Archive for July 2009
Collapse is a philosophy journal, issue IV is focused on the concept of horror. Collapse IV, initially published in April 2008, has sold out its 1000 limited edition and is now freely available online. Urbanomic (publisher) asked for help with bandwidth and co-hosting of this open-access issue – you can download it here.
Collapse is one the most interesting journals i came across. It boldly asserts that new links ought to be forged, a new relationship formed, between philosophy, science and arts. I don’t know any other publication where you can find a carefully assembled selection of theoretical maths and physics, astronomy, architecture, science fictions, art, and ground breaking philosophy with the focus on philosophy that doesn’t fear science. Journal’s most significant intervention so far has been its focus on the group of loosely affiliated authors under the name speculative realism. Table of content of Collapse IV follows.
Here’s a view on what the future of digital publishing might mean for university presses:
The Google-initiated prospect of a universal library, available to everyone anywhere; the ability to locate, search, and connect virtually every book ever printed […] is fast approaching the stuff of reality.
Realizing the full potential of these digital opportunities, many only barely sensed at present, will require a press – let’s call it University Press 2.0 – that is transformed both internally and in its external relations and collaborations with other university units, with other university presses, and with an expanding range of academic authors, readers, and disciplines.
In the latest book from the only philosophy Open Access book publisher, you can read the following:
Antonio Negri, ‘The Italian Difference’
Pier Aldo Rovatti, ‘Foucault Docet’
Gianni Vattimo, ‘Nihilism as Emancipation’
Roberto Esposito, ‘Community and Nihilism’
Matteo Mandarini, ‘Beyond Nihilism: Notes Towards a Critique of Left-Heideggerianism in Italian Philosophy of the 1970s’
Luisa Muraro, ‘The Symbolic Independence from Power’
Mario Tronti, ‘Towards a Critique of Political Democracy’
Alberto Toscano, ‘Chronicles of Insurrection: Tronti, Negri and the Subject of Antagonism’
Paolo Virno, ‘Natural-Historical Diagrams: The ‘New Global’ Movement and the Biological Invariant’
Lorenzo Chiesa, ‘Giorgio Agamben’s Franciscan Ontology’
Download the book here.
Kelty’s book, Two Bits, was the first Duke Press book published online and in print simultaneously. Back in January he wrote how having the book as a free download as well helped, and not damaged, as some feared, his career. He was surprised that downloads to print sales ratio was 3:1. Promoting book is hard work, he notes, and putting it online will not transfer into print sales unless a lot of work is put into it. Kelty’s January analysis is here. The bit that i didn’t know, and hence this old-new-but-new-for-me post, is that it has gone into reprint since:
Two Bits has sold 1142 paperback copies (which doesn’t include publicity or review copies) since its release last June, and we are now preparing to reprint
Two Bits book blog is here.
- Fissures Evident in Panel on Google Settlement. ‘“Everybody’s represented at the table, publishers, copyright holders, authors,” [one librarian] said, “but there’s no one there representing the public.” There’s no transparency in the University of Michigan’s amended agreement, she said, so “even if everything’s being done right, no way for us to perceive that.”’
- The Public Index, ‘a site to study and discuss the proposed Google Book Search settlement’.
- Horns of a Dilemma: Open Access or Academic Freedom: Philip Davis correctly points out that author-pays OA could put a strain on university libraries’ budgets if the libraries are asked to pay the authors’ publishing fees. He then uses this observation to construct a straw-man argument against all OA, by implying that OA is incompatible with academic freedom, and that subscription-based closed access is the best model. I pointed out some of the flaws in this argument in the comments, until Philip cut off the discussion. In my view, both subscription fees and author fees limit academic freedom by restricting participation to institutions and individuals who can afford to pay, and neither model places any real limits on how much money publishers can extort. In the subscription model, the result is that only the richest institutions can afford to give their members the freedom to read the best journals; in the author-pays model, the result is that only the richest institutions can afford to give their members the freedom to publish in the best journals. I think the best alternative is to abandon the idea that academic publishing should be financially self-sustaining, and a fortiori that it should make a profit. In any case, there is evidence that it need not cost much to publish a journal; many OA journals are published by universities themselves, at little or no cost. (Richard Sever argued that if universities publish OA journals, this introduces a potential conflict of interest when faculty want to publish in their universities’ journals; he didn’t explain why this isn’t a problem for the closed-access journals that, as he pointed out, many universities publish.)
- Deepak Singh comments on PLoS’s decision to promote article-level metrics and to ignore journal impact factors: ‘If you want article level metrics, you need to be web native. You need to be able to follow the links. So please, publish journals not as pdf versions of print, but as first class web citizens.’
- In Search of Anthropology-Friendly Subject Repositories: are there any?
- Finding a fair price for free knowledge: Writing in New Scientist, Peter Eckersley sets out ‘a challenge to the governments of countries that want to lead the way, whether rich or poor: sit down with Google (or one of its competitors), authors and publishers, and work out a deal that offers a complete, licensed digital library free to your citizens. It would cost taxpayers something, but less than they currently spend on buying scarce books and supporting large paper collections.’
- ACM responds to the blogosphere: Scott Delman, Group Publisher of the Association for Computing Machinery, points out a problem with self-archiving: ‘The fact that ACM charges both for access to the published information in its Digital Library and also extends the courtesy of “Green OA” to its authors is actually less important to me (while both are important aspects of what we do) than the fact that ACM and many other association publishers serve as well-intentioned caretakers of the scholarly record. I have spent too many hours trying to identify the “most up-to-date version” of an author’s article on his or her Web site or digging through the various related institutional repositories to identify a specific version of an article to believe that any other system at the present time offers the advantages of publishing with learned societies.’ The implication seems to be that only those who can afford to pay should have access to ‘the scholarly record’, and that Delman doesn’t mind if everyone else has to dig through institutional repositories only to find out-of-date versions of articles. The assertion that Green OA is a ‘courtesy’ that publishers extend to academics is also telling; in reality, it’s authors who giving something to publishers, not the reverse.