John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

PERMALINKS, TinyURL, and shortDOI …What’s the Difference? Which One Should I Use?

Permalinks, TinyURL and Mini-URL are all condensed, space-saving versions of an original full-length URL address.  As a link they are all permanent, as long as the original content is still hosted at the original URL address then a mini-URL “pointer” will take you the website just as effectively as a permalink.  However, all publishers eventually move their old content to a digital archive somewhere.  The better publishers of the world plan ahead and the URL that appears when an article is first published will stay with it for “eternity”, regardless of which server the fulltext is hiding in today.  But not all publishers are as technically savvy, and chose instead to offer us a permalink, which the publisher guarantees will always find the content even after being moved into a digital archive somewhere.  And, yes, permalinks are considered permanent.

Permalinks are 2-3 times longer than a mini-URL.  And they are obviously longer than the technology requires, but they also serve as a form of visual bookmark.  So if you want your blog readers to know exactly where the shortened URL is taking them before they click, permalinks do this.   This is especially helpful when pasting several URL links close to each other, using a permalinks instead of a TinyURL will certainly reduce confusion about which link is going to what website.  A TinyURL is usually shorter than a permalink.

The New York Times uses permalinks.  Here’s what one looks like: (80 characters)

As an example, I subsequently created a TinyURL link to the NYT’s permalink: (26 characters)

As you can see, if you want to go through the hassle, it is not difficult to make a (very short) mini-URL that points directly to the content VIA a (not as short) permalink.  Ergo. clicking on the TinyURL takes you directly and immediately to the article, AND it will continue taking you directly to the article five years from now because the TinyURL is piggy-backing onto the permalink which will always know where the content has been archived.

In conclusion, if you want the shortest URL possible:  Use TinyURL.  If you want the most durable:  Use a permalink.  If you want BOTH a short & durable link, then create a mini-URL that links to a permalink (or a DOI) that links to the content.

If you are still reading this post, you must be really interested in this stuff!

So, you will certainly want to know about a NEW SERVICE that shortens lengthy DOI URI addresses called shortDOI™ Service.  The shortDOI Service functions exactly like TinyURL, but is operated by the International DOI Foundation, whom the whole world trusts implicitly.

This is an excellent 149 word introduction to DOI:

DOI is the acronym for a Digital Object Identifier.  On the surface, a DOI functions the same as a mini-URL or a permalink.  But DOI’s are really only used for journal articles, academic books (book chapters), and soon datasets.  They are used primarily by the academic and scientific communities, and are created and managed by a small group of not-for-profit organizations ( ).  A DOI is really not an URL or an URI, but acts like one and it will always link to the same article or book.   Within the publishing industry DOI’s are considered 99.99% permanent (more reliable than TinyURL).  The main advantage of a DOI is when citation of the original content is required (footnotes, bibliographies, etc.).  The DOI is now an integral part of the global bibliometrics system whereby authors (professors, scientists, students, etc.) receive recognition and funding (money) based on how much they publish.  Short DOI


Have you seen my earlier post?  TINY URL – Now Everyone Can Make Permanent Mini-URL Addresses on the Fly (Just like Twitter)




14 October 2010 Posted by | Archival, Self Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.]

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 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

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. [ ] 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.


Creative Commons:

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

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

Utah State University Press & Library Merge

Utah State Today – Utah State University.  Another major U.S. university merges its publishing house with the university library to create an organization that will manage and promote scholarly communication for the school’s scholars.  Others include:  University of Michigan  and Penn State University.

14 December 2009 Posted by | Self Publishing, University Publishing | , , | Leave a comment


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