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Showing posts from April, 2019

Charlie Chaplin and Pixar's WALL-E

It’s Charlie Chaplin’s birthday! So we are highlighting an article in our institutional repository that focuses on the slapstick comedy tradition of the silent era and specifically how the themes of Fordism and industrialisation are also reflected in the 2008 Pixar film WALL-E.


In the article Paul Flaig discusses how Chaplin, Keaton, Floyd and other comics at the time used slapstick comedy to satirise Fordist manufacturing – division of labour, assembly lines, use of industrial machinery. The 1936 classic Modern Times is a prime example of this - https://encore.st-andrews.ac.uk/iii/encore/record/C__Rb2017655.

"[S]lapstick comedy was tied to the rise of modern labor in terms of both Taylorist theory and Fordist practice. Comic heroes ranging from live action comedians Chaplin or Keaton to animated animals Felix or Mickey worked against work through the playful excesses of their obediences and transgressions within an increasingly rationalized, industrial world. The digital a…

Europe PMC Plus is getting an upgrade

In a recent blog post Europe PMC announced that their Europe PMC Plus system will soon be getting an upgrade.

PMC Plus is the interface used by Principal Investigators to upload manuscripts to the Europe PMC repository. After the upgrade the system promises to be much simpler, with just three things needed to complete a submission - citation details, submission files, and funding information.

"The new submission system offers an updated design, clearer workflows, and new features, including an improved preview of submitted files, the ability to view submitted files and processed web versions side by side, and improved communication tools, which simplify creating and reviewing manuscript submissions." (Europe PMC blog - http://blog.europepmc.org/2019/03/New-Europe-PMC-plus.html)
The new system will be released on 01/05/2019.

To find out more, and to see previews of the new interface, read the full announcement below which is also hosted on Figshare.

Screening of Paywall - the business of scholarship

We are planning a screening of Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, on April 25th 2019 in the Byre Theatre, followed by a panel session chaired by Katie Stevenson.
The movie is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science, and questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, a substantial proportion of this from public funding (tax payers). It examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with large academic publishers, such as Elsevier; a profit margin often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies e.g. Apple, Facebook and Google. 

This will be an excellent opportunity for everyone to hear about and debate these issues and what steps we can take as individuals, an organisation and a sector, in response. The panel will also consider developments since the Paywall documentary was made, including Plan S, an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018.