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History of Information & Knowledge

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The Conference Report: Three Types of Knowledge. Robert Darnton. Robert Darnton closes the book. Early this summer, Robert Choate Darnton, Harvard’s Carl H.

Robert Darnton closes the book

Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian, will pack up his book-lined office on the second floor of Wadsworth House. As of June 30, the celebrated historian, digital library pioneer, and champion of books will leave the University he first saw as an undergraduate in 1957. Google & the Future of Books by Robert Darnton. 16Houton.pdf. Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist. Who are the most ruthless capitalists in the western world?

Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist

Whose monopolistic practices make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch a socialist? You won't guess the answer in a month of Sundays. While there are plenty of candidates, my vote goes not to the banks, the oil companies or the health insurers, but – wait for it – to academic publishers. Theirs might sound like a fusty and insignificant sector. It is anything but. Everyone claims to agree that people should be encouraged to understand science and other academic research. What's wrong with scholarly publishing today? II. Robert Darnton closes the book. Further reading in GitHub, from Clay Shirky.

The open-source programming world has a lot to teach democracy, says Clay Shirky.

Further reading in GitHub, from Clay Shirky

In this fascinating talk from TEDGlobal 2012, Shirky harkens back to the early days of the printing press. At the time, a group of “natural philosophers” (who would later adopt the term “scientists”) called the Invisible College realized that the press could offer a new way to share and debate their work. However, because printing books would be far too slow for this purpose, they came up with a new invention — the scientific journal.

So what does this mean for us today? Shirky explains, “If I had to pick a group that I think is our Invisible College — our generation’s collection of people trying to take new tools and press them into the service of, not more arguments, but better arguments — I’d pick the open-source programmers.” Shirky explains a fact that any programmer knows well — that it is very hard to write instructions computers know how to execute. Shirky writes to the TED Blog: Too big to know : rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren't the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room (Book, 2011) Marc Benioff, chairman, CEO salesforce.com, bestselling author of Behind the Cloud "Led by the Internet, knowledge is now social, mobile, and open.

Too big to know : rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren't the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room (Book, 2011)

Weinberger shows how to unlock the benefits. " John Seely Brown, co-author of The Social Life of Information and A New Culture of Learning "Too Big to Know is a stunning and profound book on how our concept of knowledge is changing in the age of the Net. It honors the traditional social practices of knowing, where genres stay fixed, and provides a graceful way of understanding new strategies for knowing in today's rapidly evolving, networked world. I couldn't put this book down. David Weinberger: Too Big to Know. The Information Age and the Printing Press: Looking Backward to See Ahead. Introduction We are in the midst of the "Information Age.

The Information Age and the Printing Press: Looking Backward to See Ahead

" Pundits have proclaimed it for years; articles in the popular press have plumbed its implications for every imaginable enterprise;[2] businesses are enamored with it; on-line and print magazines are devoted to it; government is wrestling with it, movies have been made about it; people are talking about it--can there be any doubt? So, where will it all lead and why should we care? Mind Over Mass Media. Transcript for Ann Blair on Information Overload. Jim Fleming: Information overload may seem like a quintessentially 21st century problem, but more than 2000 years ago people complained about the very same thing.

Transcript for Ann Blair on Information Overload

The rise of the printed word and the creation of the printing press also flooded the world with vast new streams of information. And it took people a while to figure out how to store and manage all the new knowledge. Historian Ann Blair charts this history in her book, "Too Much To Know". Anne Strainchamps spoke with her. Anne Strainchamps: We tend to think of information overload as a distinctly modern problem, especially now in the Internet age.

Journals, academia and the ivory tower. This post will make more sense if you read this one first: You need us more than we need you.

Journals, academia and the ivory tower.

Further to the results of my reader survey, it will probably resonate more with you if you’re in Higher Education… So how did academic journals come about? Until the late seventeenth century, communication between scholars depended heavily on personal contact and attending meetings arranged by the early learned societies (e.g. the Royal Society). Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access. 26 October 2011 Around 60,000 historical scientific papers are accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available.

Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific publisher, with the first edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society appearing in 1665. Information Overload Is Not a New Problem. There is a wonderful essay in The Hedgehog Review about the promise and perils of information overload.

Information Overload Is Not a New Problem

Titled Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart, this essay written by Chad Wellmon explores the history of information overload and explores its implications. But Wellmon also spends some time demonstrating that information overload is far from a new problem: The (mostly true) origins of the scientific journal - Blogs. Thursday 26th July saw the launch of SciLogs.com, a new English language science blog network.

The (mostly true) origins of the scientific journal - Blogs

SciLogs.com, the brand-new home for Nature Network bloggers, forms part of the SciLogs international collection of blogs which already exist in German, Spanish and Dutch. To celebrate this addition to the NPG science blogging family, some of the NPG blogs are publishing posts focusing on "Beginnings". The Library: Three Jeremiads by Robert Darnton. When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending. I can even begin happily, at least in describing the state of the university library at Harvard. True, the economic crisis hit us hard, so hard that we must do some fundamental reorganizing, but we can take measures to make a great library greater, and we can put our current difficulties into perspective by seeing them in the light of a long history.

Having begun in 1638 with the 400 books in John Harvard’s library, we now have accumulated nearly 17 million volumes and 400 million manuscript and archival items scattered through 45,000 distinct collections. I could string out the statistics indefinitely. Despite financial pressure, we therefore are advancing on two fronts, the digital and the analog. A World Digital Library Is Coming True! by Robert Darnton. In the scramble to gain market share in cyberspace, something is getting lost: the public interest. Libraries and laboratories—crucial nodes of the World Wide Web—are buckling under economic pressure, and the information they diffuse is being diverted away from the public sphere, where it can do most good. Not that information comes free or “wants to be free,” as Internet enthusiasts proclaimed twenty years ago.1 It comes filtered through expensive technologies and financed by powerful corporations. The Purpose of Journals. The editor of the Economics Bulletin, John Conley, has noted that many things go wrong with economic journals.

Here is the abstract of his letter: This letter calls attention a recent trend in economics publishing that seems to have slipped under the radar: large increases in submissions rates across a wide range of economics journals and steeply declining acceptance rates as a consequence. It is argued that this is bad for scholarly communication, bad for economics as a science, and imposes significant and wasteful costs on editors, referees. authors. and especially young people trying to establish themselves in the profession. It is further argued that the new “Big Deal” business model used by commercial publishers is primarily responsible for this situation. Finally it is argued that this presents a compelling reason to take advantage of new technologies to take control of certifying and distributing research away from commercial publishers and return it to scholarly community. 1.

Op-Ed Contributor - Mind Over Mass Media. Mapping the Republic of Letters. Print Culture 101: A Cheat Sheet and Syllabus - C.W. Anderson. Editor's Note: So, people no longer just read ink printed on paper. Now that the electronic word has become embedded in our lives, we have a new perspective on what might have been special and specific about the last few hundred years of information dissemination. Think of this annotated syllabus from C.W. Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths, and Metaphors - Mark Stefik. Download slideshow >>> Singular Simplicity. Peer_review_in_public_james_hansen_s_climate_predictions_released_as_a_draft.

Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters. Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist. Academic Journals: The Most Profitable Obsolete Technology in History  The music business was killed by Napster; movie theaters were derailed by digital streaming; traditional magazines are in crisis mode--yet in this digital information wild west: academic journals and the publishers who own them are posting higher profits than nearly any sector of commerce. Academic publisher Elsevier, which owns a majority of the prestigious academic journals, has higher operating profits than Apple. In 2013, Elsevier posted 39 percent profits, according to Heather Morrison, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's School of Information Studies in contrast to the 37 percent profit that Apple displayed.

Media_41223_en.pdf. Information Policy for the Library of Babel. Technology - C.W. Anderson - The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge. A ‘Darker Narrative’ of Print's Future From Clay Shirky. Scholarly Information Discovery in the Networked Academic Learning Environment - LiLi Li. Standing at a point of transition: Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes.