YaCy, a new distributed censorship-hardened search-engine, that’s supported by the Free Software Foundation Europe. YaCy is currently saturated with traffic, as it’s only just been announced.
UK students are in danger of becoming “illiterate” when it comes to technology, says a new Department for Education report which is due to be published today…
“Ian Livingstone, president of gaming publisher Eidos and author of a recent report into teaching tech in schools, has called for improvements to computing education ahead of a response to his report due out from the Department for Education today.”
The Wellcome Trust recently sent scientist Johann Hoog to the BBC for two weeks. Among other things, she learned that…
“BBC journalists do not have access to any scientific journals except for the journal Nature and New Scientist magazine.”
I guess someone needs to break the news to them about open access?
Google has announced it is opening up the citations at Google Scholar.
Free access to the SAGE Journal of Visual Culture special April 2011 issue on machinima, through to the end of 2011. It had been free on publication, but was then taken behind the paywall. Now it’s free again. Those seeking more writing on the topic should look at Henry Lowood’s bibliography on machinima, and also my own more recent machinima bibliography which covers publications from 2007-2011. It was put together for a PhD proposal at Wolverhampton, which was rejected because the topic was deemed “not suitable for advanced research”.
Open Spires, open podcasts from the University of Oxford. Started in 2009, and now seemingly getting up more of a head of steam. Such a pity that there’s no unified RSS feed, though. The feeds are all for the individual departments and schools. Oxford, please remember that there’s an “In Our Time” audience out there that doesn’t much care about disciplinary boundaries. On the credit side, MP3 downloads are allowed.
Microsoft’s Bing seems to have radically expanded its specialist academic journal search engine, since the late summer of 2011. It now claims to index over 1,102,000 publications in the arts and humanities…
… however, I found its search results sparse and all paywalled. Judging from a few test keyword searches, it’s only hooks into the ‘big beast’ services of the likes of Informaworld, Muse, and Oxford Journals. Even a search for something quite wide such as gothic + novel gave me just 38 results, all paywalled. I had nothing for Mongolian + folk + song. I would have expected more, considering it’s indexing the likes of Oxford Journals. So for now it seems there’s not much reason to shun your university access, Google Scholar, or JURN. The page design is also a bit ‘Microsoft clunk’, and it demands Silverlight (Microsoft’s version of Flash)…
But… there are some nice touches. Journals have their own pages, telling you what dates are being used by Microsoft Academic Search. You can limit results by knowledge type (i.e.: only arts and humanities) and there is a Google Scholar -like citation index on the page for each result. Academic authors can seemingly get name authority, by bagging their own name and page. That latter point makes me kind of see where they might be going with it. In time, not just a search-engine — but something based more around individual scholars and their work?
As university presses stagger in the economic storm, the Australian Book Industry Strategy Group final report (PDF link) suggests a national publically-funded ‘publisher of last resort’…
“Australia needs a National University Press Network to print book and chapter-length research in the humanities and social sciences — research that, being too long for journals and not commercial enough for the struggling publishing industry, might otherwise never see the light of day.”
Personally I would be inclined to get such research out there for free, via blogs and personal websites, Amazon Kindle store, open repositories such as Archive.org, and print-on-demand services such as Lulu or CreateSpace. There seems to me absolutely no excuse for any research “never seeing the light of day” in the digital age, especially if you envisage selling only 50 copies or so. Impact assessment will apparently take little or no notice of where or by whom something was published, in future. So what does a publisher really give you? Proof-reading services, and a little bit of publicity, both things you can buy off-the-shelf from eLance and the like. If you really have to have a proof reader from within the discipline, they can also be found provided you’re willing to pay, among the thousands of humanities lecturers now languishing in unemployment. Even if the ‘buried’ text is somehow still in a yellowing typescript from before the Word processing era, how difficult can it be to pay an undergraduate £50 to scan and OCR it for you?
A sample of just some of the recent search terms that people have used on JURN…
ephrem the syrian
leibniz mind and body
etica del orador
art of war sun tzu
juan hidalgo artista
robert louis stevenson
The JURN Directory has been checked using Linkbot, for dead, broken or moved links. The following journals were removed from the Directory and from the main search index, because either dead or newly paywalled: Intensities, journal of cult media; as-Sikka (Islamic Coins Group); Mapline; Critical Inquiry; Ivy Journal of Ethics; Quaderns de la Mediterrània; eHKCSS, E-Journal on Hong Kong Cultural and Social Studies; Minnesota Review.
Twelve new journals were added to the search index today.