ATG Caught My Eye 8/16/15


  • The Podcast Resurgence: Your Definitive Listening Guide is an article from the Wall Street Journal about a technology that is making a surprise comeback.  Once hailed as the future of radio only to fade from view, podcasts are back in a big way. As proof, author Chris Kornelis cites the the breakaway smash podcast “Serial,” a nonfiction story from the producers of “This American Life” and its subsequent ripple effect. Mr. Kornelis then goes on to point out that “the streaming-media company Spotify has taken note; it’s starting to make select podcasts available through its service for some users, with a larger rollout to come.” Although he admits that discovering relevant podcasts is still a challenge,  Mr. Kornelis provides a list of popular podcasts and mentions “email newsletters, like “The Audio Signal,” that review new shows” and the “Clammr app, which plays a string of 18-second highlights from various programs.

  • How Many Scientists Does It Take to Write a Paper? Apparently, Thousands is another post from the Wall Street Journal. In this one author Robert Lee Hotz examines the growing phenomenon of “credit inflation”.  Referencing Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science, Mr. Hotz says that “there has been a notable spike since 2009 in the number of technical reports whose author counts exceeded 1,000 people.”  It may beggar belief but in one extreme example “it took 5,154 researchers to write one physics paper earlier this year.”  Of course, Mr. Hotz touches on the reasons for “credit inflation” and what some journals are doing to ensure accountability. He even points to a “scientist” sense of humor that has infiltrated the process as researchers share credit with personal computers, Siamese cats, and pet hamsters. Oh! Checkout the accompanying photo. It looks like an airplane hanger full of scientists who regularly share co-author credit on physics papers.

  • InfoDOCKET reports that SAGE is making an article from the Journal of Information Science entitled the Current State of Linked Data in Digital Libraries free of charge for the next month.  The article is about “the current uses of Linked Data in digital libraries, including the most important implementations around the world… the study focuses on selected vocabularies and ontologies, benefits and problems encountered in implementing Linked Data in digital libraries. In addition, it also identifies and discusses specific challenges that digital libraries face, offering suggestions for ways in which libraries can contribute to the Semantic Web…” (Direct to Full Text Article ||| Direct to PDF Version)

  • Virginia Barbour author of  What to believe in the new world of open access publishing admits that “the entire history of science publishing has been riddled with controversy and debate from its very beginning” but then she quickly moves to a discussion of what currently ails the industry.  Topping the list of culprits undermining the process is “predatory open access” publishing, which many insist is “overwhelming the literature with questionable research.”  Ms. Barbour goes on to note that “to complicate matters further, … the academic literature itself is evolving apace with papers being put online before review and revisions of papers made available with peer review histories alongside.”  In fact, she claims that “the format of the academic paper is changing. Datasets or single figures with little explanation attached to them can now be be published.” All of this makes for a heady brew of issues – many of which will be part of the discussion at this year’s Charleston Conference.


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