Author: Michael Upshall Page 1 of 3

Reviewing new software tools

I recently read about a new research report, Mind the Gap, by a team with lead author John Maxwell, about some initiatives in open-source software. It made me ponder how to appraise and to evaluate new software tools.

This year’s SSP Annual Event included …

Yes, we should use AI to make us quicker and more efficient researchers

Some articles are not really about AI at all; this is one of them. David Beer, Professor of Sociology at the University of York, has written a post with the above title (actually a question in the original).  But of course, such a title is …

How to read a wine label

Is this wine any good or not?

It seems a simple idea – to read the label on a bottle of wine and to understand what the bottle contains (and if it’s worth drinking). The reality is quite the opposite. Wine growers (perhaps understandably) do …

Are Preprint servers disruptive?

arXiv: graph of posts by subject area over time
Growth of arXiv subject areas by year

Preprint servers, of which the best known is arXiv (most of the preprint servers attempt some fancy combination of lower- and upper-case letters in their title), are increasingly used and are attracting increasing attention. They appear to fit …

How to get articles read

How do you measure the success of a scholarly article? Many writers disagree that citations should be the only measurement, for example, Bornmann 2017, even if at present the number of citations is the agreed independent metric for scholarly research.

A fascinating article by …

The Wilder Shores of AI

Marcus de Sautoy

There has always been an outer reach of computing, often where it drifts into science fiction. Clearly, this occupies many people’s imaginations, although perhaps, less so the minds of computing professionals. Surely, on the principle that any publicity is good publicity, this …

Should scholarly publishing be more like Wikipedia?

Not a day passes without someone suggesting a way to reduce the inefficiency of the scholarly publication cycle. There is an interesting article in Scholarly Kitchen by Tim Vines, about Michael Eisen, the new Editor-in-Chief of eLife, suggesting ideas for the future of Peer Review. …

The state of knowledge management today

City University

The biannual ISKO-UK conference held this year at City University, London, should be a good opportunity to assess the state of things in knowledge management. Of course, it’s not possible to summarise all the sessions, nor would I want to. Instead, I hope …

Giving career advice

Image by Roger Carvell, CC BY 3.0,

What advice would you give people starting a job in publishing? What gets people thinking about their careers? I was invited to participate in a panel for a major publisher, organised to present ideas about careers for their …

Boolean search and how humans think

Boolean Search
Boolean Search

You might say that Boolean is designed for humans, so the title of this post is a misnomer. In this post I hope to show that Boolean search is not a magic bullet. If humans miss terms, then Boolean will miss them as well. Adding …

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