Many things that have happened recently in mathematical publishing — chiefly the lemming-like rush for gold open access — have seemed rather negative to me. You are probably tired of my carping. So it is nice to report something positive for a change. This is inspired by a guest post on Terry Tao’s blog, by Ingrid Daubechies, president of the International Mathematical Union.
The post announces an initiative, backed by the Sloan Foundation, to look beyond current issues of open access and copyright and ask for
how a World Digital Mathematical Library could be so much more than just a collection of digitally available mathematical documents.
All ideas welcome: read the article, and think creatively!
Ingrid particularly asks for help from “internet-savvy, imaginative, social-networking young mathematicians”, and also “bloggers and blog-readers”. These two groups are not the same; I belong to the second but not the first. But let’s imagine that she really means anyone who has a good idea about how we can use new technology to enrich the publishing and reading of mathematics, and particular, would capture the imagination of the mathematical community.