Kent Anderson

I am the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. I’ve worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are my own.
Kent Anderson has written 1160 posts for The Scholarly Kitchen

Economics, Silicon Valley, and Information Warfare — Is Accuracy Becoming a Luxury Item? Or a Casualty?

Information warfare is both tactical and strategic, with much of its success stemming from the weakened economics of the current information economy. Scholarly publishers have experienced this in many ways, from Google Scholar to predatory publishers to pre-print archives — all answers to the calls for “free information” and all revealing tactical and strategic vulnerabilities as accuracy and facts become luxury items in the information war. Continue reading

How’s That “Abundance” Thing Working Out For You?

The age of information abundance may have fundamental flaws — barriers to entry that create false equivalence; dissemination tools that conflate fake information with responsible sources; self-reinforcing loops of conspiracy and paranoia; and social fragmentation that makes societal disruption more likely. What can be done? Here are a few ideas. Continue reading

Why Technology Will Not Get Cheaper

The long-desired hope that digital publishing will be cheaper gets more cold water, as infrastructure and personnel costs continue to rise, with no real end in sight. Continue reading

Managing the Cost Burden — Is the Pendulum Swinging Back to the Individual Market?

The pendulum for revenues swung from personal subscriptions to institutional subscriptions with the rise of digital options. With growth capped, a new mix of access options is likely to emerge. Continue reading

Love That Dirty Water — Are We Headed Toward a “Clean Science Act”?

With greater awareness of the foibles and failings of scientific publishing, weaker self-regulation systems, and a trend toward governmental regulation of funding, is external regulation of the scientific journals system now inevitable? Continue reading

Caught in the Middle — Can Publishers Resolve Contradictory Expectations?

A session at ALPSP shines a light on why publishers are caught in an impossible situation — satisfying customers who demand different things at different times, and who are not aligned around the ultimate benefit they all seek to deliver. Continue reading

Book Review — The Traps of Big Data Revealed in “Weapons of Math Destruction” by Cathy O’Neil

The new book, “Weapons of Math Destruction,” calls out many worrying trends in the application of big data, with particularly salient entries on higher education rankings, for-profit universities, the justice system, insurance, and employment. Continue reading

Annual Reports — What Do They Actually Tell Us?

Annual reports from publishing organizations always have a marketing slant, even when they are required filings with governmental bodies. But some are more marketing-oriented than others, and should not be mistaken for transparency, but rather tend toward rationalization. eLife’s recent report, challenging others to be as transparent, is itself opaque and purposeful. Continue reading

Locks, Keys, and Firewalls — Why Internet Security Requires Digital, Analog . . . and Diligent Humans

Internet security seems to be crumbling before our eyes, and our media and leaders are not immune and lack a crucial understanding of how vulnerable a totally digital world can be. The answer may lie with analog technologies. Continue reading

Life on the Launch Pad — The Ups and Downs of Product Development, and Why It’s Hard to Achieve Orbit

Product development has surged back into the fore, in both incremental and paradigm-shifting ways. Yet, some cultures still struggle with it, and the need for the right teams and approaches — especially marketing and sales — remains high. Continue reading

Optical Illusions — Shifting to Citation Distributions Only Makes It Easier to Fool the Eye

A proposal to substitute graphs of citation distributions for impact factors introduces many problems the authors don’t seem to have fully grasped, including unintentionally bolstering the importance of the very metric they seek to diminish. Continue reading

Wellcome Money — Involvement with F1000 Opens Door on Sketchy Peer Review, COIs, and Spending Decisions

With a new partnership with F1000, Wellcome embraces sketchy peer review standards, deep conflicts of interest, and financial support of a private, commercial enterprise. Worse, the entire thing seems redundant, avoidable, and unnecessary. Continue reading

Copyright, Expectations, and Economics — Can Taylor Swift Help Us Find Our Backbone?

Expectations of free content are entrenched, but artists, authors, and publishers are all hurting because of it. The basic problem? It’s leading to a lack of trust in the future. Continue reading

Book Review: “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari

An excellent book about humankind in general holds important fundamental insights for scholarly publishers, editors, and researchers. Continue reading

Divided We Fall — How a Fragmented Media Space Affects Academia and Scholarly Publishing

The general fragmentation of media and society has profound implications, and may explain to some extent the fragmentation being seen in higher education and scholarly publishing. Continue reading

What If Academic and Scholarly Publishers Paid Research Authors?

It’s a question that has lurked around the edges of our campfire for a while — what if publishers paid authors of research papers? Quickly, it becomes clear why this is very unlikely to happen — for financial, ethical, and practical reasons. Continue reading

The Power of Community — Why Much of Scholarly Publishing Is Unlikely to Change Quickly

Journals as communication vehicles that bind communities of practice are still important and well-regarded, but there are external forces changing them and our industry, along with a rising level of neglect, which may mean a harder future for them than ever. What might we lose? And how does this explain why change is so slow in coming? Continue reading

Sensationalism or Legitimate Worries? Examining the Cottage Industry of Journal Criticism and Science Alarmism

We’re in a thicket of stories proclaiming “science is broken” and that stealing articles isn’t stealing because, publishers. This cottage industry of journal bashing and science trashing has reached a crescendo. What drives it? And what more important stories are being missed in the maelstrom? Continue reading

The New(ish) Kids on the Block – Touring the Megajournals

A tour of four major “megajournals” and some of their neighbors finds a few common approaches and a few distinguishing features, but the entire category may need to be rethought given the lack of “mega” generally among the set. Continue reading

Why Is ClinicalTrials.gov Still Struggling?

With no clear benefits to researchers, a frustrating user experience, and no penalties for non-compliance, ClinicalTrials.gov is becoming increasingly irrelevant to clinical researchers and the world at large with each passing day. What does this mean for public access to research results? Is an obligation to patients putting themselves at risk in trials being breached? Why has it failed to live up to its potential? Continue reading

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
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The Scholarly Kitchen is a moderated and independent blog. Opinions on The Scholarly Kitchen are those of the authors. They are not necessarily those held by the Society for Scholarly Publishing nor by their respective employers.