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Articles tagged with: publishing

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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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[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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[5 Jun 2012 | 21 Comments | ]
Added Value: I do not think those words mean what you think they mean

There are two major strands to position of traditional publishers have taken in justifying the process by which they will make the, now inevitable, transition to a system supporting Open Access. The first of these is that the transition will cost “more money”. The exact costs are not clear but the, broadly reasonable, assumption is that there needs to be transitional funding available to support what will clearly be a mixed system over some transitional period. The argument of course is how much money and where it will come from, …

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[3 Feb 2012 | 46 Comments | ]
The Research Works Act and the breakdown of mutual incomprehension

When the history of the Research Works Act, and the reaction against it, is written that history will point at the factors that allowed smart people with significant marketing experience to walk with their eyes wide open into the teeth of a storm that thousands of people would have predicted with complete confidence. That story will detail two utterly incompatible world views of scholarly communication.

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[17 Oct 2010 | One Comment | ]
Some notes on Open Access Week

Open Access Week kicks off for the fourth time tomorrow with events across the globe. I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the SPARC video that will be released tomorrow. The following are a transcription of my notes – not quite what I said but similar.

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[2 Sep 2010 | 6 Comments | ]
What would scholarly communications look like if we invented it today?

If we imagine what the specification for building a scholarly communications system would look like there are some fairly obvious things we would want it to enable. Registration of priority, archival, re-use and replication, and filtering. Some of these the current system can do well, some of them not so. Can thinking about how we would design a system from the ground up help us to think about what we can do today to build a better and more effective record?

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[8 Jul 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
It’s not information overload, nor is it filter failure: It’s a discovery deficit

The idea that “it’s not information overload, it’s filter failure” combined with the traditional process of filtering scholarly communication by peer review prior to publication seems to be leading towards the idea that we need to build better filters by beefing up the curation of research output before it is published. Here I argue that this is backwards and that the ‘filter failure’ soundbite is maybe unfortunate in the context of scholarly communications. The web won’t reduce the cost of curation, but it has reduced the cost of publication. This means that instead of building filters to prevent stuff getting on the web it is more productive to focus on enhancing discovery. A focus on enabling discovery can both deliver for researchers and provide business models that are more aligned with the way the web works.

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[5 Feb 2010 | 27 Comments | ]
Peer review: What is it good for?

Image by Gideon Burton via Flickr

It hasn’t been a real good week for peer review. In the same week that the Lancet fully retract the original Wakefield MMR article (while keeping the retraction behind a login screen – way to go there on public understanding of science), the main stream media went to town on the report of 14 stem cell scientists writing an open letter making the claim that peer review in that area was being dominated by a small group of people blocking the publication of innovative work. …

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[24 Jan 2010 | 11 Comments | ]

Towards the end of last year I wrote up some initial reactions to the announcement of Nature Communications and the communications team at NPG were kind enough to do a Q&A to look at some of the issues and concerns I raised. Specifically I was concerned about two things. The licence that would be used for the “Open Access” option and the way that journal would be positioned in terms of “quality”, particularly as it related to the other NPG journals and the approach to peer review.

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[16 Nov 2009 | One Comment | ]

A few weeks ago I wrote a post looking at the announcement of Nature Communications, a new journal from Nature Publishing Group that will be online only and have an open access option. Grace Baynes, fromthe  NPG communications team kindly offered to get some of the questions raised in that piece answered and I am presenting my questions and the answers from NPG here in their complete form. I will leave any thoughts and comments on the answers for another post. There has also been more information from NPG available at the journal website since my original post, …