The Book of Trogool

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Other people are doing NPG vs. CDL link roundups better than I am, so I’ll limit myself to a few links: Think this is a one-off moment of insanity on NPG’s part? Bernd-Christoph Kaemper demonstrates the pattern. Steve Lawson of Colorado College shares text of an email he sent to faculty at his institution. He…

It’s Friday

Having inflicted at least one truly Bulwer-Lytton-contest-worthy metaphor on FriendFeed today (“The NPG/CDL thing isn’t about open access; open access is just lurking there, kinda like a knife-wielding maniac in a horror movie”), I feel I must raise the stakes by linking to this Derangement and Description comic. This is the first time anyone has…

Gauntlet volleying

This morning, when Nature Publishing Group responded to the University of California library’s broadside, I contemplated taking the response apart piece by piece in a bit of “… translated into English” satire. I’m glad I didn’t have the chance. I’m much, much happier for people to read the University of California library’s response. (By the…

Musings on worms turning

So I’m turning over the California/NPG situation in my head, because I?okay, because I’m obsessive, are you happy now? (Just don’t ask how late I was sending email last night.) The very cynical portion of my brain notes that it’s almost certainly easier to persuade faculty to inaction than action. California didn’t try to use…

This is the sort of event I can never, ever manage to predict. Like the Harvard OA mandate. Or the PRISM Coalition. In brief, Nature Publishing Group tried the usual big-publisher contract-renewal tactics: jack the price a lot, because although librarians squeal, faculty never listen, so eventually the librarians knuckle under and sign the big…

Journal publishing’s future

I’m not a business analyst with my eye on the scholarly publishing industry, but if I were, I’d sound an awful lot like Claudio Aspesi being interviewed by Richard Poynder. I can’t speak to Elsevier’s internal organizational issues, but the rest of Aspesi’s words ring true to me. Libraries have kicked the serials can as…

Another reason it’s been quiet around here is that comments haven’t been appearing. This was my fault (though I am innocent of any ill intent), and I apologize with all my heart. What happened was this: I was getting quite a bit of the particularly obnoxious kind of spam that copies other comments to appear…

Excuses, excuses

*blows off the dust* It’s been quiet around here. Sorry about that. Morphing jobs is chaotic, as is moving offices. I’ve missed a writing deadline, made another, and have a third coming up. I don’t have a proper desk in my new office yet (I will soon), and my current makeshift is making my good…

I hacked the academy

This post is intended for Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt’s crowdsourced Hacking the Academy book. Arguments about open access usually appeal to altruism, tradition, or economics. Even arguments supposedly aimed at researcher self-interest strike me as curiously abstract, devoid of useful example. I will therefore tell my story about open access, because I hacked the…

Conflagration coming

I’m on record predicting a toll-access journal bloodbath. Anecdotes are not data, one dead swallow doesn’t mean the end of summer, and so on? but I just heard yesterday about a second small independent toll-access journal whose sponsors may be discussing winding it down. This isn’t the scenario I was quite looking for; I expected…