Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for scholarly writing and publishing

Measuring Research: what everyone needs to know

Illustration by William Warby (Unsplash)

This short guide, in the “What Everyone Needs to Know” series from Oxford University Press, provides an outline of bibliometrics: measuring the impact and value of research. How to measure research is a topic that has been discussed and argued …

The Fiesole Retreat 2022: The role of the library

National Library of Greece, Athens (photo by Georgios Liakopoulos)

What are libraries for? If you are going to have a public discussion, why not start with the big questions, and that question came up repeatedly at the 2022 Fiesole Retreat, the first in three years, …

Is Reading Unnatural?

Vincenzo Foppa, Young Cicero reading (Wallace Collection)

Behind this talk (by Jeffrey Johnson, author of several books on UX design) was one great idea: that reading is unnatural. What Johnson meant by this seeming paradox is simply: any infant (unless handicapped) learns to walk; any …

Learning about AI by doing it

The JISC Explore AI website

Here was a webinar with a crucial difference: in addition to a presentation of a topic, delegates had the chance to try some hands-on interactive tools for themselves, in addition to being given a guided journey through the building of …

How the Academy captured literary reviews

An earlier post looked at who reads scholarly book reviews, and pointed out how difficult it is to access them outside an academic institution. For John Gross, in his The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters (1966), this would come as no surprise; …

Who reads scholarly book reviews?

The TLS: around 35 book reviews every week

It is a commonplace that nobody reads any more – the Web has put a stop to all that. I googled “Has the Internet destroyed reading?” and got 378 million hits, including (among many others) Nicholas Carr, …

Things you didn’t know about Google search

This is the engine we all use for general searching

In his introduction to Karen Blakeman’s talk about Google search tools (“Google’s Family of Databases”), Martin White suggested that nobody knows more about Google search than Karen Blakeman – not even Google. From …

Researcher to Reader: the first face-to-face event for two years

It seems strange to have chairs with nobody sitting on them, while the screen is busy; but better this than only virtual

Discussions will rage over the benefits and drawbacks of face-to-face and online conferences, but one way to deal with it is to offer …

“Wikipedia is based on evidence, not anecdotes”

This claim is common in Wikipedia discussions; most recently, I read it in an article  by Andy Tattersall on the LSE Impact of Social Science blog. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but is it true of Wikipedia? You don’t have to look far to …

How to talk about books you haven’t read

The challenging title of Pierre Bayard’s book – but anything is possible for a Parisian intellectual

Bayard’s book created something of a stir in literary circles when it was published, in 2007. I approached this book because it touches on some fundamental aspects of how …

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