Journal of Plagiarism, Fabrication, and Falsification–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.

Finished Cold Granite

Finished Cold Granite this a.m. Was OK but nothing special. The plot was standard (one policeman is even reading a book by Ian Rankin in one brief scene — Cold Granite seems to have aspirations in that direction), and the identity of one of the villains (there are quite a few of them) immediately obvious to a seasoned crime-fiction reader, but not picked up in the book until much nearer the end, when the main character has a "flash of inspiration". There are several fairly gruesome descriptions of corpses which, as usual, I skimmed as (in my view) unnecessary, but this fact would have made the book notorious rather than admired, presumably. A readable book, mildly suspenseful, but too many murders, and the resolving plotlines too connected, to be convincing. There will be a sequel (start of first chapter included in p/b of this book).

Kevin Wignall said…

Maxine, just returning the courtesy and visiting your blog. Lots of interesting stuff.

By the way, my response to your comments over at Nomad wasn’t intended to put you in your place. Well, maybe a little, but of course, what I was really saying was, "Busted!" Apologies if I came across as rude.

7:58 PM

Maxine said…

That is a very gracious comment, Kevin, thank you.
My posting on your blog was a paltry attempt at humour which didn’t work, apologies if I sounded schoolmarmy.
And as I mentioned, your blog is full of interesting content, as well as beautifully illustrated with a lovely picture that changes each time you look at it.

7:10 PM

Another 52 Books

Another 52 Books: 52 mystery authors

This link is to a posting on the blog "Another 52 books". The author used to be on a different server but has now moved. The challenge the author has set him/herself is to read 52 new authors (possibly more than one book per author) and to post reviews on the blog. Sounds interesting, and worth tracking.

Book-review supplements in newspapers

Quite a debate going on over at Books, Inq. about stand-alone book-review sections in newspapers. They are pretty rare in the United States, apparently. I am not sure how weekly book-review round-ups fare in the local newspapers in the UK, not well either probably, although the nationals are quite good…at least in what used to be called the broadsheets. Actually, what do I know? I only read the Saturday Times’s weekly books supplement (which also has su dokus!), though from reading Sarah Weinman’s weekly round-up, the UK situation seems fairly healthy. Still making very little progress on anything outside work and domestic stuff. Tomorrow I am off to a two-day workshop to help specify a production-tracking system so I may not do any posting or blog checking. Will I get withdrawal symptoms in the latter case? Well, at least I might use the time to make headway with Cold Granite while I am Cold Turkey, ha ha.

Slow going

I demonstrated Connotea to the News and Views team today, remembered the biscuits. They weren’t too impressed, their problem was not so much with Connotea itself but how it would help them. They did not think much of the open-source aspects or the free tagging. (I agree that structured tagging would be more useful, and have discussed this with Timo Hannay, Connotea’s creator, before it went live, but he has his reasons I am sure.) The News and Views team (or anyone) could set up their own usergroup and use their own strict menu of tags, but they weren’t too keen on this. Oh well, I tried. Maybe they’ll begin playing around with it and will find uses for it, as I did (I always liked it for the simple reason that you can save bookmarks on a browswer and not be computer-dependent, which is great when you are working from the office and from home, but I’ve found plenty of other uses since). Cold Granite is slow going, partly becuase I get so busy at work, partly because I’m now subscribing via rss to a lot of blogs which it is nice to read when I get home (can’t in all honesty do this at work — even though about half of them are work-related, even those aren’t strictly "core job"), partly becuase the Times came out with yet another mammoth su doku supplement this Saturday, damn them, and partly becuase Cathy is ill at the moment with some awful ‘flu strain. Cold Granite continues to be standard police procedural, but I am bearing with it, as it is readable if a bit unnecessarily gruesome when it comes to descriptions of dead bodies, autopsies etc.

Denise Hamilton

Author Denise Hamilton

Above is the link to Denise Hamilton’s UK touring dates – London looks like 20 March with venue to be announced. Must revisit this page before then to check for details. Denise writes excellent crime fiction books: her main character is Eve Diamond, a Californian journalist. I bought her first book, The Jasmine Trade, through a book club offering a "new talent" selection. Since then, I have read the next two in the series and am waiting for the third to come out in pb in the UK. I imagine that Denise’s tour is to promote that as well as the hb publication of her next book, Prisoner of Memory.
Denise is also a generous poster on the Dorothy L list, being very encouraging of the work of other authors. I sent her an email in response to one of her postings, and she was kind enough to reply recently with the information about her UK tour.
Eve Diamond appeals to me becuase you get three for one of my favourite topics: crime fiction, journalism plot (I just love books set in newspaper or magazine offices), and politico-ethical themes, so far about issues involving immigration and ethnic minorities. Sounds dull? Well it isn’t.
While on the subject of novelists I’ve discovered via Dorothy L, and the journalism-ethics-politics sphere, another excellent writer is Elaine Veits. She is more comic than Denise but her Francesca Veirling series is plenty hard-hitting, with an insider’s perspective on journalism office politics. Great! And such a nice person, too.
I had to leave the Dorothy L list, however. Not only was it providing me with far too many books to read (do all the people who post on it spend 24-hour days reading?), but it does not have an rss feed, so is not convenient to read/scan. This is particularly marked when something happens, eg the London tube/bus bombings of last year, when the members seemed to feel the need to express their empathy with us plucky Brits endlessly. Off topic in spades! If Dorothy L gets a rss I would be delighted to resubscribe via Bloglines.
The very nicest person I met on this list (and there are some really great people on it) was Jann Brieschar. When she read on DorothyL that I could not get hold of one of Elaine V’s books via Amazon in the UK and that Amazon US postage is prohibitive (more than the book), she mailed me her own copy of the book as she had read it! In return I sent her a couple of Donna Leons from Amazon UK, which she couldn’t get in the US. But what a very nice person!

Collected Miscellany: Books versus films

Collected Miscellany

This is a blog entry about films of books. The author says that books are generally better, and I agree. If one sees a film where one has read the book, best to try to put the book completely out of one’s mind for the duration.
The question asked in CM’s blog entry is whether the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie is better than the old one, thus is not inviting debate on the "film vs book" question, which has presumably been much debated already.
He does mention in passing, though that he enjoyed the book of the Lord of the Rings more than the films. I kind of agree, but having tried and given up on the book when a child and never having gone back to it, I found that the films were very good at providing context for the reader. The book was very wooden in places, and described some dramatic events in cursory detail (see my earlier posting on 27 December 2005). "Ultimately", to use a cliched term, I did find the book far richer than the films despite its occasional lapses, and more satisfying, but I probably would not have done had I not seen the films first. Does this make sense? (And CB does not say whether he saw the EEs of the LOTR films, or the theatrical versions, which makes a big difference. It also makes a difference if you saw the films a year apart each, or if you saw them relatively close together.)
One film I thought almost as good as the book was John Schlesinger’s "Far From the Madding Crowd". Apart from one or two small details (I recall that Julie Christie as Bathsheba Everdene had blonde hair instead of black), it was both a faithful adaptation of the book and dramatically absorbing. I remember enjoying the movie a lot, but probably not quite as much as the book.

The Passion of C.S. Lewis

The New York Review of Books: The Passion of C.S. Lewis

The above is a link to an article by Alison Lurie, about which there has been some discussion on Light Reading (Jenny D’s blog). Apparently the NYRB article is free access so let’s hope the link will link to the article in perpetuity ;-).

Frank Wilson said…

Starting with her reference to "the death and rebirth of Christ" (it’s resurrection, Alison) and continuing right through to her unattributed reference to Thomas Frank’s addle-pated What’s the Matter With Kansas? (the mindset "that makes people vote against their own economic and social interests"), it seems evident to me that Lurie hasn’t a clue as to what actually takes place in the mind of an intelligent and informed practicing Christian. She probably doubts that we exist.

10:31 PM