research in particle physics
why an independent repository?


What is the need for an independent preprint publishing area? Is arXiv.org not good enough? Unfortunately it is not, and scientists from particlez.org have experienced soft censorship by misclassification, full blacklisting, and denial of access with anonymous unpleasant e-mail messages from the arXiv moderators. Several cases of this kind of behavior are documented by archivefreedom.org, and the list of suppressed scientists even includes Nobel Laureates.

One of the blacklisted Nobel Laureates is Brian D. Josephson, who describes his remarkable personal perspective on arXiv covert censorship. In more general terms, he discusses "Pathological Disbelief" (abstract, full talk) in a lecture at the Kuratorium für die Tagungen der Nobelpreisträger in Lindau in 2004. He addresses the problem of excessive skepticism with respect to plausible novel scientific ideas, and his talk mirrors "Pathological Science", the famous 1953 lecture by Chemistry Laureate Irving Langmuir, dealing with the opposite issue. See also Josephson's letter to Nature of February 2005.

Efforts by the science establishment to preserve current paradigms and belief systems by discouraging and censoring the dissident and unorthodox view is by no means restricted to arXiv.org. Recently a large particle physics laboratory has suppressed an electronic publishing area that used to be open to relevant contributions worldwide. Moreover, another internal electronic publishing area formerly open under the conditions that: "The content of the document is the responsibility of the submitter. The submitted papers will be checked for relevance" is now monitored for "unconventional work" .. "and any document deemed to be inappropriate is removed". Is scientific progress possible without unconventional work?

Similar cases of exclusion and systematic censorship have happened in the past and continue today in many scientific domains. Thomas S. Kuhn has offered an explanation of why and how scientific communities resist change in his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". Luckily today the web and the search engines help circumventing the censorship to some extent.