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March 31, 2007

arXiv phase change

The arXiv has been discussing for some time the need to change the way it tags submissions. The principal motivation was that the number of monthly submissions in some subject classes (math and cond-mat, for instance) has been steadily rising over the past few years, and would have likely crossed the break-point of 1000 per month sometime later this year. 1000 is the magic number because the current arxiv tag is formatted as "subject-class/YYMMNNN".

The new tagging system, which goes into effect for all submissions tomorrow April 1st and later, moves to a "YYMM.NNNN" format and drops the subject classification prefix. I rather like this change, since, by decoupling the classification and the tag, it gives arXiv a lot more flexibility to adapt its internal subject classes to scientific trends. This will make it easier to place multi-disciplinary articles (like those I write, most of which end up on the physics arxiv), will (hopefully) make it less confusing for people to find articles, and will (potentially) let the arxiv expand into other scientific domains.

posted March 31, 2007 12:01 AM in Simply Academic | permalink