Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity

Libraries have a long and distinguished history of publishing, since their earliest days. Traditionally libraries published to expose their collections through bibliographies, facsimiles, and catalogs. While the Internet has made discovery and dissemination of library holdings easier than ever before, digital publishing technologies have also unlocked compelling new purposes for library publishing, including through Open Access publishing initiatives. The self-publishing explosion and availability of self-publishing tools and services geared to libraries have heralded new opportunities for libraries, especially public libraries, to engage their communities in new ways. By supporting self-publishing initiative in their communities, public libraries can promote standards of quality in self-publishing, provide unique opportunities to engage underserved populations, and become true archives of their communities.
Keywords: library publishing, self-publishing, public libraries

Rhyme or Reason?: Patterns in Book Pricing by Format

This study illuminates the differentials in book pricing by format, which can appear arbitrary and unpredictable. Using the paperback list price as the base, the research uses a sample of 500 titles selected for purchase by a small, private liberal arts college library during a defined time period. I have recorded the prices of paperback, hardcover, single and multiple-user e-books from Ebrary, EBSCO, and Amazon Kindle. The mean pricing differential is calculated for each version across all titles in the sample, as well as for the top five publishers represented in the sample, in order to identify patterns in pricing decisions.

Counting Research ? Directing Research: The Hazard of Using Simple Metrics to Evaluate Scientific Contributions (An EU Experience)

In many EU countries there is a requirement to count research, i.e., to measure and prove its value. These numbers, often produced automatically based on the impact of journals, are used to rank universities, to determine fund distribution, to evaluate research proposals, and to determine the scientific merit of each researcher. While the real value of research may be difficult to measure, one avoids this problem by counting papers and citations in well-known journals. That is, the measured impact of a paper (and the scientific contribution) is defined to be equal to the impact of the journal that publishes it. The journal impact (and its scientific value) is then based on the references to papers in this journal. This ignores the fact that there may be huge differences between papers in the same journal; that there are significant discrepancies between impact values of different scientific areas; that research results may be offered outside the journals; and that citations may not be a good index for value. Since research is a collaborative activity, it may also be difficult to measure the contributions of each individual scientist. However, the real danger is not that the contributions may be counted wrongly, but that the measuring systems will also have a strong influence on the way we perform research.Keywords: Counting research, h-index, journal publications, JCR, ranking

Peer Reviewing: A Private Affair Between the Individual Researcher and the Publishing Houses, or a Responsibility of the University?

Peer reviewing is mandatory for scientific journals as quality control of submitted manuscripts, for universities to rank applicants for scientific positions, and for funding agencies to rank grant applications. In spite of this deep dependency of peer reviewing throughout the entire academic realm, universities exhibit a peculiar lack of interest in this activity. The aim of this article is to show that by taking an active interest in peer reviewing the universities will take control over the management and policy shaping of scientific publishing, a regime that is presently largely controlled by the big publishing houses. The benefits of gaining control of scientific publishing policy include the possibility to implement open access publishing and to reduce the unjustifiably high subscription rates currently charged by some of the major publishing houses. A common international clean-up action is needed to move this pivotal element of scientific publishing from the dark hiding places of the scientific journals to where it should be managed: namely, at the universities. In addition to the economic benefits, we postulate that placing peer reviewing at the universities will improve the quality of published research.Keywords: Peer reviewing, scholarly publishing, publishing houses, funding agencies, grant applications, universities, open access

Enhancing Metacognition: Nursing Faculty’s Perceived Usage of Interactive E-Book Technologies

Professional nurses who teach other nurses combine experiences and knowledge from clinical and conceptual components of nursing practice. Nurse educators have advanced educational preparation in teaching, learning, and assessment; and are able to blend educational activities in the teaching of professional nursing. It is essential that new nurse educators implement current methodologies and strategies to advance learning in the practice of nursing. Nurse educators direct their efforts and attention to thinking and how information is processed. Metacognition is the act of thinking about your thinking and involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Educators are interested in learning which activities and resources will influence cognitive and metacognitive development. Metacognition requires attention to how learning occurs. How do educators influence the thinking process in choosing variables for teaching? Livingston (1997) relates that metacognition requires attention to how learning occurs and identifies that the most effective mechanism is providing the learner with “both knowledge of cognitive processes and strategies using both cognitive and metacognitive strategies and evaluating the outcomes of their efforts” (3). It is the learner who acquires cognitive and metacognitive skills but the educator influences this process. How receptive are nurse educators to include resources in electronic formats to develop cognitive and metacognitive learning processes?

Editor’s Note

This editor is, somewhat ruefully, now in her third decade of immersion in digital publishing, decades spent largely in preparing and hoping to perfect documents for web delivery. Amongst the truths I now hold to be self-evident is that every few years I find myself in conversations in which the interlocutors question some of the heretofore-primary structures of publication. More than twenty years ago, I found myself engaged in heated debate about whether the page was a meaningful unit for infinitely scrolling documents delivered on the screen. Similarly, I argued both sides of questions about whether indices were useful and intellectually elaborate tools for analysis and discovery or moot in an era of easy full text search. Another recurring question throughout my (electronic) publishing career has been whether the concept of a journal issue continues to have utility in a delivery environment where articles can be published as soon as they are considered complete and ready.