Archive for the ‘publishing’ Category

Peer Review Week

September 10, 2018

Welcome back, and happy September! We’re kicking things off this year by marking Peer Review Week (yes, there is such a thing).

Peer review is an evaluation process where scholarly writing (like journal articles and books) are screened for quality and accuracy before they’re published.  Check out the “What Does ‘Peer Reviewed’ Mean?” section of our How to Research guide for a more detailed explanation.

While peer review is the standard method of evaluation for scholarly writing, it is not without problems.  This year, the chefs at The Scholarly Kitchen (the official blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing) are exploring way to make the peer review process more diverse (in previous years they and others have looked at issues around transparency in the process and recognition for the work).

Something to think about the next time you use the “peer-reviewed only” limiter in one of our databases…


Judging Books by their Covers

November 17, 2016

An article published last week in MIT Technology Review reported on research being done in Japan to see if a computer can recognize the genre of a book based on its cover.  The researchers are training a neural network to “recognize the correlation between cover design and genre” and then testing it to see how it does categorizing newly introduced covers.  The findings so far are very interesting, including which genres were easier to recognize and which cover designs confused the network.

The article got me thinking about what makes a good book cover.  For some thoughts, check out this profile of a highly-respected book jacket designer, and then take a look at this funny essay from a writer who designed his own most recent book jacket.

Just want to look at some pretty covers? Shortlist Magazine created a list of what they consider to be the 50 Coolest Book Covers, and the New York Times created a list of the Best Book Covers of 2015.

Some Things to Read about Reading…

January 29, 2016

In honour of Family Literacy Day, which was on Wednesday, here are a few very different articles, all about reading:

Happy Friday, and happy reading!

Best Books of the Year

December 18, 2015

Just in time to help you with all of your last minute Christmas shopping, the best books of the year lists are out.  Some of our favourites:

  • The Globe 100: The Best Books of 2015 from the editors and reviewers at the Globe and Mail – comes with a handy search feature that lets you filter by genre and collection, and links you to the original review.
  • The Best Books of 2015, from CBC Books – includes a handy PDF version of the list in case you want to print it off and then check them off as you read them.
  • The 10 Best Books of 2015, selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review- with links to the original reviews.
  • The 10 Best (and 5 Worst!) Books of 2015, from Entertainment Weekly – because maybe you want to buy someone a really bad book?

For more fun with book lists, check out EarlyWord: The Publisher-Librarian Connection.  A list of lists (because who doesn’t like those?) is about halfway down on the right-hand side of the page.  Happy reading!

Celebrate Open Access Week October 21-27

October 21, 2013

Open Access Week October 21-27, 2013October 21-27 is Open Access Week

Open Access Week is an international event that promotes Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research.

This international event recognizes and promotes publishing initiatives that make scholarly research accessible online to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.

This is accomplished through Open Access (OA) journals, institutional repositories, self-archiving and a lot of hard work by academics, librarians and a variety of others who argue that free, universal access to research is a right, not a pricey privilege.

Open Access Webcasts

In celebration of Open Access Week, Athabasca University is presenting a series of free noon hour webcasts exploring major issues and opportunities of Open Access and Open Educational Resources. Topics include:

  • the state of the art in the distribution of e-textbooks;
  • open access books in the K12 schools of Brazil;
  • the open access situation in Canada;
  • MOOCs and the open access movement;
  • the OER university initiative; and
  • other issues relating to Open Access internationally

For more information and links to the webcasts, visit:
Webcast Link Free Noon Hour Webcasts Schedule

Open Access Live Stream Events

Watch Open Access events live streamed from around the globe.

For more information and links to the live stream, visit:
Webcast Link Live Stream Events Schedule

Learn More

Visit the RDC Library Open Resources guide to learn more about Open Access, Open Education Resources, and Open Culture.

Ask Me About Open Access

OA in the USA

February 27, 2013

Research funded by US taxpayers must be made available to the American public for free within a year of publication, as outlined in a recent article published on Inside Higher Ed.  In addition to posting the research itself, this new legislation requires publishing bodies to post metadata –  including relevant information related to the research –  so it will be discoverable through search engines. In Canada, depending on the funding body, the rules can be similar. For example,  starting January 2013, publications receiving funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research are required to make their peer-reviewed research publicly available within 12 months of publication (see here).  One more step down the road toward Open Access.  And, thinking practically about all of this, in a time of fiscal uncertainty, should taxpayers really be paying twice for access to important (government-funded) research?

Just in case you’re not done your shopping yet…

December 20, 2012

…here’s an idea for the word-lover in your life.  Cambridge University Press recently published Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary, a book that has ignited some controversy by asserting that one of its former editors “surreptitiously expunged hundreds of words with foreign origins.”

The Guardian and The Atlantic Wire have both published nice pieces on the book and its assertions, in addition to the New York Times article quoted above.  Take a look and see if you think there is a scandal here.

Does this book make your Christmas list?  If not, what books are on your list this year?

New Ideas in the World of Peer Review

November 7, 2012

Peer review has long been a standard measure of credibility for academic articles.  However, the system has also long been criticized for a variety of reasons, including the length of time it takes for research to be published.

An article in Inside Higher Ed last week highlighted a couple of new ventures in the world of peer review aimed at speeding up the process and opening it up to more people. (more…)

Mad Women on Mad Men

October 5, 2012

On Sept. 26, RDC Library hosted a book launch to celebrate the publication of a book of academic essays edited by Heather Marcovitch and Nancy Batty, Mad Men, Women, and Children: Essays on Gender and Generation. RDC faculty members Heather Marcovitch, Nancy Batty, and Joan Crate each contributed essays to the book, and each of them read from their essays at the launch event. This book continues the rich tradition of scholarly publication at Red Deer College. A copy will soon be available at RDC Library, or you can purchase it from the RDC Bookstore. (more…)

Santa 2.0

September 24, 2012

Just in time for the Christmas decorations to start going up in stores, news came out last week that a new version of The Night Before Christmas is being released.

In this revised version, all references to Santa having a pipe or smoking have been removed, so that they do not offend modern children or encourage them to take up smoking.

The new book has met with criticism from a number of different groups, who object to modern revisions of classic literature to remove now offensive content.  A similar debate arose last year over news that a revised version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was going to be released.

Take a look at the article, and then let us know what you think.  Do you prefer your Santa old-school, or are you excited about the new Santa 2.0?