John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

Building Crowds of Humans into Software – (MIT’s) Technology Review

Building Crowds of Humans into Software – Technology Review.

MobileWorks takes the business of crowdsourcing human work (as opposed to robotic or software-processing) to the next level. Crowdsourcing in its purest form is similar to the Wikipedia not-for-profit publishing model, where anyone (with sufficient knowledge about the topic) anywhere (with a computer and internet access) in the world becomes a contributor.

I applaud MobileWorks for its smart use of mobile phone technology (must be why they put “mobile” in their corporate moniker).  As I have mentioned in previous blogs and tweets: handheld / mobile technology, especially short-messaging-service (SMS) is the primary way the developing world stays connected.  Laptops and PCs are vastly outnumbered by smartphones (phones that can access the web).  SMS from any type of phone is simply faster and often safer (especially in China where email is regularly screened) than computer-based social networking solutions.

MobileWorks pays people (primarily Indian knowledge workers) to do the tasks that robots and software find difficult, like transliterating speech or describing a photo. Their turnaround time is minutes and promises better accuracy than 1st generation for-profit crowdsourcing business sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Obviously, MobileWorks has teamed up with several data encoding, back office outsourcing, IT companies whose employees now keep their smart phones and iPads turned on 24/7. Win-win. Major corporations get a correct answer faster, and the Indian knowledge workers up their income while sitting in traffic (Bangalore’s favorite pastime)

30 August 2011 Posted by | Crowd Sourcing | , , | 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

CROWDSOURCING: Short Movie “LIVE MUSIC” Shows What Online Virtual Communities Are Capable Of Producing

“LIVE MUSIC”, a new 5-minute movie about a guitar and a violin falling in love, is a successful example of CROWDSOURCING or VIRAL publishing. The company Mass Animation used Facebook as their online interface, supplying 266 contributors with propriety software that was accessed or downloaded from the Facebook site. Later, the created content, was uploaded back to Facebook, voted upon by the contributors, and the editors at Mass Animation pulled it all together.

Overall cost of production was only a fraction of normal animation costs.

Increasingly, free social networking tools are being adapted to facilitate the creation of original content. A new backbone of online functionality exists today that allows authors and artists to team up and build things faster, cheaper, and at times radically different from what humans have ever done before.



20 November 2009 Posted by | Crowd Sourcing | , , , , | 1 Comment


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