Scholarly Publishing

In session 5 in Library and Publishing in an information society, our focus was that of scholarly publishing. What is it? What are the challenges and opportunities of scholarly publishing it this modern society?

In the Academic journal: The Serials Librarian: From the Printed Page to the Digital Age, Publishing 101: The Basics of Academic Publishing. Zachary Rolnik et al. 2008 gave a brief history of publishing from print to the digital age.

“He pointed out that the first scientific journal published in English in 1665, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, is still in print. In his survey, Rolnik mentioned the importance of the Uniform Penny Post in the initial widespread distribution of journals and compared the importance of the post to the importance of Internet distribution in our era. The Uniform Penny Post, established in England in 1840, charged a flat rate of one penny for mailed items within a certain weight class regardless of distance. Prior to the Penny Post, rates were based on distance. The ultimate benefit of the Uniform Penny Post in 1840—and the Internet approximately 150 years later—is increased access to scholarly communications and publications”.

In the 21st century, academic publishing is making a radical shift as it transitions from primarily print to electronic formats. Librarians can take a prominent role in communicating important (STM) science, technical and medical, publishing trends to their user groups and to fellow academic administrations . Clearly, a first step is to stay current with these trends. The entire publishing cycle has been destabilized by the ability to publish instantly and freely using web 2.0 tools, especially blogs and wikis. But the what really does scholarly publishing consist of? Well, journals, research monographs, advanced text books and specialist reference resources that are produced by academics are considered as scholarly publishing.

How are they accepted as scholarly publications? When people produce documents, they produce them based on other scholarly articles in which people have produced and passed through the system. This system is where documents are peer reviewed by academics, and are pre accepted or rejected.

Take for instance the publication of an academic journal and the channels and steps in which it has to go through as explained by Rolnik:

  •  identify topic;
  •  find an Editor-in-Chief;
  •  form an editorial board;
  •  implement manuscript submissions/review process;
  •  get the publication listed in abstracting and indexing services;
  •  wait 5–7 years for the journal to break even.

As a result about 25,000 academic journals are in existence today with that number growing at about 3% yearly. There are also over 25,000 academic books being produced each year and about 6% of those being produced by UK publishers.

One Question still remains. What is the future of academic publishing? Well, with publishers seeking new innovations in this modern society, and open access becoming more prominent among publishers, giving them the ability to sell their story. Also the use of text and data mining, and the development of more tools to help people where ever they are in the world, seems to be the out look of what seems to be a more revolutionized and interesting scope on Academic Publishing.

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The Digital Age

In  our last Libraries and publishing in an information Society class (LAPIS). We conferred on several  key subject areas as it relates to that of Libraries, publishing and protection of information. Also who would have access rights to this information. All this being classed and form under that of intellectual property and law.

Throughout history lead to several changes and laws when it came to accessing information. One such change is that of the “Digital Age”, which not only revolutionized the publishing industry in the UK, but has brought about these changes globally. Even though it is deemed a field mainly monopolized by larger companies and entities such as Google, Apple and several big Co-operations in the music industry. There is still room for smaller businesses to compete successfully. The evolution of this industry also saw the creation of social media sites such as Facebook in 2004, You Tube in 2006 and Twitter in 2012. Not only does these sites permit users to view content, but one can also share interest, publications and relevant scholarly material along with personal videos in-which they have created.

With this Digital Age, people now have the agility to access most of their material online in an e-format, which can be accessed from any electronic devices like iPads, mobile phones and Kindles. This also gives everyone the ability to become a publisher and also cuts back on the traditional cost of publishing as well as the use of paper. The video below gives readers a further insight into what the Digital Age consist.

Intellectual Property also  brings about copy right Law, which can be dated back in the UK from as early as 1735 withe the implementation of the Engravers Copyright Act. Fundamentally, copyright is a law that gives you ownership over the things you create. Be it a painting, a photograph, a poem or a novel, if you created it, you own it and it’s the copyright law itself that assures that ownership. The ownership that copyright law grants comes with several rights that you, as the owner, have exclusively. Those rights include:

  • The right to reproduce the work
  • to prepare derivative works
  • to distribute copies
  • to perform the work
  • and to display the work publicly

These are your rights and your rights alone. Unless you willingly give them up (EX: A Creative Commons License), no one can violate them legally. This means that, unless you say otherwise, no one can perform a piece written by you or make copies of it, even with attribution, unless you give the OK.

Inversely, if you’re looking for material to use or reuse, you should not do any of these things without either asking permission or confirming that the work is in the public domain, which means that the copyright has expired and all of the above rights have been forfeited. Simply put, if the work isn’t in the public domain and you don’t have permission to use a piece, you put yourself in risk of legal action, regardless of your intentions.

Creative Commons, in my opinion is a bit more linear than that of copy right, giving people the ability to copy and reuse people’s creation without having to seek direct permission from the publisher themselves but following certain conditions set out by its creator. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copy right. They work alongside copy right copyright and enables users to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. With Creative Commons comes flexibility (for example, you can choose to allow only non-commercial uses) and protects the people who use your work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions you have specified. The video below gives you a full insight into Creative Commons and its use:

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The Golden age Vs The Stone age

On Friday 13th February 2015, we were enlightened with a very informative and imposing lecture by Editor Eliza Anyangwe ‏@ElizaTalks from the Guardian News paper. In which she presented on Digital Journalism: Golden age or Stone age?

The birth of  this new era in journalism can be seen as the death of fortress journalism. Which occurred as a result of the rapid expansion and growth of the Internet and people’s ability to access it just about anywhere on most given devices. This not only lead to less adverts being placed in physical newspaper, but people found it more convenient to view their news online. Also the use of the newspaper give people less details than that of community online sites which gives its readers more up to date information about everything and can easily be updated and expanded with the click or press of a button.

In Frank Rose article dated 8th March 2014,” How the smartphone ushered in a golden age of journalism”, he stated that, journalism is holding its own Statistics from the Times say roughly half of the people who read it now do so with their mobile devices, and that jibes with figures from the latest Pew report on the news media broadly. This he judged based of his arrival in New York many years ago, and analyzing how commuters would fold their news papers in the size of an iPad while commuting without having to thrust the pages in anyone’s face, while maintaining the fold. Compared to that of today’s readers who are constantly seen gazing at their mobile screens.

According to , journalist today now have the ability to reach and relay their story to any human being regardless of geographic location through the use of the Internet, all stories can be stored permanently and viewed from anywhere, anytime. Compare that to the world of 20 years ago, when news had to be distributed on paper or broadcast over ephemeral air waves, and news consumers had to either lay their hands on a newspaper or magazine or plop themselves (at the appropriate time) in front of a radio or TV.

The “golden age” line was a quote from Marc Andreessen, the Web-browser pioneer turned venture capitalist, who mused in a blog post about the future of the news business that perhaps “we are entering into a new golden age of journalism, and we just haven’t recognized it yet.” An­dreessen was making the case for investment in news, an industry he predicted will grow over the next two decades “10X to 100X from where it is today.” This too seems counterintuitive—and yet when he wrote it we’d already seen a big influx of money into serious news ventures, from tech billionaires (Jeff Bezos, Pierre Omidyar) and VCs (Lerer Ventures, Accel Partners) alike.

The Stone age however, does not entail the reporting of facts that have yet to be verified, not reporting issues that can cause controversies and definitely not distorting the fact for the political purpose of some quarters. Stone age journalism however is about people expressing themselves and sharing their views through the use of blog post, which can eventually make them popular depending on the number of views in which the blogger receive, this at the hand of their own independence. Even though the paste of stone age journalism seem to be very slow at the moment. It is some how putting and end to comments on web pages and articles while giving people the ability to become journalist in their own sense, to write and express themselves through the use of blogs.

As recent as today Peter Oborne, who was the chief political commentator and senior writer at the Daily Telegraph announced his resignation in a blog on openDemocracy website. Oborne accuses the newspaper of “fraud” on readers by burying reports on the HSBC tax scandal.

In his accusation he quoted a  conversation with Murdoch MacLennan, chief executive of Telegraph Media Group, whom he said freely admitted that advertising was allowed to affect editorial at the paper. In his accusation, Oborne argued that democracy was being undermined by “shadowy” media executives “who determine what truths can and what truths can’t be conveyed” by news organisations. Oborne further declared that “democracy itself is in peril” if “major newspapers allow corporations to manipulate their content for fear of losing advertising earnings”.

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The Meaning of The Medium is the Message

In our last LAPIS session, one of our key points of discussion was, “the medium is the message”. This term was first coined by Marshall McLuhan in his book, Understanding the Media 1946, “the medium is the message”. This mechanism was employed to communicate or express meaning are meaningful in themselves. According to McLuhan, in this symbiotic relationship, the medium influences how the message is perceived.

For example, when we read a book we don’t just read the content, but the technology that is in the book or what makes the book are very profound for the way we read. Another good example is that of print, radio and television media communication. According to McLuhan, a person listening to a radio program would consume their information in a different manner compared to if they were watching television or reading the same said information from within a newspaper. This is because different forms of media has different effects on the way in which people conceive information.  This effect has also changed significantly in todays era with the more frequent use of computers and other mobile devices.

McLuhan tells us that a “message” is, “the change of scale or pace or pattern” that a new invention or innovation “introduces into human affairs. It is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in inter-personal dynamics that the innovation brings with it. Thus, the message of theatrical production is not the musical or the play being produced, but perhaps the change in tourism that the production may encourage. McLuhan also influences us, to look beyond the obvious and seek the non-obvious changes or effects that are enabled, enhanced, accelerated or extended by the new thing.

In explaining the “medium”, which was mentioned in the beginning of his book, Understanding the Media, that the medium is “any extension of ourselves.” He then used the example of a hammer, which extends our arm and that of a wheel which extends our legs and feet. Each enables us to do more than our bodies could do on their own. On gathering this, I can therefore conclude, that each bit of technology added towards the human ability, for example the internet gives humans a broader insight into how we see and perceive things. Hence why McLuhan stated that each piece of technology added change how we see things.

To further explain

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Second Semester – Publishing

Hi,guys it’s been a while since my last blog, but here goes. Its a new semester and a module, “Publishing and Libraries in the Information Society”.

This model focuses on the many ways in which people publish stuff, within today’s contemporary information society. It also aims to give the readers a feel of how and when publishing first started, while comparing it with publishing today technology that we use throught our daily lives that pretty much makes any one a publisher. It also considers the impact of factors for change on the need for, and delivery of, library and information services.

Publishing is said to be the process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information. It is considered theactivity of making information available to the general public. Publishing in today’s society is no longer restricted to “the book trade”. With the implementation of technology such as mobile phones and other devices, which are even faster than the first pc produced about 31years ago. this making information the life blood of society according to James Gleick.

Taken from the National Archives web page, “Publishing means making information available to the public. In the past this was done mainly through issuing printed copies of documents. Now there are many more options such as websites, print, DVD and e-publications. Apart from ensuring value for money, the challenge is to choose publication channels that support a publication’s status and provenance, as well as ensuring that the publication reaches the right audience”.

With technology and publishing brings about an information society. Frank webster in his book an information society describes five main conponents of an information society, each of which presents criteria for identifying the new. which are technological, economic, occupational, spatial and cultural.

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Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is a Web of data, which was first Coined by Tim Berners-Lee. There is a lot of data we all use every day, and it’s not part of the Web. For example, I can see my bank statements on the web, and my photographs, and I can see my appointments in a calendar. But can I see my photos in a calendar to see what I was doing when I took them? Can I see bank statement lines in a calendar? Why not? Because we don’t have a web of data. Because data is controlled by applications, and each application keeps it to itself.

The vision of the Semantic Web is to extend principles of the Web from documents to data. Data should be accessed using the general Web architecture using, e.g., URI-s; data should be related to one another just as documents (or portions of documents) are already. This also means creation of a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries, to be processed automatically by tools as well as manually, including revealing possible new relationships among pieces of data.

Semantic Web technologies can be used in a variety of application areas; for example: in data integration, whereby data in various locations and various formats can be integrated in one, seamless application; in resource discovery and classification to provide better, domain specific search engine capabilities; in cataloging for describing the content and content relationships available at a particular Web site, page, or digital library; by intelligent software agents to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange; in content rating; in describing collections of pages that represent a single logical “document”.

Artist Books Online consists of files that display artists’ books, exhibits, essays, and links to other collections or resource materials for this field. There is an index of agents (authors, publishers, binders, printers etc, of books and works represented), titles (of works, books, and sometimes objects), contributors (authors of essays, exhibits, commentary), and of collections and other resources. The indices are currently under development.


The core of  Artist Books Online is the presentation of artists’ books in digital format. Books are represented by descriptive information, or metadata, that follows a three-level structure taken from the field of bibliographical studies: work, edition, and object. An additional level, images, provides for display of the work from cover to cover in a complete series of page images (when available), or representative images.

Marked-up text such as (HTML) Hyper text Mark up Language is a set of symbols or languages used to provide instructions.

When compared to the Old Bailey Online system, which could display to it’s users both the HTML and (XML) Extensible Mark up Language, formats as seen last week through the use of VoyantArtists’ Books Online. Even though it doesn’t allow you to view the two the site offer you a view of the original text in HTML as well as a sample of the same site in XML.


The only other way I can recommend in order to view both the human readable along with the machine readable format, is to use the Ctrl+U function to display the same content in the XML language, as you would have seen in HTML.


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Data Mining and Text Analysis

Generally, data mining (sometimes called data or knowledge discovery) is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information – information that can be used to increase revenue, cuts costs, or both. Data mining software is one of a number of analytical tools for analyzing data. It allows users to analyze data from many different dimensions or angles, categorize it, and summarize the relationships identified. Technically, data mining is the process of finding correlations or patterns among dozens of fields in large relational databases.

Text mining is the analysis of data contained in natural language text. Text mining works by transposing words and phrases in unstructured data into numerical values which can then be linked with structured data in a database and analyzed with traditional data mining techniques.

In Secession 8 of our Dita class, we were given the task of using the Old Bailey Online and the API demonstrator where we had to compare the search results for the two.After completing this task we had to open a new tab and choose one tab from the Utrech University Digital Humanities Lab and choose one of their research projects and compare it to how Old Bailey’s in terms of how they used data mining.

The Old Bailey API, This query page allows you to locate and export the individual trials that make up the proceedings. It is not configured to search the other types of text such as front matter and advertisements. This Demonstrator has been created to facilitate the dynamic exploration of trial results, and the export of trial texts and collections of trial URLs both to the bibliographical management system, Zotero, and to the suite of tools for linguistic analysis available through Voyant Tools. On the other hand the original Old Bailey online search, allow you to search the whole of the Proceedings and all published Ordinary’s Accounts (for the period 1679 to 1772). You may combine keyword searches with queries on tagged information including surname, crime, and punishment. The default setting allows you to search the full text of all the documents available on this website. It is also recommended that this page should be used for basic and general searches.

I was able to export my API results directly to Voyant, due to the fact that there is a direct link on the Old Bailey;s API page that allows me to click on the Voyant link and send between ten, fifty and one hundred search results, while in last week’s session, we had to copy and paste our search results directly into Voyant.

Old Bailey origional online search Figure 1

origional searh site

Figure 2 shows The Old Bailey API which has a link to Voyant.

old bailey api

The figure below, Shows the API results that were exported to Voyant.


Compared to the Old Bailey project, Utrecht Text mining project offers an Exploratory approach to defining its data. This can be seen in the figure below as I tried to explore two of their research projects Game Play and Identity projects and Text Mining.



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