Academic Libraries

Deficit Threatens Stability of University of California

The chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, said Wednesday that the university had a “substantial and growing” deficit that could threaten its long-term stability and that it needed to reduce expenses and raise revenues to maintain its position as a premier public institution.

From Deficit Threatens Stability of University of California, Berkeley, Official Says - The New York Times

The Research Pirates of the Dark Web - The Atlantic

So why go through all this trouble to provide access to pirated academic research? In a letter submitted to the New York district court where she was being sued, Elbakyan said her experience as a student in Kazakhstan drove her to set up the website. Paying upwards of 30 dollars to access a paper is “insane,” she wrote, when researchers regularly need to access tens or even hundreds of articles.

Elbakyan says free access to academic research also helps promote researchers’ independence. “Today, subscription prices are very high; an individual person cannot pay them,” she wrote to me in an email. “You need to join one of the few available research institutions, and for that you need to conform to … standards that suppress creativity.”

From The Research Pirates of the Dark Web - The Atlantic

A look inside Harvard's Undergraduate House libraries

Each of Harvard’s 12 undergraduate residential Houses has a library, and despite their rich histories and outward grandeur, these are intimate spaces. Students spend long stretches clicking away on laptops or fall asleep draped over books during all-night study sessions.

For Taylor Carol ’17, who lives in Cabot House, “home base” is a corner desk in Eliot Hall Library, two floors below his dorm room.

From A look inside: Undergraduate House libraries | Harvard Gazette

'Research parasites' editorial moves NEJM in wrong direction

That’s wrong. With the exception of maintaining patient confidentiality — which isn’t the issue here — sharing data shouldn’t come with any strings. Attaching caveats here is a bit like saying: We’re interested in truth, but only in our truth.

From 'Research parasites' editorial moves NEJM in wrong direction

Lever Press new open-access, peer-reviewed press

As of December 4, 2015, nearly 40 liberal arts college libraries—most of them members of the Oberlin Group, and Allegheny College and Ursinus College participating from outside Oberlin’s membership—have committed to contribute more than $1 million to the work of Lever Press over the next five years. Librarians and faculty members at these institutions will also comprise the press’s Oversight Committee and Editorial Board. Supported by these pledges, Lever Press aims to acquire, develop, produce and disseminate a total of 60 new open-access titles by the end of 2020.

From News – Lever Press

Data Sharing

How would data sharing work best? We think it should happen symbiotically, not parasitically. Start with a novel idea, one that is not an obvious extension of the reported work. Second, identify potential collaborators whose collected data may be useful in assessing the hypothesis and propose a collaboration. Third, work together to test the new hypothesis. Fourth, report the new findings with relevant coauthorship to acknowledge both the group that proposed the new idea and the investigative group that accrued the data that allowed it to be tested. What is learned may be beautiful even when seen from close up.

From Data Sharing — NEJM

What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us

Until now. Over the past two years, we and our partners at the Open Syllabus Project (based at the American Assembly at Columbia) have collected more than a million syllabuses from university websites. We have also begun to extract some of their key components — their metadata — starting with their dates, their schools, their fields of study and the texts that they assign.

This past week, we made available online a beta version of our Syllabus Explorer, which allows this database to be searched. Our hope and expectation is that this tool will enable people to learn new things about teaching, publishing and intellectual history.

From What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us - The New York Times

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

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


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