Academic Libraries

Will BookBots be the revolution libraries are looking for?

Lucia is overseeing the creation of what he hopes will be the library of the future. The building, budgeted for $170 million, is now little more than a hole in the ground across the street, but by 2017, the new library will hold the same number of books in roughly the same square footage, but do it completely differently. 

From Will BookBots be the revolution libraries are looking for? — NewsWorks

Should scientific papers be anonymous?

Hanel, a psychologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, posted a manuscript recently calling for anonymity in science articles. More than that, Hanel suggests stripping identifiers from virtually all academic output: doing away with name-based citations, CVs on researchers’ web sites, author names on book chapters, titles on academic journals, and more.The immodest proposal — made available on arXiv, a preprint server, before peer review — is akin to destroying the academic village in order to rid it of pests. But while some of what Hanel recommends is impossible at best, and perhaps even counterproductive, his overarching point seems pretty solid. When it comes to protecting the scientific literature from bias, the safeguards that academics now use are sorely inadequate.­

From Should scientific papers be anonymous? - STAT

Scholarly HTML: interoperable exchange of scholarly articles

Abstract
Scholarly HTML is a domain-specific data format built entirely on open standards that enables the interoperable exchange of scholarly articles in a manner that is compatible with off-the-shelf browsers. This document describes how Scholarly HTML works and how it is encoded as a document. It is, itself, written in Scholarly HTML.

From Scholarly HTML — Markedly Smart

When will the librarians start to throw offline literature away?

Libraries cost money.  Do we need large buildings, heavily staffed, full of paper, if “everything of importance” is online, in databases, collections, and so forth?  For a university accountant, the answer is self-evidently not.  A generation may be needed, but those volumes will be sold, the staff dismissed, and the building repurposed.

Such changes in information technology have happened before.

From When will the librarians start to throw offline literature away? at Roger Pearse

College libraries install desks on which students can study and cycle

First comes the elementary school desk, cramped and rigid (cursed by lefties everywhere), then the desk desk, in your own room in high school or college, and its cousin, the library carrel. After that, if you were lucky, maybe an office desk or cubicle. Then, of course, standing desks burst onto the scene, along with their overeager cousins, treadmill desks. Now, popping up in dozens of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, is another step in desk evolution -- a stationary bike and desk combination called the FitDesk.
Most recently, Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina installed two FitDesks in its library in order “to have a little something different that gets [students] excited about coming to the library,” President Stephen Scott told the News Observer. “A little sizzle on the steak.”

From College libraries install desks on which students can study and cycle | Inside Higher Ed

Mandatory open-access publishing can impair academic freedom

Those who advocate for OA with CC BY argue that there is no reason for authors to object to it: scholars and scientists (the argument goes) have already been paid for the work they're writing up, and since they have little if any expectation that their writings will generate additional revenue for them, why not make their work freely available to those who may be able to find ways to add value to them through reuse and “remixing,” and maybe even to profit from doing so? In any case (the argument continues), authors retain their copyright under a CC license, so what's the problem?
The problem, for many authors, is that their copyright becomes effectively meaningless when they have given away all of the prerogatives over their work that copyright provides.

From Mandatory open-access publishing can impair academic freedom (essay) | Inside Higher Ed

Altmetric – Top 100 Articles – 2015

The Christmas tree is up in the Altmetric office and it’s Top 100 time again! We’ve queried the Altmetric database to find out which academic articles got the most attention from the mainstream media, blogs, Wikipedia and social networks, as well as amongst a more academic audience in post-publication peer-review forums and research highlights.

Data was collected from the Altmetric database on November 16 2015 and a downloadable file can be found on figshare. News and comment pieces are excluded, as are articles that were published before November 2014.

Remember, this list in no way reflects the quality (high or low) of the articles included; it just provides an indicator of what was widely discussed and shared online.

From Altmetric – Top 100 Articles – 2015

U of M Libraries receives 540 year old book containing first printed maps

A rare example of the Rudimentum Novitiorum, a chronicle of the world printed in 1475, containing the world's first printed maps, has been acquired by the James Ford Bell Trust for the benefit of the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota.

“The Rudimentum Novitiorum is one of the rarest and most significant pieces we have,” said Dr. Ford W. Bell, trustee and the grandson of James Ford Bell, who was the founder of General Mills. “We are thrilled to have acquired it and are looking forward to sharing it

From U of M Libraries receives 540 year old book containing first printed maps | Discover | University of Minnesota

Nature And ReadCube Say Journal Article Sharing Trial To Go On

In December 2014, a 12-month content sharing trial was set up to enable subscribers to 49 journals on nature.com to legitimately and conveniently share the full text of articles of interest with colleagues without a subscription via a shareable web link on nature.com, enabled by publishing technology company, ReadCube. The trial was also extended to 100 media outlets and blogs around the world that report on the findings of articles published on nature.com, allowing them to provide their own readers with a link to a full text, read-only view of the original scientific paper.

From Press release archive: About NPG (Via The Great And Powerful Gary Price

Academic B.S. as artificial barriers to entry

The supply of super-lefty people who are able to parse artificially dense text is limited, but not so limited that it's hard to find people who are willing to do it for $70,000 a year. Meanwhile, student demand for humanities, anthropology, urban studies, and sociology majors is probably pretty inelastic, so university demand for professors in these areas is probably inelastic. Hence, for departments and journals in these fields to make "critical theory" a soft requirement for professors is probably an effective way of keeping their salaries (and job perks) as high as they are.

From Noahpinion: Academic B.S. as artificial barriers to entry

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