Archive for John Wiley

barbed WIREs

Posted in Books, Kids, University life with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2018 by xi'an


Maybe childishly, I am fairly unhappy with the way the submission of our Accelerating MCMC review was handled by WIREs Computational Statistics, i.e., Wiley, at the production stage. For some reason, or another, I sent the wrong bibTeX file with my LaTeX document [created using the style file imposed by WIREs]. Rather than pointing out the numerous missing entries, the production staff started working on the paper and sent us a proof with an endless list of queries related to these missing references. When I sent back the corrected LaTeX and bibTeX files, it answered back that it was too late to modify the files as it would “require re-work of [the] already processed paper which is also not a standard process for the journal”. Meaning in clearer terms that Wiley does not want to pay any additional time spent on this paper and that I have to provide from my own “free” time to make up for this mess…

Series B reaches 5.721 impact factor!

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , on September 15, 2014 by xi'an

I received this email from Wiley with the great figure that JRSS Series B has now reached a 5.721 impact factor. Which makes it the first journal in Statistics from this perspective. Congrats to editors Gareth Roberts, Piotr Fryzlewicz and Ingrid Van Keilegom for this achievement! An amazing jump from the 2009 figure of 2.84…!

About commercial publishers

Posted in Books, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2011 by xi'an

Julien Cornebise has [once again!] pointed out a recent Guardian article. It is about commercial publishers of academic journals, mainly Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley, with a clear stand from its title: “Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist“! The valuable argument therein is that academic publishers make hefty profits (a 40% margin for Elsevier!) without contributing to the central value of the journals, namely the research itself that is mostly funded by public or semi-public bodies. The publishers of course distribute the journals to the subscribers, but the reported profits clearly show that, on average, they spend much less doing so than they charge… Here are some of the institutional rates (can you spot Elsevier journals? journals published by societies? free open access journals?!):

(apart from greed, there is no justification for the top four [Taylor and Francis/Elsevier] journals to ask for such prices! The Journal of Econometrics also charges $50 per submission! PNAS is another story given the volume of the [non-for-profit] publication: 22750 pages in 2010, meaning it is highly time to move to being fully electronic. The rate for Statistics and Computing is another disappointment, when compared with JCGS. )

The article reports the pressure to publish in such journals (vs. non-commercial journals) because of the tyranny of the impact factors. However, the reputation of those top-tier journals is not due to the action of the publishers, but rather to the excellence of their editorial boards; there is therefore no foreseeable long-term impact in moving from one editor to another for our favourite journals. Moreover, I think that the fact to publish in top journals is more relevant for the authors themselves than for the readers when the results are already circulating through a media like arXiv. Of course, having the papers evaluated by peers in a strict academic mode is of prime importance to distinguish major advances from pseudo-science; however the electronic availability of papers and of discussion forums and blogs implies that suspicious results should anyway be detected by the community. (I am not advocating the end of academic journals, far from it!, but an evolution towards a wider range of evaluations via Internet discussions, as for the DREAM paper recently.) The article also mentions that some funding organisms impose Open Access publishing. However, this is not the ideal solution as long as journals also make a profit on that line, by charging for open access (see, e.g., PNAS or JRSS)! Hence using another chunk of public (research) money towards their profits… My opinion is that everyone should make one’s papers available on-line or better via arXiv. And petition one’s societies for a tighter control of the subscription rates, or even a move to electronic editions when the rates get out of control.

PS-Here is a link to an Australian blog, the Conversation, where some publishers (Wiley and Elsevier) were interviewed on these points. I will not comment, but this interview is quite informative on the defense arguments of the publisher!

Mixtures: Estimation and Applications out!

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on April 27, 2011 by xi'an

The book I co-edited with Kerrie Mengersen and Mike Titterington, Mixture: Estimation and Applications, has just been published by Wiley! It is a pleasure to flip through the chapters contributed by the participants to the ICMS workshop of about a year ago in Edinburgh. While there may (must) be residual typos, I did not spot any obvious mishap in the production of figures and Buachaille Etive Beag proudly stands on the cover (despite contrary advice from some ‘Og readers). It is also a pleasure to have this book published in the same series as references like Titterington, Smith and Makov’s Statistical Analysis of Finite Mixture Distributions, and McLachlan and Peel’s Finite Mixture Model.  (The “product description” on amazon does not start very well, though: “This book uses the EM (expectation maximization) algorithm to simultaneously estimate the missing data and unknown parameter(s) associated with a data set. The parameters describe the component distributions of the mixture; the distributions may be continuous or discrete.” It fortunately improves by reproducing the back cover.)

Mixture book cover proposal

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Statistics with tags , , , , on January 24, 2011 by xi'an

Here is a proposal for the cover of the mixture book on Mixture Estimation and Applications we are editing, with a stylised rendering of Buachaille Etive Mor… I am not sure it sufficiently fits the topic of the book, other than being taken a few hours and 107 miles from the start of the meeting at ICMS (!), so the cover may end up with a more scientific picture. However, this is my favourite sight when approaching Glencoe, Buachaille rising by itself from Etive Mor, especially with abundant snow and crisp cold sunny skies as I got last March…. Other than those aesthetic considerations, the book is very close to production. I spent Tuesday working on the index and the proofs should be sent to the authors pretty soon.