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RSA 2012: Bruce Schneier on the Threat of "Big Data, Inc."

RSA 2012: Bruce Schneier on the Threat of "Big Data, Inc."
"I mean Big Data as an industry force, like we might talk of Big Tobacco or Big Oil or Big Pharma," Schneier told an overflow crowd of attendees. "I think the rise of Big Data is as important a threat in the coming years, one we should really look at and start taking seriously."

Why Are We Boycotting Elsevier?

Why Are We Boycotting Elsevier?

Walking away isn't always easy. It means we won't be able to submit our work to many journals, some of them with strong reputations. We may have to turn down review requests from friends who serve as editors. We may have to explain to tenure and promotion committees that our choices were made to further knowledge, and furthering knowledge is at least as important as building our reputations. This is why we should congratulate all those who are willing to put their tenure on the line to do the right thing.

Publishers hate you. You should hate them back.

Publishers hate you. You should hate them back.
So library-types, let’s get our story straight. Publishers have contempt for the authors they need to write works, and the readers they need to read works. Publishers are scared that the internet is going to disintermediate their asses into the dustbin of history, and the best response that many of them have come up with is to express their fear through hatred. For all the things that we might need to improve in libraries or apologize for, this isn’t one of them.

Time For Science To Overcome Fears And Kill Subscription Journals

You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals
"Thus, people joining in the new boycott have no excuses not to follow through. There are plenty of viable OA options and it is simply unacceptable for any scientist who decries Elsevier’s actions and believes that the subscription based model is no longer serving science to send a single additional paper to journals that do not provide full OA to every paper they publish. So, come on people! If we do this now, paywalls will crumble, and we all be better off. So, come on! Let’s do it!"

Elsevier Filters Recommendation Engine to Show Elsevier Titles Only

As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature). The Elsevier ScienceDirect site embeds this service in their own custom application, but librarians noticed the results it was displaying were only for Elsevier titles. Here is the Ex Libris explanation:

bX itself is entirely publisher and platform neutral and sends and displays all relevant articles regardless of journal, publisher or platform. But those who build their own applications – like Elsevier did - can manipulate the data by filtering before displaying it. For the app on Science Direct Elsevier indeed filters the bX articles by those available from Science Direct.

Is it any wonder this company gets a bad rap?

Elsevier boycott gathers pace

Elsevier boycott gathers pace
Timothy Gowers is surprised and delighted that thousands of mathematics and other researchers have joined him in a public pledge not to have anything to do with Elsevier, the Amsterdam-based academic publishing giant. He is leading a boycott because of company practices that he says hinder the dissemination of research.

But he is not expecting a big response from Elsevier. “The goal of the boycott is not to get Elsevier to change how it does things, but rather to change how we in the mathematics community behave, and in that way to rid ourselves of major commercial publishers,” he says.

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Mysteries of the Elsevier Boycott

Mysteries of the Elsevier Boycott
"A couple of thoughts occurred to me upon learning about this. The first was along the lines of, “Well, at least this has the potential to get Elsevier’s attention.” Unlike subscribers, authors actually have monopoly control over something that Elsevier wants. My second thought, however, was, “Wait a minute. Why is Elsevier the specific target of this boycott?” "

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Academic publishers have become the enemies of science

Academic publishers have become the enemies of science
The US Research Works Act would allow publishers to line their pockets by locking publicly funded research behind paywalls. The free dissemination of lifesaving medical research around the world would be prevented under the Research Works Act. This is the moment academic publishers gave up all pretence of being on the side of scientists. Their rhetoric has traditionally been of partnering with scientists, but the truth is that for some time now scientific publishers have been anti-science and anti-publication. The Research Works Act, introduced in the US Congress on 16 December, amounts to a declaration of war by the publishers.

Which U.S. Representatives are Receiving Cash from Reed Elsevier?

Behind the Research Works Act: Which U.S. Representatives are Receiving Cash from Reed Elsevier?
"A bill (H.R. 3699) recently introduced in the U.S. Congress by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) aims to undo open access policies at NIH and to prevent the establishment of open access policies in other federal agencies. The large publishers, as represented by The Association of American Publishers, has expressed its love for this innocuously named “Research Works Act.” Open access advocates understand it as another terrible assault on the public interest and as instrument designed to not only mislead those who do not understand how scholarly research and its communication work but to more intensively transfer public resources into private, corporate hands. I am not going to offer an analysis of the bill and its contexts here."

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Liblime Versus Koha: What Is The Libraryland Opposite of Open Source?

Liblime Versus Koha: What Is The Libraryland Opposite of Open Source?
"Briefly, it seems to me that the core idea of Open Source is “Thou shalt not require money or otherwise restrict the use of the product in any form” while the core idea of Trademark is “Thou shalt not use this product in any form without getting my permission (usually by paying me money)”. These two concepts seem to be diametrically opposed. This isn’t a case of another company using the same name to mean something entirely different. This is a company that specializes in supporting open source software trying to trademark the name of the software that they support. They work in this field! LIBLIME SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!"

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