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August 13, 2005


Computing Chris

Hi Ernie,

I have written a little about this on my blog. Firstly, this is a 12-month experiment (we opened up the archive on 1 July), after which we will evaluate the results.

Why back to 1995? Pre-1995 material was not previously available electronically and we recently spent quite a lot of money in getting these scanned, OCR-ed and coupled with XML files. The backfiles - as they are known - are available for a one-off fee, which is very reasonable by any standards, especially given the volume of material. This pre-1995 material is therefore a bit of sacred cow within the company. There are no plans to open this material up, even for promotions or our usage experiment.

Why this journal? We are experimenting on one high-profile journal. It could have been another title, but we chose this one. We are doing it for 12 months to get sufficient data to make it worthwhile.

Re: Journal of Algorithms. I agree - up to a point - that this is a little misleading. But all articles we have published and have in stock were reviewed by the 'old' editorial board. Maybe I should amend the website though.

Thanks for your feedback. We are going into this with open eyes and an open mind, so let's see where it takes us.



Thanks for your quick comments, Chris!

What is the one-off fee? On the Elsevier web site, I only see annual journal subscriptions and $30 per-article fees. I eventually found some PDF propoganda (http://www.info.sciencedirect.com/backfiles/collections/computerscience/fs.pdf) via Google, but it doesn't list any prices. I'm curious how it compares to other similar efforts like JSTOR or the ACM Digital Library.

I think the JAlgo editorial board list should have been changed months ago, not because it misleads readers, but because it misleads potential authors. Authors might not be as willing to submit papers if they knew that Galil, Johnson, Knuth and company weren't at the helm. (That was the point of the resignation, after all.) Worse, authors might (justifiably) feel cheated if they found out only later that the editors weren't who you advertised.

Who IS at the helm of JAlgo these days?

Computing Chris


The one-off fee is variable between large and small institutes, but is very reasonable considering the permanent access to that volume of information. Your librarian will have an Elsevier contact who will give a quote for your institution.

JAlgo is being managed in-house at the moment. We have only 1 new submission since the board resigned - the rest of the papers were from reviewing and author revision rounds before the board resignation. I'll make sure this new author knows the situation wrt this journal.


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