Roma Subterranea Judaica (International Catacomb Society) (small monograph series, indexed in JURN via AWOL and Academia.edu)
Freshwater Forum (1991-2010, Freshwater Biological Association, UK)
New on The Scholarly Kitchen today, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to OA”. The article ends by suggesting that the recent flurry of publicity for Sci-Hub might cause commercial publishers to clamp down in various ways…
Possible, yes. Big publishers might decide to sue a few libraries, to make the rest much more careful with database log-on credentials. But I don’t remember seeing much real evidence that this is actually a problem, and I follow the news on such things moderately closely. My vague hunch would be that the big publishers are probably already as tight as they can feasibly be on this. First-year student drop-out rates are substantial, and they are often out for months before things like library log-ons get cancelled. It only takes a few of those truculent students to post their credentials online, and another few issues of a top journal are free. To counter that, are universities really going to ask all students to come in to use The Accredited Access Terminals for essay research? There are not enough computer suites, not enough parking spaces, and very probably not enough deodorant (think of the levels of body odour…) to make that feasible.
“More restricted download counters.”
Maybe, although I read that they’re already fairly tight. Certainly tight enough to restrict ‘excessive’ multiple downloads. Tightening up on credentials and download counters and DRM will likely make more legit users sigh and say: “Ya’know, Sci-Hub would be so much less hassle to use…”
“just eliminate the PDF altogether” …[or].. “only providing an online collection of links”
We’re unlikely to see a new file format. PDF is a security risk nightmare, even after a zillion Adobe patches over a period of decades. Starting from scratch with a new file format would trigger alarm bells among the security services, re: huge risk of an even bigger wholesale loss of U.S. intellectual property to China, via the silent security hacks that it would enable. A new type of portable document container would inevitably be highly insecure for at least five years, and would be strongly exploited by overseas espionage teams.
What about a ridiculous ‘nuclear option’ of just showing text on the screen, and nothing more? Well… anything that can be shown as a page of text on a screen can be copied, no matter how many scripts protect it. Copied into editable text via the likes of MS Office OneNote’s excellent ‘Screen Clipping’ function. And that can be done even via a digital camera macro-shot of a PC screen, provided you have a steady hand and a good pocket camera. Retaining footnotes and fancy formatting and figures could, admittedly, be a problem on that point. But it only takes one obsessed guy. For instance, I hear that most of the early comic-book pirating (to the open digital .CBR format, before most publishers started going digital themselves) was actually down to two or three obsessive comics-scanning guys, a full mailbox and some very overheated automated flatbed scanners. Could big print journals, and society journals that still have a print-run, be subject to the same type of scanning-to-PDF? Or could someone even rig up a home-brew “scan-my-iPad, dude!” scanner, to get text scanned from digital screens that are forced to use view-only locked-down software?
A funded PhD Studentship in Digital Publishing and Reading, in the UK with Bath Spa University and the British Library.
“Talks will take place in Eaton Hall on the Medford Campus of Tufts University and in Paulinum 402 at the University of Leipzig. All talks will be broadcast as Google Hangouts and published on YouTube.”
I can’t help thinking that’s the wrong way around, in this day and age. What if each talk were recorded beforehand and then distributed to ‘speakers’ as podcasts, to listen to on trains and planes on the way to the conference? Then, when they get there, they’d discuss the finer points of the talks that they’ve just heard. It would waste so much less time, be more clearly heard (direct-to-ear via headphones or ear-buds), and leave so much more time for debate and informal networking.
IASPM@Journal (Int. Assoc. for the Study of Popular Music)
eOREMA (musicology, electroacoustic)
eContact! : Online Journal for Electroacoustic Practices (musicology, electroacoustic)
The Society of Indexers has chosen Birmingham (the main city in the Midlands of England) for their 2016 national one-day conference. The Society is mostly for copy-editors, book indexers and proofreaders — rather than for those who are dynamically indexing the Web — but it may interest some readers of this blog. The venue will be The Studio, a modern canal-side venue on the edge of Birmingham city centre, on Tuesday 13th September 2016.
Records of the Queen Victoria Museum (Australia. The run is only partially online. Also indexing the Occasional Papers)
This blog has previously noted the details of the effective Chinese ban on Google Scholar. Now Newsweek reports that the Chinese Communist Party is urgently seeking to isolate China even further, and from next month they will…
… ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China [This move] will be a hard blow to companies like Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and the New York Times who have collectively invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build up the Chinese publishing industry and do reports in Chinese, for a Chinese audience.”
Presumably all large academic publishers and aggregators will also be affected by these moves, in the same way as the news media.
It seems to me it’s also a gangster-ish way for the Party to expropriate all foreign media holdings in China, since it effectively forces operators and investors to sell out to government-connected local businesses at (presumably) low prices…
The only way anyone is going to publish anything online in China next month is if the business is 100% owned by Chinese companies”
The Web servers and all online content will also need to be located inside China, licensed by the state, and any local content vendor will need to practice strict pre-publication self-censorship in accordance with the government’s strictures.
Open Syllabus Explorer (beta 0.4) is a new search tool for classroom syllabi. The OSE is in beta but is currently nudging 1 million items, and it references items from the last fifteen years or so. A searcher can filter the search by nation/field/institution and more.
Austrian Journal of Political Science (partly in English)
The Evolution of the Web is a very elegant interactive timeline of the browsing software and hardware storage capacity, from Google. It would be interesting to see a ‘social impact’ / ‘economic impact’ / ‘cultural impact’ version of this.
Crossroads : Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World (one year paywall, HTML version of articles free after one year)
U.N. iLibrary, inc. its various development and law journals.
The UK’s Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership has released high quality scans of 25,000 Early English (1473-1700) books into the public domain, and to the public. The site has crashed under the weight of traffic, as with many such releases, but hopefully it’ll be up again soon.
Interesting to see a proposed layout for the planned $2.5m “Wikimedia Knowledge Engine”. Looks to me to be some sort of curated search engine for finding out more about topical in-the-news concerns. But presumably with all the media’s link-bait, faux news and drive-by parroting filtered out by the Wikipolice. The results probably then mingled with trusted sources on the topic (encyclopaedia pages, trusted source data, ‘source-watch’ type pages, perhaps even an OA journal article if that’s what the news reporting originated with).
Maybe also a timeline function for mapping how a recent news topic emerged across the media? Although the Web has been waiting donkeys’ years for an elegantly dynamic and editable timeline creator — so don’t your breath on that one.
The Wikimedia Foundation describes it thus…
Knowledge Engine By Wikipedia will democratize the discovery of media, news and information — it will make the Internet’s most relevant information more accessible and openly curated, and it will create an open data engine that’s completely free of commercial interests. Our new site will be the Internet’s first transparent search engine, and the first one that carries the reputation of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.”