Online Education



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Academia.edu (an academoc networking site) has an interesting alert service whereby they email anyone whose page is accessed with a referrer URL from one of the main search engines, and give the search terms, the search engine and, where available (from the web server log of academia.edu rather than from the search engine), the country from which my page was accessed. It’s interesting to see how people find me and from where. Yesterday I got such an alert where one of my papers was found via a search on a minor paraphrasing of one of the significant sentences (i.e. not a linking piece of text but one of the presentations of the core ideas in the paper). Thinking about how I’ve worked in the past, I suspect this was an academic checking for plagiarism in a piece of student work that has made them suspicious.

Current Mood: awake
Current Music: None

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Having written far too many emails explaining my views on how academia can best move to toll-free access to the scholarly literature (often abbreviated as Open Access) I have written this up on my web site: How to Achieve OA.

Current Mood: (accomplished) accomplished
Current Music: Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Soiundtrack

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I’ve just submitted a paper to Computers and Society. The draft submission is available on OpenDepot.

Current Mood: (accomplished) accomplished
Current Music: Torchwood Soundtrack

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On The Register recently there was an interesting article about ebooks and how the book publishing industry seem to be following the music and movie industry down the same path of woe by trying to screw their customers in the move to digital distribution. Leaving aside the actual proportion of costs which the physical printing, distribution and returns of overstock entail, the idea that the digital edition costs MORE than the print edition really is utterly stupid. Modern publishing uses internal digital formats for the files which are then passed to the printer for physical printing. Getting this into the digital distribution medium isĀ  trivial one time programming exercise. While I would be willing to accept that the digital price difference should only be small, the fact that new ebooks are selling at higher prices than the hardcover is just stupid.

Anyway, that’s all covered in the article. In the comments the author discusses the issue of the public lending library with some of the commenters. That’s what prompted this post, actually, which is thinking how it might be possible to run a public lending library with ebooks. (more…)

Current Mood: (contemplative) contemplative
Current Music: Star Trek (2009) soundtrack