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Could Government Policy Destroy South African Publishing?

The South African Department of Basic Education just released a policy document, open for public comment, explaining how the department plans to handle textbooks in the future. Arthur Atwell notes that while it is still a draft, a senior DBE leader recently told a group of publishers that the government's position on procurement was 'very unlikely to change.' Atwell writes that while the document contains many important ideals, with an emphasis on making sure that each child has textbooks, 'there is one, huge, glaring misadventure: the DBE wants to buy a single textbook in each subject for the whole country.'
   
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What Good are They to Academic Libraries?

New knowledge is built on existing knowledge and academic libraries are the primary repositories of existing knowledge for the scholars whose work they support. In these times of belt tightening and budget reductions, it behooves academic libraries to think about how to demonstrate to administrators the value being returned on investments in the library, and to provide scholars with tools to do the same. Traditional means of measuring the quality of new knowledge like the impact factor and h-index are being made richer and more meaningful through the addition of new, social media based alternative metrics. Altmetrics also provide scholars communicating in non-traditional venues like the blogosphere and the Twitterverse with meaningful measures of the impact of their work. This article introduces altmetrics, discusses their advantages and disadvantages relative to more traditional metrics, and propose some specific uses to which academic libraries may put altmetrics in support of the transitions now occurring in scholarly communication and thus in academic libraries.
   
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Let's Clarify Authorship on Scientific Papers

When research projects require the contribution of many researchers at different institutes to collect data, diagnose patients' ailments, or do the lab work, those researchers cannot all be held responsible for the specific question and analysis of the article. In these instances, an article is written by a few authors and one or more "group authors," such as the arcOGEN Consortium or the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium. The contributing researchers are acknowledged at the bottom of the article, and listed in the publication database as collaborators.
   
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Journal hijackers target science and open access

Academic researchers need to publish the results of their research in scientific journals to be able to graduate or to advance their careers. The first systematic misconduct and deviation from the generally-accepted good practices for publishing scientific journals began in the early 2000s when some commercial journals began to misuse the open-access movement by publishing unreviewed manuscripts in a 'pay and get published' model. Following this, around two years ago, a new line of misconduct in scientific publishing emerged in the world of academic publishing: hijacked journals. In this phenomenon, cyber criminals create counterfeit websites for legitimate journals, broadcast call-for-paper spams, and attack the reputation and scientific life of the researchers by publishing their unreviewed articles on fake journal websites and stealing their money.
   
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The Digital Evolution in Academic Publishing

Being in educational technology for the past 18 years, the author has observed the evolution firsthand. The industry went from a slow tech uptake to unusually rapid, often reactionary solutions. However, as the dust has settled, many of the most influential educational publishers, such as Pearson, McGraw Hill and Wiley, have taken strategic steps towards change. Much like the music industry, it is an 'adapt or die' environment. In the higher education sector, the use of technology has risen from 20 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2014. While this data is not necessarily pure (most students who 'go digital' are upper-class college students), the number itself is undeniable.
   
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