The Consequences of Being Blacklisted from Posting to ArXiv.org

Why all this fuss about Ginsparg's Suppression Policies

If a paper is submitted to a refereed journal and is rejected due to a negative review, the author still has the opportunity to submit to another journal.  If his work makes a significant contribution to a field of science, eventually he will find a journal whose referees will understand the value of his work and it will be published.  The referee process is confidential.  So, when a paper is rejected from one journal, it does not become common knowledge.  The author may submit his paper (hopefully in improved form) to another journal without the referees of the next journal knowing its previous review status.  
   The situation is quite different in the case of the electronic preprint archive.  If a scientist is rejected from ArXiv.org, e.g., prohibited from having posting privileges, the result will soon become apparent to the rest of the physics community since his papers will not appear on the archive inventory.  Unlike professional journals, where there are many to choose from, there is only one ArXiv.org and its extended mirror sites, and it has positioned itself as the main repository for preprint papers in physics, astrophysics, and mathematics.  This blacklisting has serious repercussions for the scientists who are discriminated against.  

Some of these tragic consequences are listed below:

The psychological pain inflicted on the individual, pain that cannot be measured nor weighed in dollars and cents.

Risk of being cheated of the proper recognition for being the original thinker of an idea that may gain recognition in the future.  Others may claim the personal glory of being the first to communicate the idea to the scientific community by posting similar results in arXiv.org.

Ideas may be lost to Physics.  (This is pointed out in Prof. Brian Josephson's letter to Nature.)

The scientist is unable to make corrections to papers that he previously had posted on the archive when he had posting privileges.  

In many cases, colleagues are unwilling to refer to the person's work because it is not posted on arXiv.org.  

In addition, should the blacklisting of a scientist become known:

Professional death.  In that case, the reputation of the scientist could be tarnished.  In some cases blacklisting could cause him to be regarded as a crackpot or outcast by the scientific community.

Some colleagues may be hesitant to refer to his work, even if it has been published in refereed journals.

Loss of potential grants, job opportunities, and resulting income.

Ostracism and ridicule from colleagues and from the establishment.  For example, one blacklistee reports that some of his so-called former friends no longer wish to talk to him, nor write or respond to him.

They may risk not being invited to speak at conferences or at research institutions.