07 April 2014

News on e-books

I didn't imagine last year, when I started a Flipboard 'magazine', News on e-books, that a year later it would have more than 30,000 readers - but that is the state of things today! If you don't have an iPad or an Android reader to access Flipboard, you can get access to the magazine here: https://flipboard.com/section/news-on-e-books-btm8Im Thanks to support from Elena Maceviciute, we now cover most Western and East European languages - something that no doubt helps to gather readers!

20 November 2013

Problems with the Information Research site

The site has been down since last Friday, when some server reassignments were put into effect at Lund and the DNS connection for the journal was lost. It is possible, however, to access the site by using a different url: http://www.informationr.net/ir/ Normally, we don't use "www" in the url and why this works, I have no idea!

18 November 2013

Server problems with Information Research

Some time over the weekend both Information Research and the journal management site went down. The folk at Lund are now aware of this and exploring what the problem may be. Apologies for the inconvenience this may cause - we'll be back up and running as soon as possible.

18 October 2013

Abstracts for a conference on publishing, Pula, Croatia, December 2013

Three members of the research team in Boras have been asked to give papers at this conference in December. You can find the abstracts on the Project blog or, if you favour Flipboard, you'll find them copied to the 'News on e-books' magazine.

10 September 2013

Open Access in the UK reviewed again

In the UK, Parliament's Business, Innovation and Skill Committee has published its report on the state of OA in the UK. In doing so they come the conclusion that the policy advocated by the Finch Committee that the route to take was the Gold route of "OA journals" (i.e., more money in the pockets of publishers) was mistaken and that more should be done to promote the Green route of depositories. So far, so good, and it gets better: not only are the publishers hammered for their excess profits, but the Committee recommends that author payments should be made only to "true" OA journals (like Information Research) and not to the "hybrid" OA journals, i.e., those that make author charges, but also charge subscriptions. It also recommends that the government should work to lower the VAT charge on e-journals (print journals in the UK are not subject to VAT at all). All in all, this seems like an excellent piece of parliamentary committee work. I haven't yet read it in its entirety, but look forward to discovering what those who submitted evidence had to say. The Finch Committee was stacked in favour of the publishers, since three or four of is members were publishers. It is interesting to see when a less biased group of people consider the situation!

14 August 2013

How to write badly :-)

I'm reading, for review in Information Research, Michael Billig's "Learn to write badly: how to succeed in the social sciences" - which I guess will offend many of his fellow social scientists, but which I find an absolute joy. If you want to know what is wrong with academic writing, read this book - and reform your ways :-)
Here's just one of many, many quotable pieces:
Certainly the big words can provide the means to academic success in the social sciences, for it is professionally advantageous to be an expert in a particular ization or ification - and better still to be known as the inventor of an ization or ification. Yet, like cigarettes and alcohol, these big words should come with warnings. If one looks closely at them - more closely than most social scientists normally do, especially those who are regular users - they can flatter to deceive. Often our social scientific izations or ifications provide only the appearance of technical advance and precision. We should remember that all that glitters is not the product of aurification.
Information science is not immune to the creeping izations and ifications, nor to another of Billig's themes - the nounification of the world - removing people from sentences, along with the verbs. We're familiar with the kind of noun phrase that Billig point to like the Umpire Decision Referral System he mentions - which, of course, gets abbreviated to UDRS. No verbs, you notice - and no real meaning. You have to either know about cricket, or get someone to help you to understand what it is. If it is a system for referring the decisions made by umpires, what are those decisions referred to? Nounification does not make things precise, but more obscure. I could probably find many examples in the information science literature if I tried!

20 July 2013

Further thoughts on e-book publishing

Having now seen all versions of "Theory in information behaviour research" I can confirm that the best version to buy is that available through the Apple iBookstore. This is hardly surprising, since the book was designed with iBook Author and intended for publication through Apple. The problem with the Smashwords conversions is that the formatting varies from version to version and figures, in particular, cause problems of location relative to the text - sometimes the figure caption appears on a different page from the figure itself, for example. All of this varies with the device or app on which the book is read and if you have an IOS device, buy the iBookstore version, not the EPUB version available through Smashwords.