Walt's blog

Correction to Cites & Insights 14:9

Cites & Insights 14:9 has been reissued with one correction on page 15, as discussed here: http://walt.lishost.org/2014/08/correction-in-cites-insights-149/

Cites & Insights 14:9 (September 2014) available

Cites & Insights 14:9 (September 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i9.pdf

This two-column print-oriented version is 18 pages.

For those reading C&I online or on an ereader, the single-column 35-page 6x9" edition is available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i9on.pdf

This issue includes:

The Front: Toward 15 and 200: The Report pp. 1-2

I promised a list of supporters and sponsors and an overall report on the outcome of the spring 2014 fundraising campaign for C&I. Here it is. Oh, there's also "A Word to the Easily Confused" about the definition of "journal," the change in the masthead to "periodical" because some folks are easily confused, and the need for consistency when choosing to regard gray literature as worthless.

Intersections: Some Notes on Elsevier pp. 2-16

A half-dozen subtopics (actually five subtopics and some miscellanea) involving Elsevier that haven't been covered recently elsewhere in C&I.

The Back pp. 16-18

Four mini-essays.


Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) available

Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i8.pdf

The two-column print-oriented issue is 32 pages long. A single-column 6x9" version designed for online/tablet reading is also available, at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i8on.pdf (The single-column version is 61 pages long.)

This issue includes the following:

The Front: Once More with [Big] Dealing pp. 1-2

If you read the June 2014 issue, you may be aware that "Big-Deal Serial Purchasing: Tracking the Damage" wasn't available when I thought it would be.

It's available now; this brief essay offers the link to the ALA Store page for the Library Technology Reports issue and notes the complementary book for those academic librarians with deeper interests.

I believe every academic library should pay attention to this issue of LTR. If your library subscribes, it should be available now (electronically) or in a few days (in print form). If it doesn't, you should buy the issue as a separate. Some of you really would find Beyond the Damage: Circulation, Coverage and Staffing useful as well.

Words: Doing It Yourself pp. 2-18

Notes on self-publishing and whether or not it makes sense for you (or for your library to assist with).

Intersections: Access and Ethics 3 pp. 18-32 -- Read More

Cites & Insights 14:7 (July 2014) available

Cites & Insights 14:7 (July 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i7.pdf

That URL is for the traditional two-column print-oriented ejournal. If you plan to read the journal on a computer, a tablet or other e-device (and if you plan to follow links), you're much better off--especially in this case--downloading the single-column online-oriented version at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i7on.pdf

[Links may not work from the two-column version. Conversely, some boldface may not show up in the one-column version. This issue has two dozen tables, some of which have smaller type in the two-column version, making the one-column version easier to read.]

The two-column version is 24 pages long. The single-column 6x9 version is 45 pages long.

The issue consists of a single essay, all original material (except for a few excerpts from publisher pages):

Journals, "Journals" and Wannabes: Investigating the List (pp. 1-24)

Jeffrey Beall's 4P (potential, probable, possible predatory) publisher and journal lists total 9,219 journals in early April 2014.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) totals 9.822 journals as of early June 2014.

9,219 is 93.9% of 9,822.

But: 90.8% of the journals in DOAJ are not represented in Beall's lists.

A paradox? Not really. -- Read More

Cites & Insights 14:6 (June 2014) available

Cites & Insights 14:6 (June 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i6.pdf

The print-oriented two-column version is 16 pages long. You may also view or download a 32-page one-column 6x9" ereader-oriented version at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i6on.pdf

This issue includes three sections:
The Front: Beyond the Damage (pp. 1-4)

Libraries that subscribe to Library Technology Reports should, some time in the next few days or weeks, receive "Big-Deal Serial Purchasing: Tracking the Damage"--and academic libraries that don't subscribe to LTR may want to purchase this edition from ALA Editions. It brings last year's The Big Deal and the Damage Done forward to cover 2002-2012 and offers a tighter and more sophisticated view of the situation. (Spoiler alert: Things got worse from 2010 to 2012)

Simultaneously, I'm publishing Beyond the Damage: Circulation, Coverage and Staffing, a book looking at some other aspects of academic libraries and how they changed between 2002 and 2012. It's available in two forms, each $45: a 130-page paperback with color graphs--or a site-licensed PDF ebook with precisely the same content. Easiest way to find it: go to Lulu.com and search "Crawford beyond damage" (no quotes needed)--that currently yields just the two versions.

Media: Mystery Collection, part 7 (pp. 4-12)

For the first time, most of these movies are in color--which doesn't necessarily mean they're better, as this is also (I believe) the first time I've given up on movies before they're finished in five out of 24 cases. There are some gems, but also some real dross here. -- Read More

Cites & Insights 14:5 (May 2014) available

The May 2014 Cites & Insights (14:5) is now available for downloading.

You'll find it at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i5.pdf for the 34-page print-oriented two-column version

or at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i5on.pdf for the 65-page 6x9 online/tablet-oriented single-column version.

The issue includes two essays:
Ethics and Access 2: The So-Called Sting (pp. 1-20)

John Bohannon wrote a news article in Science that either shows that many open access journals with APC charges have sloppy (or no) peer review...or shows almost nothing at all. This story discusses the article itself, offers a number of responses to it--and then adds something I don't believe you'll find anywhere else: A journal-by-journal test of whether the journals involved would pass a naive three-minute sniff test as to whether they were plausible targets for article submissions without lots of additional checking. Is this really a problem involving a majority of hundreds of journals--or maybe one involving 27% (that is, 17) of 62 journals? Read the story; make up your own mind.

Future Libraries: A Roundup (pp. 21-34)

Pretty much what the title suggests--not a sequel to a nineteen-year-old book I coauthored, but a roundup of some thoughts from other folks.

A note on formatting -- Read More

Cites & Insights 14:4 (April 2014) available

The April 2014 issue of Cites & Insights (volume 14, issue 4, whole # 172) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i4.pdf

The print-oriented two-column edition is 22 pages.

Those reading online or on a tablet may prefer the 6x9" single-column version, which is 41 pages long, at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i4on.pdf

This issue includes two essays:

Intersections: Ethics and Access 1: The Sad Case of Jeffrey Beall (pp. 1-14)

The saga of Jeffrey Beall going from self-appointed investigator into "predatory" open access publishers and journals (and, notably, only OA journals) to ludicrous analyst of serials pricing and the reasons for OA--and beyond that to denouncing OA and its advocates? It's an odd story, and my version includes some really good ideas on avoiding sketchy journals (mostly from a notoriously worthwhile pseudonymous feathered library type) without buying into vigilantism.

The Middle: Forecasts and Futurism (pp. 14-22)

After skipping a year, it's time for another set of forecasts (short-term predictions) and futurism (long-term "predictions"), including some thoughts on the whole trendspotting game.

Does that number in the title of the first essay suggest something? Why, yes, it does--probably two things, one of them almost certain to appear in the May 2014 issue, and involving another "B."

Cites & Insights 14:3 (March 2014) available

Breaking the silence of project preparation to announce:

Cites & Insights 14:3 (March 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i3.pdf

That's a 32-page two-column PDF optimized for printing. If you're planning to read it online or on an e-device, I suggest the 61-page single-column 6" x 9" PDF optimized for viewing (and much smaller as a download) at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i3on.pdf

The issue includes:

The Front: Toward 15 and 200: Your Help Wanted pp. 1-3

Cites & Insights is in its 14th year and has passed Issue 170. I'm asking for help to encourage keeping it up to at least 15 and 200--and offering perks for donors.

Media: Thinking about Magazines pp. 3-24

Think print magazines are disappearing--or, worse, are just miscellaneous collections of articles? Think again. If you want a sense of the continuing importance of print magazines, maybe four words will suffice: World Wildlife and STAND--the new glossy print magazines from, respectively, World Wildlife Fund and the ACLU, both of which recognize the special power of a good magazine. This roundup includes some numbers and some perspectives. (No, Cites & Insights isn't a magazine; it's closer to a newsletter. And while a few journals are also magazines--Science, for example--most journals aren't magazines and most magazines aren't journals.)

The Back pp. 25-32

A baker's dozen of minisnarks (or, if you prefer, a dozen with lagniappe) on sound, prices, TED, silliness and casual (or ignorant) tech-sexism at "the newspaper of record."


Cites & Insights 14:2 (February 14) available

The February 2014 issue of Cites & Insights (volume 14, number 2) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i2.pdf.

The two-column print-oriented (and optimized for printing) PDF is 42 pages long.

If you're planning to read it on a tablet or online, you may prefer the 80-page 6" x 9" single-column version (not optimized for printing) at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i2on.pdf

This issue completes the book-length discussion of ebook issues. It contains:
Perspective: E and P: What I Ignored pp. 1-2

Possible motivations behind some comments and stances on pbooks and ebooks

Intersections: It Seems Like the Obvious Case: Ebooks as Textbooks pp. 2-15

For more than a decade I've assumed that textbooks represented the obvious billion-dollar (well, multi-billion-dollar) market for ebooks. It turns out not to be that easy.

Libraries: Ebooks and Libraries pp. 15-42

This discussion leaves out way too much and probably grossly oversimplifies the situation, but I do discuss some items having to do with the philosophical and general issues, problems, publishers and vendors, Kindles and libraries, and Douglas County and friends.

Cites & Insights 14.1 (January 2014) available

Now entering its fourteenth (!) year, the January 2014 Cites & Insights is now available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i1.pdf

The issue is 32 pages long. The single-column "online version" is 62 pages long.

This issue includes:
The Front (p. 1)

A few notes on reaching the fourteenth year.

Words: Books, E and P (pp. 1-25)

Books and the media in which they appear--and note the "E and P" rather than "E vs. P," although some of the items are distinctly "versus."

Media: 50 Movie Gunslinger Classics, Part 1

"Gunslingers" doesn't mean Westerns, although some of these are. It appears to mean that somebody in the movie has a gun. It's an...odd...set.

Cites & Insights 13:12 (December 2013) available

Cites & Insights 13:12 (December 2013) is now available for download at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i12.pdf.

The issue is 34 pages long.

The single-column 6" x 9" "online version," optimized for faster download and online or tablet reading, is also available--http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i12on.pdf

The issue contains one essay:
Words: The Ebook Marketplace, Part 2 pp. 1-34

More on the last few years in the ebook marketplace, this time focusing on ebook pricing, ebook and ereader sales, software, the past and future, (intentional) humor, rights--not so much DRM as ebook readers' rights, and a few miscellaneous pieces.

If you're waiting for "ebooks and pbooks" (note and, not versus)...that's coming in January 2014.

This completes Volume 13.

The indices will only be available as part of the print version of Volume 13, which will be announced when it's ready, probably some time within the next couple of weeks.


Cites & Insights 13:10 (October 2013) available

Cites & Insights 13:10 (October 2013) is now available at http://citesandinsights.info

The issue is 48 pages long. The single-column 6x9 "online reading version" is 65 pages long.

In fact, most of the regular version also fits into a 6" width; it's made up of book samples that didn't reduce neatly to the narrow column of the two-column version.

The issue consists of one big essay in six smaller portions plus an introduction:

The Front: Books, Books and (Books?) pp. 1-48

It's all about books--specifically, Cites & Insights Books for libraries and librarians: What may be happening with older books, two important new books, one potential new book and two new combinations of old material.

Weeding the Virtual Bookstore pp. 2-3

Some of the existing Cites & Insights Books may go out of print (that is, be removed from potential production) shortly. This section explains why, which books are involved and why--if you actually want one of them--you need to act soon.

Your Library Is...: A Collection of Public Library Sayings pp. 3-10

An inspiring and interesting tour through what America's public libraries choose as their mottoes and slogans on their websites, based on a complete scan of all 9,000+ libraries (or at least those for which I could find websites). 1,137 unique mottoes and slogans, plus 88 mottoes and slogans shared by 205 libraries. General comments, price and availability (this one's available as an $8.99 PDF!) are followed by the Cs: Sayings from libraries in California, Colorado and Connecticut, roughly 9.5 of the 157 text pages in the book.

$4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets, Vol. 1, Libraries by Size pp. 10-24 -- Read More

Cites & Insights 13:9 (September 2013) available

Cites & Insights 13:9 (September 2013) is now available for downloading at the Cites & Insights homepage.

The early, special issue is 10 pages long. If you're reading online or doing anything other than printing it out, you're much better off downloading the single-column online edition, which is 24 pages long, as most of the special issue is a rough draft of a book chapter that includes graphs and tables, which had to be compressed (reducing the type size in the tables quite a bit!) to fit into the narrower columns of the print version.

The issue consists of a single essay (albeit one that includes a draft book chapter as an example):

$4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets--Help Needed pp. 1-10

I've started the followup to Give Us a Dollar and We'll Give You Back Four (2012-13), and I'm trying to crowdfund inexpensive or free versions of the book (and presell copies) through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

This issue describes the project: Two books (one with libraries by size, one with libraries by state) combining tables, graphs and commentary to offer reasonably detailed pictures of countable public library benefits for FY2011 and how they've changed from 2009 to 2011, and A Library Is..., a collection of public library slogans and mottoes. -- Read More

Cites & Insights 13:8 available

Cites & Insights 13:8 (August 2013) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/

The regular two-column print-oriented issue is 28 pages long; the online-oriented 6x9 single-column version is 54 pages long.

The issue includes:
Perspective: Differences pp. 1-7

Yes, Perspectives is back--this time with an essay about perception and value.

Social Networks pp. 7-21

A summer essay with relatively old material--mostly on Delicious, the early days of Google+, and the Great Pseudonymity Discussion.

Media: Mystery Collection Part 6 pp. 21-28

Discs 31-36 of this 60-disc 250-movie collection.


Cites & Insights 13:7 (July 2013) available

Cites & Insights 13:7 (July 2013) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info

The regular PDF version (two columns, 8.5x11", designed for print) is 26 pages.

The "online version" (also PDF, one column, 6x9", designed and optimized for online reading) is 52 pages.

Note that this is another case where the online version will offer a better display of one article (the first one) because of graphs.

The issue includes:
The Big Deal and the Damage Done pp. 1-6

If you're in an academic library, you need to be aware of this study, now available in three versions: A regular PDF (no DRM) for $9.99, a paperback for $16.50 and, especially suitable for library schools and any library wishing to make it broadly available, a campus license PDF version for $40 that explicitly allows mounting the book on a campus ebook or other server that allows multiple simultaneous access or downloading by authorized students and other users.

This article includes Chapter 1 of the book and a segment of the concluding chapter. It includes eight graphs that will be easier to read in the one-column version, although they're all entirely readable in the two-column version.

Technology pp. 6-10

A dozen little essays about a dozen specific technologies.

The CD-ROM Project pp. 10-16

Moving toward the finish line: Possibly the last installment in this series, mostly a set of disappointments with two bright spots.

Media -- Read More

Cites & Insights 13:6 (June 2013) now available

The June 2013 Cites & Insights (13:6) is now available for downloading from http://citesandinsights.info/

The issue is available as a 42-page print-oriented two-column PDF or an 81-page single-column 6x9" online-oriented PDF.

You might think of this as a side-effect issue, as both pieces grow out of work done for the Open Access preconference I did at the Washington/Oregon Library Associations joint conference last week:
The Front: The Big Deal and the Damage Done: Available Now (pg.1)

The Big Deal and the Damage Done ($9.99 PDF ebook, $16.50 paperback) is a study of U.S. academic library spending between 2000 and 2010 for current serials, books (and all other acquisitions), and everything else--showing the effects of Big Deals and other constantly-rising serials prices. It looks at libraries by size, by sector and by Carnegie classification. The damage done? Primarily to the humanities and other fields that depend on monographs, to the ability of libraries to maintain the record of human creativity--and to library flexibility to do anything except write checks for current serials. (20% off through May 2, 2012, using code SILEO at checkout.)

Intersections: Hot Times for Open Access (pp. 1-42)

Mid-December 2012 through March 2013 has had a lot going on with OA--enough that I abandoned my plan to ignore OA for the rest of 2013 (after devoting most of the January and February 2013 issues to the topic).

This roundup looks at current issues in defining the terms, CC BY, the Gold and the Green, problems, OA in general, specific recent developments, the White House actions, OA in the humanities and social sciences, direct actions and libraries.

Cites & Insights 13:5 (May 2013) available

The May 2013 issue of Cites & Insights (volume 13, number 5) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info

[If you want a shorter URL, http://cical.info will also work.]

The two-column PDF version is 28 pages long, The 6x9" single-column version, designed and optimized for e-reading, is 60 pages long.

Unless you plan to print out the issue, the single-column version may be preferable: the issue includes 31 graphs, each of which is nearly twice as large (40% wider, 40% taller) in that version, frequently with more detail.

The issue consists of one essay:
Libraries: The Mythical Average Public Library

There is no such thing as the average library. That may be obvious--but you might be surprised at just how far away from average most measures for most libraries are. For that matter, for any derivative measure, which average is average?

This essay discusses averages and a few low-level statistical terms, then shows where American public libraries stand--not only for 2010 (the most recent IMLS data) but for changes from 2009 to 2010. I believe you'll find it revealing and interesting.

Announcement links now go to the home page, where I hope you'll note "Pay what you wish" before going on to the issue itself.

Cites & Insights 13:4 (April 2013) available

After three Big Serious Issues in a row, and with a Big Serious Essay on the Mythical Public Library coming up in May, it's time for a little break...

The April 2013 Cites & Insights (13:4) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i4.pdf

It's 34 pages.

The 6x9" single-column "online version," optimized for e-reading, is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civi13i4on.pdf and is 63 pages.

The issue includes:
The Front (pp. 1-2)

The Year of Both? My possibly-too-hopeful sense that more and more sensible people, and even some pundits, are recognizing that ebooks and print books are both likely to have substantial roles going forward.

The Middle: Deathwatch 2013! (pp. 2-19)

Catching up with the doomcryers (excluding print books--but see below).

Words: The Death of Books (or Not) (pp. 19-27)

What it says.

The Back (pp. 27-34)

Catching up with miscellaneous snarkiness through 2011 (and more recently for magazine items).


Cites & Insights March 2013 (13:3) available

Cites & Insights 13:3 (March 2013) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i3.pdf.

The issue is 32 pages long.

For those reading online or on a tablet or ebook reader, the single-column "online edition" is available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i3on.pdf. The single-column (6x9) version is 67 pages long.

Note: If you don't plan to print this issue out, the single-column version may be preferable: Graphs and tables take advantage of the wider single column.

This issue includes the following:

The Front (pp. 1-3)

On the Contrary: Notes on being a contrarian (or a skeptic)

Libraries: Academic Library Circulation: Surprise! (pp. 3-17)

We all know that circulation in (nearly all) academic libraries has been dropping for years, right? What does (nearly all) mean? Would you believe that a majority of U.S. academic libraries reporting circulation in both 2008 and 2010 (excluding clearly anomalous cases) actually had more circulation in 2010 than in 2008? This article looks at changes in circulation (overall and per capita) by type of library (as broken down in NCES reports--by region, sector, and Carnegie classifications), and also shows the difference between overall average, average of institutional averages, and median figures--frequently surprising differences.

Media: 50 Movie Box Office Gold, Part 2 (pp. 17-26)

Seven discs, 28 movies, all color, some I refused to finish watching.

Libraries: Academic Library Circulation, Part 2: 2006-2010 (pp. 26-32) -- Read More

Cites & Insights February 2013 (13:2) available

Cites & Insights 13:2 (February 2013) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i2.pdf

The issue is 40 pages long. A single-column 6x9 version, optimized for online reading and intended for e-readers and reading from the screen, is 75 pages long and available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i2on.pdf

This issue includes:
The Front (pp. 1-3)

Doing the numbers: notes on C&I readership during 2012 and since it moved to its current website. Also a quick note on the (failed) HTML challenge.

Catching Up On Open Access 2 (pp. 3-40)

The rest of the megaroundup that began in January. This installment includes Upping the Anti, Controversies, Predators, Economics, Elsevier, The Future!, A Little Humor, and a closing note on progress, snipers and inquisitors.

Cites & Insights is no longer available as HTML separates.

Psst: Have you heard the ongoing common knowledge that nearly all academic libraries have had falling circulation for quite a few years now? If your own library had rising circulation, say between 2008 and 2010, did you think you were a special flower?

A March essay looks at the reality behind "nearly all" based on NCES data. Let's just say the common knowledge is just a wee bit off. But for that, you'll have to wait for the March 2013 issue...

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