Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Three Highly Recommended Readings

Really interesting post Sunday on The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics which I recommend to all librarians and teaching faculty--especially my faculty colleagues who so patiently listened to me and asked terrific questions at last months faculty seminar. The question is how do you assess new open access journals. I answered this at faculty seminar, but this blog post does so more thoroughly and eloquently than I did! Just as said though, very important--who are the journals editors, board of advisors; would you allow your name to be used if you didn't think the journal promoted the kind of quality you desire in an academic publication. This article should definitely be read by all faculty serving on tenure and promotion committees. YES, open access journals can be just as scholarly as those that are not open access. In my presentation I mentioned Sopher Press--if you are a theological librarian colleague and do not know about these journals, you must take a look. Take a look at the editorial boards and you will see what I mean!

Another recent post that has me thinking is Fister's post on the HarperCollins ebook debacle. Am thinking about this aspect of scholarly sustainability too, because recently a major publisher in our field has announced a new e-reference venture which could be outstanding, but falls short--way short in my opinion. Librarians need to think long and hard about how much they are willing to pay to license resources they have already paid full price for in print. And keep in mind what the publisher is really offering. Another Catholic publisher has announced 'e-books'--well, only can be opened once; that is far worse than the Harper Collins decision which is limiting to 26! These sorts of publications do not add up to sustainability. I do not want to pay $600 per year to license a few volumes of resources that I have already bought in print. And I couldn't even think about buying an e-book that only one person could possibly ever read.

About the same time I read Fister, my colleague Amy posted the really wonderful article by Robert Darnton in the NYReview of Books. Now I should just shut up because he said everything! These jeremiads are the most hopeful things I have read in a long time!

A bit of good news--my paper on scholarly sustainability and lifelong learning has been accepted at the 1st Annual Conference on Religion and Information at Kent State in May.

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