a no-author-fee, open-access, peer-reviewed journal
Published by the
International Research Center
the Mathematics and Mechanics
of Complex Systems
(Università Dell’Aquila, Italy)
Considering the relentless and steep increase in costs borne by scientific institutions for providing access to scientific journals;
Considering that commercial publishers have been reaping the benefits of the work of authors, editors, and referees, who provide the actual content of journals;
Considering that recent efforts aimed at transferring publishing costs from the reader to the author are deleterious;
The International Research Center for the Mathematics and Mechanics of Complex Systems has founded the homonymous journal Mathematics and Mechanics of Complex Systems, abbreviated MEMOCS, for the benefit of the community of researchers in mechanics and mathematics. MEMOCS will be peer-reviewed, indexed in all major databases, and free to both authors and readers.
Although the trend toward open-access journals is by now firmly established, we believe that the journal’s funding model, relying not on subscription fees or page charges but on visionary institutional sponsorship, makes it the first of its kind in mathematics and mechanics.
Specifically, the publishing costs will remain modest and will be covered by the parent institution and other organizations that wish to support MEMOCS. Initially, a limited number of issues will be published per year. All interested researchers are encouraged to submit their best work.
The journal’s governance is based on five foundational principles:
- MEMOCS is a nonprofit publication, owned, managed, and supported by academic institutions.
- Electronic access will be free and open to all. Readers have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles. A paper edition will be made available free of charge to a limited number of libraries.
- Accepted manuscripts will be published free of any charge to the author.
- Articles will be selected solely on the basis of scientific merit and will be assessed
through a rigorous peer-review process.
- While financial support from individuals or academic institutions is welcome, the
journal will not be subject to pressures from commercial entities.
The goal is to publish the best possible exposition of high-quality, original research.
Nissuna umana investigazione si può dimandare vera scienzia, s’essa non passa per le matematiche dimostrazioni.
Leonardo da Vinci, 1478
[Kepler] is only one of the many examples of the falsity of the idea that success in scientific research demands an exclusive absorption in one narrow line of study. Novel ideas are more apt to spring from an unusual assortment of knowledge — not necessarily from vast knowledge, but from a thorough conception of the methods and ideas of distinct lines of thought.
A. N. Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics, 1911
MEMOCS is a publication of the International Research Center for the Mathematics and Mechanics of Complex Systems. It publishes articles from diverse scientific fields with a specific emphasis on mechanics. Articles must rely on the application or development of rigorous mathematical methods.
The journal intends to foster a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge firmly based on mathematical foundations. It will serve as a forum where scientists from different disciplines meet to share a common, rational vision of science and technology. It intends to support and divulge research whose primary goal is to develop mathematical methods and tools for the study of complexity.
The journal will also foster and publish original research in related areas of mathematics of proven applicability, such as variational methods, numerical methods, and optimization techniques. Besides their intrinsic interest, such treatments can become heuristic and epistemological tools for further investigations, and provide methods for deriving predictions from postulated theories. Papers focusing on and clarifying aspects of the history of mathematics and science are also welcome. All methodologies and points of view, if rigorously applied, will be considered.
The following types of articles are welcomed:
- Original articles with a length of (typically) up to 20 printed pages.
- Review articles that broaden existing knowledge and strive to reach beyond a restricted circle of specialists. Such articles should keep technicalities to a minimum and emphasize multidisciplinary ideas.
- Perspective articles (invited by the editorial board) in which leading scientists expound research directions in their fields or collaborate with experts in different fields to forge a specific multidisciplinary outlook.
- Editorials, where published articles in the preceding issues are commented on or
where potential authors are invited to focus on particular research topics.
Setting and Maintaining Standards
The governance structure of MEMOCS and its acceptance procedures are transparent and designed to ensure the highest quality of published material. The Editorial Board makes the final decision on a submitted manuscript after the manuscript has been proposed for publication by an Editor (member of the Editorial Board) or Advisor (member of the Advisory Board). The proposing Editor or Advisor must explicitly endorse the paper's scientific content. The information-gathering process is open to the whole Editorial Board throughout. Specifically:
The handling editor vouches for the scientific quality of the article in his or her proposal. Every published version of the article will include the words “Communicated by …” in a prominent location.
- Upon submission, an author chooses a member of either the Editorial Board or the Advisory Board to be the article's handling editor. Members of both boards are listed on the submission webpage together with their areas of interest.
- The handling editor enlists the cooperation of two experts to act as reviewers. If and when the handling editor decides for the publication of the manuscript, he or she sends the Editorial Board a proposal to that effect, together with the reviews and other information in support of the proposal.
- When the handling editor chosen by the author is unable or unwilling to handle the paper, or when a conflict of interest might be present, another handling editor will take on the task.
- The handling editor will make a reasonable effort to have the paper evaluated fairly. Failure to find willing reviewers after several attempts is sufficient grounds for rejection.
- Within 30 days after the proposal, members of the Editorial Board express their opinion about the paper. If at least two members of the Editorial Board (apart from the proponent) second the publication proposal and no member opposes it, the article is accepted at the end of 30 days. If there are unfavorable votes at the end of the 30 days, the paper needs the support of two-thirds of the Editorial Board to be accepted.
Governance of the Journal
The initial composition of both Boards is listed here. Any modification in the composition of either board is decided by the Editorial Board with the approval of two-thirds of its members. Upon reaching the age of 75, members of the Editorial Board become part of an Honorary Board.
The Editorial Board has two co-chairs and a treasurer, who together make up the Executive Bureau. Three members of the Advisory Board are designated Managing Editors and supervise the editorial process.
The Editorial Board is the owner of the name of the journal, and chooses a publishing house to handle the production of the journal.