Friday 21 June 2013

So making it OA means you can access it?..Latest issue of Learned Publishing now out

So, an author pays to make their article Open Access in a hybrid journal  and the publisher makes it open – so anyone can see it, right? Wrong. Well, often it’s wrong, simply because library link resolvers work at the journal title not article level. That’s just one of the issues that Chad Hutchens covers in his article on metadata – and it’s one you can’t help feel those resolvers must indeed resolve, somehow. This is one of several articles in the issue on important and long-standing issues in journal publishing. We reproduce a Paula Gantz piece which analyses what difference all those big and consortia deals have made to how we might view journal pricing. And Helen Zhang co-authors a survey on how journals view the republishing of conference papers – a bit of a vexed question for many journals and publishers. Hans Dillaerts and Ghislaine Charlton tell us about a collaborative system for charting all the different policies publishers have on self archiving. Xiang Ren has a piece on the remarkable (at least to me) state-run system for open publishing in China with many thousands of papers, Science Paper Online, which goes in for post publication peer review and then offers a grading system – and it’s started a hard-copy version!

But it’s not all about journals. Two slightly unusual papers about books: Pieter Borghart describes a new Belgian system for ascribing a ‘peer-reviewed’ label for books which seems to be taking off – and it may catch on elsewhere – but if it does, he wants us to be aware of all the (undesirable) consequences that have ensued and need to be guarded against; then Alison Baverstock  and colleague report on their research on self publishing – not, mainly, academic works, but something that could perhaps spill over into our realm. More on that next issue too. And there’s a book review on a book about the history of …. Books.

Not just books either. Margo Leach and Shaun Hobbs have a paper describing how an information system, combining published material and human expertise has been created to provide up-to-date and reliable information on plant health to developing countries – Plantwise.

Experienced editor Mriganka Awati gives us a list of all the things that would really help him in his everyday editing tasks, and wants your suggestions – that’s while he figures out what his author means by ‘PNA-rocked nucleic acid cramp’. Talking of help, Jilan Sun suggests how vocabulary extraction techniques can help non-native English speakers get to grips with foreign language papers.

And, two more book reviews, one quite critical, but the other (mostly) admiring of Sally Morris (former editor of Learned Publishing) et als’ (that can’t be correct punctuation!) Handbook of Journal Publishing.

The editor, ever in iconoclastic or even idiosyncratic mode, has an editorial based on an old Gershwin song – no, not ‘I got plenty of nuttin’’, nor ‘I got rhythm’, nor even ‘I know milk’, but it is about love.

All in all, a varied, not to say haphazard, issue, and a very international one – I hope there’s something in there you can enjoy.
See you in three months.

Alan Singleton
Learned Publishing

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