Posted by: Administrator | 20/01/2016

Professor Gavin Brown, Warwick University

I write in support of the JCM.

I am conscious that I do not know the full ins and outs of the LMS’s decision to close JCM. My understanding is that the LMS is considering and developing ideas in which they can continue to support dissemination of computationally-supported mathematics, which is, after all, a central plank of contemporary maths.

I can imagine there are better ways of spending LMS resources on this, but until I have some idea of what they are likely to be I continue to support JCM. (The resources do not seem so vast in any case.)

I note that personally as an editorial advisor the majority of submission I see are rejected by referees, and I only recommend accepting those that the referees deem of real scientific value. So although the journal’s impact factor is not high, I don’t think we should interpret that as saying that the value of the journal to science is not high.

It’s worth me saying that I am not against closing the journal if there is a better suggestion on the table – I am not being conservative for the sake of it. But I would like to see the better suggestion first. If the LMS truly does hope to use its resources more wisely in this direction, I would suggest keeping JCM going for 2 or 3 more years until we have more concrete suggestions to compare it against. If the JCM is rendered obsolete by a better service to computational (pure) maths, then it could close then, with a relatively small sum having been invested in keeping it alive as a safety net.

I would rather that the LMS be over-represented in its dissemination of computational maths for a couple of ‘overlap’ years than that it be not represented at all.



  1. I would also like to write in support.

    In my opinion, the LMS Journal of Computation and Mathematics plays a crucial role in the dissemination of influential papers in computational algebra and number theory. There are unfortunately few mathematics journals that publish papers in computation (in pure mathematics): there is the highly regarded Mathematics of Computation, published by the AMS (with an enormous backlog), and Journal of Symbolic Computation, published by Elsevier–and then an enormous gap. (I choose not to publish in Elsevier journals for reason of publishing practices, so only Math. Comp. is available.) Too many other journals turn away computational papers, either because the journal is domain-specific and therefore not tailored for computation, or because the journal is for a general audience and unwilling to publish “too many” computational papers. I have sent some of my best computational work to LMS JCM and had planned to continue to do so, and I have encouraged my colleagues to do so as well. I could see the reputation of this journal grow within our community over the past few years, filling a niche that will only grow in importance in the years ahead. Its cancellation will have a significant negative impact.

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