Journals & Magazines

Open access to the scientific journal literature

Peter Suber, curator of the Free Online Scholarship Blog weighs in on this much-debated issue:

None of the advantages of traditional scientific journals need be sacrificed in order to provide free online access to scientific journal articles. Objections that open access to scientific journal literature requires the sacrifice of peer-review, revenue, copyright protection, or
other strengths of traditional journals, are based on misunderstandings.

Full Article from BioMed Central\'s new Journal of Biology, which \"aims to publish outstanding research articles from all areas of biology and make them immediately accessible to all, free of charge.\"

JAMA Reports on Misleading Studies

SomeOne writes \"In a special issue on peer review, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that published studies are sometimes misleading and fail to mention weaknesses. Some of the problem can be traced to conflicts of interest among peer reviewers. The story is available at the New York Times (free registration required).

NYTimes Story \"

See Also.

Nature provided to World\'s Poorest Countries

Lee Hadden Writes: \" To help bridge the gap between the richest and poorest nations, some
attempt is being made to make scientific information available through
libraries in the poorest countries.
See the article in: Nature 417, 365 (2002);
From 24 May, Nature and all other journals published by the Nature
Publishing Group will become available through the HINARI scheme. That,
coupled with the SciDev.Net free-access website that was spun off from
Nature last year (see, is one step towards the goals
outlined by Sachs\' committee.

Read more about it at: (Subscription required).\"

Is the Journal as We Know It an Article of Faith?

Bruce Morton has written Is the Journal as We Know It an Article of Faith?, and interesting look at exploring how we might achieve scholarly communication that is more effective than traditional models, and yet will still adhere to the academic values that are so important. He says The journal as we have known it was successful because it was the best technology available to do the job. This is no longer the case thanks to the web.

Journal Boycott Over Online Access Is a Bust is Reporting Few of the 30,000 scientists who pledged to boycott journals that don\'t make their content free online after six months have actually followed through on that threat, and few journals have changed their ways.

\"Perhaps we were being a little naive\" in thinking that publishers would change their policies because of the boycott, says Mr. Eisen. \"In reality, very few publishers responded.\"

LISJobs call for contributors

Rachel writes \"Contributors are needed for the July issue of the Info Career Trends electronic newsletter ( ), which will focus on \"promotion.\"

Especially welcome are people who have worked their way \"up the ranks\" or are in the process of working their way up -- share your techniques and tips on getting promoted and moving on.

ICT contains short, practical articles of interest to working librarians. The focus is on personal professional development rather than on libraries themselves. Find contributor guidelines , and send queries via e-mail to [email protected].

Queries also welcome for September\'s issue (on \"professional communication\").

Most obscure journal contest

jen writes \"An update on the contest from AIR (Annals of Improbable Research).
Here\'s the release:

The past month has seen further turns and twists on the road to
identifying the world\'s Most Obscure Journal. This joint research
project of the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) and the Times
Higher Education Supplement (THES) seeks to answer this question:

\"Which is the least-read academic journal?\"


Gaining Independence: A Manual

Gaining Independence: A Manual is a publication of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, which is dedicated to helping transform the scholarly communications marketplace and process.

SPARC intends this manual to help universities, libraries, societies, and others implement alternatives to commercially-published scholarly and scientific information.

Newspapers cutting staff, services

Lee Hadden writes: \"The March 18, 2002 issue of the Walls Street Journal has an article
about how newspapers are cutting expenses by reducing services:Newly Endangered Species: Newspapers\' Stock Tables that says the stock quotes section is shrinking and another story, Publishers Trim Staff, Coverage; Will Readership Also Shrink? says that publishers are confronting an advertising recession that is now in its second
year, and are cutting costs by whittling away at their
publications. The San Francisco Chronicle now puts out its Sunday
magazine every other week and has pared its comics section.\"

Scholarly Publishing News from the Harvard Crimson

steven bell writes \"A recent story that appeared in the Harvard Crimson, Harvard\'s school newspaper, highlighted the efforts of three medical school faculty to encourage scholarly journals to make create free access to online articles after a six month embargo period. Despite obtaining 15,000 signatures to a petition, the effort has made little progress towards its goal. You can find the story at


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