K-theory - statement 2
======================
In this statement we, Wolfgang Lueck and Andrew Ranicki, want to give
some explanations to the mathematical community concerning the journal
"K-theory" published by Springer and the anouncement of a new
"Journal of K-theory" to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Three weeks ago we were asked by Springer to do two things.
1.) Can we take care of the submissions to K-Theory which were delayed
by the former managing editor Tony Bak?
2.) Are we willing to try to reconstitute the board for K-Theory so that
the journal can be continued?
1.) We agreed to do this without really knowing how urgent and
unpleasant the problem was. On August 13th we issued a statement on
the internet to ask authors of papers submitted to "K-theory" whose
papers had not yet been published to contact us, so that we could take
care of them. From the answers we have received so far it is clear
that not only had Bak deliberately withheld papers from Springer, but
he also withheld information about the papers from editors and (worst
of all) the authors themselves. By contrast, when the entire editorial
board of Topology resigned from Elsevier in 2006 they made sure that
all submitted papers were handled correctly, and to our knowledge no
author suffered any delay.
We were also informed that Bak has started a legal proceedings against
Springer, demanding a certain of amount of money for himself.
The editorial board of "K-theory" were not informed of the lawsuit.
The details will only be revealed once the lawsuit is finished.
Although we do not know the details, we dislike the idea of an editor
starting a legal proceedings against a publisher. There are more
elegant ways of handling conflicts.
2.) When Springer asked us to relaunch K-theory, we requested that the
price should be reduced to 50 cents per page. Springer readily agreed.
Incidentally, Bak never discussed the price of "K-theory", either with
Springer or the editors. However, since it seems to be clear that the
new "Journal of K-Theory" will be launched anyway, we have decided not
to try to continue "K-Theory", but simply to make certain that all the
papers which have been delayed by Bak can be published in a final issue
of "K-Theory". Authors of such papers are free to publish their papers
anywhere they choose.
We think that this is the best solution for the community, which would
not be best served by two journals in the field.
In view of the mess we are encountering and trying to clean up, we ask
the question whether the new "Journal of K-Theory" can be launched with
Bak as Managing Editor? This should not detract from the excellent work
Bak did in setting up "K-theory" in 1988.
We want to emphasize that we have no personal gain from our actions.
Wolfgang Lueck (Editor Topology 2002--2006, Journal of Topology since
2006, Math. Annalen since 1998 (Managing Editor since 2004), Comment.
Math. Helv. since 2003, Geometry and Topology since 2005, Groups,
Geometry and Dynamics since 2006)
Andrew Ranicki (Editor K-theory, 1990-2007, Forum Mathematicum since
1998, Algebraic and Geometric Topology since 2000)
17th August, 2007