Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review. OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers. Business models for paying the bills depend on how OA is delivered. – Peter Suber
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It comes as no surprise to the average college student that free textbook usage is increasing and will more than likely continue to increase at a speedy clip given the high cost of today’s textbooks.
According to a Rice University news release, more than 1.5 million college students have used a free textbook from OpenStax, the university-based publisher. “The number of students using OpenStax textbooks has more than doubled since January, and OpenStax estimates it will save students $70 million in the 2016-17 academic year…More than 811,000 students are using [OpenStax] books this fall, which is a 106 percent increase over spring 2016, and the books are being used in over 4,500 courses at 2,688 universities, colleges and high schools.”
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association
Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Association, is an important event that is held every year. It raises awareness, and does not let us forget, that censorship is unfortunately alive and well.
Click here to read yearly lists of banned and challenged books (at the bottom of the page). You will be surprised at some of the titles included on the lists.
The shortlist for the 2016 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award has been announced. The prestigious award “recognises a work which provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues.”
This year’s shortlist:
What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet
Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar
The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby
Photo by Daniella Winkler via Unsplash
Here is a strong contender for the best quote of 2016: “We talk a lot about information and the information age, but really what I think people are looking for is wisdom and knowledge.” -David Pescovitz, co-editor at Boing Boing and research director at the Institute for the Future.
Pescovitz, in a recent Business Insider article written by Chris Weller, offers some futuristic views on how libraries are going to change in 50 years’ time. Read the entire article here.
Libraries “are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing — to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to ‘check out’ brand-new realities [experiences], whether that’s scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog.”
“What probably won’t change that much are librarians and the physical spaces they watch over…humans will always need some sort of guide to make a foreign landscape more familiar. Whether humanity turns that job into one for artificial intelligence is another matter.”
Photo by Sean Brown via Unsplash
Search Engine Land featured an article in June, written by Wesley Young, entitled The Voice Search Explosion and How It Will Change Local Search. Included are fascinating tidbits of information for those who follow and are interested in the world of search and retrieval. Here are two key takeaways:
- There is explosive growth – “At LSA [Local Search Association] 16, [Timothy]Tuttle shared that within one year (last year), the use of voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search volume…Yet more recent numbers show that growth accelerating — Google announced at I/O that 20 percent of all searches have voice intent, while [Mary] Meeker’s charts show that in May 2016, 25 percent of searches on Windows 10 taskbar are voice searches.”
- Voice search is different than keywords in a search box – “Because search queries are more conversational in natural language, they tend to be longer, more nuanced and reveal greater intent…It’s also easy to see how queries may no longer be ‘search-oriented’ in the way we define it today but rather jump over search straight into a request for action. For example, instead of searching for pizza restaurants near me, you can now request Alexa (Echo) to order you a Large Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza with mushrooms and extra sauce and have it delivered to your house via the Domino’s Pizza skill.”
Just the beginning? I think yes.