[27 Sep 2015 | 6 Comments | ]
The Political Economics of Open Access Publishing – A series

One of the odd things about scholarly publishing is how little any particular group of stakeholders seems to understand the perspective of others. It is easy to start with researchers ourselves, who are for the most part embarrassingly ignorant of what publishing actually involves. But those who have spent a career in publishing are equally ignorant (and usually dismissive to boot) of researchers’ perspectives. Each in turn fail to understand what libraries are or how librarians think. Indeed the naive view that libraries and librarians are homogenous is a big …

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[8 Sep 2017 | Comments Off on Pushing costs upstream and risks downstream: Making a journal publisher profitable | ]

I’m not quite sure exactly what was the reason but there was a recent flare-up of the good old “how much does it cost to publish a scholarly article” discussion recently. Partly driven by the Guardian article from last month on the history of 20th century scholarly publishing. But really this conversation just rumbles along with a regular flare up when someone does a new calculation that comes to a new number, or some assertion is made about “value” by some stakeholder.
Probably the most sensible thing said in the most …

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[30 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Speculation: Learning, Teaching and Knowledge Making | ]

I’ve just read Lave and Wenger’s (1991) book Situated Learning on the recommendation of Isla Gershon. Like many books I’ve been reading this was radical in its time but reads in some ways to me today as common sense. It’s actually quite hard for me to reconstruct the world view in which this was seen as a dangerously radical departure.
The core of Lave and Wenger’s argument is that to understand learning we have to see the learner as a whole person in a web of relationships. They propose that a …

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[11 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Diversity and Inclusion are the Uniting Principle of Open Science | ]

I had a twitter rant and a few people asked if I would convert it into a post. It also seemed worth preserving. This is a very lightly edited version of the thread that starts with this tweet.
I saw this thread last night about #openscience inclusion and diversity, and I'm not going looking for it again.
But here's my view. 1/n
— CⓐmeronNeylon (@CameronNeylon) August 10, 2017

The only thing that links all varying strands of open science (and open scholarship more generally) is inclusion and diversity as a first principle. The primary …

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[7 Jul 2017 | 3 Comments | ]

Following on from my post yesterday a couple of questions popped up about collective and collectivist models in scholarly communications. Richard Poynder is skeptical, which left me nonplussed because from where I sit what I described is happening all over the place. Funders are looking at investment strategies, collectives are forming and some of them are growing very rapidly. Which brings us to the second and more concrete question. How is it that things like Open Library of Humanities, a collective funding model for journal publishing, and similar models like …

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[6 Jul 2017 | Comments Off on Thinking Collectively…or How to Get Something Out of Neoliberal Critique Without (Immediately) Overthrowing the Capitalist System | ]

One of the things I find frustrating about discussions of economics in scholarly publishing is the way that discussions that are built around critique of capital models or neoliberalism are dismissed as impractical. Most recently Stuart Lawson’s interesting provocation, Against Capital, got a range of dismissive comments as being irrelevant because it required the overthrow of the capitalist system.
I find this, alongside another kind of response, most commonly from people in the business of scholarly publishing that such criticisms represent a failure to understand the financial realities of publishing, frustrating …

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[16 Jun 2017 | 8 Comments | ]

The following will come across as a rant. Which it is. But it’s a well intentioned rant. Please bear in mind that I care about good practice in data sharing, documentation, and preservation. I know there are many people working to support it, generally under-funded, often having to justify their existence to higher-ups who care more about the next Glam Mag article than whether there’s any evidence to support the findings. But, and its an important but, those political fights won’t become easier until researchers know those people exist, value …