Archive for the 'Cites & Insights' Category

C&I: The HTML Challenge: Weekly progress report

Posted in Cites & Insights on January 8th, 2013

In the most recent post on the challenge–for those who find C&I valuable and prefer it in HTML form to actually contribute something to C&I–I promised weekly updates and how it was going.

Here’s the first update.

Contributions received to date

$0.

Purchases of C&I print annuals since challenge announced.

0

Contributions received with “not specific to HTML” disclaimer

$0

Percentage progress toward goal

0%

Cites & Insights in HTML: The Challenge

Posted in Cites & Insights on January 2nd, 2013

Background

On December 24, 2012–admittedly not the best time to get your attention–I posted “Want HTML versions of Cites & Insights essays? It’s your click.”

Briefly, the post said that I’m reconsidering offering Cites & Insights essays in HTML form (which I’ve been doing at least most of the time since 2004), partly because the one-column 6×9 “online” PDF seems to fill the same need, partly because I’ve never been entirely happy with the results. (And, in fact, the results are terrible when graphs or pictures are involved: They’re not there.)

And continued as follows:

So: If you really want HTML versions of C&I essays, it’s up to you…to pay for them.

Total voluntary financial support for Cites & Insights in 2012 has not reached three digits, or even high two digits.

If you want HTML essays, contribute–the PayPal secure Donate button’s right there on the home page.

If I see at least $1,000 in donations between now and the time I’m ready to publish the February 2013 issue–which I’m guessing will be around January 20-22, 2013–then I’ll keep doing HTML separates at least through 2013.

If I don’t get even within shouting range of that total, I’ll probably drop them: The one-column 6×9 PDF format should meet the needs of most e-readers. And, y’know, considering the price…

Purchases of C&I annual volumes will count as contributions, at the full rate of $50 each, even though I don’t net nearly that much. And you get great travel photos on the covers, plus indexes that are not otherwise available. (The indexes alone are worth, well…more than nothing.)

Foreground

So far, the first week of the HTML challenge has yielded a nice round number: $0 donations, 0 sales of C&I annual volumes.

But hey, it’s the new year. There appear to be a few hundred people who read the HTML versions–there were, in fact, more than 100,000 HTML essay pageviews in 2012–and if even 100 figure it’s worth a paltry $10 a year, it will continue.

Here’s what I might hear you thinking or saying, and my response if any:

  • Other people will provide the contributions you’re seeking; I can be a freerider. Could happen, but consider the total to date.
  • I certainly don’t think the HTML version C&I is worth enough to pay for it, not even $10 a year. That’s fine, but don’t be surprised when the HTML goes away.
  • You’re trying to get loads of money; you probably won’t even tell us when you start making progress. Nope. I’ll offer weekly totals whenif there’s any total to report. Sure, I’d love to get a few $K, since I think C&I is worth it, but…
  • You’re bluffing. No, I’m not. Note that I didn’t say C&I itself was endangered, at least not yet: that might be a bluff.

If you find C&I worthwhile but don’t care about the HTML version…contributions are also welcome. [If they come via PayPal, I'll thank you via email--and if you specifically don't want your contribution linked to the HTML challenge, you can tell me so at that point.]

It will take 40 $25 contributions or 100 $10 contributions or, for that matter, 20 copies of the annual volumes at $50. We’ll see what happens

Cites & Insights 13:1 (January 2013) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 29th, 2012

I probably said it would be out the first week of January 2013, but it was ready, so…

Cites & Insights 13:1 (January 2013) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i1.pdf

The issue is 40 pages long.

The “online edition,” designed for faster downloading and easy reading on most e-devices larger than phones, is also available; it’s 77 pages long.

I’m now consistently creating the PDFs directly in Word, which means they may be somewhat larger but will have bookmarks for all article headings.

This issue includes the following essays–also available as HTML separates at http://citesandinsights.info, although this may be the last issue for which that’s true (see the first essay for details)

The Front  pp. 1-4

Of books and journals: notes on my forthcoming (or here now?) ALA Editions book, changes in other recent books, the annual edition of C&I–and the results of the reader service. Ends with a straightforward challenge: If you want HTML separates to continue, you’ll need to contribute to C&I.

Intersections:
   Catching Up with Open Access 1  pp. 4-40

 The first half of a roundup on Open Access covering portions of the last couple of years. This half includes citations and commentary on advantages, colors & flavors, repositories, mandates, problems, PeerJ, history, philosophy and miscellany, ethics, tactics and strategies, and scholarly societies. (The second half will appear in the February 2013 issue.)

Want HTML versions of Cites & Insights essays? It’s your click

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 24th, 2012

The survey on Cites & Insights format preferences and section preferences is now closed.

Twelve people participated. Thanks!

Sorry the rest of you didn’t have the time.

Results of the survey will appear in Cites & Insights 13:1, probably out the first week of January 2013.

Based on responses to format questions, and my own experience trying the one-column “online format” on an 8.9″-screen tablet (see other post), I’m going to keep both PDF formats, at least for a while.

The HTML separates, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. I’ve never been wholly satisfied with the way they look; they don’t work right if a post has graphs or other illustrations; they’re a mild pain to produce. And, it turns out, at least in Silk, they appear entirely in whatever dreary sans typeface the Kindle uses when it’s not showing what it recognizes as book-style text.

So: If you really want HTML versions of C&I essays, it’s up to you…to pay for them.

Total voluntary financial support for Cites & Insights in 2012 has not reached three digits, or even high two digits.

If you want HTML essays, contribute–the PayPal secure Donate button’s right there on the home page.

If I see at least $1,000 in donations between now and the time I’m ready to publish the February 2013 issue–which I’m guessing will be around January 20-22, 2013–then I’ll keep doing HTML separates at least through 2013.

If I don’t get even within shouting range of that total, I’ll probably drop them: The one-column 6×9 PDF format should meet the needs of most e-readers. And, y’know, considering the price…

Purchases of C&I annual volumes will count as contributions, at the full rate of $50 each, even though I don’t net nearly that much. And you get great travel photos on the covers, plus indexes that are not otherwise available. (The indexes alone are worth, well…more than nothing.)

 

The Last Day(s)

Posted in $4, Cites & Insights on December 21st, 2012

No, not that grotesque misreading of Mayan calendar systems, that insult to a great civilization and to thinking people everywhere.

But it is the last day to get Graphing Public Library Benefits for a ridiculously low $1.99 (PDF, no DRM, feel free to pass it along to others). (For some reason, the link at the bottom of the page–and in earlier posts–may not have worked right. It’s fixed now: I’ve tried it.)

It is also one of the last days to take part in a brief survey on format and content preferences for Cites & Insights (ending 12/24/12), to help me decide how (and whether) to continue C&I in 2013. [If you feel strongly about it, a donation from the C&I home page wouldn't hurt: Reaching at least three digits for total support in 2012 would be nice.]

Oh, and for some of you, it’s very much the last days for holiday shopping. Good luck.

Cites & Insights survey: One week left

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 17th, 2012

If you read Cites & Insights, go take the survey. Now. It’ll only take a couple of minutes.

This is the final week in which you can take the survey. The results of the survey will–along with, hint hint, any contributions to Cites & Insights itself, maybe to bring the annual total up into the three-digit range–influence both the format options and the content for 2013.

So, while you’re thinking about it, go take the survey. If links give you trouble, here’s the URL:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CPWRWTQ

Right now, C&I appears in three forms. If there are in fact only nine people who care enough about C&I to take the survey, then that’s at least one too many–and maybe three too many. The three, in case you’ve forgotten:

  • Two-column 8.5×11″ pages, PDF, optimized for printing, always an even number of pages: The “real” C&I.
  • Single-column 6×9″ pages, PDF, optimized for online viewing and intended for large-screen e-stuff (any of the 8.9″-10″ tablets and ebook readers, notebooks, desktops, and it shouldn’t be too bad on 7″ devices): The “eC&I.”
  • Individual articles (when the article isn’t heavy on stuff that doesn’t work well this way) in HTML form, single column, generated using Word “Save as Filtered HTML” from a template designed for web use.

The first has been around since December 2000, although there have been several changes in typography and layout over the years. It’s the only version that gets copyfitting: it is, essentially, the fully laid out version.

The second has been around since March 2012. It gets a modified Table of Contents to suit the vastly increased number of pages. It’s normally saved to PDF directly from Word, yielding a PDF with bookmarks for articles and sections.

The third has been around since January 2004, more consistently (except for one section) since Midwinter 2005, although certain single-topic issues have not appeared in HTML form.

Take the survey. I will pay attention to the results. I will read any comments you include.

FELICITAS and other stuff

Posted in C&I Books, Cites & Insights on December 5th, 2012

First off, FELICITAS

That’s actually the new coupon code for the longest-duration sale I’ve ever seen at Lulu: 20% off one order (that is, as many books, ebooks, etc. as you want, but all purchased as one transaction) between now and December 14, 2012.

You enter the coupon code in ALL CAPS

That would bring Graphing Public Library Benefits down to $9.56 (and there’s no shipping charge for a PDF). Obviously I think that experiment is worth a look for a tenspot (and you can pass it along to others who might be interested…with my blessing.)

Or the classy hardbound edition of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13) for $25.20. (OK, technically, I haven’t seen the hardbound edition, but I know from other hardbound Lulu editions that it’s classy.)

Or the paperback for $17.56. Or the PDF for, hmm, $9.56. (Buy the PDF of that book and GPLB and you’re still out less than $20.)

or Cites & Insights 12 for $40 (or all seven C&I volumes for $280–hey, I might as well dream big).

Or, for that matter, my very first Lulu book, which just reached my success target (between Lulu and CreateSpace), selling its 300th copy: Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change–for $20. (I’m wondering whether it’s worth doing a heavily revised second edition. If that happens, it won’t happen any time soon.)

It’s rare for a Lulu sale to run over the weekend. I don’t remember when there’s been a sitewide sale lasting 10 days. Remember: It’s a win-win: I get the same revenue, you get a bargain.

 Other Stuff: The Survey

If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to go take the Cites & Insights Format & Content survey. There are only five questions, and only one of them is required. It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.

I promise that I’ll read all of the comments carefully and that I will pay attention to the results.

I suspect that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to publish a new issue during the December Doldrums, so the first issue of 2013 (Volume 13) will probably appear in very early January. Given that some key questions have to do with the format of the publication, and that I need to decide what to do about that at least three or four days before publishing the next issue, let’s set Monday, December 24, 2012 as a deadline for the survey–I’ll treat the results as an Xmas present.

Oh, and by the way, there are no points off for saying that you consistently read and find highly valuable a section of Cites & Insights that hasn’t actually appeared…

So: Please take the survey. ‘Preciate it.


A few words about the formats:

I just looked at C&I activity during 2012. Perhaps worth noting, looking only at issues in Volume 12 that actually appeared in both one-column and two-column PDF form:

  • In three cases, there were more than half as many one-column PDF downloads as there were two-column, but one of those cases is too recent to be very meaningful. In two of the three cases, the one-column figure is barely over half the two-column; in the third, which looks likely to be the least-read issue of the year, it’s about 70%.
  • At the other extreme, in what’s easily the most-read issue of the year (as usual, an issue I thought about not publishing–no prizes for Googlingguessing the issue’s theme), the ratio was roughly six to one, two column to one.
  • HTML separates were viewed more often than two-column PDFs were downloaded in six cases, but three of those are from the same issue (and that issue may be too recent for this to be meaningful). In one and only one case, an essay was viewed more than twice as often in HTML form than it was downloaded as a two-column PDF, and that’s the only case in which the single-essay views exceed the total PDF downloads.
  • In general, HTML readership seems to be higher than one-column PDF downloads and lower than two-column downloads.

And that’s the way it is.

Cites & Insights format & content: A new survey

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 3rd, 2012

Since it seems as though Cites & Insights will go on for a while longer, I’m looking at format and content again. Specifically, I’m wondering whether it would make sense to drop the current primary format (2-column 8.5×11″ PDF, the most paper-efficient format for printing) and retain only the “online PDF” version (1-column 6×9″ PDF–which would be almost as paper-efficient if people use Readers’ “print as booklet” option).

You’ll find the survey here. (I tried to embed it, but WordPress doesn’t like that.)


Minor followup of no particular import:

A few people with long memories might wonder why the survey doesn’t say anything about financial support for C&I.

See bloody forehead? See bloody wall?

I did include that last year. Based on the results, I thought that 80% of active readers might kick in a few dollars toward keeping C&I going.

If that was the case, then there were only 2.5 active readers of Cites & Insights this year: I received a grand total of two donations (thank you both!) that added up to low two digits.

So this time around, although at least a modest donation would show that C&I is regarded as worthwhile, I’m not even asking…

Cites & Insights Volume 12 available in book form

Posted in C&I Books, Cites & Insights on November 24th, 2012

Cites & Insights 12 (2012)The trade paperback version of Cites & Insights 12 (2012) is now available for purchase.

The 410-page 8.5×11 paperback costs $50, of which roughly half is a contribution to keep Cites & Insights going.

The volume includes all 12 issues (with photos printed in grayscale), plus a table of contents and indexes.

The wraparound cover photo is the paddlewheel of America’s greatest steam-powered riverboat, the American Queen (and the only authentic steam-powered sternwheeler actually offering multiday river cruises). It was taken during the American Queen’s inaugural season, 1995–and is the original paddlewheel (which is probably not the one on the boat, since there was a problem with the axle). It seemed appropriate since the American Queen returned to service in mid-2012 after a four-year hiatus–just as Cites & Insights returned to reasonably regular publication after a four-month hiatus. (If you had asked me in December 2011, I would have guessed that there might be half a dozen issues of C&I in 2012, or maybe three, or maybe none. But things change…and I won’t even begin to guess what 2013 holds.)

Save 30% Through November 27, 2012

If you act now–through Tuesday, November 27, 2012, you can save 30% on this and any other Cites & Insights books (or, indeed, anything at Lulu). Just put what you want in your cart; when you’re ready to check out, enter the code DELIRITAS (in all capital letters) in the coupon box. You can only use the code once, but it applies to your full order (not including tax & shipping).

That brings the book down to $35. Or better yet, add to your (or your library’s) professional literature collection by buying all seven available C&I annual volumes (2006 through 2012): You’ll effectively be getting seven for the price of five, and you’ll help a lot to support C&I. (The 30% discount does not reduce my revenue from the books: it’s a Lulu sale.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cites & Insights December 2012 (12:12) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on November 12th, 2012

Cites & Insights 12:12 (December 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i12.pdf

The print-oriented PDF is 38 pages long. A single-column 6×9″ PDF designed for online reading is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i12on.pdf. That version is 73 pages long. Both versions include bookmarks for all sections and subsections, one reason they’re fairly large.

The issue includes the following (also available as HTML separates from the essay titles or at http://citesandinsights.info):

Policy:
     The Rapid Rout of RWA    (pp. 1-25)

A comedy in four acts over seven weeks, from AAP/PSP’s endorsement of HR3699, the Research Works Act, on January 5, 2012, to Elsevier’s withdrawal of its support for RWA (which mysteriously caused the near-instantaneous death of the bill, introduced as it had been by wholly independent Congresspeople) on February 7, 2012. It’s a story that I believe and hope will resonate with scientists and others…

And it’s not directly related to the other essay, but some might see connections:

Libraries:
    Walking Away: Courage and Acquisitions   (pp. 25-38)

A much more recent story and one that’s not over yet, involving a small university librarian standing up and saying “We can’t take it any longer” and, with the help of her faculty, not taking it. Oh, and of public relations people who don’t believe in relating to the public. Where the first story involves the largest for-profit publisher in science, technology and medical journals, this one involves a putatively nonprofit publisher, that is, a scholarly society that just happens to take in one heck of a lot of money from its publications. The story also involves the question of whether librarians are ever allowed to be people–and at what point implicit sexism and ageism enter into play.

 


This marks the end of Volume 12. The index for Volume 12 is value-added material (such as it is) and, as such, will only appear in the printed paperback edition of Cites & Insights 12 (2012)–which will be announced when it’s available.


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