ViXra

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ViXra (colloquially spelt "Vixra") is a preprint server for primarily scientific and mathematical research papers. It is an alternative to the closed arXiv preprint server, which requires endorsement from a pre-existing member in order to upload papers.

History[edit]

As stated on the ViXra website:

In 1991 the electronic e-print archive, now known as arXiv.org, was founded at Los Alamos National Laboratories. In the early days of the World Wide Web it was open to submissions from all scientific researchers, but gradually a policy of moderation was employed to block articles that the administrators considered unsuitable. In 2004 this was replaced by a system of endorsements to reduce the workload and place responsibility of moderation on the endorsers. The stated intention was to permit anybody from the scientific community to continue contributing. However many of us who had successfully submitted e-prints before then found that we were no longer able to. Even those with doctorates in physics and long histories of publication in scientific journals can no longer contribute to the arXiv unless they can find an endorser in a suitable research institution.

The policies of the administrators of Cornell University who now control the arXiv are so strict that even when someone succeeds in finding an endorser their e-print may still be rejected or moved to the "physics" category of the arXiv where it is likely to get less attention. Those who endorse articles that Cornell find unsuitable are under threat of losing their right to endorse or even their own ability to submit e-prints. Given the harm this might cause to their careers it is no surprise that endorsers are very conservative when considering articles from people they do not know. These policies are defended on the arXiv's endorsement help page.

A few of the cases where people have been blocked from submitting to the arXiv have been detailed on the Archive Freedom website, but as time has gone by it has become clear that Cornell has no plans to bow to pressure and change their policies. Some of us now feel that the time has come to start an alternative archive which will be open to the whole scientific community. That is why viXra has been created.

The ViXra preprint server was thus created by Philip Gibbs and has grown to over 35000 contributions over a diverse range of topics within science and mathematics, and also a few within the humanities.

As of October 1, 2019, ViXra is no longer owned and administered by Philip Gibbs but by a New-York based non-profit organization called Scientific God Inc. as an ancillary Open Access Electronic Repository.

Policy[edit]

Again, as stated on the ViXra website:

viXra will be open to anybody for both reading and submitting articles. We will not prevent anybody from submitting and will only reject articles in extreme cases of abuse, e.g. where the work may be vulgar, libellous, plagiaristic or dangerously misleading.

Whilst this philosophy was true during Philip Gibbs's tenureship of the website, this is no longer true under Scientific God Inc., who have been quietly taking down papers without notifying authors as to the reason why. Scientific God Inc., when challenged on this, reply:

Your submissions in question were withdrawn by viXra Admin because they were not scholarly articles... - They will not be restored.

This constitutes the last communication on this matter.

And no further emails will be acknowledged.

Philip Gibbs's original intentions are clear:

It is inevitable that viXra will therefore contain e-prints that many scientists will consider clearly wrong and unscientific. However, it will also be a repository for new ideas that the scientific establishment is not currently willing to consider. Other perfectly conventional e-prints will be found here simply because the authors were not able to find a suitable endorser for the arXiv or because they prefer a more open system. It is our belief that anybody who considers themselves to have done scientific work should have the right to place it in an archive in order to communicate the idea to a wide public. They should also be allowed to stake their claim of priority in case the idea is recognised as important in the future.

Sadly, under Scientific God Inc., this is no longer true. Since taking ownership they have been taking down papers without notifying the authors as to the reasons why, who exactly has made this conclusion and by what criteria they are being judged by, and, more importantly, giving the authors no way to appeal their decisions.