If you are like me and enjoy a bit of gobbledygook in your news, you will be interested to read that publishers Springer and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) are being forced to remove over 120 papers from their publications after the papers were discovered to be computer-generated gibberish. This is not a new phenomenon, as anyone with a mischievous sense of humor and access to the right software can combine random scientific terms to create impressive-sounding reports and papers. Though Cyril Labbe, the French computer scientist who spotted these nonsensical papers, reports that the fakes are easy to identify, it also seems that they are relatively simple to slip past the peer review process.
An abundance of academic organizations and publications announced their partnership with the CLOCKSS archive last week, including eLife, Micronesia, Athabasca University Press, and the American Entomological Society. As more journals and research organizations move to a solely digital environment, the importance of free, sustainable preservation initiatives increases. Another service in the academic library sphere that is undergoing a sharp transformation in the face of digital information sharing is interlibrary loan (ILL). Most of us with ebook collections have felt the sting of ILL restrictions imposed by various content providers who are concerned with ongoing profitability and security. We may have something to cheer about soon if the new pilot project called Occam’s Reader (clever, clever) is successful. Developed at Texas Tech University and the University of Hawaii-Manoa, Occam’s Reader is a software that should allow for simple, secure ILL of ebooks, and will be piloted for the next year by the Greater Western Library Alliance consortium.
(For a thorough discussion of Occam’s Reader check out Paula J Hane’s recent article on the ATG NewsChannel ATG Original: Occam’s Reader Project Tackles eBook ILL)
Though I have not kept up with James Patterson’s immense body of work since reading Kiss the Girls when I was 13, I must join the outpouring of kudos to him for donating $1 million of his personal fortune to independent bookstores across the United States. It warms the bookworm in my heart when indie bookstores score a win.