ArXiv Publishes Two Millionth Paper

By Medscape Staff

January 11, 2022

What to know:

  • began in 1989 as an email distribution list between a small group of physicists; on January 3 it published its two millionth paper, titled "Affine Iterations and Wrapping Effect: Various Approaches."

  • Whereas traditional journals can take 6 months or more to publish journals, arXiv typically publishes new research within a day. According to Alex Kohls, head of the Scientific Information Service at CERN, this has had a big impact on scholarly communication overall.

  • However, according to scientific director Steinn Sigurdsson, PhD, a professor of astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University, staffing and funding are both issues for the preprint server, which currently has about 200 volunteer moderators covering roughly 150 content categories, each of which may receive up to 30 papers a day.

  • Some scientists argue that arXiv is too quick to reject articles and should involve less moderation. Currently, roughly 6% of submissions to arXiv are put on hold, and 2% are rejected. This is compared to top academic journals like Nature and Science, which accept fewer than 10% of the papers they receive.

  • In addition, others have criticized the lack of diversity of its moderators, who are predominantly based at US institutions and are only 13% women.

This is a summary of the article " Reaches a Milestone and a Reckoning" published by Scientific American on January 10. The full article can be found on

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