Call to all mathematicians:

Open access to the mathematical literature is an important goal.

Each of us can contribute to that goal by making available electronically as much of our own work as feasible.

Our recent work is likely already in computer readable form and should be made available variously in TeX source, dvi, pdf (Adobe Acrobat), or PostScript form. Publications from the pre-TeX era can be scanned and/or digitally photographed. Retyping in TeX is not as unthinkable as first appears.

Our action will have greatly enlarged the reservoir of freely available primary mathematical material, particularly helping scientists working without adequate library access.

Recommendation of the Committee on Electronic Information and Communication of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), endorsed by the IMU Executive Committee on Mai 15, 2001 in its 68th's session in Princeton, NJ.

See also

Further comments

A fortunate consequence of the above recommendation will be that each of us will have created his or her collected works, with opportunity to make editorial comment on the significance and relevance of our oeuvres.

Help providing advice on scanning papers (and noting the particular demand of different operating systems and varying configurations) is available below and other locations (to be inserted). Advice on adding so-called metadata tags --- to make it easy to find your papers --- is also available.

How to scan printed papers and to create Metadata

This is an explanation how I put some of my older papers on the net. I intend to do this for all of them, since eventually it turned out to be quite simple. I will continue to report on my experience on this page. My equipment is PC running under LINUX 2.2, Redhead 7.1, and a 1200dpi flatbed scanner. I use only freely avaiblable software.

How to scan and create a pdf-file and a ps-file (May 7, 2001):

How to create a Metadata shadow file:

Added May 23, 2001:

Added May 31:

Added September 21:
From: Mark Histed
Subject: scanning printed papers
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 16:03:32 -0400
Hi, I've recently done some scanning of journal articles, and found your page of instructions. This information might be a helpful addition:
I find that the best results are produced by
* scanning at 150 dpi, 256 level (8-bit) grayscale
* using the following convert command line:
convert -adjoin -geometry 1600x1200 -colors 8 -colorspace yuv ?.png output1.pdf &
The reason for scanning in more than 2 colors is to provide some semblance of anti-aliased text. If you're using convert to dither down the colors, I find that using -colorspace yuv produces the best results, much better than the default. And yes, convert takes a LOONG time to run, but uses only about 12MB of memory while running so doesn't get killed by linux 2.4's out-of-memory handler. Also, if you're scanning pages with complex figures, you might not want to dither those pages.

Added October 4, 2001:
From: Mark Histed
Subject: Re: scanning printed papers
Hi Peter, Ok, I've improved my method a bit.
I scan at 200 dpi, 8bit grayscale, and then do the following:
convert -geometry 1600x1200 -colors 32 -colorspace yuv -adjoin *.tif output.pdf
The main parameters are the number of colors and the size. 32 colors (6 bits) and 1600x1200 makes things look nice here, but the files are relatively large. The output I got as a result of this is at

Other help-pages: