Ethics

This category contains 317 posts

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

Guest Post: Research4Life’s Richard Gedye — How Publishers are Quietly (Too Quietly?) Supporting UNESCO’s Universal Access To Information Day

Research4Life’s Richard Gedye discusses publisher contributions to UNESCO’s International Day for Universal Access to Information. 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

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

Guest Post, Darrell Gunter: Accessibility Is The New Innovation

Darrell Gunter discusses the great opportunities available in making all forms of content accessible to everyone. Continue reading

Libraries May Have Gotten the Privacy Thing All Wrong

What can academic libraries learn from Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn? The aim of this merger is to collect end-user data from corporate accounts. Libraries are facing a similar situation when publishers develop end-user strategies that compromise the privacy of library patrons. Continue reading

Guest Post: The American Chemical Society on the Shared Cybersecurity Concerns of Universities and Publishers

Jack Ochs from the American Chemical Society discusses the significant increase in cybersecurity threats to both publishers and libraries. 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

Vitamins, Painkillers, and the Entrepreneurial Library

What does it mean for libraries to be competitive and “entrepreneurial”? And is the very concept a Trojan horse for neoliberalism? Does it matter? 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

Sci-Hub and Academic Identity Theft: An Open Letter to University Faculty Everywhere

When entities like Sci-Hub invite you to share your network credentials in order to help create free access to licensed scholarly publications, they’re asking for more than access to research. What they’re asking for may also give them access to your email account, your course management program, your tax documents, and more. Here are some things to think about before you decide to share that network user ID and password. Continue reading

Scholarly-Communication Reform: Why Is it So Hard to Talk About, and Where are the Authors?

Why is it so frustrating and difficult to talk about scholarly-communication reform, and why do those conversations seem to involve virtually all members of the scholcomm ecosystem except for authors? 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

Postscript on Sci-Hub: The University Press Edition

Not only is Sci-Hub pirating STM articles; it also has built a large collection of unauthorized university press monographs. This undermines the argument that Sci-Hub is an activist site fighting against corporate greed, as the university press community typically operates at a deficit. But university presses have many other challenges, and the threat posed by Sci-Hub is not the largest among them. Continue reading

Selling to Libraries vs. Selling to Users

On an academic campus, the consumer of licensed scholarly information products is usually not the buyer and does not make purchasing decisions. If your sales reps aren’t careful about respecting that distinction, they can get themselves into hot water fast. 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.