Yesterday Sarah Bond published a thoughtful, short article in her regular Forbes column suggesting that academics abandon Academia.edu and move their research to open access alternatives. Bond argues that academia.edu is a for-profit wolf in .edu-sheep clothing. It’s not a real .edu, in that it’s not in institution of higher learning (which is the current criteria for an organization to use the “.edu” domain name).
The best days are book release days. I am super excited to announce the publication of Erin Walcek Averett, Jody Michael Gordon, and Derek B. Counts, Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: The Potential of Digital Archaeology. Grand Forks, ND: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota.
I have something like 12 changes to make to the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota’s next book, Mobilizing the Past, before it can go live in both digital and paper formats. Most of these changes involve little cosmetic fixes within the book and the addition of the book’s freshly minted LCCN (2016917316 for those of you keeping track at home!). The most important test though for a book, is the shelf or stack test.
I’m almost done with another book from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, and this book has been exponentially more complex and time consuming than the previous titles. Some of it has to do with length. Mobilizing the Past runs to over 550 type-set pages making it a third longer than any previous book. Some of it has to do with the number of moving parts. Go download the introduction and check out the table of contents now.
Next month, I’m going to give a little paper at the TAG Conference in Boulder, Colorado. I posted a fairly provisional abstract for it here. Basically, I want to argue that speed with which academic ideas are made available is changing the practice of knowledge production even in very traditional fields like archaeology.
As I gear up for the start of the semester, the Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting, and catching up on some overdue or soon to be overdue projects, I’m going to lean on some other fine folks for some content on the ole blog. First, go and check out Colleen Morgan’s fine study of Punk Archaeology in Aqueologia Publica 5 (2015): “Punk, DIY, and Anarchy in Archaeological Thought.
In June the Archaeology publishing world was rocked by a very significant event, but no one actually noticed it. What am I talking about? Taylor-Francis Group, itself part of a larger company, has bought out Maney. You can read the press release here.
In between jetting off to Sweden, New Zealand and the USA (hope to get permissions to write a post about what I was up to soon…) over the past month or two I published a paper in the De Gruyter Open Archaeology journal. The journal is open access which is great because it’s peer reviewed and freely available to everyone online which I think is really important for academic work.
Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age: d-221 books by az I’ve been using Mendeley now for a long time and as one of their advisors, I am a keen advocate of the platform.
Yesterday the Research Excellence Framework results were published, and it was therefore a nice coincidence to be notified by Springer yesterday that my paper is one of the top cited papers in Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory of 2013/2014. You can see it on this picture: I am really happy and grateful about this.
In my first post on the economics of book publishing I mentioned that many mass medias have a long tail model, most books “lose” money but a few make lots of money.
In the last few months I have fielded some questions from Tracy at Archaeology in Tennessee and Maria at Sprache der Dinge about publishing in archaeology. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did their questions justice with my short emails. So I am going to spend this week’s blog posts on publishing in archaeology, including DIY publishing digital books. First up the $7200 book.
Have you ever heard of Schrondinger’s Cat? It is a paradox in which a cat can neither be alive nor dead at the same time. The concept has to do with physics (clicking on the link will take you to a wiki article which will explain it). Essentially, the argument is that in certain cases you can’t have two things but must only have one. Schrondinger uses reductio ad absurdum and a cat to make his point. Cats can’t be both dead and alive at the same time.
A few years ago, I wrote a piece on Why Academic Blogging Matters: A structural argument. This was the text for a presentation as part of the SAA in Sacremento that year. In the years since, the web has changed (again). It is no longer enough for us to create strong signals in the noise, trusting in the algorithmns to connect us with our desired publics. (That’s the short version. The long version is rather more nuanced and sophisticated, trust me).
Here is a question for you, if I put something up on the internet for free but no one can find it have I actually done anything? A little background story to how I came to this question. Over the last couple of weeks I have been running some analysis for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on their publications. Basic web analytics about who reads their proceedings, how much gets read, etc. etc.
At this year’s SAA conference there is going to be an amazing Blogging in Archaeology session. It has been a few years since there has been one. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the session and I know a couple of other archaeology bloggers who can’t either. My way of contributing is to widen the participation by hosting a blogging carnival (what’s a blogging carnival, click here) on archaeology and blogging.
What is the Deal with the Nacierma? Answer that question and you will have great insights into the relevance of Anthropology (and in certain parts of the world that includes archaeology) to our modern world. A little background to that cryptic sentence- Again, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) has been very kind and shared some of their viewer statistics with me. I had asked for a breakdown of their view stats on an article by article bases for 2012.
Sometimes you read something that is so out there that you have to read it two, three, or more times just to understand it, in this particular case I had to read it six times. What is it? Why open access makes no sense- by Professor Robin Osborne I have read many critiques of Open Access and arguments against it, most of which are thinly veiled arguments of I get lots of money from how things are so let us keep it that way. This is something different.
To continue with an examination of the impact of blogs I would like to share some numbers that were kindly shared with me by the AAA. Here (at the end of this post) is the table of downloads (for blog it is views) of articles from the AAA publications in 2012. The first thing that should jump out at you is the number of downloads of their flagship journals. For everyone who complains that academic journals are insular and not well read, 1.
Yesterday Ralf brought up an excellent point on my post about blogging verse traditional publishing: You ignore the thousands of printed copies of those journals in your stats. Having not gone into the post blind, having done some research into publishing over the years, I knew that this is indeed correct BUT not too relevant.