John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

TINY URL – Now Everyone Can Make Permanent Mini-URL Addresses on the Fly (Just like Twitter)

Its amazing how long some URL addresses are. Sometimes the URL is longer than my content! Have you ever envied the way Twitter or WordPress is able to automatically generate the cute little 20 character URL addresses that conveniently squeeze into a 140 character tweet? Well, now you can DIY (do it yourself) with TINY URL. Go here and check out. You’re going to love it!

The URL is ‘durable’. You can assume it will always work.

[INTERESTING TANGENT FOR SENIOR INFORMATION INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS] Back when I was making megabucks at EBSCO (that’s a joke), part of our standard sales presentation for EBSCOHost and A-to-Z linking tools was that our URL addresses were a durable URL or a permanent URL. We used to call them DURL or PURL. Oliver Pesch (a great guy who still works for EBSCO) was even on a standards committee at the Library of Congress to create standards for permanent links. So, frankly, I am amazed that there is now a free website that makes PURLs for the general public. Who finances these things? Click-through advertisers?

In addition to space saving and longevity, TINY URL offers a statistics tracking feature. But be warned! They only give you the chance to save the link once. To quote (I’ve pasted this from the TINYURL website):

After you click the “Tiny it!” button, A line will appear that says: “Track how many people click your tiny link here” Clicking the “here” hyperlink on the home page – at the time you make the URL will take you to a traffic stats Web page for that Tiny URL. Each Tiny URL has its own statistics page (with unique ID and code). This is where you can trace your newly made link. Please bookmark or note the URL of your stats page immediately after it is made because that is the only opportunity you will have to note it.

So, bookmark it or save it some place where you can find it later, or its gone.

Lastly, when you create the new TINY URL, you can add a few letters or a word of your choice to the future mini-URL you’re creating. Its a nice way to ID some thing before you click it open, even though its already been compressed into a permanent statistical TINY URL!!!

[SECOND INTERESTING TANGENT FOR SENIOR INFORMATION INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS] Any one who has been paying money to have someone create permanent URLs, in theory, can now use TINY URL to do the same thing.

Could something like this eventually replace the DOI and put CrossRef out of business? Or rather enable them to focus on something harder?

Thanks to Peter Binfield, publisher of PLOS ONE, for recommending (and using) at SCIENCE ONLINE 2010.

25 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION / A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing

A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing

John Ben DeVette
DeVette Publishing Solutions

Assuming libraries are unsustainable, universities are re-engineering scholarly communication models, and forcing publishers to re-engineer business models. Legacy publishing systems must evolve or become redundant. A host of new publishing, social networking, and online communication tools now exist and are pushing academics toward a significant new way of interacting with peers and the publishers.
The series begins with a review of the goals of scholarly communication. A session will focus on why ScienceDirect and PLOS in their unique and seemingly contradicting ways have become huge successes. The group will learn about a variety of new publishing and online communication tools, and methods for measuring academic achievement. Twittering will be strongly recommended and real time examples given of its effectiveness in learning and communication.
1. What is Scholarly Communication. Why scholars communicate. [1 hour]
a. Finding the truth & making it known
b. Humans are a social organism: Teamswork
c. Importance of interdisciplinary communication

2. Overview of publishing models: present and future [3 hours]
a. Science publishing.
i. Case study: the evolution of Elsevier’s ScienceDirect.
ii. Case study: PLOS, publishing articles, not journals.
b. User-generated science. Online collaboration. Crowdsourcing.
c. Blogs and other social networking tools are building global societies of scholars.
d. How to use Twitter.

3. Bottlenecks to communication & learning [2 hours]
a. Copyright. Protecting the author’s idea or the publisher’s profits?
b. Applying Cournot’s Model of Oligopoly to the publishing market.
c. Publish or perish. The difficulties of measuring academic success.
d. Information overload. Finding the needle of truth in a haystack of hubris
e. Journals are better for storage than communication.
f. Language barriers to learning

4. The role of e-books in scholarly communication [2 hours]
a. E-books, e-readers, e-platforms, and why the iPad will change everything.
b. 30 million e-books. How will these impact the future of libraries and online use of information?
c. The Google Books Library Project
d. Digital text books are different
e. Print on Demand

5. Copyright [2 hours]
a. History of copyright law. Why we protect intellectual property.
b. Enforced scarcity in a market of overproduction?
c. Public Knowledge Project.
d. SPARC. Open Access Movement.
e. Creative Commons.
f. How Google is changing the rules.

6. The Self-publishing Movement. [3 hours]
a. Role of universities in the information chain.
i. Campus-based publishing. Merging the library and the university press. Case study: Univ of Michigan.
b. Leveraging the university institutional repository.
c. Role of learned societies.
d. Micro-publishing in a mega-publisher world.
e. New (and often open source) tools for publishing.
f. The blog as a record of scholarly achievement.

7. How to create scholarly communities for people who cannot speak the same language. [1 hour]
a. OAI-MPH compatibility
b. Translation strategies
c. Symbol-based evaluation and feedback models
d. Visual learning. Use of videos and charts in publishing.
e. Aural communication solutions

8. Findability. Improving the way online content is accessed. [1 hour]
a. Digital formats
b. Indexes. Human or Machine
c. How to get hit by Google
d. Metadata & XML. CrossRef & DOIs.

9. Evaluating scholarly performance / Bibliometrics. How we spotlight quality and evaluate scholarly performance. Are we rewarding excellence or limiting innovation? [2 hours]
a. Impact Factors, including their role in academic advancement.
b. Focusing on the quality of an article or an author. New metrics. Article Level Metrics. ResearcherID.
c. Using the Hirsch Index to measure an author, a faculty, a university, and even a nation.
d. How to measure tagging activity.
e. Self-mediated peer review.


Copyright info at Creative Commons:

Creative Commons License
NEW PARADIGMS IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION A Series of Lectures on the Future of Academic Publishing by John Ben DeVette is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

24 February 2010 Posted by | Crowd Sourcing, Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, University Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heavy Consumers of Romance Novels Love E-Readers

In a conversation last June (2009) with Paul Keith, Electronic Resources Librarian at Chicago Public Library, he said that circulation of e-books provided by his library was up noticeably. An interesting note about the kind of library patrons who are early adopters of e-books, Paul said: “Heavy readers of romance novels love e-readers.” My ‘nutshell’ interpretation of that is affluent commuters & urbanites who read lots of thick novels, with sensual cover-art prefer e-readers for their privacy and convenience.

More specifically, e-books and e-book readers are attractive to people who are:
1. Heavy readers of thick books. Ie. romance, science fiction & fantasy, best sellers.
2. Students. Again, because text books are heavy.
3. Commuters & urbanites, who don’t want to advertise what they are reading.
4. Business travelers.
5. Early adopters.

22 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment


Please see my article on new e-publishing paradigms, and specificially campus-based publishing trends. Go to page 9 at

2 February 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: