26 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2019
  2. Jun 2018
    1. academia is built on the premise (IMHO) of getting a good idea, parlaying that into a job and tenure, and waiting for death. I’ve had a lot of colleagues and acquaintances ask why I would bother blogging. Ask why I share all of this content online. Ask why I’m not afraid that someone is going to steal my ideas.

      Though all too true, this is just a painful statement for me. The entirety of our modern world is contingent upon the creation of ideas, their improvement and evolution, and their spreading. In an academic world where attribution of ideas is paramount, why wouldn't one publish quickly and immediately on one's own site (or anywhere else they might for that matter keeping in mind that it's almost trivially easy to self-publish it on one's own website nearly instantaneously)?

      Early areas of science were held back by the need to communicate by handwriting letters as the primary means of communication. Books eventually came, but the research involved and even the printing process could take decades. Now the primary means of science communication is via large (often corporate owned) journals, but even this process may take a year or more of research and then a year or more to publish and get the idea out. Why not write the ideas up and put them out on your own website and collect more immediate collaborators? Funding is already in such a sorry state that generally, even an idea alone, will not get the ball rolling.

      I'm reminded of the gospel song "This little light of mine" whose popular lyrics include: "Hide it under a bushel? No! / I'm gonna let it shine" and "Don't let Satan blow it out, / I'm gonna let it shine"

      I'm starting to worry that academia in conjunction with large corporate publishing interests are acting the role of Satan in the song which could easily be applied to ideas as well as to my little light.


      [also on boffosocko.com]

    2. Senior colleagues indicate that I should not have to balance out publishing in “traditional, peer-reviewed publications” as well as open, online spaces.

      Do your colleagues who read your work, annotate it, and comment on it not count as peer-review?

      Am I wasting my time by annotating all of this? :) (I don't think so...)

  3. Dec 2016
    1. One challenge is whether – or how – this conversation becomes generative of traditional scholarship, such as a more linear, peer-reviewed article.

      There is, truly, so much potential in these tools and approaches toward asynchronous, distributed reading and writing. One question I have, already, is how such distributed forms of production-consumption further dissolve notions of textuality and authorship so entrenched within traditional notions and practices of scholarship and empirical research. The flattened hierarchies, especially, threaten the institutionalized power structures which have tightly controlled the design, review, and dissemination of scholarship and research.

  4. Jun 2016
    1. VIA EFF

      Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? (Ars Techica)

      Excellent report on the state of academic publishing— and why so much of it is still locked down.

      NOTE

      if we can Not access the works we fund, we can Neither annotate all knowledge.

      And this case, it may pertain the most crucial body of all our knowledge — the knowledge upon what we are to found our own futures for us all. What is to be recognized as "the Human knowledge", whilst yet unknown by almost everyone us Humans ourselves.>

    2. A history of open access academic publishing from the early 1990s to 2016.

  5. May 2016
    1. Since the dawn of civilization, there have been a number of irrefutable ‘golden laws’ of business, including the following:

      Terrible intro, but really good overview of the financial issues facing academic publishing

    1. The new title and pricing trends in Table 1 and Table 2 were also evident in Table 3. University press totals for these three years was 1,908. Even if statistics were excluded from the final totals of commercial presses, the output of commercial presses in 2012 was higher than the university press totals for all three years; and their tally for 2012–14 reached 14,493 (which is 659.59% more than for university presses). The suggested retail price differences were again rather dramatic between university presses and commercial publishers in several marker fields, including sociology (+75.48%); political theory (+45.52%); political science [End Page 109] in North and South America (+113.26%); mathematics (+33.56%); physics (+66.55%); and natural science (+128.24%). The cost to buy one copy of the university press books in Table 3 in these seven fields was $1549.51, while commercially published books cost $2379.84 (+53.59% higher) (see Table 3 for the details).

      Commercial presses are publishing more books and charging more for those books than are university presses. This might support the claim made in Jones and Courant (2014) that Academic Librarians are more likely to purchase books from university presses than from commercial presses, thereby increasing pressure on the commercial presses to publish more books and charge more for them.

    1. At the University of Ottawa, Canada, the UO Press and the UO Library have developed a strategic partnership to publish and disseminate selected new monographs as gold open access (OA). Starting in 2013, the Library agreed to fund three books at C$10,000 per book (a total of C$30,000 per year) in order to remove barriers to accessing scholarship and to align with scholarly communication goals of the University.

      Univeristy of Ottawa's Library & Press joined together to underwrite OA books for $10k (Canadian) each.

    1. “The monograph has been at risk for a long time,” Sisler notes. “Journals, in science in particular, have eaten up library budgets that were formerly spent on humanities and social-science monographs. As the number of units in print goes down, the price per book goes up, and you sell fewer; it becomes a vicious cycle.

      This points to a cycle that I read about elsewhere. Academic monograph publishers are printing more books, but a lower percentage of them are being bought by the libraries. Thus the number of sales per book is decreasing. The price for the books then goes up, as does the demand to print more books, further contributing to the cycle.

    1. And although this trend does decline eventually, the decline starts much later than is commonly asserted, starting only in 2000, and thus coinciding less with the serials crisis than with the succession of economic downturns that have squeezed university funding since the turn of the century.

      The authors are arguing that the 'serials crisis' predated the downturn in book purchasing. However, it's not clear why the date the 'serials crisis' when they do. Their data seems to support the idea that rising periodicals pricing in the 21st century has squeezed the purchasing of academic monographs.

    1. Variable costs of academic journals are paid by the publisher and, as long as journals were printed and distributed physically, these costs were sizeable. In the print era, publishers had to typeset the manuscripts, print copies of journals, and send them to various subscribers. Hence, each time an issue was printed, sent and sold, another copy had to be printed to be sent and sold. However, with the advent of electronic publishing, these costs became marginal.

      Digital era lowered the costs of publication

    2. In that sense and contrary to any other business, academic journals are an atypical information good, because publishers neither pay the provider of the primary good—authors of scholarly papers—nor for the quality control—peer review. On the publisher’s side, average first-copy costs of journal papers are estimated to range between 20 and 40 US dollars per page, depending on rejection rates [37];

      The authors note that much of the editorial work is done for free by academics, and put a price tag on the per page cost to publish journals.

    3. Data from the mid-1990s by Tenopir and King [12] suggests an increase of commercial publishers’ share of the output; by then, commercial publishers accounted for 40% of the journal output, while scientific/professional societies accounted for 25% and university presses and educational publishers for 16%.

      Data from mid-1990s on the publication of academic journals.

    4. Despite the fact that it is generally believed that the digitalization of knowledge diffusion has led to a higher concentration of scientific literature in the hands of a few major players, no study has analyzed the evolution over time of these major publishers’ share of the scientific output in the various disciplines. This paper aims at providing such analysis, based on all journals indexed in the Web of Science over the 1973–2013 period.

      Thesis: digitization has contributed to the consolidations of the academic journal publishing market

    5. On the other hand, papers in arts and humanities are still largely dispersed amongst many smaller publishers, with the top five commercial publishers only accounting for 20% of humanities papers and 10% of arts papers in 2013, despite a small increase since the second half of the 1990s.

      Why have the arts and humanities not experienced a similar consolidation?

    6. scientific societies such as the ACS or the APS publish many journals in the specialties of chemistry and physics respectively, for which they successfully managed the shift from print to electronic.

      Larger scientific societies can float the costs of digital conversion and avoid being snapped up by commercial publishers.

    7. Profit margins decreased, however, between 1998 and 2003, although profits remained relatively stable. Absolute profits as well as the profit margin then rose again, with the exception of the 2008–2009 period of economic crisis, resulting in profits reaching an all-time high of more than 2 billion USD in 2012 and 2013. The profit margin of the company’s Scientific, Technical & Medical division is even higher (Fig 7B).

      Profits rose across Reed-Elsevier's business, and rose fastest in the company's Sci,Tech, and Med division. The focus of the commercial interests in publishing Sci,Tech,Med is entirely logical from a profit-oriented perspective.

  6. Apr 2016
    1. The few open access journals that managed to acquire substantial prestige such as some of Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals did so mostly because of the very high prestige of founding editors, including nobel laureates. It is also the reason why simply calling for researchers to switch to open access outlets won’t work. Since careers and funding depend on the proven ability to publish in established “top journals”, researchers in general and early-career researchers in particular have strong incentives to avoid newly founded open access outlets. But there are groups of people that could make a difference: journal editors and their editorial review boards. A huge part of a journal’s reputation is effectively derived from its editors. If the whole editorial board of a prestigious journal decided to collectivley leave this journal behind and open up a new one, it’s very likely that this new journal would outperform the journal they had left behind.
  7. Feb 2016
  8. Jan 2016
    1. Scott Johnson tweeted a screen-capture of a message he received from academia.edu.

      Would you be open to paying a small fee to submit any upcoming papers to our board of editors to be considered for recommendation? You'd only be charged if your paper was recommended.

      Academia.edu founder Richard Price replied.

  9. Dec 2015
    1. We believe that openness and transparency are core values of science. For a long time, technological obstacles existed preventing transparency from being the norm. With the advent of the internet, however, these obstacles have largely disappeared. The promise of open research can finally be realized, but this will require a cultural change in science. The power to create that change lies in the peer-review process.

      We suggest that beginning January 1, 2017, reviewers make open practices a pre-condition for more comprehensive review. This is already in reviewers’ power; to drive the change, all that is needed is for reviewers to collectively agree that the time for change has come.

    1. We find ourselves at a decisive moment. This is the time to recognize that the very existence of our massive knowledge commons is an act of collective civil disobedience. It is the time to emerge from hiding and put our names behind this act of resistance. You may feel isolated, but there are many of us. The anger, desperation and fear of losing our library infrastructures, voiced across the internet, tell us that. This is the time for us custodians, being dogs, humans or cyborgs, with our names, nicknames and pseudonyms, to raise our voices. Share this letter - read it in public - leave it in the printer. Share your writing - digitize a book - upload your files. Don't let our knowledge be crushed. Care for the libraries - care for the metadata - care for the backup. Water the flowers - clean the volcanoes.
    2. In Elsevier's case against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, the judge said: "simply making copyrighted content available for free via a foreign website, disserves the public interest"

      The copyrighted material in question is academic research, much of which is paid for by public funds. This judge is confusing "public" with "publishing companies". How much has the academic journal scam cost the public?

  10. Nov 2015
    1. With over 36 million visitors each month, the San Francisco-based platform-capitalist company Academia.edu is hugely popular with researchers. Its founder and CEO Richard Price maintains it is the ‘largest social-publishing network for scientists’, and ‘larger than all its competitors put together’. Yet posting on Academia.edu is far from being ethically and politically equivalent to using an institutional open access repository, which is how it is often understood by academics. Academia.edu’s financial rationale rests on the ability of the venture-capital-funded professional entrepreneurs who run it to monetize the data flows generated by researchers. Academia.edu can thus be seen to have a parasitical relationship to a public education system from which state funding is steadily being withdrawn.

      Includes links to related articles.