JEP Bids Farewell to Long-Time Editor

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

The December 2010 issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing marks the end of Judith Turner’s tenure as editor-in-chief of JEP. Judith has been JEP’s editor since its third issue appeared in 1997 and was instrumental in building the publication and putting it on a regular publication schedule in those early years. Under her leadership, the journal became a premier venue for publishing about publishing. Throughout the journal's now fifteen-year lifetime, Judith has been its guiding hand, attentive to every detail, generous with her advice and her editorial correction, committed to ensuring the journal's relevance to both practitioners and scholars.

Hypernews, Hyperreaders and Beyond

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

Key to any understanding of online journalism is the nature of its readership, as in, the ‘hyperreaders,’ and this paper will argue that they are as important a consideration as the medium itself in that they play a part in how it operates and is disseminated. Key to this is an understanding of Reader Response theory, which argues that it is the reader who defines the meaning of a text, while conflicting political and methodological views on this process must also be taken into account. The paper will also argue that readers are increasingly blurring the difference between themselves and journalists, via blogging and the growing use by established media of images and testimony provided by members of the public. The paper will then conclude that it is this presently unusual relationship between readers and journalists, undermining the traditional hierarchy of news production and consumption, which defines hypernews.

OA Repositories: the Researchers’ Point of View

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

Open access has become very popular over the last few years. It is evident in the increasing number of scientific journals being made available free to readers on the Internet, and the increasing number of institutions that are building repositories to house the electronic versions of openaccess articles written by scholars at their institutions. The academic and research communities seem to support this movement and their right to obtain easy and free access to publicly funded scientific information. But, how often do researchers actually use such free publications as readers and how often do they choose to publish in an OA journal or institutional repository? How trustworthy do they consider those journals and repositories? Would they prefer that OA repositories be more selective? Although today about 10-15 percent of scientific peer-reviewed journals are OA and there are several declarations encouraging institutions to build OA repositories, there is still a long way to go, especially where OA repositories are concerned. This research is trying to determine why acceptance and growth of open access, particularly open access repositories, has been so slow.

Academic Search Engine Spam and Google Scholar’s Resilience Against it

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

In a previous paper we provided guidelines for scholars on optimizing research articles for academic search engines such as Google Scholar. Feedback in the academic community to these guidelines was diverse. Some were concerned researchers could use our guidelines to manipulate rankings of scientific articles and promote what we call ‘academic search engine spam’. To find out whether these concerns are justified, we conducted several tests on Google Scholar. The results show that academic search engine spam is indeed—and with little effort—possible: We increased rankings of academic articles on Google Scholar by manipulating their citation counts; Google Scholar indexed invisible text we added to some articles, making papers appear for keyword searches the articles were not relevant for; Google Scholar indexed some nonsensical articles we randomly created with the paper generator SciGen; and Google Scholar linked to manipulated versions of research papers that contained a Viagra advertisement. At the end of this paper, we discuss whether academic search engine spam could become a serious threat to Web-based academic search engines.
Keywords: academic search engine spam, search engines, academic search engines, citation spam, spamdexing, Google Scholar

Editor’s Note

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

On January 17, 1990, the American consulate in Cape Town sent a cable to the U. S. Secretary of State reporting on the imminent announcement of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison after 27 years. Three years later Mandela would receive the Nobel Peace Prize; four years later he would become President of South Africa. The diplomatic cable, reporting on conversations with Mandela’s lawyer, made it clear that Mandela and then South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk were working together toward Mandela’s release and the end apartheid. The words in the cable suggest admiration for Mandela’s leadership of the African National Congress, the anti-apartheid group:

Traversing The Book of Mpub: an Agile, Web-first Publishing Model

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

In the twenty-first century, content normally lives on the web. But what would a web-based book publishing environment look like? In spring 2010, graduate students at Simon Fraser University created The Book of MPub, an end-to-end, web-first book publishing project. The re-visioning of the book as a web-born entity presents enormous opportunities for publishers to push the operational, expressive, and social horizons of their businesses. We have identified four key concepts which shape a modern book publishing approach: the concept of an agile publishing methodology; the centrality of online content management systems; leveraging the web's HTML markup as a way of achieving an XML-based workflow; and the radical reconfiguration of promotion and marketing.

Online Communities’ Impact on the Profession of Newspaper Design

The Journal of Electronic Publishing Vol 13 Issue 3, 2010-12-01

The importance of the Internet to visual journalism is increasing with each technological advance. Within the past decade online design communities have formed and flourished, creating a cyber haven for creative professionals to meet and share their visual work. This paper focuses on the impact these emerging communities have had on the profession of newspaper design and publishing as a whole. Qualitative interviews with newspaper designers who participate in online design communities unveil transformations within the newspaper-design profession. Additionally, this paper expands on both offline and online community theory, offering insight into future studies that may focus on the Internet’s effects on various publishing profession.

Keywords: Online Community, Newspaper Design, Publishing, Professional Virtual Community, Community of Practice

Libraries: is this YOUR free cash? informa (Taylor & Francis) glowing picture for investors

While libraries are reeling from severe budget cuts due to the financial crisis, how are the commercial publishers that rely on us doing? Hurting too? Not really, it seems. Here is what informa (Taylor & Francis) is telling investors today:

The strong portfolio of products within the Informa stable allows the group highly favourable valuation characteristics including:

* Excellent free cash generation
* High return on capital employed
* Excellent quality of earnings – significant subscription revenues with high renewal rates
* High margins especially on data and subscription products
* High operational gearing and cost flexibility
* Products which do and will continue to benefit from technological advances and changing consumer trends

From: informa / Investor Relations

What does this mean?

Excellent free cash generation = when we send in our subscription payments, they have tons of cash on hand. In ordinary household terms: when you get your paycheque, the money is not all going to pay the bills right away, you pay these off and have lots of spending money.

High return on capital employed = for what they spend on getting the journals, they get way more money back.

High margins especially on data and subscription revenues with high renewal rates = high profits. Does it mean that they could afford to give your library a MUCH bigger discount – say 30 to 40 % more – and still more than cover their costs? Yes, it does. I don’t have enough detail to specify the amount, but this does seem reasonable to ask.

High operational gearing and cost flexibility = even though they are making way more than it costs to produce the journals, they are finding ways to cut corners and make even more profits. If they are passing on some of the savings to your library, please let me know!

Products which do and will continue to benefit from technological advances and changing consumer trends = they think no matter what happens, they will just keep on making more and more money.

This post is part of the economics 101 series.

Libraries: is this YOUR free cash? informa (Taylor & Francis) glowing picture for investors

While libraries are reeling from severe budget cuts due to the financial crisis, how are the commercial publishers that rely on us doing? Hurting too? Not really, it seems. Here is what informa (Taylor & Francis) is telling investors today:

The strong portfolio of products within the Informa stable allows the group highly favourable valuation characteristics including:

* Excellent free cash generation
* High return on capital employed
* Excellent quality of earnings – significant subscription revenues with high renewal rates
* High margins especially on data and subscription products
* High operational gearing and cost flexibility
* Products which do and will continue to benefit from technological advances and changing consumer trends

From: informa / Investor Relations

What does this mean?

Excellent free cash generation = when we send in our subscription payments, they have tons of cash on hand. In ordinary household terms: when you get your paycheque, the money is not all going to pay the bills right away, you pay these off and have lots of spending money.

High return on capital employed = for what they spend on getting the journals, they get way more money back.

High margins especially on data and subscription revenues with high renewal rates = high profits. Does it mean that they could afford to give your library a MUCH bigger discount – say 30 to 40 % more – and still more than cover their costs? Yes, it does. I don’t have enough detail to specify the amount, but this does seem reasonable to ask.

High operational gearing and cost flexibility = even though they are making way more than it costs to produce the journals, they are finding ways to cut corners and make even more profits. If they are passing on some of the savings to your library, please let me know!

Products which do and will continue to benefit from technological advances and changing consumer trends = they think no matter what happens, they will just keep on making more and more money.

This post is part of the economics 101 series.

Libraries: is this YOUR free cash? informa (Taylor & Francis) glowing picture for investors

While libraries are reeling from severe budget cuts due to the financial crisis, how are the commercial publishers that rely on us doing? Hurting too? Not really, it seems. Here is what informa (Taylor & Francis) is telling investors today:

The strong portfolio of products within the Informa stable allows the group highly favourable valuation characteristics including:

* Excellent free cash generation
* High return on capital employed
* Excellent quality of earnings – significant subscription revenues with high renewal rates
* High margins especially on data and subscription products
* High operational gearing and cost flexibility
* Products which do and will continue to benefit from technological advances and changing consumer trends

From: informa / Investor Relations

What does this mean?

Excellent free cash generation = when we send in our subscription payments, they have tons of cash on hand. In ordinary household terms: when you get your paycheque, the money is not all going to pay the bills right away, you pay these off and have lots of spending money.

High return on capital employed = for what they spend on getting the journals, they get way more money back.

High margins especially on data and subscription revenues with high renewal rates = high profits. Does it mean that they could afford to give your library a MUCH bigger discount – say 30 to 40 % more – and still more than cover their costs? Yes, it does. I don’t have enough detail to specify the amount, but this does seem reasonable to ask.

High operational gearing and cost flexibility = even though they are making way more than it costs to produce the journals, they are finding ways to cut corners and make even more profits. If they are passing on some of the savings to your library, please let me know!

Products which do and will continue to benefit from technological advances and changing consumer trends = they think no matter what happens, they will just keep on making more and more money.

This post is part of the economics 101 series.