The idea of having meetings in different regions of the world was considered, such as supporting a meeting in Latin America and possibly one in Asia and one in Africa. The IMU may also provide some financial support to other meetings/activities. J.P.Bourgignon also asked the EC to consider a project "The memory of mathematicians" to collect interesting private mathematical communications of main mathematicians. This would be jointly sponsored by IMU and EMS and possibly UNESCO. On the other hand, the EC asked Prof. Bourguignon about the possibility of planning a meeting in Europe, maybe Greece, on the History of Mathematics, to be jointly sponsored by IMU and EMS.
Concerning ICMI, Professor Jeremy Kilpatrick attended part of the meeting and presented to the EC member some of the main activities of this IMU Commission. It was discussed, among other things, ICMI’s view about its involvement in ICM 98. Prof. Mumford pointed out the necessity of closer cooperation between the Executive Committee of IMU and its Commissions. In particular, the PC of ICM98 should have ICMI and ICHM collaboration in planning the sections on teaching and popularization of mathematics and history of mathematics. The EC suggested that some members of the panel of these sections be proposed by ICMI and ICHM to the PC. It was concluded that only the talks programmed for the sections shall appear in the Proceedings of the Congress. In view of the above, Prof. Kilpatrick said he would discuss with ICMI whether they wish to continue to hold talks outside the official sections organized by the PC.
Committee on Electronic Publishing
Ned Calkin (Georgia Tech)
John Franks (AMS) email@example.com
Martin Groetschel (ZIB, Berlin) firstname.lastname@example.org
Joachim Heinze (Springer-Verlag) email@example.com
Peter Michor firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Odlyzko (AT&T Reserch) email@example.com
John Price-Wilkin (University of Michigan) firstname.lastname@example.org
Hans Roosendaal (Elsevier) email@example.com
Laszlo Lovasz - Chair (Yale University) firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Advisory Committee
Bernd Wegner email@example.com
Keith Dennis dennis@MATH.AMS.ORG
Larry Siebenmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the IMU committee on electronic publishing. As you know, this committee was asked by the President of the International Mathematical Union, David Mumford, to study issues in connection with electronic publication and formulate proposals to the IMU that could facilitate a smoother transition into the electronic age. A copy of our letter of reference is enclosed.
The President of the IMU, appointed Martin Groetschel, Andrew Odlyzko and myself as chairman to this committee and asked us to extend the committee with more members as we see best. We are happy to report that we have been successful in securing the cooperation of a group of excellent people deeply involved in these difficult issues, and I thank you all for accepting this task. A list of committee members and their e-mail addresses is enclosed.
We have also asked some experts to give us technical advice on different issues that are bound to come up. It could well be that we'll have to approach other people for help as discussions develop.
I propose that we do our discussions by broadcasting our opinion to the whole committee.
My feeling is that we should take the questions posed by David Mumford in a broad sense, and, at least as a first round, I encourage committee members to raise issues concerning electronic publication in mathematics freely. On the other hand, we should keep in mind that this committee has the goal of coming up with concrete proposals to the IMU. So while I would not want to restrict the topics we consider too much, I would like to keep the discussion on the level of problems where the IMU (possibly together with other organizations) is in the position to do something.
I know of three issues that have come up in discussions so far, and which are concrete enough so that real progress is conceivable.
1) A document identifier system. There seem to be various attempts by libraries, publishers and others to develop such a system, and we should discuss if IMU should embrace any of them. In this respect, I'd like to ask our committee members who are librarians and publishers to bring us up to date.
2) A standardization of the front pages of preprints, together with an information system that makes use of this and thereby promotes its acceptance. Martin Grotschel is involved in a similar project in Germany and I'd like to ask him to inform us about it.
3) A proposal that the IMU maintains or finances some servers, where mathematicians from countries with insufficient Internet connection could submit their electronic preprints.
Looking forward to our cooperation,
"IMU COMMITTEE ON ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING"
The timely distribution of mathematical work (articles, preprints, books,
scripts etc. ) is indispensable for mathematical research. It is of equal
importance to guarantee quality, authenticity, longevity and
retrievability. It is apparent that, at present, there is a transition from
paper publication to publication in electronic form. New electronic
journals appear and more and more preprint servers are set up. This
development is not without problems.
Terms of Reference
How can papers be found efficiently in electronic archives? What is the actual state of an E-script (which may change throughout its life)? Who guarantees for its quality and authenticity? Has an electronic article been published in traditional form and where? Is the electronic version one has identical with the one somebody else references? Will the paper be archived and where? What happens with an electronic article if its "digital home" ceases to exist?
To address these and related issues, the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union sets up a Committee on Electronic Publishing. Its task is to write a report to the Executive Committee making suggestions how IMU could help solving the issues mentioned above.
IMU suggests addressing questions that can be solved in the very near future by the collaborative effort of mathematical societies, leading mathematical institutes, publishers and libraries with as little bureaucracy as possible. Among such questions are:
IMU is aware of the fact that, in several countries of the world, digital library projects are set up or in progress and that more and more and more publishers are entering the electronic publishing arena. The committee is asked to investigate these plans and use the findings for its proposal. The suggestions for electronic publishing in mathematics should also take the developments in other scientific fields into account.