The Future of Authorship

Dismayed by the loss of trust in facts, and seeming preference for half-truths that appears to be driving our political present, Robert Harington decided to catch up on his reading over the weekend, and stumbled across a stimulating article in Publishers Weekly, entitled How to Sell Nearly a Half-Million Copies of a Poetry Book, by Anisse Gross.

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.

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.

Hollywood Takes on Peer Review

This summer’s blockbuster movie “Ghostbusters” is, amazingly, about academic peer review and the quality of scholarly publishing. Is it possible that the specialized world of scholarly communications now has mass appeal?

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.