April 15, 2014

Academic Torrents Offers New Means of Storing, Distributing Scholarly Content

DL Speed

By putting distribution and storage of papers and datasets in the hands of their authors, Academic Torrents brings even more DIY ethos to the world of academic publishing, and may help to solve a few problems in the field in the bargain. While libraries and colleges disintermediate scholarly publishing by hosting their own institutional repositories and backing up to offsite services like LOCKSS and Portico, Academic Torrents goes a step further, offering researchers the opportunity to distribute the hosting of their papers and datasets to authors and readers, offering easy access to scholarly works and simultaneously backing them up on computers around the world.

Audiobook Giant Recorded Books Sold To Private Equity Firm

Recorded Books logo

Recorded Books, one of the industry leaders in the audiobook market and a major supplier of the audiobooks, ebooks, and other electronic content to libraries has been purchased by the private investment firm Wasserstein & Co., LP. The company was sold by Haights Cross Communications, which has owned it since 1999. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Libraries Expand Support for World Book Night

World Book Night logo

Library participation in World Book Night US is increasing, with libraries hosting launch events around the country for the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.

Cengage Comes To Terms with Creditors, Prepares to Exit Bankruptcy

Cengage Learning

Academic software and services company Cengage Learning last year filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on July 2, 2013 to restructure its $5.8 billion debt load. This week, the company announced a deal with its major creditors and stakeholders and a reorganization plan that executives say will mark the beginning of a path out of bankruptcy and back to financial health.

EBSCO’s Brooke To Retire; Collins Named CEO

Outgoing EBSCO CEO F. Dixon Brooke

One of the biggest names in information services for libraries is seeing a change at the top. After more than four decades with the company, EBSCO CEO F. Dixon Brooke announced his retirement today. The announcement also brought the news that EBSCO Information Services President Tim Collins will step in as CEO.

New Study Identifies Half-Life of Journal Articles

How do you judge how much a scientific study or academic article has been used? You can see how frequently it’s cited, but since researchers and academics read and are influenced by plenty of things that don’t get formally checked in their work, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Researcher Philip Davis is trying to provide some new answers to that question by taking a look at ‘usage half-life,’ in an effort to learn more about the academic publishing life cycle.

Scientific Data Lost to Poor Archiving

Hundreds of new pieces of scientific research are published every month, in fields from physics to biology. While the studies themselves are assiduously archived by publishers, the underlying data researchers analyze to come to their published conclusions can be another story. A recent study in the journal Current Biology found that the data that forms the backbone of those studies becomes less and less accessible to researchers over the years. That lack of archiving, says University of British Columbia zoologist Tim Vines, represents a missed opportunity for the scientific community as a whole.

A Broken System: Nobel Winner Randy Schekman Talks Impact Factor and How To Fix Publishing

635px-Randy_Schekman

Just before he accepted a Nobel Prize in December for his work exploring how cells regulate and transport proteins, UC Berkeley professor Randy Schekman penned an indictment in the pages of UK newspaper The Guardian criticizing the role of what he calls the “luxury journals” – NatureCell, and Science in particular – for damaging science by promoting flashy or controversial papers over careful scientific research. Library Journal spoke with Schekman, who also edits the open-access journal eLife, about what he sees wrong with academic publishing today, and how it can be fixed.

New Imprints Signal Publishing Not Dead | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

For an industry pronounced dead repeatedly for at least a decade or more, traditional publishing—and its digital-first counterparts, which might not be so different after all—belied the grim reapers, with innumerable launches and new models that indicated it was alive and well in 2013. Since its inception in July, this column chronicled some of that growth. October and November brought a handful of announcements, including one aimed squarely at public libraries: Skyhorse Publishing’s Carrel Books, set to release its initial list of 20 to 30 titles in both print and ebook in fall 2014.

Mark Edington on the Future of Academic Library Presses

When Amherst College opens its first press early next year, the open access publication will publish its entire catalog in digital editions first. Following a growing trend, the press will also be a new arm of Amherst’s library, and Mark Edington will be at its helm, the college announced on December 6. He will start January 1, 2014. Currently the director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, Edington comes from a diverse work background, encompassing everything from editorial work at the journal Daedalus to social entrepreneurship. Library Journal caught up with Edington to talk about the new model Amherst is pursuing, the opportunities it opens up in the publishing world, and the challenges of presenting scholarly work for free while staying sustainable.