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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, …

How one university manages resource discovery


Books on Shelves (Wikimedia)

An interesting report, based on a 2015 survey but published 2016, gives an overview into how one major university, Oxford, enables its users to find information about its own collections – not just researchers, but institutional staff (such as museum curators) as well.…

The difference between science and humanities research

David Crotty posted a fascinating article on Scholarly Kitchen  last week, highlighting a fundamental difference between scientific and humanities academic publishing.  His argument related to open-access publishing, but this simply highlights the distinction between the two kinds of activity. Is that distinction justified?

The difference …

Review of Tom Reamy, Deep Text

Deep Text cover

I don’t think the title  “Deep Text” does this book any favours – a more accurate description might be “Text Analytics within the Enterprise” – less catchy, but certainly more intelligible, and more indicative of what this book covers. From the title, you might think …

How Research could be navigated

Following the review in my last post of the report “Navigating Research”, here is a follow-up post to take the findings of the study and then to make some recommendations. The key question is: what is the place for reference in the browser world?

In …

Sherlock Holmes and machine learning

Some people would claim there is an uncanny parallel between the methods used by Sherlock Holmes and machine learning. In both cases an apparently insoluble problem is suddenly resolved using nothing but careful assessment of the available evidence. In both cases we are startled that …

Navigating Research

Navigating Research” is the name for an impressively large-scale report that sounds from the title as a study of how users find academic content. On reading the subtitle, and the main conclusions of the report, its real focus emerges. The subtitle is “how …

Marketing Encyclopedia Britannica

Hugh Chisholm, 1866-1924

Hugh Chisholm, the public intellectual

I was in a second-hand bookshop the other day, and there was a small multivolume encyclopedia piled in the corner. Probably nobody had looked in that corner for months, and quite right too. Who needs an out-of-date encyclopedia?

Yet what …

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