MIT’s Mind the Gap is a new comprehensive survey report on open source publishing systems that can be used for scholarly purposes. The only one I can see that’s missing is WordPress. Which is open source, free, easy to use and rent a server for, and can be quickly tooled-up with plugins for such purposes. In fact, it’s not even mentioned once, even to explain why it and its plugins were omitted.
Mindshare UK’s The Future of Search (full report, free in public PDF) for those who use smartphones in the UK…
we tracked people’s search behaviour using ethnography, face-to-face workshops and neuroscience experiments surveying 1,800 UK smartphone users.
A new free Andreessen Horowitz report, “Investing in the Podcast Ecosystem in 2019”. It’s from an investor perspective, but is very long and has lots of interesting firm-ish numbers and agency segmentations of use to a wider audience interested in free public content.
It doesn’t once mention YouTube though, so it may be overlooking a lot of under-the-radar effectively-a-podcast episodic shows that can be listened to as audio-only, and others that don’t go through the usual podcast delivery channels. No mention either of the leading podcast search-engine listennotes.com which should surely have been in such a report.
Also, many of the services it mentions I’ve never heard of. Who knew that “Apple Podcasts” is apparently the incumbent? I’ve never heard of it before… but then I’m not part of the Apple ecosystem.
What publishers can take away from the latest early career researcher research ($), a five-page “Industry Update” for the journal Learned Publishing, 28th April 2018…
“ResearchGate is unquestionably the scholarly elephant in the room, which despite being just 10 years old boasts 15 million research members and is still growing at a rate of knots. … publisher offerings can look monastic and parochial by comparison. […] It looks rather like the new scholarly world order.” […] “Much depends on whether ECRs [early-career-researchers] take their millennial beliefs in sharing, openness, and transparency into leadership positions. [and if] publishers [start] feeding ResearchGate rather than competing with it – [making it] a publishing Amazon”.
The Update is by the team doing an industry-supported three-year cohort study of search and similar practices. Their first two reports are Early Career Researchers: the harbingers of change? Year One 2016 and now also the Year Two 2017 report, both free and public at the same website. Apparently the cohort of around 100+ is all science and social studies.
Also fairly new, and related, “ResearchGate and Academia.edu as networked socio-technical systems for scholarly communication: a literature review” (OA), in the Research in Learning Technology journal, 20th February 2018…
“a thorough understanding is still lacking of how these sites operate as networked socio-technical systems reshaping scholarly practices and academic identity. This article analyses 39 empirical studies published in peer-reviewed journals with a specific focus on ResearchGate and Academia.edu.”
Google Search currently suggests circa 72-million full-text PDFs at ResearchGate, although given the above Industry Update statement on ‘the 15m members’ we can probably assume some 10m of those PDFs are just CVs (which are nearly all excluded from JURN, by the way). Remove other fluff and I guess there might be circa 50m proper papers there. It would then be interesting to work out what “the uniques” are, by removing the papers freely available elsewhere in repositories and OA journals and suchlike. I’d very roughly guess that including ResearchGate PDFs in JURN may bring in some 5m to 8m papers not found elsewhere.
The Economist Intelligence Unit and Google, “A New Age Of Culture: The Digitisation of Arts & Heritage Around the World”. Free online.
It’s a nice counterweight to the recent spate of whining about Google Books, trying to portray it as almost being a shuttered project when it’s not. Which smells to me like big publishers, their PR flunkies and a gaggle of pliable journalists.
The 2017 Edge Question responses have just been released. Over 200 of the world’s finest minds answer “What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?”. As usual the combined single mega-page weighs in at around the length of two novels, on which the likes of Instapaper will choke. So Kindle ereader owners may want the unabridged unofficial .mobi ebook conversion for the Kindle.
A major new consultancy report, “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications” (March 2016)….
* “… people working in the Government, Corporate and Charity sectors think Google is the most important discovery resource for books.”
This sentiment would have been rather more pronounced, if the Google respondees had been bundled with those who favoured Google Books.
* “… people working in Humanities and Religion & Theology prefer to use Google [rather than Google Scholar, to find articles]”
* “… people in Humanities are much less likely to use ToC alerts [to find their ‘last article accessed’] and have “other sources” they may use.”
Wide-spectrum serendipitous ‘topic search’, of the sort enabled by JURN, is also strongly favoured in the Humanities….
And the researchers found that…
* “Librarians behave quite differently to everyone else in search, preferring professional search databases and library-acquired resources.”