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[29 Nov 2015 | No Comment | ]
The end of the journal? What has changed, what stayed the same?

This is an approximate rendering of my comments as part of the closing panel of “The End of Scientific Journal? Transformations in Publishing” held at the Royal Society, London on 27 November 2015. It should be read as a reconstruction of what I might have said rather than an accurate record. The day had focussed on historical accounts of “journals” as mediators of both professional and popular research communications. A note of the meeting will be published. Our panel was set the question of “will the journal still exist in …

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[19 Nov 2015 | 6 Comments | ]
PolEcon of OA Publishing: What are the assets of a journal?

This post wasn’t on the original slate for the Political Economics of Publishing series but it seems apposite as the arguments and consequences of the Editorial Board of Lingua resigning en masse to form a new journal published by Ubiquity Press continue to rumble on.
The resignation of the editorial board of Lingua from the (Elsevier owned) journal to form a new journal, that is intended to really be “the same journal” raises interesting issues of ownership and messaging. Perhaps even more deeply it raises questions of what the real assets …

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[22 Oct 2015 | 8 Comments | ]

This is the approximate text of my talk at City University London on 21 October for Open Access Week 2015. If you prefer the “as live” video version then that its available at YouTube. Warning: Nearly 6000 words and I haven’t yet referenced it properly, put the pictures in or done a good edit…

Eight years of Open Access Week, massive progress towards greater access to research, not to mention data and educational resources. The technology landscape has shifted, the assessment landscape has shifted. The policy landscape has certainly shifted. And …

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[19 Oct 2015 | 5 Comments | ]
PolEcon of OA Publishing II: What’s the technical problem with reforming scholarly publishing?

In the first post in this series I identified a series of challenges in scholarly publishing while stepping through some of the processes that publishers undertake in the management of articles. A particular theme was the challenge of managing a heterogenous stream of articles and their associated heterogeneous formats and problems, in particular at a large scale. An immediate reaction many people have is that there must be technical solutions to many of these problems. In this post I will briefly outline some of the charateristics of possible solutions and …

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[18 Oct 2015 | Comments Off on Touch points | ]

I have a Moto 360 Android Watch. People often ask how it is, whether it’s useful, and I give some answer along the lines that its great to have a watch that shows me the time in multiple places and is always updated to local, always right. It’s a true answer, but it it’s a partial answer. I can easily enough figure out what the time is somewhere else. What really matters is that those dials are a point of connection with people in those places. If they were to …

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[18 Oct 2015 | 3 Comments | ]

Last week I was lucky enough to spend five days in North Carolina at the Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded initiative that brings teams together on a retreat style meeting to work on specific projects. More on that, and the work of our team, at a later date but one thing that came out of our work really struck me. When we talk about the web and the internet, particularly in the context of scholarly publishing we talk about how the shift from an environment …

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[6 Oct 2015 | One Comment | ]
Speaking at City University London for OA Week

Ernesto Priego has invited me to speak at City University in London on Thursday the 22nd October as part of Open Access Week. I wanted to pull together a bunch of the thinking I’ve been doing recently around Open Knowledge in general and how we can get there from here. This is deliberately a bit on the provocative side so do come along to argue! There is no charge but please register for the talk.

The Limits of “Open”: Why knowledge is not a public good and what to do about …

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[1 Oct 2015 | One Comment | ]
A league table by any means will smell just as rank

The University Rankings season is upon us with the QS league table released a few weeks back to much hand wringing here in the UK as many science focussed institutions tumbled downwards. The fact that this was due to a changed emphasis in counting humanities and social sciences rather than any change at the universities themselves was at least noted, although how much this was to excuse the drop rather than engage with the issue is unclear.
At around the same time particle physicists and other “big science” communities were up …

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[30 Sep 2015 | 15 Comments | ]

A note on changes: I’m going to vary my usual practice in this series and post things in a rawer form with the intention of incorporating feedback and comments over time. In the longer term I will aim to post the series in a “completed” form in one way or another as a resource. If there is interest then it might be possible to turn it into a book.
There is no statement more calculated to make a publisher’s blood boil than “Publishers? They just organise peer review” or perhaps …

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[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 …