Some implications of "digital" for academic publishing

Category: scholarly publishing Page 1 of 7

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

How exhibition catalogues are organised

Nicolaes Maes, Vertumnus and Pomona, c.1655, not in the exhibition catalogue (but who knows?)

When creating a digital collection of textual content, some attempt is made to structure the individual texts in a standard way. After all, every journal article has a title, an abstract, …

What do we really miss with online conferences and events?

For the entirety of my career in publishing, there have been regular events that punctuate regular work. For weeks or months you trudged to the company office, but then you were given a moment of freedom to meet others and to network. Suddenly, in March …

The Literature of the Book

Only John Dove could fit not one, but three main topics in a presentation timed at six minutes and 40 seconds (at the Charleston Conference, 2013). I’ll just look at one of those topics, learning about the profession of publishing. John glowingly refers to a …

Do publishers provide what researchers need?

Tesla charging station (image from Tesla promotional site)

I was shocked by a Scholarly Kitchen post this week (Roger Schonfeld, “Publishers Still Don’t Prioritize Researchers”, January 26, 2021), not for what the article stated, but for the response from the community.

Perhaps …

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 …

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 …

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