This is the fourth in our series of OA Week 2021 blog posts about open access activities at UT Austin. The theme this year is “It Matters How we Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity”, and that’s why we are so excited to announce a new mathematics journal, Ars Inveniendi Analytica.
Ars Inveniendi Analytica (Ars) is an arXiv overlay journal that is focused on mathematical analysis. An overlay journal is an open access journal that minimizes operating costs by using existing OA infrastructure as a critical part of their publication process. In this case, the pre-print server, arXiv, is that existing infrastructure. Mathematicians are already familiar with using arXiv to post pre-prints of their articles. They use that same arXiv posting process and then take an additional step of submitting that manuscript to Ars for review. The total costs for publishing this journal are under $2,000 per year which is less than a single Article Processing Charge (APC) at some commercial publishers.
The Editors-in-Chief of Ars, Francesco Maggi from the University of Texas at Austin, and Enrico Valdinoci from the University of Western Australia, wanted to create a top level journal that did not introduce fees to either readers or authors. In other words they wanted to create a diamond (sometimes called platinum) open access journal that would be accessible to anyone publishing high quality papers in analysis. The journal has already published six papers and has several more in the peer review process.
In order to keep the journal fee-free, Dr. Maggi and Dr. Valdinoci worked with librarians at Harvard University and the University of Texas at Austin to support the journal. UT Austin provided financial support for the online journal hosting in Scholastica and domain name registration and management, and Harvard University provided publishing support for starting a new journal. That publishing support included providing advice on OA journal policies and guidelines, assisting with the configuration of Ars in Scholastica, providing advice and assistance with attaining an ISSN and getting indexed to maximize discoverability, and facilitating discussions among stakeholders involved in the launch of the journal. In addition, the Editorial Board of Ars volunteered their time and considerable expertise to provide a vision for the journal and to help attract submissions. Further, it has been common practice in the field to use the TeX typesetting system for years, so cost savings are realized through mathematicians doing their own copyediting and typesetting. As mentioned, the Ars’ published papers are stored at arXiv which is housed and managed at Cornell University, and financially supported by many institutions, including UT Austin and Harvard.
UT Libraries have been supporting open access initiatives for many years as part of our effort to create a more equitable and sustainable scholarly publishing ecosystem. We are delighted to provide support for a new journal that embraces the open access ethos of improving access to information. We have also welcomed this opportunity to work with colleagues at Harvard, specifically Colleen Cressman, as we learn more about the support necessary to get a journal like this started.