SCIAMVS means “let us know” in Latin (not “let us ski”). First, it was thought that this might be an acronym for a more complete title such as Sources and Studies in Classical, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Arabic and MedieVal exact Sciences.
Then, some members of the founding editorial board began to ask, with good reason, “what about Babylonian science?” or to object that “Arabic or Indian refer to region, while Classical or Medieval indicate period,” which is a confusion of two distinct categories, and so on. In the end, the acronym was abandoned, but the name was was kept, SCIAMVS (with “V” not “U”), since it is so suitable for a journal for the sources of lesser known sciences of the past.
As discussed by Michi Yano, in the Preface of the first volume, the idea for SCIAMVS was first conceived by Ken Saito, in 1997, as well as the name. The original plan for the new journal was formally set out in 1999, as follows:
- The name of the journal
SCIAMVS: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
- Area and editorial principles
In principle the area to be covered by the journal is the history of exact sciences before A.D. 1600, although the limitation of time need not apply to Asian (including Arabic) science.
The main purpose of the journal is to make available original sources in the field. It has been a common practice that source materials in their original languages are not accepted in the current academic journals. Our priority lies in providing such materials, especially critical editions of unpublished texts as well as their translation into modern languages (preferably English) together with comments and notes.
We also accept studies based on original sources, published or unpublished, and their translations. Reviews of books containing original source materials are also welcome.
The papers submitted to the editorial board are judged by two referees. The referees are kept anonymous for 10 years after the final decision. Thereafter the names and the process of judgement can be publicized upon request.
- Frequency and physical form of the journal
One volume will be published every year, each containing some 200 to 300 pages in A4 (297x210mm) format. In the case of an original source material, it is desirable to include an English translation.
Since we send camera ready sheets to the printing company, the most convenient way of preparing a draft is to use the typesetting software LaTeX, for which we can provide convenient style files. In the case of original sources which needs non-roman fonts, we do not stick to LaTeX and we are willing to accept any output if it meets our basic formatting principles which are described separately.
Those who are not familiar with LaTeX are advised to prepare the text file of the draft, following the suggestions to the contributors which are provided separately. Those who cannot follow these principles might be asked for the necessary cost of preparing typesetting sheets.
- Number of copies, the date of the first issue, and cost
About 200 copies will be printed. In order to save money we expect much of the labor of production will be undertaken by the editorial board. The cost of publication is to be met by selling 100 to 150 copies to individual as well as institutional subscribers. To cover the cost of publication, the price of one volume will be about $65 for private member and $95 for institute.
We shall start the journal when we have cleared financial problems and when we have received a sufficient number of contributions to cover the first three volumes. The first issue will appear in March 2000.
We plan to keep publishing the journal for at least 20 years.
- Editorial Committee
- Chief Editor: Michio Yano
- Managing Editor: Ken Saito
- Editors: Takao Hayashi, Hideki Kawahara, Takanori Kusuba, Nobuo Miura, Kazuo Muroi, Takanori Suzuki, Ken’ichi Takahashi
- Associate Editors: Charles Burnett, Annick Horiuchi, Alexander Jones, Jamil Ragep, Jacques Sesiano
Shortly after publication of the inaugural issue, Michio Yano, the first Chief Editor, received the following postcard from the participants of a meeting on the history of the mathematical sciences held at Bellagio:
Yano was very happy to receive the card, and his only regret was that he himself was not present at this meeting.