Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for scholarly writing and publishing

The Library in the Digital Age

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Rock Road Library, Cambridge (photo: Cambridgeshire Collection)

What are libraries for? This question was prompted by being given a copy of The Library: A Fragile History (2021), by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, for Christmas (full disclosure: I asked …

The London Encyclopaedia

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I picked up a copy of this successful reference book in a charity shop for £3.50. It was the first edition, from 1983 and there have been at least two subsequent editions, but the concept and coverage are unlikely to have …

The STM Innovations Day 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes
A delivery robot: an example of innovation in practice (Image: Starship Technologies)

How do you communicate, or encourage, technical innovation in academic publishing? This is something the STM Association has been grappling with for years. Innovation is a good thing, but …

Metaphors for generative AI

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Generative AI as The Terminator, wreaking havoc?

Metaphors help us make sense of things, that’s for sure. Without going deeply into Lakoff territory (he claims there are “good” and “bad” metaphors, for very idiosyncratic reasons), I found some of the metaphors …

Search Solutions 2023: it’s RAGtime!

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Creating new knowledge with AI: an illustration by Paul Cleverly of a tool based on text embedding that plots two variables against each other to enable new knowledge in geoscience to be generated.

The last twelve months, up to November 2023, …

More about the Failure of the Book

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The Biblia Pauperum, the “Bible of the Poor”, printed in the lower Rhine region or Low countries, c1460. An example of whole-page illustration, where the image, a woodcut, replaces the text entirely. Within a few years, integrated text and illustrations

The Failure of the Book

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Albrecht Pfister, Die Edelstein, thought to be the first illustrated book (1460s). The illustration is a woodcut.  [illustration from the Stadtbibliothek Berlin, public domain]

Books about book history are usually triumphalist: how the printed word democratized knowledge, made learning possible, changed …

The Charleston Conference 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes
The Gaillard Centre, where most of the Charleston Conference events took place. Sadly, this is the most inauthentic building in the whole of Charleston. Constructed 1975, it looks feeble compared to the magnificent municipal and private neoclassical buildings a few blocks

How to use Generative AI – a free webinar

Reading Time: < 1 minute
Photo by BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash

I’m giving a free Zoom webinar tomorrow (2 November) at 6pm UK time on how to evaluate Generative AI tools for scholarly texts. The talk is part of the MAL education series. I don’t claim …

Chronology of Open Access

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The public footpath: free to access, for everyone, without payment (Photo by Matt Ashby on Unsplash)

I’ve always found that to get a clearer idea of a subject that has developed over time, it’s a worthwhile exercise to identify the key …

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