Cornell announced that arxiv overcome 500,000 submissions (see here). This is a key milestone. At this rate the threshold at 1,000,000 is expected for 2015. This is the undeniable proof of a great success and the evidence for a revolution in scientific publishing. Articles are all freely accessible. The future will say what other impact this will have. But already today we see a reshaping of all the publishing community to account for the very existence of arxiv.
I think this is the moment for cheers.
One of the greatest revolutions in scientific publishing we have witnessed in these latest years has been the invention of arxiv due to Paul Ginsparg.
A beautiful article he wrote for Physics World is appeared in the latest number of the journal (see here). This paper has been emotionally shocking for me and turned back time to the pioneering era of personal computing. I still remember the PDP-11 machine I worked on at University of Rome “La Sapienza” to compute the lifetime of , repeating an experiment performed years before, with two other classmates. As soon as I uncovered arxiv I partecipate to this adventure submitting my preprints to it. Indeed, you can find papers of mine there starting from 1994.
Since then arxiv has changed in a significant way introducing a web interface, endorsement and requiring registration. But we have also been part of Perelman’s story and his preprints never published but just put on arxiv. They just contain the proof of Poincare’ conjecture. And someone thinks yet preprints are not worth a publication…