I guess that I read too many ambitious CoRR papers. The problem is that those papers are not peer reviewed, but often sound interesting and pass basic plausibility checks. Or maybe they don't, and I just need to improve my plausibility checks. Here is a recent sample of such papers:

After detailed reading, I often end up with the conclusion that the approach is interesting and might have some merit, but that it is insufficient to reach to huge ambitious goal announced or hinted at in the abstract. I sometimes write the authors of such papers my thoughts, but the typical reaction is to totally ignore my email such that I don't even know whether a spam filter eliminated it before reaching the author, the best reaction is an "thanks for your kind words, I'm used to much more insulting feedback". Being totally ignored feels bad, but maybe it is an appropriate reaction to "proof refutation"?

Are there good ways or places to post general feedback on "arbitrary ambitious CoRR papers"? What else can I do after I invested the effort to read such a paper? (And the hypothetical question: What could I do if I came to the conclusion that the result announced in the abstract is indeed correct?)

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    $\begingroup$ Blog it? or tweet it? or... $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2016 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ This is a good question, and is relevant for everyone. The Cryptology ePrint Archive has a forum for discussions: eprint.iacr.org/forum. It would be nice if arXiv and ECCC did too. Even better, it would be nice to have a single place on the internet to discuss claimed results. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2016 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder indeed whether I should blog it. Then I could also reflect on my motivations for reading a paper and how it managed to pass my plausibility check, without being bound by restrictions of more focused internet forums. However, the "being totally ignored feels bad" part worries me, because I want to avoid (the impression of) taking revenge for ignoring me, especially since I never know whether my email really reached the author. And what should I answer if somebody inquires "have you tried to reach the author"? $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2016 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ As a side remark, I don't think the Le Gall and Rosenbaum paper fits in with the other ones. It shows reductions between isomorphism problems, and identifies PSL an obstacle to further progress on group isomorphism. This is not overly ambitious or implausible in the way P=PPAD or NP=PSPACE are. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2016 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ @ThomasKlimpel I agree with Sasho Nikolov that the paper on group Isomorphism does not fall into the same category as the other three. They seem to claim that group isomorphism reduces efficiently to a more specialized problem. Although I'm not saying that the reduction is correct, this is a plausible claim. If you show that a problem reduces efficiently to a special case, then it is fair to say that the difficulty of the problem lies in the special case, right? The other 3 papers are simply written in a naive way, emphasizing trivial things and explaining very badly the "new" ideas. $\endgroup$
    – verifying
    Oct 3, 2016 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


If you make an arXiv trackback you will not be ignored, in the sense that future readers of the ambitious arXiv paper may check the trackbacks.

You even get a mild form of peer review for your posts, since they write:

Because of widespread Trackback spam we have a semi-automated editorial process that approves trackbacks for display.

As for where to post your review, Recent trackbacks currently returns a mix of blogs, magazines, and news sites.

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    $\begingroup$ I tried it now: As expected, I did get ignored. By this I mean that arXiv ignored the trackback. No hard feelings, I basically expected this from what I had read about those arXiv trackback long ago. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2020 at 7:51

The ScienceOpen website has a page for most arXiv articles (e.g., here), and it has an option where you can post your own review of any preprint.

I do not know if they are recommendable or not (but it seems that all hosted content is under a CC BY license), and I don't know if anyone would notice if you did it, but it exists.


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