Academic Libraries

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

Got just a single observation? New journal will publish it

Those ponderings eventually spurred the creation of Matters ( https://www.sciencematters.io/ ). Launched on 5 November, the open-access online journal aims to boost integrity and speed the communication of science by allowing researchers to publish discrete observations rather than complete stories.

“Observations, not stories, are the pillars of good science,” the journal’s editors write on Matters’ website. “Today's journals however, favor story-telling over observations, and congruency over complexity … Moreover, incentives associated with publishing in high-impact journals lead to loss of scientifically and ethically sound observations that do not fit the storyline, and in some unfortunate cases also to fraudulence.”

From Got just a single observation? New journal will publish it | Science/AAAS | News

Rare King James Bible First Edition Discovered at Drew University

Now, a graduate student has discovered a treasure the library didn’t know it had: a first edition of the King James Bible.

The 1611 Bible, which surfaced in late October, is a so-called “He Bible,” named for a typographical error in the Book of Ruth that was corrected in the middle of the first printing. Of the fewer than 200 King James first editions known to survive, most are “She” copies.

From Rare King James Bible First Edition Discovered at Drew University - The New York Times

Publication delays at PLOS and 3,475 other journals: Calling for a journal review service

Calling for a journal review service
Acceptance and publication times are not the only factor to consider when selecting a journal. Traditionally, the impact factor — average citations for articles published in the two preceding years — has been a primary criteria. However, any single metric is insufficient to make an informed decision on where to submit. A host of other journal attributes matter such as readership, aesthetics, communication, friendliness, flexibility, features, and web nativity.

I propose a journal review service. Like yelp for scientific publishing except that author reviews will be CC-BY.

From Satoshi Village

NCSU Libraries use tweets to collect history

NCSU Libraries have recently collected more than 1.2 million tweets from more than 380,000 Twitter accounts as part of its “New Voices and Fresh Perspectives: Collecting Social Media” initiative.
This type of archiving can be used to supplement traditional data collection methods. With standard practices, a historian might use personal notes, correspondence or intellectual papers to generate a historical perspective of that time’s events. With the focus on social media, the research team hopes to supplement these traditional forms of data with data that may be more relevant in today’s society. 
“People aren’t writing formal letters anymore,” said Jason Casden, interim associate head of Digital Library Initiatives.

From NCSU Libraries use tweets to collect history - Technician: Features

Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites

This week, the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier filed suit against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, two sites where academics and researchers practiced civil disobedience by sharing the academic papers that Elsevier claims -- despite having acquired the papers for free from researchers, and despite having had them refereed and overseen by editorial boards staffed by more volunteering academics.

This is the latest salvo in a long-simmering battle between people who value scholarly and scientific knowledge as a commons that must be shared to be valuable, and multinational corporations that see returns to shareholders as their first duty, with academic advancement and knowledge creation taking a back-seat.

From Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites / Boing Boing

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