“The Third Research Excellence Framework, scheduled for the mid-2020s, now has a mandate for open access books. Despite calls from the digitally enlightened, however, most humanities long-form writing remains very much ensconced within the traditions and economics (both symbolic and financial) of the printed book. In this talk, I will discuss the challenges of a migration from conventional books to an open access model and the range of approaches that are currently being taken.
In the age of data mining, distant reading, and cultural analytics, scholars increasingly rely upon automated, algorithm-based procedures in order to parse the exponentially growing databases of digitized textual and visual resources. While these new trends are dramatically shifting the scale of our objects of study, from one book to millions of books, from one painting to millions of images, the most traditional output of humanistic scholarship—the single author monograph—has maintained its institutional pre-eminence in the academic world, while showing the limitations of its printed format. Recent initiatives, such as the AHRC-funded Academic Book of the Future in the UK and the Andrew W. Mellon-funded digital publishing initiative in the USA, have answered the need to envision new forms of scholarly publication on the digital platform, and in particular the need to design and produce a digital equivalent to, or substitute for, the printed monograph. Libraries, academic presses and a number of scholars across a variety of disciplines are participating in this endeavour, debating key questions in the process, such as: What is an academic book? Who are its readers? What can technology do to help make academic books more accessible and sharable without compromising their integrity and durability? Yet, a more fundamental question remains to be answered, as our own idea of what a ‘book’ is (or was) and does (or did) evolves: how can a digital, ‘single-author’ monograph effectively draw from the growing field of digital culture, without losing those characteristics that made it perhaps the most stable form of humanistic culture since the Gutenberg revolution? Our speakers will debate some of these questions and provide their points of view on some of the specific issues involved. After their short presentations, all participants are invited to bring their own ideas about, and experience with, digital publishing to the table.”
“[A] new game has launched that not only develops public awareness of public broadcasting archives, but actually deepens the public’s relationship with material in the archive.
The game, called Fix It, was launched by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation. It asks the public for help in identifying and correcting errors in public media transcripts — which improves both the searchability and accessibility of archival material from the collection….”
“Download hundreds of free audio books, mostly classics, to your MP3 player or computer. Below, you’ll find great works of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, by such authors as Twain, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Orwell, Vonnegut, Nietzsche, Austen, Shakespeare, Asimov, HG Wells & more. …”
“The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities….”
“Reworking Wikipedia health entries is not a trivial task. A 2014 study found about 25,000 pages of English-language health-related articles. That number is now up to 32,000, Heilman says. The health pages worldwide attracted almost 4.9 billion pageviews in 2013. A 2012 survey of several hundred medical students found 94 percent use the site for health information.
But despite its popularity, the reliability of Wikipedia’s medical content has often been questioned.”
“The Chilean Congress House of Deputies has approved a bill that creates a new unwaivable right of remuneration for authors of audiovisual works, and its contributions….This will mean that the music composer of a work embedded in any audiovisual work, the writer of the drama, the Director, the camera man, etc, will not be able to waive its right or license for free through a creative commons license or any other open licenses, or give it to the public domain….”
“As Open Access becomes more widespread, quantifying the range of OA options has become complex. In this PLOScast, Elizabeth Seiver speaks with Greg Tananbaum, the owner of ScholarNext, about the spectrum of Open Access, the tool available to help academics gauge the openness of an article, OA policies and emerging developments in scholarly communication. Together they discuss how machine readability is playing a role in OA publishing, issues surrounding OA funding, and how Open Access journals can work together. Greg focuses on the intersection of technology, content and academia. He’s been working with SPARC since 2007 on issues relating to Open Access and open data. If you are interested in learning more, please check out the following links …”