[FOM] Who released Deolalikar's proof into the wild?
pratt at cs.stanford.edu
Mon Aug 16 01:17:41 EDT 2010
Papers are intrinsically different from emails in that they are almost
invariably written for as broad an audience as possible consistent with
the subject matter.
On that basis my understanding for the past forty years has been that
the default for manuscripts was that unless "DRAFT: Not for further
circulation" was written on the front of the manuscript, or there was a
cover note to that effect, or you were part of the review process for a
journal or conference submission, you were free to circulate it further.
Over the years I have received hundreds of papers circulated by their
author(s) with no such restriction, and I had assumed in those cases
that the sender had no objection to wider distribution, and indeed would
Email sent to private parties (as opposed to mailing lists) has evolved
the opposite convention---you should ask before forwarding an
email---because senders rarely think to take the precaution of wording
their email for a broader audience, with the result that they would in
many cases be embarrassed by wider circulation. (But it's a great
Given these considerations, and given that it only takes one recipient
to let the cat out of the bag, trusting to the email convention to hold
the fort for a circulated paper seems like asking for trouble---or at
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