Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for scholarly writing and publishing

What makes a book or article significant?

Cover of the paperback edition of Nudge (2021,”final” edition)

The traditional measure of academic significance, invented way back in the 1960s, is the citation index. If a paper is cited, then it has significance for other researchers. If we count the citations, we get a …

Charleston Briefings: a new short book format

The Web is full of ideas for self-improvement: how to be more efficient, more productive, more successful. One tip for reading more effectively is to read only short books (I’m not joking – there is a website that tells you which are the classic  novels …

The difference between an RFP and a restaurant menu

Photo by Drahomír Posteby-Mach on Unsplash

An excellent post from Adam Hyde (February 2022) pointed out one of the limitations of the request-for-proposal (RFP) process, used when a purchaser wishes buy a large-scale software solution.

As Hyde points out, one obvious limitation is that simply …

Why startups struggle in academic publishing

Graphic by Anna Vital at Adioma

Creating a startup looks so simple; an infographic can summarise it in a few steps. So why aren’t startups more successful in academic publishing?

This is a topic big enough for a whole book, but Gabe Stein of Knowledge …

Using AI tools can make research more efficient

The growth of publishing in the field of sociology over the last thirty years (from Inside Higher Education)

You couldn’t quibble with that title – at least, that’s what I thought, until I was reading about Paper Digest, an AI tool that creates …

Will Octopus transform scholarly communication?

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Octopus is a new platform for scholarly research: somewhat like a preprint server, with instant publication, but Instead of a full article, a researcher posts just a component of an article: a problem statement, or a hypothesis.

I …

What is the link between French postmodernism and knowledge graphs?

Sounds unlikely, but that was the basis for a remarkable talk by Bob Kasenchak (co-authored by Ahren Lehnert) at an ISKO Meetup (14 June 2022). The talk began in uncompromising fashion with the cover of a famous work by French postmodernist philosopher Gilles Deleuze and …

Along came Google … and what happened next

This is the story of a tragedy: a step forward for the academic community that was resisted and then blocked. It’s difficult to imagine, but Along Came Google (Princeton, 2021) is as gripping as any thriller – except for the conclusion.

The story is simple. …

What impact does AI have on academic publishing? A new survey

This survey, produced by the Enago Academy, is a thorough and detailed look at the use of AI in academic publishing (the completed survey, “Role and Impact of AI on the Future of Academic Publishing”, is available for download here). While AI tools …

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence

Erik J Larson has written a passionate attack on the current fashion for AI. For him, the myth of AI is assuming that the current AI-based utilities we have developed can be extended into AGI (artificial general intelligence). His arguments are quite compelling, although, as …

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