Blogs selected for Week February 13 to February 19, 2017 -

1. Monograph Output of American University Presses, 2009-2013

This is a report on the monograph output of American university presses. The report had the cooperation of 65 presses, which contributed their historical data to the project. The report shows the output of the presses and provides a more granular analysis by subject area and press size, notes Joseph Esposito, in his post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog.

The blog post says (quote): This report represents the attempt to answer Mellon's question, a three-part project involving American university press book publishing, which they conducted, with some breaks along the way, over three years. The three parts will be taken up in turn in the body of this report; they consist of a pilot project, a study of the output of American university press monographs over the period 2009-2013 (the core of the project), and an experiment in which they (with the assistance of personnel from Mellon and OCLC) attempted to map, with mixed results, the information gathered in Phase Two onto WorldCat, an OCLC service. It is worth bearing in mind that university presses publish many things, and monographs are but one slice of their overall production, which could include journals, trade books, tests, regional titles (e.g., a tourist's guide to the region where a press is located), and classroom texts. Mellon specifically asked to determine the number of scholarly monographs in the humanities published each year by American university presses. This immediately raises the question of what is a monograph.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

2. Increasing REF's impact weighting could offer incentive for institutions to address societal, economic and global challenges

Challenges posed by events such as Brexit highlight the importance of excellent research programmes. Moreover, they represent a broader context in which the next Research Excellence Framework must consider 'impact'. But do current REF proposals go far enough towards doing this? In his post in The Impact Blog, Matthew Guest argues that there is not enough of an incentive for institutions to address heightened societal, economic and global challenges because the proposals do not directly link into the wider national agenda.

The blog post says (quote): Research impact is viewed first and foremost as how research impacts upon itself. A paper is said to be impactful when it has been cited a high number of times. And it is right that importance is placed on generating knowledge for the purpose of advancing individual disciplines, and that excellence in such work is rewarded. But it's all too easy to leave it just at that: a valuable, heavily cited paper that the greater, non-academic community doesn't know about, let alone how to access. We need to place greater emphasis on taking that knowledge out into the world, translating theory into practice, and learning from what goes on outside academia to address today's greatest societal challenges.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

3. The academic journal detectives behind Retraction Watch

The atmosphere was electric in the New Residence Ballroom on February 3. Tables were filled with the energetic chatter of graduate researchers and professors in anticipation of the academic journal retraction detective: Ivan Oransky. Oransky and his partner Adam Marcus founded the popular blog Retraction Watch in 2010 to record when academic papers get retracted, how many retractions each researcher has, and the reason for every retraction. Angelina Giordano, in her post in The McGill Tribune Blog, discusses Oransky's presentation, "Retractions, Post-Publication Peer Review, and Fraud: Scientific Publishing's Wild West," that demonstrated multiple scenarios for why academic papers might be retracted.

The blog post says (quote): Retraction Watch has a leaderboard of 30 individuals and the number of retractions they have had. Coming in first with 183 retractions is Yoshitaka Fujii, an anesthesiology researcher who got caught publishing results that were too good to be true. Fujii also happened to spend two years at McGill as a research fellow during the 1990s. According to Oransky, when someone’s results are too beautiful, "it really means the opposite." John Carlisle tried to replicate Fujii's results and found that the likelihood of achieving them was statistically close to impossible. Fujii was forced to retract his papers and was dismissed from his associate professorship at the Japanese University where he had conducted his false research.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

4. Why Hindawi Left the STM Association and What It All Means for the Industry

Hindawi recently announced they would no longer be members of the STM association, citing the trade association's 'overwhelming focus on protecting business models of the past'. In his post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Phill Jones discusses what does this mean for Hindawi and for the industry.

The blog post says (quote): Perhaps Hindawi have become frustrated with having to make the same arguments about the need for a transition to OA over and over again. Clearly, they are looking for an organisation that will provide greater support for new ideas and act independently as a force for change in the industry, rather than simply a neutral platform. Hindawi see OASPA and Crossref as just such organisations. Alternatively, perhaps Hindawi now see that their reputation and level of recognition has grown to the point where they can act as more of an independent advocacy force, as PLOS do. Either way, this move doesn't signal a scaling back of Hindawi's outreach and advocacy efforts. In many ways, the move to leave makes sense for Hindawi. The STM Association is just not the correct venue at this point, to do what Hindawi wants to do.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

5. Which digital book format has the most growth potential?

Amazon's Kindle format dominates the ebook market today and it's easy to assume that it will remain the case going forward. Despite that fact, in his post in the Digital Content Strategies Blog, Joe Wikert sees a number of trends indicating the digital book space could be ripe for disruption.

The blog post says (quote): Imagine a world where publishers could establish a strong, direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel featuring audio. The D2C audio edition of 1984 could be computer-generated and sell for $9.99, the same price as the Kindle edition; but in this case, the publisher keeps 100 percent of the selling price, not whatever percentage they’re receiving from Amazon for the Kindle edition. Are you worried that consumers will buy one audio copy and share it with all their friends? If so, please don't fall back into that digital rights management (DRM) trap that only reinforces Amazon's dominance. Rather, create a simple mobile app where all the purchased audio files live. Most publishers don't realise it, but the fact that a reader's Kindle files are buried in their app is more of a file-sharing deterrent than DRM itself.............(Unquote)

The full entry can be read Here.

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