E-Books and the Evolution of Publishing

September 8, 2014  
Posted in Access Insights, Featured, reference, Technology

Not that long ago, getting published was the big hurdle for a writer to overcome. You could produce all you wanted, but unless you knew how to get somebody to read your random submission, or you were rich enough to self-publish, your writing lived in a drawer, waiting for you to give it to a friend who doesn’t want to read it.

It’s hard to believe how fast technology has opened publishing up to people. Now, anyone with an opinion has a platform, and while it’s as tough as ever to make a living writing, the platform, in many cases, is totally free. So that changes the hurdle from publication to recognition. If everybody has a voice, how do you get heard?

This isn’t just a question of red-hot opinions on social media. The explosion of e-book publishing has enabled writers of all kinds and all backgrounds, and without a character restriction. Whether it’s through a blog, an e-book, or whatever, the gatekeeper has started to disappear, and to a writer who likes getting published, that prospect is thrilling.

But a new gatekeeper has replaced the old. The driving force of the explosion has been the Amazon Kindle. Since it was first issued in 2007, Kindle titles have taken an increasingly large share of the industry, and now make up nearly 20% of all book sales, not just e-books.

That’s astonishingly fast, and the publishing industry has been dragged kicking and screaming behind. It’s easy to see how it could be a painful transition for them. There’s no physical copy to print and they’re out of the distribution game, so publishers naturally make less per book sold than they had in the past. Amazon made deals advantageous to themselves, of course, but sales have continued to increase. The downside is that issues have arisen as a result of Amazon trying to strong-arm publishers who don’t want to play ball.

By the same token, writers make less in royalties than they once did, as well. That’s the sad part, I guess, but the positive side is that more people are writing and more ideas are floating around, which is a beautiful thing and vital to the advancement of culture. It also presents a brand new problem for the industry: information overload.

As long as there was traditional publishing, there was a structure in place to determine what writing was deemed “worthy” of printing. It kept dangerous or controversial views out of the public, sure, but it also filtered out the garbage. Academic publishing still has its review system in place to make sure a work is suitable to print, but the non-academic side now has little to no filter.

Let’s face it; for all the good that open access to publication can do for society, it also means that one may have to wade through a lot of it to find high-quality, relevant material. So the question becomes how to access it so that every time you want to find something, you don’t have to filter through a large amount of irrelevant and useless material. It’s for this reason that data management has become so vital. Its use has resulted in revolutionary new ways to look at publishing.

The basic fact of having an individual platform is big enough. But there are larger, more groundbreaking efforts to take advantage of the opportunities the technology has afforded us. Norway, for instance, is in the process of digitizing all of its books, all of them, to make them available online to anyone with a Norwegian IP address; the Digital Public Library of America is a growing resource connecting libraries across the country; and the Public Library of Science has turned the paradigm of academic publishing on its ear.

The concept of the digital library isn’t new. Project Gutenberg has been around since 1971. Little did we know back then what kind of value that might have. It’s only becoming clear now that analytic software has become so advanced. For Amazon, books were a means to mine customer data for other products. Now, that kind of data mining is commonplace. It doesn’t have to be about sales, though. In these library projects, that same level of data mining can be used for all sorts of purposes, from recommending new reading materials to a better understanding of a student’s learning habits.

The potential in these projects is limitless, and it takes innovative thinkers to look for patterns and derive ways to utilize them. But the most important thing to me is that what I write, what anybody writes, can be published and accessed for all to see in one form or another if somebody is interested. After all, if I want to read about new methods in cancer treatment or some crazy person ranting about aliens, I should have that right, and so should everyone.

Daryl Loomis
Access Innovations

Research Articles Needed for Conference

September 4, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

Research articles are being accepted for the Second International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communication and Information Technology – CCIT 2014, organized by the Institute of Research Engineers and Doctors (IRED) at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. This event brings innovative academics and industrial experts together in a common forum.

The conference is scheduled for November 16-17, 2014 and the paper submission deadline is September 11, 2014 for early birds. Learn  more about the event and how to submit at the web site. All the registered papers will be published by IRED-CPS and stored in the SEEK Digital Library.

The conference aims to provide a platform to researchers and practitioners from academia as well as industry to meet and share cutting-edge developments in the field.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

New Possibilities for New Fun

August 21, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

Scrabble fans, rejoice. Five thousand words have been added to “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” released on August 11 from Merriam-Webster. The Register-Guard brought this exciting news to us in their article, “Scrabble dictionary update delivers players 5,000 new words.”

This comes after a decade of waiting for new additions. Entries in the book include texter, vlog, bromance, hashtag, dubstep, and selfie. However, the real gems come with the addition of te and three other two-letter words — da, gi and po. Just imagine the possibilities of paralleling words together with these additions.

To be included in the 36-year-old book in its fifth edition, a word must be found in a standard dictionary, can’t require capitalization, can’t have hyphens or apostrophes, and can’t be an abbreviation, in addition to being two to eight letters. Spell on, my friends, spell on.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Has the Oxford Dictionary Word List Become a Hot Mess?

August 18, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

No one should be surprised, but yet we still are, at the slang and pop culture words that are making their way not only into our vocabulary, but now into the Oxford Dictionary. This interesting news came from the Oxford Dictionaries blog, OxfordWords, in their post, “Adorbs new words added to OxfordDictionaries.com – WDYT?”

Adorbs, humblebrag, and binge-watch are just a few of the new words going into OxfordDictionaries.com in this quarter. I suppose with the publication going online it is easier to add new words and therefore there is less of a filter or qualifying process. It is not my intention to set myself up as one of those antiquated people who resist change. I am actually very forward thinking and embrace new opportunities and challenges (cough cough), but that doesn’t lessen my dismay to know that one of the new words - catfish – isn’t the deep fried delicacy found in many southern restaurants.  It saddens me both that it is in the publication and that I know its duplicitous definition.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Records Management Specialist Needed

July 14, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

To be as helpful as possible to those in the fields of taxonomy, indexing, ontology, etc., we are sharing career opportunities that we find with our readers. Even if you are not in the market for a career move, it is always good to stay on top of what is available and how the fields are evolving.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Tennessee is looking for a Records Management Specialist. The successful applicant will be responsible for the development and implementation of an organizational-wide electronic records management program.

If you are looking to change positions, good luck on your search.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

Building Up The Data

June 27, 2014  
Posted in indexing, metadata, News, reference

EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) has added top humanities and social sciences journals to their searchable database. This discovery service is being used by Il Mulino, a leading academic publisher in Italy that offers the prominent journals from both Carocci Editore and Il Mulino via its online portal Rivisteweb. This content includes 45,000 articles from over 80 journals. This interesting information came from Digital Journal in their article, “Rivisteweb is Now Searchable via EBSCO Discovery Service.”

Rivisteweb journals represent the most authoritative Italian collection of journals in the humanities and social sciences. The collection provides scholarly materials to researchers in the areas of art, culture, economics, history, law, literary criticism, media, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

It is always important to entrust your data to professionals who adhere to industry standards and use technology that makes your content findable.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Information Architect Sought

June 20, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

We are always excited to share news with our readers about career opportunities in the world of taxonomy, metadata, and semantic technology. Even if you aren’t in the market for a career move, it is good to stay on top of what is available and how the fields are changing.

Massachusetts Biotechnology Council is looking for a Director, Information Architect. This position would be responsible for establishing an information architecture strategy and roadmap that aligns with their business strategy and existing information environment.

To learn more about this position, click here. If you are searching for a new position in your career, best of luck in your endeavors.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

New Words to Spell

June 5, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

Merriam-Webster has come out with its new list of approved words for 2014, and I am extremely excited. Not only are they new words I can add to my vocabulary, I can also potentially use them in Words with Friends or Scrabble. The interesting news came from State College in their article, “Adding New Words to Our Lexicon.” So Words with Friends opponents, be on the watch for selfie and fracking in our games soon.

However, the author of this article offers up other contenders that didn’t make the cut. I won’t get to use words like obcampustacle, anticrastinate, or mautiship. Can you imagine the score on those?

I will have to urschel my spelling by using other new and exciting words.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

 

Most Searched Words

May 21, 2014  
Posted in News, reference, search

I always find it interesting to learn about the behaviors of others. Airports, shopping malls, and sports venues always provide entertainment to me as I muse on the reasoning behind some wardrobe choices, quirky behavior, or companions. That might be why social media has always intrigued me, as it is like people watching from home. So when Dictionary.com compiled a list of words looked up the most around the country, I was fascinated. This interesting list was described by NBC Chicago in their article, “Study Reveals Most Looked-Up Words in Chicago.”

It appears that folks in the good old Windy City were the most likely to look up the word “peatier”, which by the way is defined as pertaining to, resembling or containing the substance peat.

Minneapolis residents were the main searchers of the word “fricassee,” and New York searched “precipitin test.”

Los Angeles residents were the most frequent searchers of the word “walking stick”.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

The End of an Era

May 15, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

The future of the more than 130-year old Oxford English Dictionary (OED) may be moving to cyberspace. The sheer number of English words put into use since the 20-volume, second edition was published in 1989 could make version 3.0 too big and too expensive to print. The next edition is expected to be at least twice the size of the last. Because of this, it may be published digitally only.

The decision hasn’t been made yet, and Oxford University Press is quick to point out that the concise and compact versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, commonly on sale at bookstores, aren’t in danger of going out of print. The decision whether to print the third edition of the complete OED – the multi-volume version more often used at libraries, at universities, and by scholars – is at least a decade away. This news came to us from CBS News in their article, “Stop the presses: Is the dictionary dead?”

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

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