Open Access (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 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.

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.

I just came across a book which I thought would be useful for one of the courses I’m teaching at Meiji University: Information Society. It’s a 2009 book called The Information Society and it includes the same kind of approach I’m using, with a historical background and various sociological, technological, economic and other facets explored. It’s a huge book, admittedly, at almost 2,000 pages. You can see the full details at the publisher’s web site. I’m not going to be using it as a book, though, even purchased for my University library, because it costs £675.00 (Amazon UK) $1,325.00 (Amazon US) $1,192 (Routledge List price). What on earth? That’s 25p per page! (more…)

In the 30th April 2009 issue (1,894) of the Times Higher Education magazine, Prof Kathryn Sutherland of Oxford Unviersity wrote an ill-considered and wrong-headed attack on digital communication in general and on Open Access in particular titled Those who disseminate ideas must acknowledge the routes they travel. (more…)