Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting pwned by 3rd party, peer-reviewed resources.

Someone passed along a link to an interesting article about the new approach to scholarly publishing. Reading the article turned out to be an interesting exercise in critical thinking about the veracity, validity and reliability of web based scholarly resources.

The article Research intelligence - Rip it up and start again was published in the Times Higher Education newsletter.

I was reading right along and nodding my head until the part about Elsevier publishing being an exemplar of the new approach. I recalled that last year Elsevier got caught publishing at least 6 fake journals, mostly in support of pharmaceutical companies and their fraudulent process.

Then I started trying to figure out who publishes the Times Higher Education so I looked at their ownership which is Charterhouse. I wanted to figure out if there was a connection between Charterhouse and Elsevier and sure enough.

So this article is actually marketing or at least an attempt to repair the tattered reputation of Elsevier.

The web makes it easy to manufacture and disseminate crap, but it also makes it easy for individuals to get down a few layers and check the veracity of stories themselves. Unfortunately, the money grubbing publishers realized that few people will go to this minimal amount of effort to check things out.


Dr. Nellie Deutsch said...


Love reading this blog. Just curious, but is there a reason why you have not hyperlinked your resources?

Warm wishes,

Glen Gatin said...

Mostly laziness on my part, although I sometimes appreciate seeing the destination link displayed.

Your comment got me to thinking about changing practices around hyperlinking and bookmarking.

I've grown very accustomed to Google's highlight and one click search I sometimes don't even think about it. Very often applications recognize a hyperlink and automatically offer the connection.

This seems to be part of wider developments with respect to search and the semantic web. The fact that people do not bookmark things anymore may be why Delicious went into decline. For many years I constantly added links to my Delicious account but I more often found, when ever I needed to revisit a resource, that it was just as easy and productive to start a new Google search. The site I had visited earlier was usually on the first page of my new search whether I book marked it or not.