Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for academic publishing

Are abstracts better than full text?

 One of the most famous articles published this century, the announcement of the human genome sequence (2001). The abstract is 399 words, which means the article would almost certainly not be accepted for publication today.

Aaron Tay (together with Bianca Kramer and Ludo Witman) has …

Match Things, not Strings!

This was one of the admirable principles enunciated by Anthony Groves in his recent Haystack Conference webinar on how to deliver relevant results from a content-rich website, which I wrote about here. Yet, as I will show, sometimes it’s not such a bad idea …

Search and discovery on O’Reilly Online Learning

A recent excellent webinar about the O’Reilly Online Learning site, part of the excellent Haystack Conferences, was presented by Anthony Groves, O’Reilly Media’s Technical Lead of Search, and promised a fascinating insight into how discovery should be provided. Some might be more familiar with …

Do literary scholars understand AI? Using AI tools to establish authorship

Hamlet, Second Quarto edition

A long-running exchange of letters in the TLS (most recently May 22 2020) makes it clear that literary scholars have become aware of the use of AI tools to indicate authorship. This technique, always controversial, is not new. It is …

Are e-books a failure?

The Amazon Kindle e-book reader (CC BY-SA 3.0)

It wasn’t just me saying it – no less a figure than Arnaud Nourry, head of Hachette, said it in a 2018 interview: “The e-book is a stupid product. It is exactly the same as print, …

A Bibliographic Scan of Digital Scholarly Communication Infrastructure

The report “A Bibliographic Scan of Digital Scholarly Communication Infrastructure” sounds inviting. Scholarly communications is a wide field, and things move fast in this sector. The report is provided free of charge, having been funded by the Mellon Foundation, so it sounded authoritative, and I …

How to find recipes

Eat Your Books home page: the first message is a sales pitch

Here is a problem we are all familiar with. Whether we have three or thirty-three recipe books, we always have trouble finding that elusive recipe that we cooked a couple of months ago …

The Megajournal Lifecycle, or, let’s bash PLOS

Christos Petrou has written a detailed and highly-documented account in Scholarly Kitchen of the rise and fall of megajournals, specifically PLOS. But the conclusions he draws seem to be at variance with the principles behind PLOS.

The megajournal, a single journal that publishes content in …

Building a Sustainable Research Infrastructure

How to find the right content

A recent Scholarly Kitchen topic asked the very pertinent question: how to build a sustainable research infrastructure. Actually the subject was less about sustainability than universality; while sustainable is a term full of positive associations, I don’t think they …

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