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According to an article in USA Today, some scientific journals, like the JAMA, are neglecting their conflict of interest policies when it comes to private companies funding research. The problem arises when the company also employs the author responsible for providing the research. "This is important for the general public and the scientific community because full disclosure gives you another piece of information for evaluating these studies. If you hide the fact that there is a conflict of interest with the researcher, then you are deceiving people." Read More.
stevenj writes "Librarians following the scholarly publishing crisis will want to read This Article from the June 26 issue of The NYT. It discusses how the high subscription cost of prestigious peer-reviewed journals has been a running sore point with scholars, whose tenure and prominence depend on publishing in them. But since the Public Library of Science, which was started by a group of prominent scientists, began publishing last year, this new model has been gaining attention and currency within academia. If you haven't been following this issue, this article will pretty much sum it up for you."
You may also want to check out Steven's The Kept-Up Academic Librarian, Helping Academic Librarians "Keep Up" With News and Developments In Higher Education.
Portland (OR) will play host on June 25 to the fourth annual Portland Zine Symposium which is expected to attract 1,000 curiosity seekers and about 100 exhibitors. â€œ'People come looking for that connectivity,'â€? says Shawn Granton, zine buyer for an independent Portland record store. 'For a lot of people living in small towns, zines are a lifeline to others with the same interests. Itâ€™s nice for them to meet people theyâ€™ve been corresponding with, and not have to explain what they are doing.'" More here from the Portland Tribune.
Anonymous Patron sends "us this announcement about the ejournal DigiCULT: Technology Issues for Digital Culture. DigiCULT will produce seven Thematic Issues which build on the results of an expert round table on a selected topic, and provide additional information and opinions in the form of invited articles, interviews, and case studies. Other elements may include short descriptions of related projects, a selection of relevant resources or a glossary."
Walt writes "Pushed a little so you can print & read it before heading off to Orlando for ALA Annual:
The July 2004 Cites & Insights (volume 4, issue 9) is now available for downloading.
This 20-page issue (PDF as always) begins with two ALA Annual-related essays:
* Perspective: Good Advice: Making Some Lists
* Bibs & Blather: Top Technology Trends Musings
Six other stories follow:
* Feedback & Followup: Monetizing, backchat, and more
* Trends & Quick Takes - nine items
* Ebooks, Etext and PoD (no big theme here!)
* The Library Stuff - eight articles
* Interesting & Peculiar Products - five items
* The Good Stuff - six articles
Enjoy. Barring surprises, the next issue won't be out for at least five weeks."
An Anonymous Patron writes "For Whom the Gate Tolls?, by Stevan Harnad. How and Why to Free the Refereed Research Literature
Online Through Author/Institution Self-Archiving, Now:
Just as there is no longer any need for research or researchers to be constrained by the access-blocking restrictions of paper distribution, there is no longer any need to be constrained by the impact-blocking financial fire-walls of Subscription/Site-License/Pay-Per-View (S/L/P) tolls for this give-away literature. Its author/researchers have always donated their research reports for free (and its referee/researchers have refereed for free), with the sole goal of maximizing their impact on subsequent research (by accessing the eyes and minds of fellow-researchers, present and future) and hence on society."
The NY Times has a story about a student at Princeton, Katherine L. Milkman, who used her senior thesis to analyze the selection of short fiction published in the New Yorker. I am absoultely shocked at her findings below.
Ms. Milkman, who has a minor in American studies, read 442 stories printed in The New Yorker from Oct. 5, 1992, to Sept. 17, 2001, and built a substantial database. She then constructed a series of rococo mathematical tests to discern, among other things, whether certain fiction editors at the magazine had a specific impact on the type of fiction that was published, the sex of authors and the race of characters. The study was long on statistics and short on epiphanies: one main conclusion was that male editors generally publish male authors who write about male characters who are supported by female characters.
Southern literary magazine Oxford American has been in financial trouble lately. According to this AP wire story, they're hoping that a move will improve their situation.
"The University of Central Arkansas and the Oxford American announced a partnership on Saturday that will bring the critically acclaimed Southern literary magazine to Conway." After going under for a second time last July, the magazine won a National Magazine Award this month for its music issue, finishing ahead of Rolling Stone."
rochelle adds: I hope they make a go of it as a non-profit. The first incarnation of the OA was chock full o' brilliant, fresh, writing and had great photos. Even the ads were interesting! (I also edited the post, Anna, because the Chronicle is only available to subscribers.)
Lee Hadden writes "In an article in Physics Today, May 2004, pages 28-29, Toni Feder
writes "US Government Backs Off From Imposing Restrictions on Publishers."
In permitting one scholarly publisher's activities, the Treasury Department
seems to have muddied the dispute over freedom of the press and, in
addition, has warned against collaborations between US scientists and their
colleagues in sanctioned countries.
The federal government has eased restrictions on editing manuscripts from
countries under US trade embargoes, but some publishers remain wary that
the narrowness of the 2 April ruling leaves them vulnerable to improper
regulation and prosecution.
In a ruling last fall, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) listed "reordering of paragraphs or sentences, correction of
syntax, grammar, and replacement of inappropriate words" in manuscripts
from Iran as activities that may "constitute the provision of prohibited
services." In theory, such routine activities could have been punishable by
fines and jail time.
The latest ruling "makes clear that scientific communities in sanctioned
countries may publish their works in U.S. scholarly journals," OFAC
Director Richard Newcomb said in a media statement.
See more about it at: aip.org"
Here's an interesting story from the Baltimore Sun about a magazine called Found, which publishes hundreds of what its creator, Davy Rothbart calls "finds": "discarded ticket stubs, old birthday cards, notebook doodles, ripped-up love notes, grocery lists, yellowed photographs, lost homework assignments, rusty keys, and other detritus galore, plucked from trash bins and sidewalks across the globe."
Librarians are mentioned, along with janitors, police officers and postal carriers, as people who regularly find discarded objects that are recreated as treasure.