John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

XML: A SIMPLE & SHORT INTRODUCTION for people who want to understand WHY IS XML SO IMPORTANT?

Attached is a brief, 7-slide PowerPoint presentation explaining in very simple English why XML is important to publishers, authors, universities, and almost anyone who is creating content to be loaded onto websites, published as an e-book, stored in a digital archive / institutional repository, or needs to be findable via Google or other search engines.

[This PowerPoint presentation is a excerpt of a longer presentation I gave to the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) on 2010 September 17, entitled:  FUTURE TRENDS OF ACADEMIC PUBLISHING:  Creating an Efficient Access & Distribution System for Japan’s Research Output.  A copy of the JST presentation has been translated into Japanese and is available either from JST or by contacting me directly.]

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4 October 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, University Publishing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Want to Publish In Japanese?

Do You Want to Publish In Japanese?  Are you boggled by the differences between English typesetting and Japanese text layouts?

Here are the links to two excellent resources explaining the challenges English language authors and publishers must face when preparing to have print or online works translated and published in the Japanese language.

The first link is to an excellent 6-page article by Tony Graham:  Layout of Japanese documents posted on www.tcworld.info in July 2009.  Tony uses 11 charts and about 20 paragraphs to summarize the entire problem facing Western publishers who want to publish Japanese language books, journals or high-quality websites in Japanese.

I particularly appreciate Tony’s comment:  “In the Western tradition, pages are designed from the outside in: the page size is decided first, followed by the size and placement of the main text block … [where as] In the Japanese tradition, it is the opposite: the size of the main text block (kihon-hanmen) is determined first … and the size of the page (trim size) is determined based on the proportions of the kihon-hanmen.

The second link is to a 4 June 2009 detailed English language document created by a working group of the World Wide Web Consortium, with the accurate but boring title: Requirements for Japanese Text Layout .  This 163-page tome is an excellent primer for software developers and page designers who have already decided to publish something in Japanese, and want a detailed outline of the differences between Western and Japanese typesetting and page construction.  You are still going to need to hire or outsource the work to a fluent Japanese crew, but at least you will now understand why it is taking so long, and why they are charging you so much!

The W3C document will also be beneficial to western marketing professionals who want to adopt their corporate theme to the Japanese market and wonder if the corporate brochures and Annual Report can be easily translated into Japanese.

Tony Graham’s summary on how the Japanese format published pages:  Layout of Japanese documents

The W3C’s Note (and soon to become a standard) on Requirements for Japanese Text Layout

6 September 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Self Publishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future Library Should Focus on Collecting and Formatting In-house, Locally Created Content

My vision for the future library is to have it focus on collecting and formating all local content into a single knowledge base. When all content: data sets, science notebook, papers, books, reports, manuals, blogs are part of the same knowledge base, then the archive, search, and distribution interfaces are easily managed and updated as technology evolves. In concept, this is similar to what Adam Bly refers to as a “digital core,” but Adam’s vision is global. The focus here is making the local institution’s in-house content future friendly.

27 April 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yale Launches Course for the Book and Magazine Publishing Industry

The famous Stanford University publishing course SPPC  (Stanford Professional Publishing Course) was discontinued in 2009.  But New York based helmsman Robert Baensch stays involved with the new Yale start-up.   Yale’s new program, called simply “The Yale Publishing Course,”  intends to replace and supersede Stanford’s previous 5-day summer program by placing more emphasis on new technologies and digital publishing.

The new Yale course was just announced last week, and as yet no curriculum or syllabus is available online, but the focus remains helping commercial publishers adapt to a changing world.  The intended customer for the annual course will be publishing industry executives.

Open Access models will be covered, but I am curious to see if Yale will include a session on the new campus-based publishing movement which many academics and university administrators view as a direct, albeit fledgling competitor to the traditional publishing industry.

Link to the press release:

Yale Launches Course for the Book and Magazine Publishing Industry.

7 April 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING EXERCISE for Archivists, Archivalists, Perpetrators of National Memory Projects, Storage Fans, and People Who Are Losing their Memory

Gizmodo.com has collected an excellent series of websites and videos that all pertain to memory: human, machine and corporate. Entertaining and instructive at the same time.
Here it is: http://gizmodo.com/tag/memoryforever

If you’re not sure you want to spend the time watching each video, here is an 2-minute summary article “The Future of Memory” from the New York Times online edition which includes a few of the more popular items. Here is the link to the NYT article: http://tiny.cc/oBPmr

Enjoy!

23 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

The Key to an Efficient Archival System Must be How Quickly You Can Access the Content

Librarians have always been good at storage. And to a lesser degree, so have publishers. But the KEY TO EFFICIENT STORAGE MUST BE EASE OF USE. Most archival systems are evaluated in these terms:

– Permanence. Will it be there for the next generation?
– Responsibility. Who is going to build it? Who will maintain it?
– Buy-in. What percentage of our authors are contributing to the archive?
– Completeness. How comprehensive is the archive, how far back does it go?
– Copyright. What are the legal limitations of these archived materials?
– Cost. Can we afford to archive it?
– Accessibility. How do we get the data back out?

In my experience, the last requirement ACCESSIBILITY is not emphasized enough. From the design stages, the end user experience must be kept at the forefront. How user-friendly will the final product be is crucial to the success of all archival systems. If librarians and publishers have successfully stored away the past 200 years of scholarship, but you can’t find it on Google, how useful is it really? If the archived content is not being used, there is a danger it will be considered irrelevant and useless. Certainly, rarely accessed archives that receive little attention will find it difficult to raise funds when needed upgrades are due.

Archival solutions must fit the way humans think and must work with the tools we have on hand now. They must mesh smoothly with the popular search engines. A 2009 study by Dotov, Nie, and Chemero on the impact of inefficient tools on the human brain (citation into with DOI at bottom of this post), consistently shows that learning slows radically when the brain – tool link malfunctions.

If it takes too long to get there, the brain stops focusing on the subject, and starts focusing on packaging (the tool being used to access and evaluate the subject). Or in the case of online searching, if you are used to a search taking 3 seconds, and suddenly it takes 9, your rhythm is interrupted and your brain slows down. When I was at EBSCO we used to call it the “3-Clicks, You’re Out” rule.

An archival system that does not allow for near-immediate access is like frozen steak in the bottom of the freezer downstairs in the basement. If you’re hungry the food in the kitchen is what you’ll eat. Even worse would be a frozen steak in your neighbor’s basement!

Archival and storage systems from the onset must have the end-user access in mind. Just locking it away safely is not enough.

———————————————

Dotov DG, Nie L, Chemero A (2010) A Demonstration of the Transition from Ready-to-Hand to Unready-to-Hand. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9433. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009433

20 March 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, University Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

Contract Law Takes Precedence Over Copyright Law: PINK FLOYD WINS IN COURT

“Pink Floyd Wins Court Battle With EMI Over Downloads” was announced last week in London. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html ] A good reminder to authors and creators of intellectual property. Whenever you enter into a contract with a publisher (or in this case a recording company or record label) the wording of the contract supersedes and overrides copyright law.

In the case of Pink Floyd versus EMI, the contract in question was favorable to the artists’ interests, and limited the way EMI was allowed to sell (online or in any format) Pink Floyd’s recordings. In effect, EMI must sell only entire the entire album or CD, and is not allowed to sell individual songs online or in any format.

In essence this is the same battle that academic publishers are having with authors. Increasingly, authors want to control how their intellectual property (IP) is being used. Any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede common copyright law. So when submitting articles for publication, please pay close attention to the fine print before signing away your future rights.

This has implications for university institutional repositories and open access publishing endeavors, obviously.  Choosing a Creative Commons License in effect will also supercede common copyright law, but once again, any contracts signed between author and publisher will supersede a Creative Commons license in the same way it overrides common copyright law.

LINK TO ORIGINAL NYT ARTICLE:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/business/media/12pink.html

Creative Commons:  http://creativecommons.org/

15 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Self Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent

Cute comic about the difficulties of e-books versus traditional print books.

Book clubs are for

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent.

1 March 2010 Posted by | Digital Publishing | , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

http://tiny.cc/

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) http://www.tiny.cc 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

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

John Ben DeVette
DeVette Publishing Solutions
johndevette@devettepublishing.com
https://devette.wordpress.com

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.
[9 LECTURE SERIES. 17 HOURS]
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.

ONLINE LINK TO GOOGLE DOCS AT:
http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcbj2pbh_6ktz93cdn

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

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