Controversial Topics

This tag is associated with 24 posts

Microaggression, Micro Problem? On the Need for Conference “Codes of Conduct”

Conferences in our sector are increasingly articulating Codes of Conduct. Are they just box ticking? Charlie Rapple tackles her own skepticism and finds that articulating acceptable behaviors may state the obvious, but can serve a useful purpose nonetheless. Continue reading

The Limits of Crowdsourcing in the Scientific Disciplines

Social networking and crowdsourcing have attributes that may make them both incompatible with the goals and process of science. Can we accept that? Continue reading

Licensing Controversy — Balancing Author Rights with Societal Good

The CC-BY license is assumed to be an open access standard, but the situation is complex — for funders, authors, universities, and publishers of all types. Perhaps a less dogmatic approach would serve all parties better. Continue reading

Are University Block Grants the Right Way to Fund Open Access Mandates?

While block grants may be a preferred way to disperse money to fund public access mandates, their actual use may cause problems for researchers and universities. Continue reading

Driving Innovation: Finding the Balance Between Fair Reward and Profiteering

Vitriol may have obscured important points in a post last week. The growing business strategy of our era is to drive the cost of everyone else’s product to zero in order to make more money from your own product. This imbalance stifles innovation and creation. Continue reading

The Research Works Act: Is It Time For a Rally To Restore Sanity?

When it comes to discussions about access, the silent majority focused on doing science is presented with real choices, not all of which square with the scorched-earth rhetoric that too often dominates. Continue reading

Separating The Threads: What Is the Link Between Access and Profitability?

The last few weeks of lively debate about OA in the Scholarly Kitchen have been informative, but have also involved a variety of mixed messages from all sides. There are assumptions being made that aren’t necessarily true, and arguments joined together that may in reality be at cross purposes. Continue reading

One World Publishing, Brought to You by the Internet

The sale of e-books over the Internet will lead to a restructuring of the book business and the evolution of truly global publishers. Continue reading

The RIN Report on Researchers and Web 2.0: If You Build It . . . Well, You Know the Rest

The Research Information Network’s new report on researchers and Web 2.0 offers a similar set of results to previous studies: uptake is relatively low, and the trustworthiness and quality of online resources are suspect. The report offers contrary evidence to common myths about “digital natives” and some useful advice for anyone looking to build social media. Continue reading

The Pepsi Syndrome: Did ScienceBlogs Sell Out, or Was This Just Business As Usual?

The science blogosphere erupted in a furor this week, when Seed Media’s ScienceBlogs announced a new blog–Food Frontiers, a paid, sponsored blog about nutrition written by employees of PepsiCo. Multiple bloggers either suspended their blogs or quit ScienceBlogs altogether over their concerns that adding this blog undermined the credibility of the platform and their credibility as individual writers. Eventually, ScienceBlogs caved under the pressure and removed Pepsi’s blog. Did ScienceBlogs sell out to commercial interests, or was this just a continuation of what they’ve always done? Continue reading

Creating an Incentive: Can Social Media Offer Enough Carrots to Entice Scientists?

Scientists seem uninterested in participating in social media offerings, as the rewards offered are generally of insufficient value to warrant the effort required. Instead of just hoping that scientists will suddenly see the value in your product, why not offer incentives for participation? Continue reading

Science Blogging as a Public Outreach Tool — Unfulfilled Potential or Unrealistic Expectation?

A recent study points out that science blogs are failing to provide much in the way of community outreach and education to the non-scientist public. Is this really a failure, or is it an unrealistic expectation? Continue reading

The Internet’s Extended Cultural Memory — Is It Sapping Our Creativity?

One of the great benefits of the Internet is how it has extended our cultural memory. But has this also stolen our freedom of thought, our ability to create original works of art? Continue reading

Going Legit: The Difficult Path from Piracy to Partnership

Though social networking websites continue to proliferate, turning them into sustainable, revenue-generating businesses is still a difficult prospect. For sites based on the illegal distribution of copyrighted material, the process is even more difficult. Is it possible for a pirate to become a respected member of the business community? Continue reading

The Unstoppable Corporate Force Meets the Immovable Social Network

The companies behind social networks and media are running into conflicts with their users as they try to generate revenue from their services. Recent moves by Google, Facebook and AT&T are all sparking controversy as each encounters opposition to their business models from their customers. Continue reading

When Less Is More: The Upside of Paywalls and Delisting from Google

Rupert Murdoch’s recent moves have challenged the widely held notion that Google and the traffic it generates are essential to a successful web publishing business. Is it better to have lots of freeloading readers or a much smaller group of paying customers? Could the rumored search engine subsidies help support struggling scholarly publishing activities? Continue reading

How Meaningful Are User Ratings? (This Article = 4.5 Stars!)

Are user rating systems a good way of measuring the quality of an author’s research? More and more websites are abandoning 5-star rating systems as the results they give are deeply flawed. PLoS’ approach will probably suffer the same problems. Continue reading

What is “Library Bypass”?

Publishers are seeking new markets by finding ways to bypass libraries and selling directly to end-users. Do we need new approaches here? Continue reading

Questioning the Attention Economy

Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for access to his newspapers has been widely criticized as it will cut the material out of the wider online conversation. But what good is it to be part of a conversation that doesn’t bring in any revenue? Continue reading

$80,000 per Song, and Perceptions of Copyright

Two court decisions assign enormous fines for infringing copyright by sharing songs online. Is this a sign that the public is not as jaded about copyright as we’ve been led to believe? 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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