Why would one decide to publish a journal on public health? It sound like a rhetorical question, but it may be more serious than we think. The obvious answer is to improve the health of the public. But if that really is the goal, a publisher in public health would need to try to reach the largest audience of the public that was possible. So a recent announcement from one prominent public health publisher casts doubt on that intent, and the purpose of the journal overall.
Here we go again. Another academic librarian received a letter threatening legal action over criticizing a publisher’s practices in a personal blog. But it’s not Edwin Mellen Press that’s the plaintiff this time; Jeffrey Beall, University of of Colorado, Denver librarian and author of the Scholarly Open Access blog, received the letter from OMICS Publishing Group, an OA publisher based in India (with an office in Los Angeles).
I have a gift for picking despised professional niches. I used to run institutional repositories, and if there’s a niche in academic librarianship more despised than that, I’m honestly not sure what it might be. From the frying pan into the fire—now I teach library school. If nothing else, I’ve greatly expanded the universe of librarians and archivists who despise my work!
Rarely are defendants in a dispute settled out of court enthusiastic about the remedies they’re required to supply. But Elizabeth Dupuis, UC Berkeley Associate University Librarian and Director, Doe/Moffitt Libraries, told LJ that the library is excited by the prospect of unprecedented access. But then, this isn’t exactly your standard adversarial legal case. Print-disabled U.C. Berkeley students David Jaulus, Brandon King, and Tabitha Mancini, represented by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), had entered into structured negotiations—a collaborative problem-solving alternative to litigation—with the university over their inability to access materials.
Having access to national studies helps academic librarians stay informed about their community members. Finding the time to read and analyze them—and make sense of possibly conflicting information—is a new “keeping up” challenge. Four studies in particular are most worthy of our ongoing analysis and reflection.
If you’re an academic librarian, you’re probably already awash, at least peripherally, in news about MOOCs—massive open online courses have been touted as the next big thing in higher ed since they burst on the scene about a year ago. If you’re a public librarian, on the other hand, you may not even have heard of them. Yet MOOCs are bringing unprecedented challenges and opportunities to both kinds of libraries already, and they’re only going to grow.