“In digital work, expert-based work becomes less important, and problems become more important,” Tanaka said. “That changes the authority structure on which our careers and expertise are based.” Somewhat counterintuitively, however, he added, the historian in this context becomes more important, not less. With the wealth of data now available to the general public, historians don’t just transmit information; they must think critically about how it is best shared with which audiences, and how it intersects with research and teaching.

Librarians and scholars consider the future of the monograph @insidehighered

Now the Pentagon — run by a Vietnam veteran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — is planning a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. The effort, which is expected to cost taxpayers nearly $15 million by the end of this fiscal year, is intended to honor veterans and, its website says, “provide the American public with historically accurate materials” suitable for use in schools. But the extensive website, which has been up for months, largely describes a war of valor and honor that would be unrecognizable to many of the Americans who fought in and against it. Leading Vietnam historians complain that it focuses on dozens of medal-winning soldiers while giving scant mention to mistakes by generals and the years of violent protests and anguished debate at home.

Paying Respects, Pentagon Revives Vietnam, and War Over Truth - NYTimes.com

Scientific, Technical, and Medical (STM) publishing is big business. It generates $19 billion in revenue per year, the majority of which is earned by a few powerful publishers that enjoy profit margins of up to 40 percent. Inflated subscriptions sold to academic libraries keep them moving ahead because the librarians feel they have no choice but to buy. These companies add little value to the actual publishing product but they are entrenched. Many forces are now at work to change the status quo which has existed for more than 100 years.

How The Digital Revolution Can Fix Scientific Publishing And Speed Up Discoveries | TechCrunch

Only 0.13 percent of education articles published in the field’s top 100 journals are replications, write Matthew Makel, a gifted-education research specialist at Duke University, and Jonathan Plucker, a professor of educational psychology and cognitive science at Indiana University. In psychology, by contrast, 1.07 percent of studies in the field’s top 100 journals are replications, a 2012 study found. Makel and Plucker searched the entire publication history of the top 100 education journals – ranked according to five-year impact factors — for the term replicat*. They found that 221 of 164,589 total articles replicated a previous study. Just 28.5 percent were direct replications rather than conceptual replications. (Only direct replications, which repeat an experiment’s procedure, can disconfirm or bolster a previous study. Conceptual replications, on the other hand, use different methods to test the same hypothesis.) What’s more, 48.2 percent of the replications were performed by the same research team that had produced the original study. Attempts to replicate an experiment failed more often if there was no author overlap. When the same authors who published the original study published a replication in the same journal, 88.7 percent of replications succeeded. (The figure dropped to 70.6 percent when the same authors published in a different journal.) By contrast, replications conducted by new authors succeeded 54 percent of the time.

Almost no education research is replicated, new article shows @insidehighered

Mr. Armato says he frequently hears from scholars that they turn to Amazon for the books they need, especially when interlibrary loan proves too slow or cumbersome. The downside is that “this has gone hand in hand with the decline of library sales for the university-press monograph,” he says. Scholars might buy fewer books through Amazon if their libraries were buying more of those books in the first place. University presses also wonder to what extent libraries are buying books directly from Amazon as well as through the distributors that traditionally deliver scholarly books to the library market. Amazon doesn’t really share customer data, so “we just don’t know where those books are going,” Mr. Armato says. “We have no idea who the final purchasers are.” (Ms. Darksmith at California’s press says that, as a retailer with a focus on customer service, Amazon isn’t really “set up to feed back that kind of information” to the suppliers whose goods it sells.) For its part, Amazon considers university presses “an important and growing business for us, and we appreciate the role they play in disseminating research and education content,” a company spokeswoman says via email. “We don’t comment on our business terms, but we always work to develop strong professional relationships with publishers, including university presses, so together we can deliver low prices and a great experience for our customers.”

Around Retail Giant Amazon, University Presses Tiptoe and Whisper - Publishing - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year. But these 150,608 scientists dominate the research journals, having their names on 41% of all papers. Among the most highly cited work, this elite group can be found among the co-authors of 87% of papers.

The 1% of scientific publishing | Science/AAAS | News

With a 12-month, $80,000 Sloan grant, the association will develop an online platform that scholarly publishers can use to upload metadata about new titles as well as digital versions of the books themselves. Once a journal editor identifies a reviewer for a particular book, the reviewer will be given access to the e-version of the title to work with.

Anthropology Group Will Test a Faster, Digital Approach to Book Reviews – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The AAU/ARL task force describes its plan as a “prospectus for an institutionally funded first-book subvention” that would shift the burden of payment to authors’ home institutions. That would “address the principal causes and effects of the market failure for monographs,” the prospectus says. It envisions that colleges and universities would agree to pay for an openly available “basic digital edition” of some faculty members’ first books; scholarly publishers could offer those titles for sale in other formats too. The plan also envisions that universities with a high level of research activity would offer subventions for three or four books a year, with an “annual subvention exposure” of roughly $68,000 to $73,000. Small colleges would pay for one or two books a year, and offer more modest subventions.

Who Ought to Underwrite Publishing Scholars’ Books? – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

The bottom line, it seems to me, is that for the first time in hundreds of years we have options for how we disseminate scholarship. Instead of calling for more money to prop up a traditional model that was never particularly viable in the first place, we need to embrace a variety of alternatives.

Can Libraries Help Stop this Madness? | Peer to Peer Review

The bureaucratization of scholarship in the humanities is simply spirit-crushing. I may prepare an article on … my research area, for publication in a learned journal, and my RAE line manager focuses immediately on the influence of the journal, the number of citations of my text, the amount of pages written, the journal’s publisher. Interference by these academic managers is pervasive and creeping. Whether my article is any good, or advances scholarship in the field, are quickly becoming secondary issues. All this may add to academic ‘productivity,’ but is it worth selling our collective soul for?

How Corporate IT Enslaved Academe - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education