University libraries around the world are seeing precipitous declines in the use of the books on their shelves.
The New England Journal of Medicine just published an editorial saying open access publishing isn't necessary, because they already make most of their content free. What are they so worried about? Yours truly breaks down a few of their bogus arguments.
The digital publishing revolution is so old that a great many reading consumers might not be able to envision a time when they couldn’t simply pop online to order a book, download a new title from their favorite author, or use an app or PDF for supplemental book material. eBooks and digital publishing have simply become a part of everyday life for many people.
I don’t recall though, are either of them open source, or do we need to re-build by hand?
Update to post, added 11th September. As expected, there is another side to the story discussed below. See this statement about the decision by the Mathematical Intelligencer and this one about the…
I will say that far more people have now either heard about or read Hill’s paper than would have ever otherwise been aware of it had it actually gone ahead and actually been published and kept up. This is definitely an academic case of the Barbara Streisand effect, though done somewhat in reverse.
In 1996, physicist Alan Sokal suspected that cultural studies lacked academic rigor. So he wrote an intentionally nonsensical paper, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity, and submitted it for publication in the respected academic journal Social Text. It was accepted. Sokal exposed the hoax, the embarrassed academics made their excuses, and the paper was retracted. The imbroglio was posed largely as a story of flimflam and imposture in postmodernism.
The world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only around 25 per cent of the global corpus of research knowledge is ‘open access’, or accessible to the public for free and without subscription, which is a real impediment to resolving major problems, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
So yes, more of the how to fix it piece please.
I’ll suspect she’ll be even more impressed when she realizes that there’s a forthcoming wave of feed readers1,2 that will allow her to read others’ content in a reader which has an integrated micropub client in it so that she can reply to posts directly in her feed reader, then the responses get posted directly to her own website which then, in turn, send webmentions to the sites she’s responding to so that the conversational loop can be completely closed.
She and Lee will also be glad to know that work has already started on private posts and conversations and posting to limited audiences as well. Eventually there will be no functionality that a social web site/silo can do that a distributed set of independent sites can’t. There’s certainly work to be done to round off the edges, but we’re getting closer and closer every day.
I know how it all works, but even I’m (still) impressed at the apparent magic that allows round-trip conversations between her website and Twitter and Micro.blog. And she hasn’t really delved into website to website conversations yet. I suppose we’ll have to help IndieWebify some of her colleague’s web presences to make that portion easier. Suddenly “academic Twitter” will be the “academic blogosphere” she misses from not too many years ago. 🙂
If there are academics out thee who are interested in what Kathleen has done, but may need a little technical help, I’m happy to set up some tools for them to get them started. (We’re also hosing occasional Homebrew Website Clubs, including a virtual one this coming week, which people are welcome to join.)
I’ve been thinking more lately about how to create a full stack IndieWeb infrastructure to replace the major portions of the academic journal ecosystem which would allow researchers to own their academic papers but still handle some of the discovery piece. Yesterday’s release of indieweb.xyz, which supports categories, reminds me that I’d had an idea a while back that something like IndieNews’ structure could be modified to create a syndication point that could act as an online journal/pre-print server infrastructure for discovery purposes.
A little birdie has told me that there’s about to be a refback renaissance to match the one currently happening with webrings.
I’ve written quite a bit about blogging, and my creation of open education resources over the past on this website. A lot has changed in my blogging habits, and general digital identity construction since those posts. Most of the response that I get from colleagues, students, and tenure committees is “why in the world would you share that stuff openly online?” As such, I’ve been meaning to write up a post documenting my thinking about why I do…what I do.
As an academic, I need to regularly have empirical research publications in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals. Nothing else matters. Many senior colleagues bemoan the fact that I need to play double duty…yet the system still exists.
And why can’t your own blog count as a top-tier, peer-reviewed journal?
and serve as pre-prints to work that may live later on, or always exist in their current format
Thinking of a personal site as a pre-print server is an interesting concept and somewhat similar to the idea of a commonplace book.
I’m amazed that such a short comment that I wrote on my site back in November (and syndicated manually to another’s) should not only crop up again, but that it could have had such an influence. Further, the fact that there’s now a method by which communication on the internet can let me know that any of it happened really warms my heart to no end. As a counter example, I feel sad that without an explicit manual ping, Vicki Boykis is left out of the conversation of knowing how influential her words have been.
Kimberly, I’m curious to know how difficult you found it to set things up? A group of us would love to know so we can continue to make the process of enabling indieweb functionality on WordPress easier for others in the future. (Feel free to call, email, text, comment below, or, since you’re able to now, write back on your own website–whichever is most convenient for you. My contact information is easily discovered on my homepage.)
If it helps to make mobile use easier for you, you might find Sharing from the #IndieWeb on Mobile (Android) with Apps an interesting template to follow. Though it was written for a different CMS, you should be able to substitute WordPress specific URLs in their place:
You might also find some useful functionality hiding at WordPress Bookmarklets for Desktop if you haven’t come across it yet.
As someone who works in academic circles and whose “RSS Feeds. Additionally, choosing what gets syndicated to other sites like Twitter and Facebook rounds out the rest.
There are a number of other folks including myself using their sites essentially as commonplace books–something you may appreciate. Some of us are also pushing the envelope in areas like hightlights, annotations, marginalia, archiving, etc. Many of these have topic pages at Indieweb.org along with examples you might find useful to emulate or extend if you’d like to explore, add, or extend those functionalities.
If you need help to get yourself logged into the indieweb wiki or finding ways to interact with the growing community of incredibly helpful and generous indeweb people, I am (and many others are) happy to help in any way we can. We’d love to hear your voice.
The leaders in affordable print-on-demand, Lulu.com, have just launched a book publishing service for academics. Glasstree offers the… “tools and services needed by academic authors, an…