From: David Groenewegen <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 14:46:48 +1100
I'm sure I was a bit vague on the "verification" bit - like I say, I'm
not a mathematician, nor even anything remotely close to one, so the
detail of that is beyond me. You are no doubt right that Perelman's
arxiv publication might have been better had he gotten advice on how
to describe all of his work without leaving holes.
I think we agree that Perelman took a risk with this approach, but
that we differ on the outcomes. My view is that despite this risk, he
got the credit he deserved, and those who tried to appropriate some of
it did not succeed. It could have gone wrong, but it didn't, so it is
not an example of the perils of publishing openly, which what I
believe started this discussion. If anything, it an example of the
benefits, as the wider mathematics community had sufficient time to
understand Perelman's work, which helped clarify what he had achieved.
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E: [log in to unmask]
On 24/03/2016 11:51 AM, LIBLICENSE wrote:
> From: Ari Belenkiy <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 23:48:45 -0700
> While you skillfully described the situation, you have used the word
> "verification" too lightheartedly.
> In fact, a proper academic publication leaves no gaps, so NO
> subsequent verification is needed -- though true, there is a little
> chance that the referees miss an error (though rarely a blunder!).
> So the arxiv publication, without a proper supervision, I repeat, put
> Perelman in a precarious situation where any "as it is well-known"
> claims became a prey for the competitors - who subsequently claimed
> credit for themselves.
> Yes, when the "Millennium" prize was assigned to him, Perelman
> objected that Hamilton must be credited as well, but his refusal to
> accept the Fields medal was unsubstantiated - he did not explain his
> refusal properly.
> Ari Belenkiy
> On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 3:20 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> From: David Groenewegen <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 14:30:47 +1100
>> I'm not a mathematician, but having read a bit about this case now, I
>> would say that this is an example of the benefits of OA and arxiv
>> rather than a cautionary tale. As I understand it:
>> 1. Perelman made his solution available on arxiv without going through
>> the publication process, so that people could see it and verify it
>> quickly. He attracted a lot of attention in a short time by doing
>> 2. This verification process occurred, but one group of researchers
>> tried to claim more credit for their verification than was widely
>> considered reasonable. They never denied using his work (so there is
>> no priority dispute), just how much credit he should get. This was a
>> potential risk even if he had gone through the traditional publication
>> 3. Pressure within the mathematics community lead to these researchers
>> changing their claims within 6 months and leaving the credit with
>> Perelman, who was subsequently offered the most prestigious prize in
>> his discipline, the Fields medal.
>> 4. No-one is sure why he turned down the medal, although the fuss
>> about credit seems to have played some part. But it also appears he
>> wanted some credit to go to a fellow mathematician whose work he built
>> on, and that he just didn't like the attention that came with it. He
>> turned down several prestigious jobs before any of this happened.
>> In summary - ground-breaking work available much quicker than might
>> otherwise have happened, peer review done openly, proper person got
>> credit. Science wins.
>> DAVID GROENEWEGEN