Today in The Scholarly Kitchen, Alix Vance, Founder of Architrave Consulting, posted a really informative article on the discovery of eBooks and eJournal content from gateway sites.
She stated, “Publishers often discuss distinctions between e-book and e-journal business and access models, but the truly complex differences in e-books and e-journals reside beneath the surface, in the metadata layer. Understanding and compensating for these differences is essential for interoperable content discovery and navigation when mixed e-book and e-journal content is delivered in large-scale databases, which is increasingly the norm.
Until the evolution of semantic technologies reduces our reliance on catalog and bibliographic records for information discovery and contextualization, nothing supports research discovery better than pristine, consistent, and granular metadata.”
The full article, Smarter Metadata – Aiding Discovery in Next Generation E-book and E-Journal Gateways – is available on The Scholarly Kitchen.
A very interesting post in the Scholarly Kitchen today, Crowdsourcing, Reference Works, and Peer Review: Some surprising Connections. Kent Anderson, the author of the post, discusses a plenary session at the PSP conference and the debate that ensued around the future of the reference book. A clip from Anderson’s post:
Last week, during the PSP plenary debate that touched on the future of the reference book, the opposition made two statements as if they were unassailable facts:
- Getting authors to write things is expensive and requires a lot of motivation that only the prestige and importance of the current system can generate
- Quality reference information can’t be generated via crowdsourcing Continue reading
Great article on The Scholarly Kitchen blog by Kent Anderson, who is questioning a recent survey on student preference of print textbooks. A clip from the blog post:
Anderson says, “The survey is drawing the wrong conclusion by framing the question in terms of media choice. It’s not about print versus electronic. It’s about economics and selection.
Imagine if someone asked you if you wanted to pay more for something and have limited selection. Would you trade a cheaper format with a broader selection for something you’d calculate as more costly and less abundant? Only if you’re a devoted early adopter.
For the vast majority of students, print textbooks are economically superior to e-books simply because there’s a robust used book market for expensive print textbooks. Buy them new, sell them back. Want them cheaper? Buy them used. The market is much more favorable and robust.” end clip
Later in the post, Anderson states, “As an aside, I have yet to find this survey released in any form other than a press release. That’s not a good sign. It makes me think the whole thing was about generating the press release.” I’ll add to Anderson’s speculation by repeating something I heard at the Charleston Conference last week. Can you really trust surveys that boast student’s reliance on the print book which are sponsored by college bookstores?
An article in the Scholarly Kitchen blog summarizes a recent study done by Ronald Snijder of the Amsterdam University Press (AUP). According to SK, “the study, appearing in the October issue of Learned Publishing, “The profits of free books: an experiment to measure the impact of open access publishing,” describes the results of an experiment in making online books freely available in Google Books and an institutional repository. ”
Clips from the original article, as found in the SK blog post –
- “OA publishing enhances discovery and online consultation. Within the context of the experiment, no relation could be found between OA publishing and citation rates”
- “Publishing as OA is still useful by making unaffordable books available [and yet] a sustainable business model cannot be exclusively build on extra sales generated from OA publishing”
Some good reads and things to watch this week…accessibility, ereaders, the end of books, how students learn on the iPad and more.