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.]

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

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

1 March 2010 Posted by | Digital 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

Technological Evolution Stirs a Publishing Revolution – Knowledge@Wharton

Technological Evolution Stirs a Publishing Revolution – Knowledge@Wharton.

18 December 2009 Posted by | Digital Publishing | , , | Leave a comment

CAMPUS-BASED PUBLISHING: Building a New E-book Publishing Platform for a University Press

Discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing campus-based publishers, specifically in regard to academic e-books.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to a consortium of NYU U Penn, Temple, and Rutgers Presses, to brainstorm and recommend how university presses might collaborate and build new publishing models for e-books.

HIGHLIGHTS from Monica’s Talk:

The aim is to jointly build ONE PLATFORM that can eventually be used by any academic press anywhere in the world.

The strategy reminds me of the Public Knowledge Project’s vision when they began developing OJS open source software 10 years ago.

Academic E-BOOKS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT from e-journals, largely because 75-80% of e-books buyers are INDIVIDUALS (therefore buying single books). As opposed to e-journals for whom 99% of their purchase are libraries. Ergo: e-books sales are mostly BtoC, but e-journals are BtoB.

The intended business model is not open access. They intend to sell the content online.

They plan to develop a REVENUE SHARE MODEL where a percentage of revenues is paid to the author.

Two friends of mine: Judy Luther and October Ivins are consulting on the project ;-D

Monica McCormik, of NYU Press, had a webinar on November 20, which was taped and posted on SPARC’s website. Watch the complete talk with Q&A (1 hour) here=

16 December 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling E-book Readers in China. Using Patent Laws to restrict competition. A Lesson from the DVD player.

I expect China will plan to use its own local technology for e-book readers. This is what they did for DVD players several years ago. The government created a new and unique standard for the type of laser that must be used in Chinese DVD machines. The standard is different from the rest of the world. The result is all locally sold DVD players, even if manufactured by a foreign-owned factory located in China, have to use Chinese technology in order to be Chinese compliant, and therefore everyone has to pay a royalty to the Chinese patent owner of the “new” DVD standard. The problem is the standard was not decided by open market forces, but rather has been artificially created and legislated into existence by the Chinese government.
The future demand for e-book readers in China will be huge. China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular company, has already announced it intends to dominate the e-reader market and plans to use Chinese technology.

19 November 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

WHY Kindle e-book reader failed to impress Princeton undergrads

Kindle e-book reader failed to impress 50 Princeton undergrads during trial run. Are any e-book readers ready for college textbook applications?

If e-books and e-book readers continue to be only read-only and do not include ways to interact with the document (some form of note-making and then sending those notes to others. ergo. social networking), the e-reader will never become a popular device for the academic world. The Princeton trial failed for this reason, regardless if it was used on a Kindle or an iPhone.

29 October 2009 Posted by | Digital Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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