Category Archives: Publishing

The latest on scholarly publishing.

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Sociologist Wants to Dedicate a Monument to the Anonymous Peer Reviewer

Ever feel like your journal submission is a crap shoot? This is the monument for you.

A sociologist in Russia wants to dedicate a large concrete cube at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics to the anonymous peer reviewer. As noted on Igor Chirikov’s Kickstarter page, and in an article by the magazine Nature, the monument would be shaped like a die, with the five visible sides labeled “Accept,” “Minor Changes,” “Major Changes,” “Revise and Resubmit,” and “Reject.”

But that’s not all. With a donati…

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Is Scientific Publishing About to Be Disrupted? ASAPbio, Briefly Explained

A group of biologists gathered last month outside Washington, D.C., for a conference that could help spur change in how the discipline publishes its work. United under the name ASAPbio, attendees discussed how they might upend the traditional publishing structure in the interest of speeding up scientific discovery and making scholarship more publicly accessible.

The New York Times published an article about ASAPbio on Tuesday, effectively lending it more visibility. Here’s what you need to know:

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Authors Guild Takes Google Books Challenge to Supreme Court

The Authors Guild has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the organization’s decade-long challenge to Google’s Books program, which the guild says violates copyright law by making money for the online-search giant without providing any compensation to the books’ authors.

The case dates to 2005, and was most recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which ruled last October that Google’s scanning of books and use of their texts was protected by the fair-use provisions …

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U. of Akron Reverses Controversial Layoffs at University Press

The University of Akron will not proceed with a plan to lay off two employees of its university press, according to a statement from the institution. The planned layoffs, coupled with the college’s assertion that the press would continue to operate, had been the subject of protests.

According to the statement, the university is “re-engaging the services” of the two staff members, who “will help ensure operations” of the press while it is folded into the University Libraries. The contract of the …

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‘Change’ Magazine, Stalwart of Higher Ed, Moves to a New Home

Change, a publication that bills itself as “the magazine of higher learning,” is moving under the auspices of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Accreditation is among the most contentious issues in higher education today, but the council’s president, Judith S. Eaton, said the magazine will continue to have full freedom to cover that and all other issues. “We’re going to be the home, we’re not going to be the boss,” Ms. Eaton said. In a deal with Change’s publisher, the book company…

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After High-Profile Retraction, ‘Science’ Releases New Transparency Guidelines

The journal Science has released a new set of comprehensive guidelines for publishing research studies in an effort to make them more transparent, The New York Times reports. The release comes after the high-profile retraction of a study that purported to measure the ease with which individuals changed their opinions on the issue of gay marriage.

But Maria McNutt, the publication’s editor in chief, told the Times that the new guidelines wouldn’t have prevented the graduate-student co-author of t…

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Dalkey Archive Press Will Move to U. of Houston at Victoria

Dalkey Archive Press, a publisher known for championing underrecognized and experimental fiction, poetry, and literary criticism, has found a new home. The press, which has operated out the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2006, will relocate this summer to the University of Houston at Victoria.

Dalkey joins the Victoria campus’s growing portfolio of literary presses and periodicals. The university is home to two other publishers, CHAX Press and Cuneiform Press, and two literary …

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Reviewer Suggests Female Researchers Recruit Male Co-Authors to Raise Paper’s Credibility

A major publisher has apologized after a peer reviewer for one of its journals suggested that two female authors of a paper recruit male co-authors to strengthen the credibility of their findings, Science magazine reports.

Fiona Ingleby, a research fellow at the University of Sussex, took to Twitter on Wednesday to complain that a peer reviewer had suggested she and her co-author of a paper examining gender differences in the Ph.D. process add male voices to keep the paper from “drifting too far…

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M.H. Abrams, ‘Norton Anthology’ Founder and Longtime Professor at Cornell, Dies

M.H. Abrams, the influential literary critic, longtime professor of English at Cornell University, and founding editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, died on Tuesday, the university announced. He was 102.

Meyer Howard Abrams (he went by Mike) was born in 1912 and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from Harvard University. He also studied at the University of Cambridge, in England. He came to Cornell in 1945 as an assistant professor and retired in 1983, but rema…

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Your Next Call for Papers Might Actually Be a Secret Message

Next time a sketchy call for papers shows up in your inbox, don’t be so quick to hit delete. Someone might be trying to tell you a secret.

That’s thanks to three former students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab who 10 years ago called attention to so-called “predatory publishers” by creating a tool that generated real-sounding but ultimately meaningless papers. SCIgen has since become, to the extent a piece of software can, ubiquitou…