Thinking about Digital Publishing

Some implications of "digital" for scholarly writing and publishing

The London Book Fair

Reading Time: 3 minutes

For anyone whose interest is primarily scholarly publishing, the London Book Fair is a rather tantalizing affair. There is a lot of noise, and crowds in all the aisles (over 30,000 attendees, according to the organisers), but the bulk of the …

The Researcher to Reader Conference 2024

Reading Time: 5 minutes
How one university got three different results to the question “how many OA articles did we publish in 2022?” Graphic by Ben Rawlins of University of Kentucky. The “sources” are three different aggregation services, Dimensions, Web of Science, and Taylor and

The Second Digital Transformation of Scholarly Publishing

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This lengthy report (some 20,000 words) is quite a challenge to review. It was created out of interviews with some 49 major figures in the scholarly landscape, all of them from the anglophone Western scholarly region, a mixture of commercial publishers, …

Timeline of Library history

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Ipswich County Library, the second oldest municipal library in the UK

I noticed a lack of any timeline of library history in the recent introduction The Library: A Fragile History (2022), and I didn’t see one in Wikipedia either, so here …

The Library: a Fragile History

Reading Time: 7 minutes

In many countries, especially the UK, the public library is under threat. Despite the establishment of public lending right over 100 years ago, the very existence of public libraries is coming into question: public libraries are underfunded and being closed by …

Can AI help with garbage deletion?

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Photo by Edu Grande on Unsplash

Todd Carpenter, in a Scholarly Kitchen article, praises Esther Dyson’s phrase “garbage deletion”, by which she means the process of removing objects in a search and leaving only the good contents. “Good” here means appropriate …

Ten dates

Reading Time: 4 minutes
The Praca do Comercio, Lisbon

I am on holiday in Portugal, and, like many tourists, I have an idle curiosity about the city of Lisbon and about the history of the country. Where better to begin than looking at a general …

When was the first public library?

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Imagine the Roman soldiers with their tunics coming to borrow the latest Latin novel [Photo by Pauline Andan on Unsplash]

In the murky early history of libraries, there are several claims that the first public library was established in the ancient Roman Empire. Trying …

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 …

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