Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Chronicle: Colloquy Live Transcript

I'm finding a lot of interesting stuff while I'm cleaning out my office. Here's a colloquy on scholarly publishing from 2003.

The Chronicle: Colloquy Live Transcript: "Can scholarly publishing, the bulwark of academic research in the humanities and social sciences, be stabilized? Are any of the solutions being discussed realistic?"

PALINET Library Consortium Supports SEP


Philadelphia, PA, July 18, 2005PALINET is pleased to support ongoing, free access to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) on behalf of PALINET Members.

PALINET recently joined the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy International Association (SEPIA) for all of its member institutions. All dues for membership will be used to match the NEH Challenge Grant, with all funds placed into an endowment exclusively for the SEP.

By choosing to endorse this worthy endeavor — i.e. contributing the maximum recommended amount over a three-year period to SEPIA — PALINET supports the open-access publishing initiative that ensures all its members can benefit from the continued availability of this unique philosophy resource.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (plato.stanford.edu) is an authoritative, comprehensive Web-based reference work about philosophy, useful to scholars of all levels as well as the general public. Published through Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Language and Information, the Encyclopedia’s refereed entries are created and maintained by hundreds of experts from the international philosophy community.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

MLAIB Integrated into Literature Online

Now you can go to one place and get results from both ABELL (Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature) and MLAIB (Modern Language Association International Bibliography)! This is almost as big as golf pencils at the Reference Desk! For a demo
and more information go here:

Literature Online - Quick Search: List of Results:

MLAIB Armstrong, Philip: ''Leviathan Is a Skein of Networks': Translations of Nature and Culture in Moby-Dick' ELH, (71:4), 2004 Winter, 1039-63. (2004)

ABELL Boyle, Nicholas.: 'Sacred and secular scriptures: a Catholic approach to literature.'
London: Darton, Longman & Todd; Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame UP in assn with Field Day, 2004. pp. 299. (2004)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Early Stuart Libels: An Edition of Poetry from Manuscript Sources

Early Stuart Libels

The Chronicle: 7/8/2005: The Uses of Libel: "In that, it may be on the leading edge of a new, electronic approach to studying and disseminating source material. 'This edition seeks in many ways to be a pathbreaking endeavor,' the editors note in their introduction. 'The electronic medium ... provides a superb opportunity to offer scholarly editions of works otherwise largely inaccessible or unknown to both the academic community and the layperson alike.'

There is no charge to access Early Stuart Libels, which can be either browsed online or downloaded. Users can search for poems by first line, by proper name cited, or by manuscript source, or they can browse through sections devoted to specific incidents or episodes, such as Cecil's death and the so-called Addled Parliament of June 1614. Annotations accompany each poem to help the nonspecialist navigate period references.

Anthony Grafton, a professor of history at Princeton University, says the online work may help expand the definition of what counts as a scholarly publication. For one thing, he says, it is more fully annotated than many publishers can afford to make print editions. Those notes help make Early Stuart Libels 'a very useful set of texts,' he says. 'These were things that were not all that accessible.'

The collection also reflects a growing sympathy over the past two decades between historians and literary critics. In the wake of work by Stephen Greenblatt and the New Historicists, who argued that literary works are better understood in their historical context, the two disciplines have been paying closer attention to one other."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

MLA International Bibiography - Search: Standard

Our MLAIB search interface has changed. We now should be able to perform integrated searches of MLAIB and Literature Online.
MLA International Bibiography - Search: Standard

Literature Online

TCNJ Library Catalog Enhancements

Firefox browser search plugins are available here. These allow you to search the TCNJ Library Catalog from a drop-down menu in the upper right hand corner of the Firefox web browser. Still using Internet Explorer as your browser? Download Mozilla Firefox immediately!

A New Books Search Tab has been added. This allows you to see books the library has recently acquired.

A More Like This Tab has been added between the Long View tab and the Table of Contents tab. Click on it and check it out!

A Music Score Quick Limit has been added to limit searches to scores.

Survival Strategies for Academic Publishing

This article lays out the crisis in scholarly monograph publishing and the picture is pretty bleak. The author's suggested solutions aren't going to go down well: raise prices, produce less books, give the library and university presses more money. How about addressing one of the root causes, containing journal price inflation through open access peer-reviewed journals?

The Chronicle: 6/17/2005: Survival Strategies for Academic Publishing (Login required)

The field of scholarly book publishing has been shaped by two powerful dynamics that have trapped academic publishers -- and especially American university presses -- in a pincer movement. On the one hand, the kind of book that has been the standard fare of scholarly publishers -- the monograph -- has undergone a process of continuous decline since the 1970s. Experiences vary from publisher to publisher, but the overall pattern is indisputable. In the 1970s, scholarly publishers in both the United States and Britain would commonly print between 2,000 and 3,000 hardback copies of a monograph and expect to sell a substantial proportion (if not all) of them. Scholarly publishing was a relatively straightforward business: For the most part, presses could take the market for granted and concentrate their energies on deciding which books merited publication. But by the 1990s, that comfortable position had been radically transformed. Today most scholarly publishers find that the total sales of hardback-only monographs are often as low as 400 to 500 copies worldwide. As unit sales have fallen to a quarter or less of what they were in the 1970s, what was once a fairly straightforward and profitable kind of publishing has become extremely difficult in financial terms.

Why have monograph sales declined so sharply? Is it because readers are turning to other sources of information like the Internet, as many observers have speculated? The main explanation almost certainly lies elsewhere. Research libraries constitute a principal market for scholarly monographs, and in the course of the 1980s and 1990s they were subjected to intense pressures of their own: the steep rise in the prices of scientific journals and the increasing costs of information technology. Library budgets were limited, and something had to give. In the period from 1986 to 1998-99, the number of monographs purchased annually by research libraries in the United States declined by more than 25 percent. Since academic publishers were also producing more monographs each year, that meant that an ever-increasing range of available titles was competing for a dwindling pool of resources.

At the same time, many American university presses were coming under pressure from another source: their host institutions. In the 1970s and 1980s, some began to find themselves faced with growing pressure to reduce their dependence on direct or indirect subsidies and become more autonomous financially -- "self-supporting" was the term often used. Universities faced their own fiscal constraints, and university presses, with their somewhat ambiguous status (were they academic units or business units?), were obvious targets for financial scrutiny.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

WSJ.com - The Hot Major For Undergrads Is Economics

WSJ.com - The Hot Major For Undergrads Is Economics: "And as its focus broadens, there are even some signs that economics is becoming cool.

In addition to probing the mechanics of inflation and exchange rates, academics now use statistics and an economist's view of how people respond to incentives to study issues such as AIDS, obesity and even terrorism. The surprise best-seller of the spring was 'Freakonomics,' a book co-authored by a University of Chicago economist, Steven Levitt, which examines issues ranging from corruption among real estate agents to sumo wrestling."