Publishers are understandably concerned about piracy, but the STM/NISO initiative RA21 “to align and simplify pathways to subscribed content across participating scientific platforms” has scoped its problem the wrong way. Simply put: It’s not about security. It’s about identity. Every individual should be in control of their own identity. Can RA21 realize its potential to serve the broader interests of scientists and academia, not just the understandable objectives of publishers and vendors?
Today, we grapple with privacy issues as consumers, as citizens, and as voters. As an industry, we should be thinking about how to draw not only on policy but also on technical architecture to balance privacy and innovation. When the stars align, an entirely different architecture for the control of user data is possible. What would such a shift mean for scholarly publishing and academic libraries?
A study making the rounds about free e-books and their effect on sales has major flaws, both micro and macro.