Controversial Topics

This category contains 946 posts

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

The Costs of Flipping our Dollars to Gold

An interview with MacKenzie Smith and Ivy Anderson, discussing the recent Pay It Forward report on the economic impact of a shift to Gold open access for scholarly journals. Continue reading

Vindicated by Its Critics: The Kent Study in Light of Other Research on Library Circulation

In 1979, a study at the University of Pittsburgh Library found that 40% of the books added in the previous six years had not circulated. 37 years later, we librarians still cite that number and many of us use it (among other factors) to justify moving in the direction of patron-driven acquisition. A critic of that practice argues that many subsequent circulation studies contradict the Kent Study. But do they? Continue reading

A Quick Tour Around the World of Scholarly Journal Publishing

A presentation to the 2016 ISMTE US Conference. Something of a “state of our industry” overview, or perhaps, everything I needed to know I learned from the other bloggers at The Scholarly Kitchen. Continue reading

The Future(s) (plural) of Publishing

A presentation to the ISMTE conference. The argument is that strategy is an integral part of business operations and must be used to measure all activity within an organization. A three-step process for strategic planning is included. Continue reading

What Puts #seriousacademics Off Social Media? 

A recent article by a young researcher, “I’m a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer”, has spawned a range of responses under the #seriousacademic hashtag. Charlie Rapple summarizes, and considers why it is that “serious” academics might choose not to use social media. Continue reading

Curation Nation: Thoughts on the Future of Textbooks

Is there a role for a curated, remixing approach to developing next generation textbooks. Robert Harington investigates the role of curated open textbooks in teaching today’s students, looking at some of the available tools, the way in which instructors utilize such tools, and issues around fair use of content. 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

The Pay It Forward Project: Confirming What We Already Knew About Open Access

A new study from the University of California system confirms much of what we already knew about open access, particularly the increased financial burden it places on productive universities. Continue reading

How to Manipulate a Citation Histogram

Citation indexes need to provide standardized citation histograms for editors and publishers. Without them, it is unlikely that they will be widely adopted. At worse, it will encourage the production of histograms that selectively highlight or obscure the data. Continue reading

Coming Soon: Battles Over Academic Privacy — But Is This Fight Already Over?

How much is the privacy of academics worth? Judging by the behavior of most people, seemingly very little. Continue reading

For Scholarly Communications, Double-dipping is Double the Fun

The much-maligned practice of “double-dipping,” in which a publisher received revenue from both subscriptions and APCs, is likely to remain with us for some time, as publishers learn to turn APCs into larger and more varied revenue streams, even as they create the impression that the APCs offset subscription costs. Continue reading

Ask The Chefs: What is The Role of Social Media in Scholarly Publishing?

The role of social media in scholarly communications is a continuous debate. Is there value? See what the Chefs have to say and then let us know what you think! Continue reading

Why Animals Are Needed In Research

Leading researchers explain the critical need for animal research models. 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

Will Citation Distributions Reduce Impact Factor Abuses?

Publishing a histogram of a journal’s citation distribution won’t alleviate Impact Factor abuse. At best, it will be ignored. At worse, it will generate confusion. Continue reading

Textbooks in Academic Libraries: The Publisher’s Case

This post presents a case for why publishers would want to participate in a program to sell textbooks to academic libraries. The plan would include a means for publishers to retain their profitability, albeit on a lower sales volume, by taking advantage of digital technology and by “repairing” some broken elements in the current marketplace, e.g., the market for used and pirated books. Continue reading

Academic Libraries and the Textbook Taboo: Time to Get Over It?

Has the time come for academic libraries to start thinking seriously about providing textbooks to their student patrons? A few are already doing so–why not more? Continue reading

Margaret Ann Armour at SSP 2016, Crossing Boundaries: Encouraging Diversity

Dr. Margaret Ann Armour’s keynote on diversity in academia and publishing, from the SSP’s 2016 Annual Meeting. 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.
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