Well, that’s annoying. Google’s new user interface for Street View appears to have totally removed the ability to bookmark a view and then share it via a stable URL. Thankfully you can, at least for now, return to the old Google Maps by clicking the Help icon.
The Future of Open Access and the move toward Open Data. Conference in London or nearby, Q1 2015.
“This conference is timed to follow the publication of RCUK’s review of the impact of Open Access so far — expected late 2014″
“Delegates will discuss ways universities, academics and publishers can maximise the potential of Open Access and raise awareness of its uses among the public and businesses”
Hopefully that aim won’t be swamped by the inevitable rehash of the funding debate…
“Further planned sessions address some of the remaining implementation issues for Open Access, including concerns relating embargo periods, the cost of implementation for universities and the impact on early career researchers.”
Ideally the ‘funding / implementation’ strands might even be on a different day than the ‘maximise the potential / raise awareness’ strands?
New long interview with Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director of COAR, on repositories. With a strong focus on discoverability as seen from a broad strategic perspective. From the intro and questions…
“locating and accessing content in OA repositories remains a hit and miss affair, and while many researchers now turn to Google and Google Scholar when looking for research papers, Google Scholar has not been as receptive to indexing repository collections as OA advocates had hoped. … 15 years after the Santa Fe meeting they [researchers] still find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to search effectively in and across OA repositories”
From the interview…
… “mega-journals” are essentially repositories with overlay services. We should be participating in projects that demonstrate the added value of repositories and repository networks across the research life cycle.” (Kathleen Shearer)
An ex-Intel VP named Avram Miller has spun the blogosphere an amusing tale in which Apple launches its Found search-engine in Autumn 2015, with a…
“new search capability developed by Apple [that] would revolutionize search”
Miller is said to be at the heart of the Israeli tech scene, so I guess he might have heard something about an Apple contract or quiet company purchase. But I’d have liked to hear just a few more ideas from him. Like maybe some speculation about an iWatch-enabled personal search that’s hands-free and search-box free. A stronger Google Now competitor is certainly something Apple needs. While Apple Siri’s voice work is impressive, it apparently taps into er… Wikipedia, Bing and a much-criticised Apple maps service. Google Search provides “just 4 percent of Siri data”. It would be more profitable for Apple, and a bigger blow to Google, if a Siri successor hooked seamlessly into an Apple fangirl’s entire Apple-o-sphere — hardware, software and services — in order to gain a psuedo-predictive ability to bring you what you probably need to know at any given moment or point in space.
Google Now already does that, of course. But only ‘sort of’, by drawing on your online Google activity + traffic reports, weather and event listings. So how to kill Google Now in its cradle, rather than simply compete with it? To do that, Apple’s predictive search might run from powerful machine-learning that’s been intelligently chewing on all your data for a whole year. All of it, from Big Data to small data: including your itemised grocery bills, your body’s geo-location and real-time biometric data, your home sensors, even a list of your boss’s personal foibles and your pet cat’s GPS-tracked movements. Plus all your online activity. So it really gets to know you, rather than trying to jam you into the mould of a rather dim weather-obsessed restaurant-hopping commuter. And it knows you in context, moment to moment. Apple is perhaps the only company that many would trust with such intrusive joined-up access to their life and work, so Apple might just be able to get sufficient traction. Admittedly Google is also in the AI race, but they certainly don’t have one just yet — despite their recent promising purchases such as the UK’s Deep Mind. What if Apple really has discovered a breakthrough in some back-bedroom in Tel Aviv?
Of course this is all just my before-breakfast speculation, just like Miller’s tale most probably is. But if Apple do have such a search strategy then they could certainly also provide the full range of hardware to support it, not simply a super-Siri in a wristwatch. To make the AI’s predictive algorithms mesh and work as intended, just augment your body / life / work / loved-ones with Apple’s beautifully designed range of expensive hardware and software. Ker-ching! They don’t even need to taint the service with ads. Apple would make money in the advertising gold-rush by “selling the spades” to advertisers — by which I mean, selling the means to comprehensively understand two very difficult markets: rich people who have discerning taste and a good education, and their smart tween kids. They would do this just as the affluent middle classes are set to expand by a few billion people across the world. They would do this just as the technology emerges that will almost totally wipe out ads from our experience, if we want that. Such a search strategy would let Apple retain its uber-cool niche by having an ad-free yet highly advanced ‘personal search’ assistant service, while freeing Apple from the daunting prospect of burning money to battle Google in the ‘research search’ AdWords market. The most lucrative part of the latter, product research by intending buyers, might even be predicted very early and taken care of by a Siri Purchase assistant (days before Google Now figured it out and pushed you to Google Search via some pre-formed keyword searches).
Ah, well… who knows? But it would be cool if a predictive search service might eventually be just a Siri-like voice quietly warbling into one augmented ear, with the AI backend constantly learning (from your natural replies and tone of voice) if the search result was useful/timely or not. For now, an iEar personal search assistant would at least help bypass the camera phobia that’s currently dogging Google Glass. Although it would not solve the problem that no-one in an office or on a commute wants to overhear their neighbour constantly talking to their assistant device.
Could be worn with any glasses, giving the glasses strut a peg on which to rest and also a pass-through hole into the earpiece.
Another reason to move from Chrome to Firefox, it seems. The latest beta of Chrome has removed the site URL…
In the most recent [beta] update [of Chrome] Google appears to have declared war on URLs. The Omnibox a.k.a “address bar” up top doesn’t display URLs in the latest Chrome Canary build, opting instead for an “origin chip”. … That’s not the only change. Since URLs are no longer displayed in the address bar the default text that will be displayed at all times is “Search Google or type URL.”
The American Geophysical Union has just made all its journals open, subject to a two year paywall on its previously non-OA titles…
Starting 1st May , all AGU journal content from 1997 to content published 24 months ago will be made freely available. This change will apply to all articles and supplementary materials from journals that are not already open access, as well as AGU’s weekly newspaper, Eos. It currently represents more than 80,000 journal articles and issues of Eos. Additional content will continue to become open every month, on a 24-month rolling cycle.
Eos and all but three journal titles are published with Wiley (which means they can’t be indexed by JURN, since Wiley jumbles paywall and open content on undifferentiated URLs). Of the non-Wiley titles, Earth and Space Science has yet to publish an issue. Earth Interactions (interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere in global context) is published via the American Meteorological Society. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics is published with Copernicus Publications. These latter two have been indexed by JURN.
One of perils of being sucked into the ludicrous UK Research Assessment Framework (REF) worldview…
…seeing the prizewinning products of the best US universities ruled out of contention for UK jobs, for lack of sufficient “REF-able” outputs
Did Microsoft effectively abandon Microsoft Academic Search to autopilot, sometime last year?
“an unexpected and unnoticed discovery: Microsoft Academic Search is outdated since 2013 … the second part of the working paper aims at advancing some data demonstrating this lack of update. … The data shows an abrupt drop in the number of documents indexed [per year?] from 2,346,228 in 2010 to 8,147 in 2013 and 802 in 2014.”
Quackwatch has a list of journals and magazines it has spotted publishing uncritical articles on things like the latest eating fads, dubious cures, ‘wonder’ health supplements, or fashionable medical pseudo-science. I’m not surprised to see the ubiquitous Huffington Post make the list.
Project Naptha, a free browser plugin to easily copy text from inside a Web picture. Only works with Google Chrome at present, but…
“Depending on the number of sign-ups, a Firefox version may be released in a few weeks”.
Reportedly works on Web-res pictures and at angles, although I’m guessing that the excellent MS Office OneNote: Insert | Screen Clipping | ‘Copy text’ function might work better on tiny text.
Handy for those occasional screen captured TOCs, journal page scans without OCR, Google Books pages, and also for unfunny cats. Don’t like a LOLcat caption? Just…
“Right-click and you can erase the words from an image, edit the words, or even translate it into a different language”
“In 2013, the SciELO Network of national journal collections covered 16 countries, 15 in Ibero-America [South and Central America] plus South Africa, which as a whole, index around 1,000 journal titles and publish more than 40,000 articles a year…”
“A priority action line of SciELO is internationalization that, among other strategies, includes the gradual adoption of the English language for the communication of research with the aim of expanding its international visibility. All article texts must have at least the title, abstract and keywords in English. … journals are increasingly adopting English as either their only language of communication of journal content or are using a multilingual format together with Spanish or Portuguese.”
This new historical survey may interest some: Open-Access Repositories Worldwide, 2005–2012: past growth, current characteristics, and future possibilities…
“This paper reviews the worldwide growth of open-access (OA) repositories, 2005 to 2012, using data collected by the OpenDOAR project. Initial repository development was focused on North America, Western Europe, and Australasia, particularly the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia, followed by Japan. Since 2010, there has been repository growth in East Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe, especially in Taiwan, Brazil, and Poland. During the period, some countries, including France, Italy, and Spain, have maintained steady growth, whereas other countries, notably China and Russia, have experienced limited growth. Globally, repositories are predominantly institutional, multidisciplinary and English-language based. They typically use open-source OAI-compliant software but have immature licensing arrangements. Although the size of repositories is difficult to assess accurately, available data indicate that a small number of large repositories and a large number of small repositories make up the repository landscape.”
I wondered if this also discussed “growth” in terms of “the growth in indexing”. But sadly the article is behind a Wiley paywall (Update: also self-archived). The poor state of repository indexing by Google, and the probable reasons for it, are however addressed in this 2012 paper from the University of Utah: Invisible Institutional Repositories: addressing the low indexing ratios of IRs in Google Scholar.
Through a concerted effort, hackers gain access to the databases of six publishers that together control access to the majority of subscription-based biomedical journal articles. This group makes copies of every article from every journal [23.6 million articles in total] and releases them into the public domain. Subsets of articles are mirrored in anonymous peer-to-peer networks, creating a decentralized and multiply-redundant repository… we speculate that a disruptive change is more likely to come from a Biblioleaks scenario — a small number of massive breaches, potentially from outside academia — rather than en masse civil disobedience from within academic communities.
Google has released all its old Google Street View pictures, so we can travel back in time….
We’ve gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world. If you see a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image, click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons. Now with Street View, you can see a landmark’s growth from the ground up, like the Freedom Tower in New York City or the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. This new feature can also serve as a digital timeline of recent history, like the reconstruction after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Onagawa, Japan. You can even experience different seasons and see what it would be like to cruise Italian roadways in both summer and winter.
The Bing search engine is now offering predictions…
“… teams within Bing have been experimenting with useful ways that we can harness the power of Bing to model outcomes of events. … Today we are bringing these insights directly to our search results pages. Based on a variety of different signals including search queries and social input from Facebook and Twitter, we are unveiling an experiment we’ve built to give you our prediction of the outcome of a given event.”
The front cover of the latest Smithsonian magazine also heralds the Future Studies meme…
Wikimedia Commons now has over 1,000 new public-domain images of paintings from Google Art. Since they’re from ‘Google Maps’-style zoomable tiles, some of the complete images are up to 30,000px in dimension.
PhilPapers is the free index and search tool that comprehensively tracks philosophy papers online (paywall, open, and ‘citations only’). They’re now calling for supporting subscriptions from academic institions, and will restrict feature access for those who don’t subscribe…
“To sustain PhilPapers in the long run, we need financial support for new technical and administrative staff. … the best way forward is a model involving annual subscriptions for large institutions. Starting on 1st July 2014, the PhilPapers Foundation requires that research and teaching institutions offering a B.A. or higher degree in philosophy subscribe to PhilPapers in order to have the right of access to its index. … Access … remains free for individuals accessing PhilPapers from home. Institutions that do not subscribe will have their access limited in various ways.”
Great idea. It’ll be really interesting to see what they restrict, how they do it, and if it actually works.
A handy list of the free/open journals included in Highwire.