Thursday, February 18, 2016

Posting Papers

In the ancient days of the 80's, if someone wanted a paper from you, they would ask and you would mail via post. Sometimes I would get a self-addressed envelope asking for a certain paper. Departments would maintain collections of local technical reports. Someone could request a paper, an admin would make a copy, slap on a cover and send it out.

In the 90's, we started distributing papers by email, but then who you sent papers to started to matter. As soon as we had a browser in 1993, for fairness, though more because I got tired of responding to paper requests, I put together a page that had electronic copies of all my papers. Over the years those files have gone from postscript to pdf and the page started as html and later I used bib2html which I kept going on my old Chicago CS account that nobody bothered turning off. Bib2html failed to work for me last week, I asked the twitterverse for an alternative and they answered. I went with bibbase and now can reveal my new paper page. Pretty easy to tell from the page when I started as a department chair. I kept the old page active just in case but it will no longer be updated.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother and just let people use Google Scholar or DBLP to find my papers. I guess I'm just not ready to give up this record of my research life.


  1. One obvious reason to bother is that unless you post a copy of a (near) final manuscript, GS and other search tools will lead people to versions for which you have signed away copyright, which are not freely readable.

  2. Only if you published your paper in venues which still make you give up your rights--a
    subset of publishers that is fast disappearing.
    Some journals (Theory of Computing: CJTCS: , etc.) were always open access, and many other places offer alternatives like one-time pay for open access, and allowing a copy of
    one's papers in one's home page.