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Evolution and innovation in publishing, scholarly and otherwise
Curated by Andrew Spong
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Amazon slashes e-book prices post-DoJ ruling on Apple and five of the Big 6

Amazon slashes e-book prices post-DoJ ruling on Apple and five of the Big 6 | Publishing | Scoop.it

Jonathan Berr writes:

 

Amazon.com is slashing e-book prices just as publishers are facing a federal probe into price fixing, a move that is great news for voracious readers, though it places the content creators in a tough spot.

 

Publishing industry executives allegedly thought that by working together with Apple they would counter Amazon's growing clout. Unfortunately, that foolish decision has made Amazon even more powerful and will wind up costing publishers big money.

 

[AS: choosing between the option to die sooner or die later, the Big 6 have chosen the former.]

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Academic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution

Academic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution | Publishing | Scoop.it

Alok Jha reports on how a Cambridge mathematician's protest has led to demands for open access to scientific knowledge

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PLoS Computational Biology goes wiki

PLoS Computational Biology goes wiki | Publishing | Scoop.it

Daniel Mietchen writes:

 

'Today saw an important step forward towards a wikification of scholarly workflows: PLoS Computational Biology published an article that did not only follow the journal’s own author guidelines but also those for writing articles on the English Wikipedia, where a copy of the journal article has been pasted into [[Circular Permutation in Proteins]], where it shall live on in the hands of the wiki community.'

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Old duffer publishers ponder how DRM will impact on their ability to buy wine

Old duffer publishers ponder how DRM will impact on their ability to buy wine | Publishing | Scoop.it

Well-meaning, urbane publishing folk celebrate the evolution of the 'ebook' and the adjacent issues that vex them as they endeavour to protect their business models whilst simultaneously, and not unwittingly, chronicling the death of their industry in its current form.

 

[AS: I very much enjoyed this, but took particular delight in the the tweeted comment of a live listener who remarked 'talk about the concept of DRM to anyone under 20 and they'll laugh their arse off' (17:20).

 

The rest is window dressing, really, but stylishly presented nevertheless.

 

I've every hope that this series won't get too wistful about the passing of yesterday, but choose instead to celebrate the possibilities today is offering rather more vigorously. It's the last party for those publishers who haven't evolved quickly enough and/or can't shake off the burden of vestigial business models, so they may as well enjoy themselves. By dint of their having taken part, everyone involved in this enterprise is manifesting the fact that they're savvy enough to make the cut when the axe swings. Good luck to them.]

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How scholarly publishers upset their next generation of customers in India

How scholarly publishers upset their next generation of customers in India | Publishing | Scoop.it

Anindita Mukherjee considers the long term impact that the taking down of Library.nu may have upon the scholarly publishers that lobbied for it:

 

'Library.nu, for innumerable users, was a source of otherwise inaccessible research material. The claim of publishing houses that this e-book piracy was leading to mammoth losses is, therefore, questionable. Shutting library.nu only makes a huge mass of research inaccessible to a global audience.

 

Given the nature of the Internet, the publisher coalition seems to be set on fighting a losing battle. The angry buzz in colleges is quickly being replaced with the name of a newly-discovered treasure trove of free knowledge.'

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Facebook co-founder buys The New Republic

Facebook co-founder buys The New Republic | Publishing | Scoop.it

'Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes is purchasing the New Republic, the nearly century-old political magazine known for its influence in progressive circles, according to The New York Times.

 

Hughes, who will assume the title "editor-in-chief," told The Times that he would place particular emphasis on tablet computers, such as the iPad:

[Hughes] focus, he said in an interview in advance of the announcement, will be on distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad. Though he does not intend to end the printed publication, “five to 10 years from now, if not sooner, the vast majority of The New Republic readers are likely to be reading it on a tablet,” he said.'

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A bad day to bury good news for Elsevier as Cost of Knowledge campaign grows

A bad day to bury good news for Elsevier as Cost of Knowledge campaign grows | Publishing | Scoop.it

As pre-tax profit rose from £768m to £948m, Erik Engstrom, chief executive of Reed Elsevier, said the growing academic backlash (http://thecostofknowledge.com/) against the group’s core scientific publishing division was based on “misstatements” and “misunderstandings”.

 

Meanwhile, the protest continued to gather support, with over 6,800 academics now having pledged to refrain from publishing, refereeing and/or editing Elsevier journals.

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Radical alternatives to conventional publishing

Radical alternatives to conventional publishing | Publishing | Scoop.it

Sukhev Sandhu writes:

 

'Whether it's Verso, The New Press, OR Books, or Zer0 books, progressive publishing houses are finding that readers are hungry for incisive analyses of capitalism's failures, exposés of the flawed infrastructure of liberal democracy, passionate dispatches from the frontlines of social change.'

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When your business model fails, litigate. Not that it's going to help.

When your business model fails, litigate. Not that it's going to help. | Publishing | Scoop.it

A slow hand clap for HarperCollins, Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Pearson Education Ltd, Macmillan Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and the McGraw-Hill Companies for 'taking down' pirate ebook sites library.nu and ifile.it.

 

That only leaves another 62.5M links to investigate.

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The rise of open access scientific publishing

The rise of open access scientific publishing | Publishing | Scoop.it

'With all of the issues facing scientific publishers to deal with the inevitable advancement of Open Access, it will still largely be up to the scientific authors themselves to make the transition to sustainable OA complete.'

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Scholarly publishing in transition: four strategies for avoiding the Innovator's Dilemma

Scholarly publishing in transition: four strategies for avoiding the Innovator's Dilemma | Publishing | Scoop.it

John Peters of GSE Research writes:

 

'Scholarly publishers have to make a choice.

 

Either they can be the person standing there with the red flag, or they can put their foot on the accelerator and move into the future.'

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As journal boycott grows, Elsevier attempts to defend its practices

As journal boycott grows, Elsevier attempts to defend its practices | Publishing | Scoop.it

Josh Fischman writes:

 

'A protest against Elsevier, the world's largest scientific journal publisher, is rapidly gaining momentum since it began as an irate blog post at the end of January. By Tuesday evening, about 2,400 scholars had put their names to an online pledge not to publish or do any editorial work for the company's journals, including refereeing papers.

The boycott is growing so quickly—it had about 1,800 signers on Monday—that Elsevier officials on Tuesday broke their official silence to respond to protesters' accusations that they charge too much and support laws that will keep research findings bottled up behind a company paywall.

 

"Over the past 10 years, our prices have been in the lowest quartile in the publishing industry," said Alicia Wise (@wisealic), Elsevier's director of universal access. "Last year our prices were lower than our competitors'. I'm not sure why we are the focus of this boycott, but I'm very concerned about one dissatisfied scientist, and I'm concerned about 2,000."'

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Academics seek better ways to track impact online

Academics seek better ways to track impact online | Publishing | Scoop.it

An approach hashtagged as #altmetrics aims to measure Web-driven scholarly interactions, such as how often research is tweeted, blogged about, or bookmarked.

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Wellcome Trust joins 'academic spring' to open up science

Wellcome Trust joins 'academic spring' to open up science | Publishing | Scoop.it

Wellcome backs campaign to break stranglehold of academic journals and allow all research papers to be shared free online.

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How publishers’ digital revenues stack up

How publishers’ digital revenues stack up | Publishing | Scoop.it

The figures show strong growth in digital revenues for publishers across the board, but with near-flat growth overall and digital as a percentage of total sales averaging only 17% among the publishers surveyed, total revenues are clearly going to be challenged.

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Cameron Neylon to Join PLoS as Director of Advocacy

Cameron Neylon to Join PLoS as Director of Advocacy | Publishing | Scoop.it

'In his new position, Cameron Neylon (@CameronNeylon) will promote advocacy of Open Access and develop strategies to drive the broader reinvention of research communication, both within the existing PLoS journals and beyond.

 

He will work with other Open Access advocates, funders, publishers and scholarly societies to raise awareness and promote the adoption of research communication systems that support the public’s access and contribution to research.'

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Academic journals: comically, disastrously stuck in the '80s

Academic journals: comically, disastrously stuck in the '80s | Publishing | Scoop.it

Michael P. Taylor writes:

 

'By any objective standard, academic publishing is a very strange business indeed. It became established at a time when all publishing was on paper, when duplication and delivery were demanding problems, and when publishers provided an important service to researchers.

 

Now, as the Internet is dramatically changing other forms of publishing, academic journals seem stuck in the 1980s, with results both comical and disastrous.'

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MLA Style entry for 'how do I cite a tweet?'

MLA Style entry for 'how do I cite a tweet?' | Publishing | Scoop.it

'Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone.

 

Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example:

 

Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.

 

The date and time of a message on Twitter reflect the reader’s time zone. Readers in different time zones see different times and, possibly, dates on the same tweet. The date and time that were in effect for the writer of the tweet when it was transmitted are normally not known. Thus, the date and time displayed on Twitter are only approximate guides to the timing of a tweet. However, they allow a researcher to precisely compare the timing of tweets as long as the tweets are all read in a single time zone.

 

In the main text of the paper, a tweet is cited in its entirety (6.4.1):

 

Sohaib Athar noted that the presence of a helicopter at that hour was “a rare event.”

 

or

 

The presence of a helicopter at that hour was “a rare event” (Athar).'

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Publishers be damned!

Publishers be damned! | Publishing | Scoop.it

Professor Timothy Gowers of the University of Cambridge has gathered a small army of the world's top researchers to boycott Reed Elsevier, the world's biggest publisher of academic journals, and investors had better take note.

 

[AS: The Indie catches up as thecostofknowledge.org declaration withdrawing their services from Elsevier jounrals approaches a staggering 8,000 academic signatories.]

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Incisive critiques: book, meet scalpel

Incisive critiques: book, meet scalpel | Publishing | Scoop.it

Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.

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Academics demand confirmation that their institutions do not invest in Elsevier

Academics demand confirmation that their institutions do not invest in Elsevier | Publishing | Scoop.it

Peter Murray-Rust writes:

 

'It would be very disquieting to find that any University or any public body responsible for libraries actually invested in Elsevier. That would imply a conflict between trying to reduce journal prices and benefitting from having higher ones. I am therefore asking my current University to confirm that they do not invest in Elsevier.

 

This is easy to do.

 

Visit http://whatdotheyknow.com and type a brief letter (such as the one below). The University is required to respond within 20 working days. Anyone can do this (you don’t have to be a UK citizen AFAIK and you don’t have to have any connection with the institution

 

To: [YOUR INSTITUTION]

Subject: Freedom of Information request – Investments in Elsevier

 

Dear [INSTITUTION],

 

I would like to know if the University or any of its subsidiary companies have any investment in Elsevier (Reed Elsevier PLC/N.V.), and if so how much.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

[NAME]

 

I would urge readers of this blog to copy my action and ask other Universities to confirm that they do not invest in this way.

This type of action will also help to keep the momentum of the [http://thecostofknowledge.com/] boycott.'

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Academics boycott publisher Elsevier

Academics boycott publisher Elsevier | Publishing | Scoop.it

'Don't expect to see Julie Clutterbuck's name again in the Journal of Differential Equations. Or in any other journal owned by Elsevier, the Amsterdam-based behemoth of scholarly publishing.

 

Clutterbuck, a mathematician at the Australian National University, has joined a global protest against Elsevier.

 

At last count, more than 4300 academics had put their names to a website, The Cost of Knowledge, which accuses the publisher of jacking up prices for individual journals so that libraries have to buy bundles of journals including titles they do not want.'

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The Cost of Knowledge: researchers taking a stand against Elsevier

The Cost of Knowledge: researchers taking a stand against Elsevier | Publishing | Scoop.it

To date, 4,161 academics - and rising - have declared publicly that they 'will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate.'

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Value added by scholarly publishers to pay-for journals dwindling to zero

Value added by scholarly publishers to pay-for journals dwindling to zero | Publishing | Scoop.it

Brian Cody, co-founder of the journal publishing site, Scholastica 'dismisses arguments [in favour of subscription scholarly publications], saying that journals themselves are self-sufficient, with copy-editing and design staff. “Every journal is able to set up the look and feel of the graphics they want and export to a pdf. Thirty years ago that was a serious value-added. That value is rapidly [dwindling] down to zero.”'

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The self-defeating lunacy of social digital rights management

The self-defeating lunacy of social digital rights management | Publishing | Scoop.it

Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) writes:

 

'[It] is self-defeating lunacy to use [social digital rights management (DRM)] in your public-facing sales material.

 

To the public, DRM is DRM. The whole point of transitioning from DRM to “a book with your name in it” is that the only thing your customers probably know about DRM is that they hate it. So why use it?

 

The savvier customers who see “social DRM” on the sale-page for your e-books will flinch the way they’ve been conditioned to after years of bad experiences from DVDs that don’t play abroad, music that mysteriously stops playing, and games that cease functioning over holiday weekends when the DRM server goes down and no one is on call to fix it.'

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