|Type of site||Science|
|Created by||Paul Ginsparg|
|Alexa rank||8,715 (April 2014[update])|
- Not to be confused with the Internet Archive.
The arXiv (pronounced "archive", as if the "X" were the Greek letter Chi, χ) is a repository of electronic preprints of scientific papers in the fields of mathematics, physics, astronomy, computer science, quantitative biology, statistics, and quantitative finance, which can be accessed online. In many fields of mathematics and physics, almost all scientific papers are self-archived on the arXiv. Begun on August 14, 1991, arXiv.org passed the half-million article milestone on October 3, 2008. By 2012 the submission rate had grown to more than 7,000 per month.
The arXiv was originally developed by Paul Ginsparg, in part to supersede a multinational email distribution list for preprints that had been operated manually by Joanne Cohn for about two years. It started in August 1991 as a repository for preprints in physics and later expanded to include astronomy, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear science, quantitative biology and, most recently, statistics. It soon became obvious that there was a demand for long-term preservation of preprints. The term e-print was adopted to describe the articles. Ginsparg was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002 for his establishment of arXiv.
It was originally hosted at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and called the LANL preprint archive. Its original domain name was xxx.lanl.gov. It is now hosted and operated by Cornell University, with 14 mirrors around the world. It changed its name and address to arXiv.org in 1999 for greater flexibility.
Its existence was one of the precipitating factors that led to the current movement in scientific publishing known as open access. Mathematicians and scientists regularly upload their papers to arXiv.org for worldwide access and sometimes for reviews before they are published in peer-reviewed journals.
The annual budget for arXiv is approximately $826,000 for 2013–17, funded jointly by Cornell University Library, the Simons Foundation (in both gift and challenge grant forms) and annual fee income from member institutions. This model arose in 2010, when Cornell sought to broaden the financial funding of the project by asking institutions to make annual voluntary contributions based on the amount of download usage by each institution. Annual donations were envisaged to vary in size between $2,300 to $4,000, based on each institution’s usage. As of 14 January 2014[update], 174 institutions have pledged support for the period 2013-17 on this basis, with a projected revenue from this source of approximately $340,000.
In September 2011, Cornell University Library took overall administrative and financial responsibility for ArXiv's operation and development. Ginsparg was quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education as saying it "was supposed to be a three-hour tour, not a life sentence". However, Ginsparg remains on the .
Although the arXiv is not peer reviewed, a collection of moderators for each area review the submissions and may recategorize any that are deemed off-topic. The lists of moderators for many sections of the arXiv are publicly available, but moderators for most of the physics sections remain unlisted.
Additionally, an "endorsement" system was introduced in January 2004 as part of an effort to ensure content that is relevant and of interest to current research in the specified disciplines. The new system has attracted its own share of criticism for allegedly restricting inquiry. Under the system, an author must first get endorsed. Endorsement comes from either another arXiv author who is an endorser or is automatic, depending on various evolving criteria, which are not publicly spelled out. Endorsers are not asked to review the paper for errors, but to check whether the paper is appropriate for the intended subject area. New authors from recognized academic institutions generally receive automatic endorsement, which in practice means that they do not need to deal with the endorsement system at all.
A majority of the e-prints are also submitted to journals for publication, but some work, including some very influential papers, remain purely as e-prints and are never published in a peer-reviewed journal. A well-known example of the latter is an outline of a proof of Thurston's geometrization conjecture, including the Poincaré conjecture as a particular case, uploaded by Grigori Perelman in November 2002. Perelman appears content to forgo the traditional peer-reviewed journal process, stating: "If anybody is interested in my way of solving the problem, it's all there [on the arXiv] – let them go and read about it."
While the arXiv does contain some dubious e-prints, such as those claiming to refute famous theorems or proving famous conjectures such as Fermat's last theorem using only high-school mathematics, they are "surprisingly rare". The arXiv generally re-classifies these works, e.g. in "General mathematics", rather than deleting them.
Papers can be submitted in any of several formats, including LaTeX, and PDF printed from a word processor other than TeX or LaTeX. The submission is rejected by the arXiv software if generating the final PDF file fails, if any image file is too large, or if the total size of the submission is too large. arXiv now allows one to store and modify an incomplete submission, and only finalize the submission when ready. The time stamp on the article is set when the submission is finalized.
The standard access route is through the arXiv.org website or one of several mirrors. Several other interfaces and access routes have also been created by other un-associated organisations. These include the University of California, Davis's front, a web portal that offers additional search functions and a more self-explanatory interface for arXiv.org, and is referred to by some mathematicians as (the) Front. A similar function is offered by eprintweb.org, launched in September 2006 by the Institute of Physics. Google Scholar and Windows Live Academic can also be used to search for items in arXiv. Finally, researchers can select sub-fields and receive daily e-mailings or RSS feeds of all submissions in them.
Files on arXiv can have a number of different copyright statuses:
- Some are public domain, in which case they will have a statement saying so.
- Some are available under either the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Share alike license or the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-non-commercial-Share Alike license.
- Some are copyright to the publisher, but the author has the right to distribute them and has given arXiv a non-exclusive irrevocable license to distribute them.
- Most are copyright to the author, and arXiv has only a non-exclusive irrevocable license to distribute them.
- BioMed Central
- List of academic databases and search engines
- List of academic journals by preprint policy
- List of open-access journals
- Open access (publishing)
- Public Library of Science
- Science 2.0
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- Computing Research Repository Subject Areas and Moderators; Mathematics categories; Statistics archive; Quantitative Biology archive; Physics archive
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- Official website
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- Creating a global knowledge network: a talk by Paul Ginsparg
- Open Access Overview by Peter Suber
- Tragic loss or good riddance? The impending demise of traditional scholarly journals by Andrew Odlyzko
- Front: a portal to mathematics on arXiv.org through UC Davis
- Arxiv structure: Tool to view Arxiv articles in a structured way
- eprintweb.org Web front for Arxiv
- arXiv online scientific repository hits milestone
- Paperscape: a visual map of the arXiv