The Great 21st Century Scientific Watergate

Nature 432, 428 - 429 (25 November 2004); doi:10.1038/432428a

— News in Brief —


Rejected physicists instigate anti-arXiv site

[WASHINGTON] Researchers who feel they have been unfairly excluded from the arXiv physics preprint server now have a new home on the Internet.

The 'archive freedom' site, developed by a handful of frustrated researchers, hosts the stories of physicists who, they claim, have been "blacklisted" by arXiv's operators at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The site includes information about Robert Gentry, a geophysicist formerly at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Gentry, a Seventh Day Adventist and creationist, lost a legal action this March in which he had accused arXiv of religious discrimination in rejecting his papers on an alternative to the Big Bang theory (see Nature 428, 458; 2004).

Paul Ginsparg, a physicist at Cornell who founded arXiv in 1991, defends the archive's policies and says the rules governing who can and cannot publish are clearly stated on the site. The archive is not a fully open forum, he adds, and is designed for "communication among research professionals, not as a mechanism for outsiders to communicate to that community".


© 2004