My Kickstarter project has closed having raised $220 out of the needed $2500 to help me either publish some scientific papers or to buy a telescope for astronomy students to use. Instead of money I got discounts on the publication fees from the journal Science Open Research, I was invited to publish for free in The Winnower, and the International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics. So my Kickstarter got one of my papers published, and the other two closer to being published. In that sense my project was also a success.
Many people are surprised to find out that it in fact cost money to publish in scientific journals. Most scientist are insulated from this by their government grant funding, or funding provided by the institution they work for. Usually lining up grant funding to pay for these things falls to one or two people at those institutions. I am a mere Adjunct Professor of Physical Science and have almost zero seniority. If I had been working for either the College of DuPage or Richard J. Daley College one of the City Colleges of Chicago for a few years I would be in the adjuncts unions. As a member of the unions perhaps then some money would be available to me for a paper or two. As things are, I was on my own.
This left me with a number of bad options. I could use credit to pay the publication fees. I could ask family for money. I could sell some things to try and raise the money. Then I heard of “Potato Salad” by Zack Danger Brown . About a month ago that Kickstarter project made $55,000 from 6000 donations for Zack to make a batch of potato salad. I wanted to see if I could raise any money by a Kickstarter.
Results beyond money.
Instead of money I got effectively $1600 in discounted publishing fees. The International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where “Disk-outflow models as applied to high mass star forming regions through methanol and water maser observations” (arXiv:1311.3983) reconfirmed a discount I had earlier. This is based on my Masters Thesis “Insights into High Mass Star Formation from Methanol Maser Observations” completed at DePaul University in Chicago. The subject is massive star formation.
“A Lagrangian which models Lambda CDM cosmology and explains the null results of direct detection efforts.” Which I was to give a talk at the April 2014 meeting of the American Physical Society. Is slated to appear in Science Open Research. They also gave me a deep discount.
So I changed the goal from publishing to using the money to buy a telescope which my astronomy students could use for simple projects. Sadly they will have to make due with my old telescope with some pieces missing.
One paper published.
One paper was actually published for free on “The Winnower” after I got invited to do so. Quantum gravity by relativization of Quantum Field Theory., The Winnower 1:e140751.17561 (2014). DOI: 10.15200/winn.140751.17561 . Their platform is in the beta test stage that’s why it was free for me.
Overall the experience was good. I posted the paper there and got feedback here from two people who I thanked in the acknowledgements of the revised version. There were some kinks in the latex system but the final result of their approach is beautiful.
Two of the commentators there seem to have an axe to grind and have harassed me in real life.
When reading their words consider the sources.
One Stephen McCormick (@quasilocal ) from Australia wanted to write something asinine while being anonymous and actually tweeted @thewinnower about wanting to comment anonymously. As it turns out my work would invalidate his work if it’s proven correct. By being anonymous Mr McCormick also did not have to state his conflict of interest. The other is a supposed “John Lee” who commented in ways that I thoroughly rebutted there. The erstwhile Mr Lee, then wrote to my bosses from a Yahoo email address to call me a crakcpot and say that I am fraudulently calling myself an Adjunct Professor. Mr Lee commented here to the effect that one is “only an adjunct professor if one is tenured somewhere else”. That is the standard in places like Australia and the UK. An official from one of the colleges I teach at informed me of this and was so disturbed by the contents of “John Lee”‘s email that he thought I should alert authorities.
Once corrected by my employers this person did donate money to my kick-starter.
His conduct serves to illustrate some of what is wrong with the traditional anonymous pre publication peer review system. Either he did that on purpose or not. So thanks to him either way.
Consider that over 300 readers have read my paper and only “two” (or just one with two email addresses or sock puppet identities.) have had a problem…then cyber stalked me.
An Aside on Academic titles in the United States of America
Since titles matter to people in countries where they have Dukes, Viscounts, Barons, Lords, and a Queen let me make something clear about the professoriate in the United States of America.
Here in the United States of America an Adjunct Professor is just a type of professor who works part time and is not up for tenure. Adjunct Professors like me also don’t have the administrative and service duties of tenured faculty. No professor be they Adjunct, Assistant, Associate, Full, or named chair EVER uses “Professor” before their name outside a very limited set of circumstances.
Here in the United States of America the faculty is a bit more democratic. What matters are publications, seniority, and measures of ones past and current merit, not titles. Here an Assistant professor can be the department head if they are a great teacher and a good administrator. Here a Dean can run both a math and science branch of a school. Here the president of the university will greet you like an equal. According to just those people the common US English title for what I do is Adjunct Professor.
To us in the US it is just a job description not an honor like Knighthood or something. That said I am honored to work for the institutions that I do.
I urge our cousins in the UK and Australia to remember, this happened.
Then this happened.
So now us rabble and peasants do things very differently than in the British Commonwealth.
The bottom line:
My papers are now closer to being published, or published. The general public meanwhile does not seem to care much about funding science even though their tax money is used for it anyway.
Updated to add.
I retract but do not apologies for concluding that “John Lee” was a sock puppet of Steven McCormick. Mr McCormick who’s working on a PhD in the subject of quantum gravity anonymously posted a short but not very illuminating review on my paper without disclosing his conflict of interest. See below that he did own up to said COI. I do not regret pointing out what he did, but I do retract the leap of logic that he was they mysterious Mr Lee.
As for those who keep on
A) Confusing the hilbert space in my model with the space it is defined over. I don’t know what to say. You have confused one thing with the other.
b). In their confusing claim that a quantum mechanical Hilbert space cannot have such vectors and scalars in it apparently they’ve never seen this.
Which contains the product of one of the gamma matricies with the gauge covariant derivative. Which is just D slashed which is also a four vector. Why? One way to represent four vectors is using gamma matirices as a basis, no different than x y z and t. This works. It is used all the time and I will not listen for one more second to people who don’t under stand simple QED.
The most twisted part of this is I report that someone basically cyber stalked me and harassed me in real life. Only one person who commented it seems even acknowledged that. Most of the comments are about a paper posted on another thread where the same conversation could go on almost forever, or better yet where the paper is posted online.
Discussion closed, I will blog about this no more.