Paper journals are in bad shape; priority established in HAL ...

In Computer Science, paper-based journals are in bad shape with unpaid refereeing not adding much value to articles. Papers are debugged by colleagues (including students). Also, page limits are a huge limitation of page-based journals.

Publication in a paper-based journal is often for reasons like the following:
* political, e.g., tenure, public policy, etc.
* publicity and branding, e.g., CACM is often considered "first-rank"

Important information typically travels first electronically with publication in a paper-based journal sometimes following years later, if at all. Priority is often established by publication in HAL, etc. Books, (e.g. "Inconsistency Robustness") can be important in collecting and summarizing.

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HAL vs Arxiv

Arxiv is used more often than HAL by computer science types: what are the reasons to prefer one over the other?

HAL and arXiv

Arxiv is used more often than HAL by computer science types: what are the reasons to prefer one over the other?

French academics are often required by their institutions to submit their papers to HAL. There is no such "hard" rule for the arXiv as far as I know. Btw, when submitting to HAL you can check an option to upload your paper to the arXiv at the same time.

HAL is newer than arXiv, also more open and international

HAL is newer than arXiv; also it is more open and international.

How arXiv deals with its censorship issues may have a big influence.

HAL doesn't have the censorship limitations of arXiv

HAL doesn't have the censorship limitations of arXiv.


Arxiv have a weak moderation policy but it still rejects (censors) some material. One of their policies is rejection of material if there are strong similarities to previous preprints.

What are the arXiv censorship policies?

It would be very useful to have a clear statement of arXiv censorship policies.

Unfortunately, since arXiv does not provide one; it will probably be necessary to be crowdsource :-(

There are potential

There are potential advantages to openness and potential advantages to restricted access. There are also disadvantages to both. An archive that doesn't reject anything would seem to have the disadvantages of both without the advantages of either — the worst features of a wiki together with the worst features of a blog.

Openness in HAL: censorship versus categorization

So far, HAL seems to have struck a better balance than arXiv on openness.
One key to success is correct categorization.

Length limitations

I have certainly experienced the frustration of length limitations. That said, there is value to length limits as well: they force you to think much harder about what, exactly, you are really trying to say.

Paper-based journals are Procrustean :-(

Different lengths are needed for different purposes.

Paper-based journals are Procrustean :-(