Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for academic publishing

Is Blinkist the Netflix of books?

What Blinkist offers its members

Blinkist really has something. Forget the awful title, and the attempt to present the service as the internet equivalent of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends: as you can see from the advert above, reading makes you a better …

Is doing a PhD bad for your mental health?

Libraries can be oppressive (image: David Whelan)

I usually find the Impact of Science blog at the LSE site interesting and well informed: an easily readable summary of academic research. A post today, however, struck me as highly questionable: Is doing a PhD bad …

The Atlas of AI

This book is no atlas; the term “atlas” suggests a neutral presentation. Instead, Kate Crawford’s book is a virulent critique of all AI. A better title would be “How computing forms part of the power structure of the modern world”:

AI takes the central position

The Search Strategies Conference: where next for search?

The most startling slide from the event: users are not happy with Enterprise Search (from Martin White’s presentation)

Anyone interested in search and discovery is spoilt for choice at present. First, the excellent Haystack conference on open-source search, and now the wonderful BCS Information Retrieval …

Is scientific research stuck in the mud?

A car stuck in the mud (photo by Aubrey Odom, Unsplash)

A new article by Johan Chu and James Evans (Slowed canonical progress in large fields of science” suggests some major problems in the current state of scientific research. The authors, from a business school …

Is discovery the researcher’s dream?

A 16th-century illustration of Archimedes in his bath – not clear whether this is before or after his great discovery (public domain)

A special issue of UKSG Insights on discovery (Discovery is the Researcher’s Dream)  sounded promising, but it turned out simply to …

From Recommendation Engines to self-knowledge

This is a book that packs a punch – although it’s not quite the punch the reader might expect. Published in the MIT “Essential Knowledge” series, Michael Schrage’s Recommendation Engines moves from ancient Greece to the recommender systems we are familiar with today – and …

Scott Galloway, The Four

I set out to discover just what makes Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google tick, but I abandoned the book once I had discovered what made the author tick.

Finesse is not Scott Galloway’s strong point. The Four (2017) claims to explain what we can learn …

Adding links automatically

Examples of links to topic pages from articles on Science Direct – see, for example, “fullerenes”.

Should you add functionality just because you can? Here is an example of why perhaps you should not. Todd Carpenter has written an excellent post on Scholarly Kitchen about …

Are human indexers obsolete?

They say that the English Lake poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge, only celebrated the natural beauty of the landscape because that landscape was under threat and rapidly disappearing. Perhaps the same is true of the book index. Dennis Duncan’s book (Index, A History of the

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