In praise of rule-based systems

The London Text Analytics Meetup never fails to provide stimulating talks. Even if you disagree with some of the ideas, or even most of the ideas, you engage with the talk and with the speaker. Tonight’s talk (March 6, 2018) was no exception, Michael Barclay …

How to justify open-access publishing

Joe Esposito’s contributions to Scholarly Kitchen are always well-argued and present an argument from a business-informed point of view that is mercifully free of much of the sloppy thinking around academic publishing. So it was very disappointing to see how negative he was about open …

Is the London Book Fair interested in scholarly publishing?

Ever since Online Information stopped running, several years ago (the last show I attended was in 2011, the last time it took place at Olympia), there has been an opportunity for a London publishing event based around technical and professional publishing. The Frankfurt Book Fair …

The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought (1977)

That word “modern”, of course, always raises problems. As soon as you label a book as “modern” it appears outdated very quickly. So the Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, first published 1977, now looks very dated. Nonetheless, a title that survived three editions (1977, …

Reducing Misinformation: spotting fake news

This presentation at the London Text Analytics Meetup (January 2018) alarmed me a little. The title “Reducing Misinformation” sounds a bit like the heavy-handed slogan painted on the sides of Thames Valley Police Force cars some years ago: “Reducing Crime, Disorder and Fear”. Somehow an admirable goal …

Perhaps academic publishing needs two cultures

Academic publishing is all about science, and specifically life science. This was clear from a presentation at Academic Publishing in Europe, in Berlin, last week. Caroline Edwards, a literature lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, argued for a specific humanities publishing approach, and has …

Academic Publishing in Europe (APE) Berlin, 2018

Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

It was snowing in Berlin as I arrived, late on a night in January. Not the most encouraging of weather, but the following morning the sun was shining, the air was clear, and it was warming indeed to see the Berlin Academy of Sciences, venue …

How algorithms have already changed your life

Tutorials about machine learning are, it seems two a penny. However, guides to machine learning by machine learning experts, however solid they may be as textbooks, frequently seem to lack ways in which the tools can be applied to a particular domain – in my …

How a bookshop cache improved my education

Many years ago, when there were new and second-hand bookshops all the way along London’s Charing Cross Road , there was a memorable bookshop called Joseph Poole. Much of my reading in my late teens and early twenties originate in that shop.

They did sell …

Publishers attend their annual Rave

Yet again Rave Technologies assembled an impressive cast of speakers for their annual publishing event (London, October 2017). Despite the event being managed by a vendor, Rave resists any attempt to turn it into a corporate showcase.

This year the theme was broadly based around innovation, …

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