“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.
The 6th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing is to be hosted by UNESCO in Paris, 17th–19th September 2014. The 2013 conference presentations are online free as video and audio.
For the 2014 event it’d be great to hear someone talking frankly about “the spectre at the feast” of open access, by which I mean discoverability by search. Imagine the citation advantage and impact OA could have, if only more people could easily find it.
The Good Judgment Project is a four year study organized as part of a government-sponsored forecasting tournament. It is currently moving its 3,000 signed-up citizen ‘future forecasters’ toward the close of its season three, in which…
Thousands of people around the world predict global events. Their collective forecasts are surprisingly accurate.
They have to do a whole load of research of course, it’s not fortune-telling. Hope they know about JURN. They tend to work in teams of about twelve, but the delightfully named Dart-Throwing Chimp is one of those leading the pack. He…
would have qualified for ‘superforecaster’ status in Season 3 had he not joined our research team [to help craft better questions]
The background to this is the broad failure of intelligence-led prediction based on closed information, a topic that can be explored in an accessible manner by listening to the 90-minute Long Now Foundation talk “Why Foxes Are Better Forecasters Than Hedgehogs”.
The Good Judgment Project seems to suggest the best results may come from finding ways to reliably blend the aggregated ‘wisdom of the crowd’ + human-curated Big Data computer models + autonomous bots + time-served human experts. I predict that the area of practical ‘predictive intelligence’ is one that the average researcher is going to be hearing a lot more about over the coming years.
And it might be a field for the Arts and Humanities to pitch a tent in, re: the abilities of creative industries in cultural trend spotting and meme tracking, our advanced ethical tools, the skill-sets of digital humanists, the abundant lessons to be distilled from history, the insights of ethnography and suchlike.
Walt Crawford fisks the John Bohannon open access sting and its later reporting, in the May 2014 Cites & Insights.
New laws in the UK will soon mean that…
scientific Facts can be extracted and published without explicit permission [something that is set to become] law on June 1st.
The Shuttleworth Foundation has a concise round-up of the measures, plus Web links to the British government’s ‘plain English’ PDFs about the new measures. Oh, and that old-fashioned CD-ripping-to-MP3 thing becomes legal too.
“A Google engineer has developed an algorithm that spots breaking news stories on the Web and illustrates them with pictures.”
Nearly 20,000 hi-res maps of America have been released under CC0 by The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library.
Here’s the press release, which has a download link to a free-registration download service containing the hi-res versions and also links to tutorials on how to use the service.
I had a quick look at the full list of Schema.org tags, which are now available in Google CSEs. They can be used to filter the CSE’s site list, serving to “Restrict pages from the above site list to only those that contain [chosen] Schema.org types”. Handy if you have a huge single site of HTML/CSS/XML that you can grep, and you want to prepare it for selective CSE search without having to juggle directories and file names.
It looks to me like those tagging open access scholarly articles would need to be able to chain Schema.org tags into something like…
CreativeWork: ScholarlyArticle: TransferAction: DownloadAction: GiveAction:
Whereas paywall publishers might need something like:
CreativeWork: ScholarlyArticle: TransferAction: DownloadAction: SellAction:
But at present there seems to be only the basic undifferentiated…
Even if there were workable OA additions to Schema.org, there would still the huge problems of: i) persuading people to add the tags to all their ongoing content at the article level, and to do so correctly and consistently; and ii) to have them go back and accurately tag perhaps two decades or more of existing open access articles.
From today, D&AD is offering free membership, which allows people access to an online archive of every ad to win a D&AD award [and] free copies of the D&AD annual
All the six-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain, 1842-1952. Now free, zoomable, and synced as geo-located historical series onto Google Maps.
It would be nice if they could get a system to extract all the keywords from the map lettering, rectify the (inevitably corrupted) keywords by fuzzy matching each of them against a standard historical gazetteer / place-name list for the area, then inject the hyper-linked names into each map’s page as keywords. That way the maps would be more easily searchable by keyword in Google Search. I’m not sure that’s even possible when old-style text is overlapping with graphical elements, as seen below, but it might be interesting to try…
The modern names of places can, of course, already be looked up. But “Gerrardsfold” for instance, seen above in Cheshire, can only take one to a “Gerrards Fold Barn” in Lancashire when using the service’s modern lookup gazetteer.
The academic world recently learned that bots can write automated gibberish and — with a little help from their fleshy minions — can have it published in mainstream peer-reviewed scientific publications. But are we prepared for what follows from the moment when bots can reliably produce writing that makes real sense and which is useful and timely enough for use in major newspapers? It’s happening already. The finances of newspapers are such that a wave of robo-journalism seems inevitable, once we have a few more advances in semantics and automated basic fact-checking. Given the current dismal state of newspaper science reporting such new-fangled robo-news may even be slightly better than what we have now.
It follows that journal editors and publishers may soon need to add a new clause to their author guidelines, such as: “articles must be fully written by humans”. Not for fear of gibberish faux-papers, but rather because bots will be able to add sensible summaries and otherwise usefully aid in the writing of a research paper. Or we may need to develop an agreed form of simple presentation to flag up:
[bot]this section of the text was written by bots[/bot] and to embed links to the bot’s sources.
Incidentally, I’ve also often thought that the humourous LOLcat language would form a pleasing basis for identifying messages-sent-to-humans by objects embedded in The Internet of Things, clearly marking their simpler forms of communications to us as being: ‘not kreated by th humanz’. We already have the LOLcat translation systems available.
aim[s] to identify, incubate and spin off into the commercial sector viable online applications based on the re-use of digital cultural heritage content [from Europeana, and] The best five applications will be invited to a final challenge event to pitch their ideas to representatives from the cultural and creative industries as well as to investors.
The current challenge has a Natural History theme. Deadline: 31st March 2014.
Springing to mind: a simple workflow for automated extraction and smoothing of 3D shapes from high-res 2D photos of organic shapes (shells, fossils, wings, insects carapaces, etc), to create a royalty-free bank of organic starting-point shapes for rapidly iterative and generative product design prototyping.
Chlamyphorus truncatus, via Europeana. The prototype for your new girls’ hairbrush has arrived… ;)