a summary of the topic and its source (e.g., an academic paper, conference talk, external blog post or news item).
Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the blogger are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

Anonymous: on 7/3/07 at 22:02pm UTC, wrote Although physicists were first to the open access game with arXiv,...

A. Garrett Lisi: on 6/21/07 at 18:27pm UTC, wrote Nature (the magazine, not the universe) recently unveiled their new, open,...


John Cox: "Tom, Mass is measured in terms of inertia, but we only have an operational..." in Black Holes Do Not Exist,...

Thomas Ray: ""That is not to say that SR is false, but perhaps just as incomplete as QM..." in The Quantum Pet Store:...

Thomas Ray: "You're going to have to answer my tests for you, Peter, before you test me...." in The Quantum Pet Store:...

Thomas Ray: "Characteristics of matter = mass, charge and angular momentum?" in Black Holes Do Not Exist,...

Steve Agnew: "Electrons scattered from a thread will behave either ballistically or..." in Pilot Wave Hydrodynamics

Pentcho Valev: "Fatal Acceleration in Einstein's Special Relativity ON THE ELECTRODYNAMICS..." in Ripping Apart Einstein

click titles to read articles

Life's Quantum Crystal Ball
Does the ability to predict the future—perhaps with quantum help—define the fundamental difference between living and inanimate matter?

The Quantum Truth Seeker
Watching particles fly through an interferometer might help to unveil higher-order weirdness behind quantum theory.

Quantifying Occam
Is the simplest answer always the best? Connecting Medieval monks to computational complexity, using the branch of mathematics known as category theory.

Heart of Darkness
An intrepid physicist attempts to climb into the core of black hole.

Why Quantum?
Entropy could explain why nature chose to play by quantum rules.

October 25, 2014

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Open Source Science [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Blogger A. Garrett Lisi wrote on Jun. 21, 2007 @ 18:27 GMT
Nature (the magazine, not the universe) recently unveiled their new, open, online preprint archive:

Nature Precedings

It's intended to be the natural science equivalent to the physics arXiv. But since they've been able to build it from scratch, they've included many great features. Each "article" submission receives votes, tags, and comments added by readers. This is really great to see. The arXiv seems to have built up a lot of institutional inertia, and has been dragging its feet in implementing these features, even though people have been suggesting them for years. If this new Nature site is as successful as it looks like it's going to be, the arXiv will feel a lot more pressure to implement these things. I don't imagine physicists will enjoy being out-nerded by biologists for very long.

For an example of the new site in action, the currently most popular article is this one on Open Notebook Science. Appropriately enough, it's a power point presentation discussing the advantages of doing science out in the open -- specifically, the advantages of using a wiki as a research notebook. That's no surprise to me...

report post as inappropriate

wrote on Jul. 3, 2007 @ 22:02 GMT
Although physicists were first to the open access game with arXiv, biologists have recently caught on, as Garrett highlights with Nature Proceedings -- and as well with perhaps an even more exciting experiment called PLoS, short for Public Library of Science, at

PLoS began approximately 5 years ago with a single open access, peer-reviewed online "journal" known as PLoS Biology; today, there are several PLoS publications, including PLoS Computational Biology. (Computational biologists share a surprising amount of mathematical methodology with cosmologists -- with more surely to come as the field matures.)

After successful rigorous peer review, scientists pay to have their articles instantly published in a PLoS journal (usually paid for with grants), but they retain all copyrights -- as long as they agree the work may be used by PLoS readership in any way possible (reading, downloading, modification (!), etc.). And because PLoS journal articles are accessed as easily and freely as going to the website, their "readership" is, theoretically at least, anyone.

Thus, the mission of PLoS differs somewhat from that of arXiv -- PLoS journals are peer-reviewed -- and from Nature Proceedings -- the Proceeding's parent company, Nature, is for-profit, but PLoS is resolutely non-profit. The PLoS position is that since most biological research is paid for by the taxpayer, taxpayers -- you and me -- should not have to pay to review the fruits of that research. Indeed.

The PLoS model seems to me, though I may be biased, to be a highly promising hybrid of open access and peer-reviewed science. PLoS-FQXi Cosmology, anyone?

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.