Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for academic publishing

Can we wean ourselves off Zoom?

A typical SpatialChat screen, showing the thumbnail video images of participants

I’m probably not the only person to lose enthusiasm when I hear the word “Zoom”. It’s no better or worse than other conference call software, but its ubiquity during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the …

Why are the Oxford Very Short Introductions so successful?

What makes the Oxford Very Short Introductions series such a stunning success? With over eight million copies sold, they have been honoured by articles in the mainstream media: Kathryn Schulz in the New Yorker devoted a not-so-short article in 2017 to the series and attempted …

How we used to find things: The Oxford Guide to Library Research

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

The Oxford Guide to Library Research, first published in 1987, is now in its fourth edition (2015), and was described by Aaron Tay in his Musings on Librarianship as “classic”. It sounded like just what I wanted – at …

Why short books are better than long books

My English teacher at school used to tell us, when asked how long an essay should be, “begin at the beginning and go on until you come to the end”. In other words, there is no perfect length for a piece of text. That advice, …

An academic economist on recommender systems

Ronald Coase

Following my recent post on recommender systems such as Spotify charging money for inclusion on a playlist, I re-read Ronald Coase, the Chicago academic who wrote such as long article describing the background to payola – his article is over 20,000 words long. …

What’s wrong with a payola model for Spotify?

A fascinating Financial Times article looks at Spotify’s new practice of charging record companies to include specific songs in Spotify’s algorithm (“Spotify must wait to find out if digital ‘payola’ hits the right notes”, 27 November 2020). Alex Barker, author of the article, notes that …

How not to create a website user survey

I can’t resist surveys. I always sign up for website user experience surveys, because I feel that since I am in the business of digital information, I ought to be prepared to participate to help UX people design better sites. After all, we are told …

How to make research more successful

OCLC have published an interesting-sounding report. The full title of this report is: Social Interoperability in Research Support: Cross-Campus Partnerships and the University Research Enterprise, a bit of a mouthful. The term “social interoperability” is defined as “the creation and maintenance of working relationships …

Blending humanities and data science

Any report with 25 authors must be taken seriously. Or perhaps promises to be fairly dull, since 25 people are unlikely to agree on much that is really innovative. So it wasn’t with huge expectations that I started reading this paper, The challenges and prospects

Discovering content in academic libraries

When you use an academic library catalogue, what are you actually searching?

The graphic shows the main search screen of Cambridge University Library, called iDiscover (actually powered by Primo). The user is presented with, as you might expect, a simple search box, and three options …

Page 1 of 19

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén