Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for academic publishing

How Academics discover new content

Cover of the 2021 edition

Imagine you are a researcher, studying, say, bird migration. How do you find out about new papers on your topic? You have written a PhD on the subject, which enabled you to become familiar with all the recent research on …

What became of Information Scientists?

I started fondly reminiscing (as one does) as I listened to Martin White and Sandra Ward last week at this year’s UKeiG’s annual conference, talking about their collaboration on a history of the Institution for Information Science (IIS), until I thought: what happened to all …

Success and failure of e-books

A page from an e-book, Northern Renaissance Art (2008)

A new post by Todd Carpenter on Scholarly Kitchen pays tribute to the e-book, on its 50th anniversary. It is of course a tale of success – but also a tale of failure. According to Todd, …

In defence of book reviews





Figure 1 A typical firewalled review of an academic title

What is the point of book reviews – to be specific, books that potentially

have some kind of academic interest? David Beer, in an interesting LSE Impact blog post (which he actually entitles “In …

Where do review articles fit within the scholarly user journey?

The academic research journey must be one of the most studied aspects of higher education. One of the most impressive visually was the infographic by Boesman and Kramer, showing the academic research journey in six roughly equal stages – if only to indicate the proliferation …

What is digital reading?

A humble SD card that holds 512GB – enough digital reading for years to come

This week Scholarly Kitchen contains yet another post that emphasises what we lose when we read digitally, by an author, Karin Wulf, an academic historian, whose writing I usually find …

What exactly is data science?

I was describing my professional activity to a friend in the industry the other day, and they said “what you do is data science!” That was news to me, as I hadn’t heard the term applied to text analytics before. My suspicion was confirmed when …

The paradox at the heart of Substack

The growth of Substack has got people talking, not least, the financial media, always in search of the next startup to go viral:

  • Is Substack the media future we want? (FT, January 4, 2021)
  • How newsletters are making big bucks from your inbox (FT, December

The Book of Why: the problem of causality

Judea Pearl’s The Book of Why (co-authored with science journalist Dana Mackenzie) (2018) is a tantalising read. For the initial premiss of the book, I am convinced by Pearl’s description of the limitations of current tools, particularly in statistics. He describes three levels of causation:…

Artificial Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Margaret Boden, 2016)

I’m a great admirer of the Very Short Introductions: clear, concise outlines of a topic by an expert in the field. Well, this book is certainly very short, but how good is it as an introduction?  Readers hoping for a good exposition of present-day AI …

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