3 thoughts on “The Law of Small Numbers

  1. Those taking content from JSTOR and posting it on their website in violation of the Terms and Conditions of Use, might want to edit the Metadata to hide that fact.

  2. I think this is a case where we might want to take our link down. The Monthly is a journal who really does add value to the papers they publish: their material is well vetted and edited. And, as I understand it, the profits of running the Monthly go to the MAA, an organization which does a great deal to give back to the mathematical community.

    I have a vague feeling that there have been some scandals associated with JSTOR, but can’t remember the details. But I think they certainly do net good for the academic world, and they depend on subscription fees to keep running.

    In short, JSTOR and the MAA are not Elsevier. They are nonprofit organizations who aid mathematics, and they need subscriptions in order to support their activities.

    One day soon, I hope, we will figure out how to compensate excellent editing and archival work without copyright, just as we compensate authors by giving them tenure. Copyright is the current legal mechanism by which our culture rewards good editing and archiving, and we shouldn’t abuse it until we can replace it.

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