IACR Publication Reform :  Cryptology ePrint Archive Forum
Discussion related to IACR's current and future publications: conference proceedings, Journal of Cryptology, and revolution of IACR's publications.  
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Change is needed, but slow change is important
Posted by: lindell (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June 2013 05:57

The proposal put forward by Nigel is very radical, and certainly has some important and positive points. However, I am very concerned with radical, rapid, untested change that can be very detrimental in the long run. I think that we can make partial steps towards solving the problem without trying to change the entire culture of the community in one shot.

To be more concrete:
1) I like the idea of a Proceedings of the IACR. However, the process for publishing there can be (a) submit to conference, (b) if accepted, prepare full version by the conference date. Note that presentation at the conference depends on having a full version ready and accepted. Given that we are attempting to go for a 3 month journal process there is enough time for this (especially if people know that presenting at the conference depends on this and so they would have to start getting ready ahead of time). This would achieve the journal that we want, would force people to write full versions, would implement a strict deadline so that it doesn't take forever, but would not go into unchartered waters with unexpected side effects.
2) There is a big danger in Nigel's proposal of the journal being ranked low. This is due to the fact that essentially we are saying: let's accept almost anything that is correct and not garbage, since only the really interesting work will go to the conferences anyway. I'm not sure that this will happen, but it's a concern.
3) Regarding the workshops: I would not want to see these harmed. I can testify personally about TCC: it provides a place for people to do pure theory without feeling that they have to target a wider community, and this is a good thing.

I think that the most important thing is to go slowly. Maybe we can make one track of Crypto to follow this model and see how it works. There are often unforeseen consequences that take years to come out. (E.g., open access publishing has seen thousands of garbage journals being opened, and they earn money by people paying to publish there. It seems like a joke, but serious researchers have been known to be tricked by their aggressive tactics. See [www.nytimes.com] for more about this.)

Personally, I think that item (1) above is a good middle-road for this issue.

Re: Change is needed, but slow change is important
Posted by: cbw (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June 2013 11:46


I see your concerns, but I think slow change is not good per se. /If/ we were to integrate Proc/IACR into the JoC, there is no problem with the ranking of the journal.

Having a "normal track" for Crypto and a "wannabe track" (Proc/IACR), this will simply demote the second.


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