👓 Statement by Benson Farb in response to Ted Hill’s unfounded allegations. | Benson Farb

Read Statement by Benson Farb in response to Ted Hill's unfounded allegations. by Benson Farb (math.uchicago.edu)

This statement is meant to set the record straight on the unfounded accusations of Ted Hill regarding his submission to the New York Journal of Mathematics (NYJM), where I was one of 24 editors serving under an editor-in-chief. Hill's paper raised several red flags to me and other editors, giving concern not just about the quality of the paper, but also the question of whether it underwent the usual rigorous review process. Hill's paper also looked totally inappropriate for this theoretical math journal: in addition to the paucity of math in the paper, its subject classification (given by the authors themselves) appeared in no other paper in NYJM's 24 year history, and did not fall into any of the areas of expertise of the editors of NYJM, as listed on the NYJM website.

At the request of several editors, the editor-in-chief pulled the paper temporarily on 11/9/17 so that the entire editorial board could discuss these concerns. A crucial component of such a discussion are the reports by experts judging the novelty and quality of the mathematics in Hill's paper. The editor who handled the paper was asked to share these reports with the entire board. My doubts about the paper - and the process - grew when repeated requests for the reports went unanswered. Nearly 3 months passed until the two reports were finally shared with the entire board on 2/7/18. The reports themselves were not from experts on the topic of the paper. They did not address our concerns about the substantive merit of the paper.

After these reports were shared, the entire board discussed what do. For many of us, there was no compelling evidence that Hill's paper was appropriate for NYJM. Further, the evidence that the paper had undergone rigorous scrutiny before being accepted was scant. In light of this, the board voted (by a 2-to-1 ratio) to rescind the paper. I believe that the editor-in-chief should have added a statement about why this was done, but he did not. Amie Wilkinson played no role in any deliberation of Hill's or any paper at NYJM.

I appreciate those who have taken the time to examine the record, including the University of Chicago.

Benson Farb Professor of Mathematics University of Chicago

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