Sunday, April 22, 2012

MediaWeek (V5, N17): Academic Publishing, Canadian Copyright, Linked Data + More

I was in London all week where I had a terrific London Book Fair and met many new publishers and partners which accounts for the lack of posts this week - even missed my weekly photo image.

Academic and Scientific publishing is still hitting the main stream news with little or no real counter pr campaign mounted by the publishers in question.  Elsevier is taking the brunt of the attention as in this article from the Observer on Sunday:
The most astonishing thing about this is not so much that it goes on, but that people have put up with it for so long. Talk to university librarians about extortionist journal subscriptions and mostly all you will get is a pained shrug. The librarians know it's a racket, but they feel powerless to act because if they refused to pay the monopoly rents then their academics – who, after all, are under the cosh of publish-or-perish mandates – would react furiously (and vituperatively). 
And as you might imagine there are many comments.

In an opinion piece the Economist also weighs in:
There are some hopeful signs. The British government plans to mandate open access to state-funded research. The Wellcome Trust, a medical charity that pumps more than £600m ($950m) a year into research, already requires open access within six months of publication, but the compliance rate is only 55%. The charity says it will “get tough” on scientists who publish in journals that restrict access, for example by withholding future grants, and is also launching its own open-access journal. In America, a recent attempt (backed by journal publishers) to strike down the existing requirement that research funded by the National Institutes of Health should be made available to all online has failed. That is good news, but the same requirement should now be extended to all federally funded research.

A little hysteria in the run up to London Book Fair from the Guardian:
It's not only new names commanding attention at this year's London Book Fair, a three-day event attended by over 24,000 publishing professionals from around the world, where rights in the hottest new books are bought and sold. Literary novelist William Boyd's take on the James Bond legend, announced last week, has already been sold to publishers in Germany and France, while agent Deborah Rogers has been signing deals left, right and centre for McEwan's latest. Set in 1972, Sweet Tooth is the story of Serena Frome, the daughter of an Anglican bishop, as she enters the intelligence service and falls for a promising young writer while on a mission. Out in the UK this summer, Rogers has already sold it to 14 other countries and promises this is "just the beginning". "It's only just come in and it's moving very quickly," she said. "A new Ian is always a very exciting moment."
There's been a copyright wrangle in Canada for the past 12 months or so which keeps percolating nicely (
The deal between the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada and Access Copyright, which collects money for copyright holders from such institutions as schools, libraries and businesses for the right to photocopy and distribute copyrighted works.
Under terms of a deal announced earlier this week, students could pay more than $25 per semester to access copyrighted materials. That's up from less than $4 a semester in 2010.
Under the former agreement, students were charged 10 cents per page for printed readings and similar works.
Nature have launched a linked data platform to aid searching over their 450,000 journal articles (Folio):
Essentially, this linked data platform connects publication dates and other features within manuscripts like institutions, journal titles, volumes, issues and authors. That creates what Wilde refers to as triples.
“A triple is an object, an assertion and a destination,” he says. “A subject, a predicate and an object are the official way of describing it. Many believe linked data itself is the next generation of the Internet and semantic Web—being able to understand and create links between information that may not necessarily be directly linked. For example you can say an article is written by me and via linked data you can find out what else I’ve done—you’re starting to create connections of information by how they relate to each other.”
In the Economist I found this interesting in how behavioral economics are being used in public policy
All this experimentation is yielding insights into which nudges give the biggest shove. One question is whether nudges can be designed to harness existing social norms. In Copenhagen Pelle Guldborg Hansen, founder of the Danish Nudging Network, a non-profit organisation, tested two potential “social nudges” in partnership with the local government, both using symbols to try to influence choices. In one trial, green arrows pointing to stairs were put next to railway-station escalators, in the hope of encouraging people to take the healthier option. This had almost no effect. The other experiment had a series of green footprints leading to rubbish bins. These signs reduced littering by 46% during a controlled experiment in which wrapped sweets were handed out. “There are no social norms about taking the stairs but there are about littering,” says Mr Hansen.
John Wiley is working with Blackboard to make the Wiley content available to Blackboard users as an integrated option (Press Release):
The field trial involves students, faculty and campus administrators across 42 courses at two and four-year higher education institutions in the U.S. and Canada. More than 50 instructors and 2,900 students have been providing ongoing feedback on their experience with the integration that significantly enhances the use of Wiley’s content within the Blackboard Learn™ platform.  Instructors have expressed great satisfaction with the integration, which lets them easily add digital content to their courses in Blackboard Learn and synchronize grades and other data from Wiley’s research-based, online teaching-and-learning-environment, WileyPLUS.  “I can set up my Blackboard class and integrate WileyPLUS assignment links with Blackboard tools, like discussion boards,” said Julie Porterfield, an Anatomy and Physiology instructor at Tulsa Community College. “Students can easily tell in what order they need to complete certain tasks and assignments. I have been using WileyPLUS for four years and so far, this semester is even more successful in terms of student use and tracking data.”
From Twitter:

Supreme Court to rule on “grey market” goods in books case

Not a good weekend in sports (and I was there to make it worse) MEM.

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