Academic Libraries

Entire editorial staff of Elsevier journal Lingua resigns over high price, lack of open access

The entire editorial staff of the prestigious academic title Lingua have resigned in protest over the high cost of subscribing to the journal, and the refusal of the journal's publisher, Elsevier, to convert the title completely to open access. The open access model allows anyone, whether an academic or not, to read a journal online for free. Currently, most academic journals are funded by subscriber payments; with open access journals, the model is flipped around, with institutions paying to publish their papers.

From Entire editorial staff of Elsevier journal Lingua resigns over high price, lack of open access | Ars Technica UK

Following Restructuring Harvard Libraries Report Large Savings

Harvard’s library system has reduced spending by $25 million in aggregate since 2009, largely due to a multi-year restructuring effort completed in 2012, according to an update distributed to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences prior to its meeting on Tuesday.

From Following Restructuring, Libraries Report Large Savings | News | The Harvard Crimson

What’s so special about Special Collections?

Patrons of modern libraries likewise expect the instant gratification of online viewing rather than having to pull print copies off the shelves, let alone jumping through the hoops necessary to obtain more restricted content. Having a pre-Carnegie access model in the age of Google Books is increasingly alienating to potential users.

From What’s so special about Special Collections? — Medium

Learning to Read. Again.

What does reverse outlining have to do with text mining? He might not realize it, but Aaron Hamburger, in a nice Opinionator essay that enumerates the virtues of outlining in reverse for creative writing, has made a fantastic justification for new research techniques of the digital humanities. Using his piece as a springboard, I argue here that historians would be well served to expand their notion of what it means to read—as oppose to analyze—a text or set of texts with digital methods.

From Learning to Read. Again.

Restoring the Long-Lost Sounds of Native American California

In November, researchers at UC Berkeley will begin a three-year project to restore and translate thousands of century-old audio recordings of Native California Indians. The collection was created by cultural anthropologists in the first half of the 20th century and is now considered the largest audio repository of California Indian culture in the world.

Nearly a third of the 2,713 recordings come from Ishi, the storied last member of the Yahi tribe who lived the last years of his life inside the University of California’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Ishi died in 1916 from tuberculosis. He was 54 years old.

From Restoring the Long-Lost Sounds of Native American California | The California Report | KQED News

Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age - The New York Times

Now, in a digital-age sacrifice intended to serve grand intentions, the Harvard librarians are slicing off the spines of all but the rarest volumes and feeding some 40 million pages through a high-speed scanner. They are taking this once unthinkable step to create a complete, searchable database of American case law that will be offered free on the Internet, allowing instant retrieval of vital records that usually must be paid for.

From Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age - The New York Times

Groundbreaking University of California policy extends free access to all scholarly articles written by UC employees Office of Scholarly Communication

Today the University of California expands the reach of its research publications by issuing a Presidential Open Access Policy, allowing future scholarly articles authored by all UC employees to be freely shared with readers worldwide. Building on UC’s previously-adopted Academic Senate open access (OA) policies, this new policy enables the university system and associated national labs to provide unprecedented access to scholarly research authored by clinical faculty, lecturers, staff researchers, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and librarians – just to name a few. Comprising ten campuses, five medical centers, and nearly 200,000 employees, the UC system is responsible for over 2% of the world’s total research publications. UC’s collective OA policies now cover more authors than any other institutional OA policy to date.

From » Groundbreaking University of California policy extends free access to all scholarly articles written by UC employees Office of Scholarly Communication

Girl in the Moon: Rare books gifs - John Dee, volvelles, apples and things

Culture Themes is a twitter account that organises monthly themed days on Twitter, primarily for museums. This month it was museum gifs - #musgif - and I put together a couple for the RCPmuseum account from some of the star objects from the RCP's forthcoming John Dee exhibition.

To make the first three gifs, I set up the department camera on the department tripod and took a series of photos, stop-motion animation style. Then I layered up the individual images in Photoshop (other editing software is available), cropped them, resized them and saved them as gifs. To make the last, I took a pre-existing photograph and played about with it in Photoshop.
It was quicker and easier that I thought it would be, and I'm delighted with how well the gifs show off the materialty of the books.

From Girl in the Moon: Rare books gifs - John Dee, volvelles, apples and things

The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

The idea that writing should be clear, concise, and low-jargon isn’t a new one—and it isn’t limited to government agencies, of course. The problem of needlessly complex writing—sometimes referred to as an “opaque writing style”—has been explored in fields ranging from law to science. Yet in academia, unwieldy writing has become something of a protected tradition.

From The Ig Nobel Prize and Other Efforts to Eradicate Complex Academic Writing - The Atlantic

From Steamer Trunk to Rare Books Collection

Perusing the Frauenzimmerspiegel raises many questions about gender roles assigned to men and women in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It also speaks to the public and private place of women in a patriarchal society at that time and how more enlightened thinking slowly began to redefine these roles into civic models.

From From Steamer Trunk to Rare Books Collection | Unique at Penn

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