Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for academic publishing

From Recommendation Engines to self-knowledge

Sticky Post

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 …

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 …

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

Is Google better for research than Google Scholar?


Figure 1: Search on Google for “academic resources searching”

Sometimes an academic article delivers results that are so much at odds with your common sense that you immediately try to see holes in the argument.

Take, for example, an article in the Journal of Academic

Is a manual index worth doing?

Note: I found Duncan’s book so fascinating that I subsequently wrote a much longer post about the book and the issues it raises.

That question is not exactly what Dennis Duncan has answered in his new book (Index, a history of the: A Bookish

Is the future of academic publishing an octopus?

A 17th-century coffee house (Wikipedia, public domain). Although Wikipedia claims it is an English coffee house, the caption clearly states Paris.

I have a lovely mental image of the Enlightenment in full swing. Inside a coffee house in Edinburgh, or Paris, a group of like-minded …

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