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Showing posts from September, 2015

Open Book Publishers celebrates 7th birthday

Today (24th September) is the seventh anniversary of the founding of Open Book Publishers.

Last time we blogged about OBP back in May they had published 55 titles, now the figure stands at 63! The University of St Andrews Library continues to contribute to the project by producing high quality MARC records for each book. MARC is a cataloguing standard for inputting metadata that makes sharing records between libraries easier. Libraries can download the MARC records we provide from the OBP website thus avoiding duplication of effort (see this page for more information).
"We can look back upon seven years of steady progress with satisfaction. 63 titles published. 700,000 book visits to our website. Readers from 207 countries. 400 readers per title every month. A library membership scheme with 70 members already enlisted. New partnerships bearing fruit. Our mission to change the nature of the traditional academic book and bring Open Access research to readers everywhere continues a…

BMC Ecology image competition

Each year BMC Ecology runs an image competition designed to allow ecologists to capture in a single frame their personal perspective on the 'beauty and mystery of our natural surroundings'. These images also provide a window into their specific research area:
'Ecologists can then educate as they draw attention to some of the outstanding science being done, while featuring their research efforts in a visual, and fun, way.' BMC Ecology The overall winning image entitled “Palestinian sunbird female forages on Echinops sp.” was captured by Mohamed Sheb from the Suez Canal University Ismailia, Egypt.

There were 9 winning pictures, and an additional 23 that were highly commended. We highly recommend taking a look. All the pictures are published under a CC BY attribution licence so sharing them couldn't be easier too. All the pictures were published as part of an editorial here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-015-0053-9

Here's some more!

New publishing initiatives: from authoring to archiving and beyond

Following on from our recent post on Outernet two recent announcements about new research publication platforms have attracted attention in the Open Access community:

Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal 
Pensoft's RIO extends publication into areas it hasn’t been associated with – project proposals for grant funding and project-related reports, methods and workflows that rarely see the light of day. It also builds on current OA trends by supporting publication of data, software, and research articles much of which is increasingly the subject of funder OA mandates. It claims “the most transparent, open and public peer-review process”; Public, Formal peer review is optional and is a paid-for service. Work will typically be accepted on the basis of a “sanity check” and public peer review:
All outputs of the research cycle including grant proposalsEverything from STEM to HSSGranularity – authors can pick and choose the services they needImpact - category labels help define interdi…

Outernet: the first library in space

Outernet is a company that is organising a so-called ‘library in space’ designed to untether information from the restrictions imposed by the Internet. The Internet as a medium for transmitting information is of course a miraculous one, but access to it is highly dependent on communications infrastructure, which of course many developing countries lack.


There have been projects in the past, and many on-going, to try and bring the Internet to the world on a universal level. One on-going project, which has been met with concerns over neutrality and data security, is the Internet.org project run by Facebook. Google’s Project Loon is another service that hopes to reach digitally isolated regions of the Earth. Project Loon uses balloons that travel around 20km above the surface of the Earth. The balloons utilise the wind currents at different altitudes to maintain their position relative to the Earth’s surface. The balloon can stay in the stratosphere for around 100 days, and can provide c…