#Science & Technology
Universities and research institutes

Replacing scientific conferences with a cheap and efficient on-line open system


1. Scientific conference review system is very limited and slow. Very limited feedback (3-5 reviews) are received, only once, and after waiting long months.

2. The cost of one (mediocre quality) conference to humanity is about $1M USD just for registration fees. This is a lost resource because on-line research solutions based on discussion exist and are much more beneficial for science and community.

3. Archives like http://arxiv.org/ protect scientific work by allowing fast publication that can be referenced in journals, but they do not support public reviews.

4. Harm is done to the environment (carbon footprint) by traveling all around the world using airplanes, trains, automobiles with the goal of receiving a few feedback to research.

5. Isolated research is not happy research. Imagine you get instant feedback to your research from scientists in your domain all around the world!

Example solution (as a discussion starter):

Step 1. Author(s) submit their article to an on-line archive e.g. http://arxiv.org/, which should be augmented with a review and discussion system.

Step 2. Interested scientists send review. This can even be made in discussion or forum style (i.e. authors can reply back to reviewers and have on-line discussion with many participants). Good reviews may be acknowledged in the camera ready version of the article.

Step 3. When the community and authors decide that the article is ready for publication, the authors submit it to a journal using the current system. The article is published with their names.

The IETF (www.ietf.org), the entity that designs the Internet, has been working using this system for decades.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Using this system in addition to the current system, we will see if and which conferences remain important and why. Scientists decide for themselves.

Please sign this petition if you support such a system. The result will be sent to universities and research institutes that are willing to implement and host it.

Please share this petition with all your colleagues.

A discussion list about the problem and possible approaches is also available:


The Replacing scientific conferences with a cheap and efficient on-line open system petition to Universities and research institutes was written by Pars Mutaf and is in the category Science & Technology at GoPetition.