All entries for Tuesday 30 August 2011

August 30, 2011

Publishing and Open Access discussions

A recent posting on a mailing list I belong to highlighted the following article by George Monbiot:

He makes an impressive case about the need for reform of scholarly communications, and there is plenty of debate in the comments section at the end of it!

Many people believe that open access is the aswer, and a set of briefing papers from Nottingham's Centre for Research Communications (CRC) has also crossed my desktop recently. I rather like the one from Salford's VC, Martin Hall:

None of this is new, and many of us have been working towards effecting changes in our own ways for years. Some of the comments on the end of Monbiot's article discuss whether 90% of articles can be found in full text online already. There are disciplinary differences and there are secrets to discovering the stuff that is out there. Google Scholar doesn't index papers on Mendeley, as I mentioned in this blog last week. Google itself indexes a lot more of the web than Google Scholar does, but you do have to know what you're looking for and be skilled in searching because it indexes a lot of non-scholarly stuff. And there are other places than Google to search, of course!

There is an "information divide" in terms of those attached to Universities (and therefore journals subscriptions) but also in terms of those with information skills. High level information skills will help you to find stuff if it is out there. It isn't really obvious at the moment what is out there... and publishers are pretty good at making sure that you find their stuff!

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