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.

Director, Research

Monash University
Information Services Building
Wellington Road
Clayton VIC 3168

E: [log in to unmask]

On 22/03/2016 9:29 AM, LIBLICENSE wrote:
> From: Ari Belenkiy <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 00:18:41 -0700
> David,
> I know only of one. But quite a remarkable one!
> You probably heard of Gregory Perelman's three papers on arxiv that
> solved Poincare conjecture. The papers didn't cover all the small gaps
> in the proof which led to counter-claims by two Chinese contenders.
> The situation stirred quite a wave of emotions and led to Perelman's
> refusal to accept the Fields Prize in 2006 in Madrid.
> Ari Belenkiy
> On Sun, Mar 20, 2016 at 11:32 AM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> From: David Prosser <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 16:18:44 +0000
>> "These are subtle things. Pre-publication on arxiv is precarious - it
>> pre-opens a Pandora's box of priority disputes.”
>> But does it though? arXiv has been going for almost 25 years now and
>> has well over a million papers on it.  Is there any evidence that
>> there is a significant problem with priority disputes?  Or more
>> specifically that there are more priority disputes here than in the
>> general literature?
>> David