With regard to the $500 fee requested by Advances in Pure Mathematics to publish Marcie Rathke’s paper, I’ve seen several suggestions to raise the money via Kickstarter or a similar service, and some readers have pledged to donate. I appreciate your generosity, but I don’t plan to pursue this. Here’s why:
- I’m not interested in helping APM profit from this incident. I think their existence damages the field of mathematics, and I don’t want to support them. Having the paper accepted is sufficient to make the point; there is no need for it to actually appear. (I might feel differently if they produced physical issues which one could have framed, but in an online-only journal there’s no such satisfaction.) There are much more positive things all of you could do with your money, and I’d rather you do them.
- There’s a good chance that at some point, the editors of APM would hear about this incident. I expect in that case, the paper’s acceptance would be retracted, and the publication fee, if paid, would (hopefully) be refunded. Then I’d have to deal with returning everyone’s money.
- The reviewer listed a number of changes required before publication (in essence: make the paper not a total crock). I’m pretty confident that enough random or quasi-random garbage added or subtracted in the right places would eventually satisfy them, but it would hurt the paper’s stochastic purity.
- Most seriously of all: they require a Word document for publication. I’m damned if I’ll retype the paper in Word, ruining its beautiful formatting and my Microsoft-free streak.