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This link recently saved by orzelc on June 22, 2012
SciCurious asked for my thoughts on the matter, and what follows is very close to what I emailed her in reply this morning. I should note that these thoughts were composed before I took to the Googles to look for links or to read up on the details of the particular controversy playing out. This means that I’ve spoken to what I understand as the general lay of the ethical land here, but I have probably not addressed some of the specific details that people elsewhere are discussing.
Here’s the broad question: Is it unethical for a blogger to reuse in blog posts material she has published before (including in earlier blog posts)?
This link recently saved by orzelc on June 19, 2012
I understand that people want to be published - I really do. But to equate a self-published project in any way with a professionally edited and published work is to do a tremendous disservice to those who have passed the quality-control process.
All of this said, I have expressed support for ebooks in the past, and I'll do so again. They're not my cup of tea - I don't like reading on a screen. But many people do - and it's our job as a going business concern to give people the products they want to buy. That DOESN'T mean, however, that we should sell products for less than the market would bear - that would be sheer foolishness. It's going to take a while for all of this dust to settle, so stay tuned.
This link recently saved by orzelc on June 18, 2012
[Web-based authoring] tools would not be of much effect if we didn’t have companies that supported online media retailing. But beyond the mere selling of books, what is most notable about web-based media companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft is that they are not simply creating sophisticated recommendation engines and robust consumer marketplaces; rather, they are aggregating a vast array of web-based services into online super-nodes that encourage user participation and focus. Their opportunity is not restricted to content discovery and support for commercial transactions; it is enabling the kinds of things that the web makes possible: connecting people with each other, and to the things they care about.
This link recently saved by orzelc on June 15, 2012
This link recently saved by orzelc on May 11, 2012
Consider: I started working on the meat book in early 2007. I finished it in early 2012. You do the math.
I spent five years researching and writing the beer book, and of that, a great deal of money and time was spent on traveling to specialized libraries. The Key West book took me two years to research and write.
How did I pay for that? By entering into a partnership with a traditional publishing house that provided financial support.
It works like this: My agent sells my book IDEA to a publishing house. The house pays an “advance”: a sum of money upfront that I can live on while I research and write the book. It’s not much money — in fact it’s an embarrassing amount of money and I also am fortunate enough to receive financial support from my spouse.
Without that assistance, I couldn’t do what I do. Period. Again, it’s not much money, and it’s the ONLY money I earn from my books.
This link recently saved by orzelc on May 08, 2012
The number of scientific publications per year is steadily increasing. This makes it difficult to keep up with the latest developments in larger areas of science.
Papercore is a public read-write database, which aims at helping scientists to cope with this development. Papercore collects summaries of scientific papers, in particular in physics, where this database is optimized to. Note that a summary is not just an abstract: A summary should contain the core information of a paper, including a little introduction, basic definitions, outline of methods and key results of a paper, such that a specialist in the field does not have to look into the paper anymore, basically. The rule of thumb is that a summary should be 1/10 of the length of the corresponding paper, the compression factor is automatically computed by Papercore for each summary.
This link recently saved by orzelc on May 04, 2012
Should scientific journals publish high-risk scientific research that could in the wrong hands be disastrous for us all? Although it might be sensible to keep certain results secret for a while, I argue that eventually it does not make sense to withhold results in the long-term.
This link recently saved by orzelc on May 03, 2012
A trend I’ve been noticing in the past year is what seems to be an uptick in the number of established, profitable independent bookstores being sold by their owners, and especially a lot of articles where the owners talk about how they’ve loved the store dearly but it’s time to retire and think the store will need a new, energetic person to take it to the next level and contend with all the recent changes in the industry.[...] The owner usually announces the sale with a high level of optimism and often has several qualified, interested candidates to choose from.
[...]I like reading all these smaller individual stories. I think they’re cool. What I want is for someone to delve a little deeper into them. I want to know how and why this happens, and if it means anything.
This link recently saved by orzelc on April 24, 2012
Recently, I began chatting with a publishing industry executive about this. This person — who I’ll call Exec — was interested in learning how to break DRM on e-books. About a month later, Exec is a convert and was ready to talk about the experience, albeit anonymously. I don’t think Exec is the only person in the publishing industry breaking DRM on e-books they buy…and those who aren’t doing so already might want to give it a try, if only to see what readers go through. Here is Exec’s story.