Re: Self-Archiving Refereed Research vs. Self-Publishing Unrefereed Research

From: Tim Brody <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 13:37:46 +0000

The authors of the putative proof of the Riemann Hypothesis
(For citations and UK downloads, see:
have also written a couple of other papers prior to this on the same
(Citations and UK downloads from Citebase, see:
(Citations and UK downloads from Citebase: is listed as published
in the journal Chaos Solitons Fractals
See Scirus:
For other links see Paracite:

Dramatic research that is incorrect, quackery or not, either disappears
unnoticed, or, if noticed, is exposed to much greater scrutiny than the
limited peer-review that publication requires. The self-corrective
nature of science is helped rather than hindered by open access - any
and all can judge for themselves.

Regardless, anyone who relies on slashdot hyperbole or the journalistic
press for their scientific information would be foolish indeed - I'm sure users don't.

All the best,

    [Moderator's Note: One of the references cited by the authors is
    a paper by Andrew Odlyzko, who is on this list; perhaps Andrew
    can give us his view of this putative proof, and of the general
    likelihood of uncorrected errors persisting and compromising further
    research? -- SH]

Arthur P. Smith wrote:

>Some of you may be interested in the following "slashdot" discussion
>from a day or two ago:
>titled "Riemann Hypothesis Proved?" quoting a Swedish newspaper
>(apparently the major print news outlet in Sweden) which bases its story
>on an article "published" last year in, linking to:
>This paper has been on the arXiv since August last year, with a couple
>of revisions. Where does it fit in as a proof or non-proof of the
>Riemann hypothesis? Will it actually receive any sort of refutation? It
>seems not to have been written with mathematicians in mind,
>particularly, and none of them in the various comments seem able to
>follow the methods used; most seem very skeptical. Is it right or wrong
>though? Nobody seems sure. Has it been submitted to a peer-reviewed
>journal? It seems not to have been published in one. If citations of
>this paper appear later, will they provide any evidence of its
>correctness or otherwise? If the arguments are refuted as a proof, will
>there be any link or indication of this on How would a future
>"innocent" third party know what to do when coming upon a paper like
>this in the arXiv, if there is no follow-up (as there currently is none)?
>Normally, when a breakthrough of this magnitude (similar to the proof of
>Fermat's Last Theorem) occurs, there is considerable publicity. In this
>case there seems to have been almost none since last August, until now.
>Is that because the authors are unsure themselves? Because the authors
>are unknown? Because nobody reads what's on the arXiv if they don't know
>the authors? Or because no peer-reviewed publication has been involved yet?
>Incorrect articles certainly get published in peer-reviewed journals as
>well, although at least in mathematics peer review tends to be quite
>rigorous. But there seems to be some rather serious distinction being
>made in this case - what is it, and what lessons should we draw?
> Arthur
>[Moderator's Note] Relevent Threads:
Received on Wed Mar 05 2003 - 13:37:46 GMT

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