Shadows.com

Maxine User Page – Shadows.com

Have not worked out what Shadows is yet, apart from something Connotea-like. (I discovered it via Connotea). This link is to my "shadows" page. Sounds kind of spooky.

My-journal – just-for-me publishing?

info NeoGnostic: My-journal – just-for-me publishing?

What a great idea. This takes further the concept of personalising your contact with a company, for example the "my area" pages of Amazon. In the case of science publishing, you come into the publishing company’s site onto a personalised page which shows you tracking for the papers you are authoring (submitted) and peer-reviewing for all the journals published by that company, graphs of your statistics (how many people have viewed your published papers, cited them and so on), shows you other products (articles) that might be relevant to you, using semantic matching software, and so on.
This neat idea of info NeoGnostic’s is to widen this concept to the whole world (well, Internet). Each person would have their own "journal" in which he or she would be supplied with articles and information of interest to them, via their own chosen keywords and tagging. Now that would be a journal I would pay money to subscribe to.
I think it could even be technically feasible, based on what Chris Armstrong (info NeoGnostic) says in his posting. Brilliant! Probably someone would eventually work out how to infiltrate ads, spam and so on, but maybe even not, even better!

Why the WP closed for comments

washingtonpost.blog – The Editors Talk About Site Policies, Design and Goals

This is the link to the Washington Posts’s blog editors explaining why they have shut off comments "indefinitely" (see posting "Web writing responsibility" via Dion Hinchcliffe’s blog below this one). They must have got a lot of comments to their post in response to their request for feedback ;-), as they have also posted some further clarification.

Sounds grim. I hope some debate about this issue (relevance of comments vs censorship of profanity, personal agendas and the like) will crop up on one of the Nature Publishing Group blogs.

Of course, in the pre-blogging, pre-Internet world, we editors judged submissions, then cut, rewrote and published them according to our criteria — or rejected them as not relevant, against policy, etc. Many people have induldged in consipriacy and paranoia theories about this (and when you read posts like the one on Books Inq. about the "Mary Poppins Affair", you can see why. Editors and publishers need to be responsible and ethical if readers are to trust them).

I guess what is happening on the Washington Post is the downside of the unfettered approach. Is there (yet) an answer? No, seems not – at least not one within the technical ability of the Web 2.0 folk. We’ll see what emerges.

Web writing responsibility

How can we best make the writeable web a responsible place?

Dion Hinchliffe asks this question on his blog. He says "Controlling anarchy on the writetable Web might be as simple asking that folks flash their Identity 2.0 credential right before they change something on the Internet. This ensures their personal identity is attached to the change. And creating a verifiable chain of evidence might be all it takes for people to act more responsibily. Wiki vandalism, comment flaming, and other forms of anonymous mischief on the writeable Web may be eliminated forever when you know that your ID will be attached to it in perpetuity, affecting your hireability, possible suitability for public office, and more, forever."

The link is interesting, apparently the Washington Post had to shut their site to comments on Friday. So how to make the web the way most people (says Dion) want it? He’s drawn a good diagram of what he proposes.

Challenging evolutionists and IDers

Another of the debates going on over at Books, Inq. is the old chestnut of science v religion, or in its current form in the USA, Darwinian evolution vs "intelligent design" (aka creationism). Orientation can be obtained by visiting Nature, one of the original proponents of Darwinism and still going just as strong on that front.

This debate will never be resolved before time ends, but I cannot resist posting Frank Wilson’s splendidly inflammatory (to both sides) comment:

"I think this debate over evolution and religion is a marvelous example of people talking and thinking at cross-purposes. On the one hand you have a group who are sort of like people trying to figure out the meaning of Hamlet by studying the carpentry of the Globe Theatre, and on the other a group who, having figured out the carpentry, conclude that Shakespeare never existed. "

Is this wonderful comment something that everyone who has any view on Darwin vs god would disagree with? 😉

Sharing Amazon reviews

Science Library Pad: reader2 web book thing, plus coding thoughts:

This is a nice idea:

"As I’ve said before, my recommendation is for libraries to get together, build a common front-end layer, then build your local community while transparently using Amazon’s data. (By transparently I mean: user enters review on your site, it also gets copied to Amazon; conversely, if a user in your area puts a review directly on Amazon, it should show up on your site.) The reason to do this is Amazon has the network advantage – they have way more info than you will probably be able to generate in your relatively smaller local library community. You should be able to easily switch modes: ‘what has everyone on Amazon tagged this book’ vs ‘what tags have local users put on this book’."

Journal of Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification

Plagiary.org–Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification

I know I shouldn’t do this, as time is so precious, but this is another link I couldn’t resist publishing to come back to another day. A whole journal of plagiarism!
I don’t know if it is as interesting as it sounds, but must check it out for coverage of Hwang, Schoen et al.

25 Top Jobs for 2005-2009

25 Top Jobs for 2005-2009

I came across this link on my daily look through new Connotea links. Has to be worth checking out in one of those "free moments" (what are those?).

Journals, articles or aggregators?

info NeoGnostic: Russian dolls: containers in containers

Here is an interesting "debate" between Carol Tenopir and Stevan Harnad (both published in Nature on this topic) about the unit of publication in the future. Will it be the article, the journal or (as info NeoGnostic thinks) the aggregator? An issue of much concern to scientific (and other) journals, not least Nature, which is a commercial operation.
It seems to be emerging that the place where the information is held is less important. In the scientific community, the "open access" debate of a few years ago focused on the exhortation by people like Harnad that publishers should not have access restrictions or, if they refuse, authors should co-publish their work in an open archive (this debate was revisited more recently). The PLOS (public library of science) journals launched on the back of this philosophy, backed by multi-million dollar charitable endowment in the absence of a viable business model.
But Google’s activities (Google Scholar mainly) seem to have rendered the archive as such somewhat moot, or at least will do in future as GS comes out of beta and is refined into a more accurate, quantifiable information-retrieval tool. What will be the important thing is the access restriction itself, and not the place where the information is held.
The challenge for publishers such as Nature Publishing Group, Elsevier, PLOS, AAAS et al. will be to come up with more and more added-value features to attract people to their sites rather than search engines. Or something using not-yet-developed technology to get people to look at the content they have published so that they can gather revenue from the viewing. This is where the aggregation comes in, which of course includes "secondary" content (reviews of the literature and news/opinion about science).
In the meantime, the main performance indicator used by the scientific profession, the "impact factor" (about which books could and probably have been written), is also up for grabs, with Google Scholar potentially providing a challenge to the main player in this market, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), and Elsevier’s relatively new product, Scopus.