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Archives for Amiable Rants

Benefits, Costs, and Googleization: A Comment on Siva Vaidhyanathan

In a recent issue of Publisher’s Weekly.com, my friend Siva Vaidhyanathan characterized my support of the Google Books Project in ways that I must take issue with.  (He also said many things that are  insightful, wise and witty, and the whole interview is worth reading.) Here’s the part that motivates this post: PW: But Michigan […]

On the Meaning and Importance of Peer Review

In my previous post I briefly discussed peer review, which has been raised by many in the publishing industry as a justification for opposing the NIH mandate for deposit of articles into PubMed Central, and, more broadly, as a justification for the vigorous protection of publisher-held copyright in scholarly publications. In this post I discuss […]

A Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

I’ve always thought of blog posts as basically being open letters to some editor or other. In this case, I attempt to take the New York Times to task for coding Hillary Clinton as the winner of the Democratic primaries in Michigan and Florida. In both states the Democratic National Committee promised NOT to seat […]

MPAA Bad, Universities Good

From yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education In 2005, when the Motion Picture Association of America stepped up its campaign against college movie pirates, officials with the trade group said that 44 percent of the film industry’s domestic losses were the result of illegal downloads on campus networks. That statistic — which came from a report […]

E-Books and P-Books

Like everyone else who follows the blogs and listserves that everyone else follows, over the past month or so I have had the opportunity to skim thousands of comments on the new Amazon Kindle. I haven’t actually played with a Kindle, yet, but if ever a subject were well covered by the secondary literature, this […]

Why I hate the phrase “Scholarly Communication”

I hate the phrase, “scholarly communication.” It’s not that I hate the practice, which I view as a pinnacle of human achievement, without which the life and work of many (including me) would be meaningless. It’s that the phrase itself connotes a mechanical process, rather than the transcendent purpose that underlies the activity itself. Decoding […]