Archive for: March, 2013

Around the Web: The librarian tech skills gap, Bookless libraries and more

Mar 30 2013 Published by under around the web, librarianship

2 responses so far

Around the Web: Cool linky stuff for science undergrads

Mar 26 2013 Published by under around the web, culture of science, education

I have a son who's currently a first year physics student. As you can imagine, I occasionally pass along a link or two to him pointing to stuff on the web I think he might find particularly interesting or useful. Thinking on that fact, I surmised that perhaps other science students might find those links interesting or useful as well. Hence, this series of posts here on the blog.

By necessity and circumstance, the items I've chosen will be influenced by my son's choice of major and my own interest in computational approaches to science.

The previous post in this series is here.

3 responses so far

Journal of Library Administration editorial board resigns over author rights

The Journal of Library Administration is published by Taylor & Francis, a big publishing conglomerate. According to Brian Mathews, while he was in the middle of putting together a special issue on the future of libraries he received notice that the editorial board was resigning due to conflicts with the publisher around what kind of author rights regime the journal should use. Here is the note he received from the board:

The Board believes that the licensing terms in the Taylor & Francis author agreement are too restrictive and out-of-step with the expectations of authors in the LIS community.

A large and growing number of current and potential authors to JLA have pushed back on the licensing terms included in the Taylor & Francis author agreement. Several authors have refused to publish with the journal under the current licensing terms.

Authors find the author agreement unclear and too restrictive and have repeatedly requested some form of Creative Commons license in its place.

After much discussion, the only alternative presented by Taylor & Francis tied a less restrictive license to a $2995 per article fee to be paid by the
Author. As you know, this is not a viable licensing option for authors from the LIS community who are generally not conducting research under large grants.

Thus, the Board came to the conclusion that it is not possible to produce a quality journal under the current licensing terms offered by Taylor & Francis and chose to collectively resign.

Bravo to the editorial board of JLA for taking such a principled stand.

For a bit more background, Jason Griffey gives the perspective of an author approached by Mathews who strongly disagreed with T&F's current author rights regime. From the other side, Chris Bourg gives the perspective of someone on the JLA editorial board and a bit on how they came to their decision.

Along with many others in the comments on the various blog posts, Peter Suber suggests the board take the next step and launch their own new journal. Suber also helpfully points to a list of journals that have done just that.

My take?

First of all, I think it's a bit unfortunate that Mathews took his rather forward-thinking project to a rather backwards-thinking traditional toll access journal. The way to envision the future is to be the future to want to happen, and it's hard to imagine T&F embodying the future of scholarly communications in a way that anybody but the big commercial publishers would like to see.

That being said, I do sincerely hope his project finds a more suitable home and that one of the themes it explores is the library's role in a fairer, more open scholarly communications ecosystem.

As for the future of JLA, I hope T&F is able to move into the future and create a author rights regime that is more in sync with what authors in the LIS fields are looking for. For the resigned editorial board, I wish for them a way forward, a new partnership with an institution or society that will allow them and the authors they recruit in the future to openly envision and create the future.

5 responses so far

Around the Web: What makes a librarian, Fending off university-attacking zombies and more

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The Canadian war on public science, basic research and the free and open exchange of scientific information

You would think that such apple pie issues as public science, basic research and the free and open exchange of scientific information would be hard to disagree with. You would think that a resolution in the Canadian parliament would to such effect would meet with resounding support, resulting in a unanimous vote, the room resounding with shouted Yays.

You would think that anyone who would vote nay to such a resolution would be a virtual pariah in an open democratic society, a society that values an informed citizenry and evidence-based decision making.

Apparently you would be wrong. Apparently Canada has become some sort of Mirror Universe when red is green, good is evil, war is peace, science is superstition, sharing is wrong, communication is risky and silence is speech.

Here is a resolution in the Canadian House of Commons from Wednesday, March 20, 2013. It was sponsored by Kennedy Stewart of the NDP, the MP for Burnaby—Douglas in BC.

That, in the opinion of the House: (a) public science, basic research and the free and open exchange of scientific information are essential to evidence-based policy-making; (b) federal government scientists must be enabled to discuss openly their findings with their colleagues and the public; and (c) the federal government should maintain support for its basic scientific capacity across Canada, including immediately extending funding, until a new operator is found, to the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area Research Facility to pursue its unique research program.

The motion was defeated 157 to 137, with the NDP and Liberals all supporting and every single Conservative voting Nay. Including the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

And most damningly, including Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State for Science & Technology.

The Minister of State for Science and Technology effectively voted against:

  • the free and open exchange of scientific information
  • evidence-based policy-making
  • federal government scientists must be enabled to discuss openly their findings
  • federal government should maintain support for its basic scientific capacity across Canada
  • the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area Research Facility

And don't get me started on muzzling librarians. Which now that I think of it, is likely the next post.
     
And here are some of my recent posts about the Harper government's war on information in general and science in particular:

(via)

20 responses so far

Around the Web: Hacking at education, The great librarian identity crisis of 2013 and more

Mar 18 2013 Published by under acad lib future, around the web, librarianship

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Around the Web: Ignoring gurus, sherpas, ninjas, mavens and more

Mar 13 2013 Published by under around the web

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Around the Web: Cool stuff for undergrad science students

Mar 11 2013 Published by under academia, around the web, culture of science, education

I have a son who's currently a first year physics student. As you can imagine, I occasionally pass along a link or two to him pointing to stuff on the web I think he might find particularly interesting or useful. Thinking on that fact, I surmised that perhaps other science students might find those links interesting or useful as well.

By necessity and circumstance, the items I've chosen will be influenced by my son's choice of major and my own interest in computational approaches to science.

If you know of something that undergrad science students might be interested in, please feel free to add it in the comments.

3 responses so far

Friday Fun: An update from the Founder and CEO of World Wide Web, Inc.

Just like the author of this piece, I too attended a recent talk by Cory Doctorow -- a brilliant talk relating the life and death of Aaron Swartz with the theme of his latest novel Homeland -- and similarly I often marvel at how lucky we are that the web is free and open.

Enjoy this wonderful little satire and shudder at the possibilities.

The World Wide Web is Moving to AOL!

The World Wide Web has been great, but to be honest, it's also been a lot harder than it needs to be. I know some of you love creating new web pages and participating in online discussions, but the last thing most people want when they get home is one more thing that makes them work. That's why television is so much more popular.

*snip*

Our team will be working with first-class partners to bring you the content you deserve, from the best magazines in the checkout isle to in-depth reporting from your favorite network news programs. We want your new World Wide Web to be a place you can trust.

As Dave Winer says (quoted in the postscript), "Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet."

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Around the Web: The myth of the successful college dropout, The future of research libraries and more

Mar 07 2013 Published by under around the web

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