Cites & Insights: September 2017 issue (17:8) available

September 14th, 2017

The September 2017 issue of Cites & Insights (17:8) is now available for downloading at https://citesandinsights.info/civ17i8.pdf

A very personal and very short issue (12 6″ x 9″ pages) includes two essays:

The Front: Maybe I’m Doing it Wrong  pp. 1-4

Hat-tip to Randy Newman for the title, and–although this was written over the weekend and it’s not referred to in the essay, even indirectly–to CHE for once again making my point.

Perspective: Where I Stand: OA, “Predatory,” Blacklists, the Bealllists and Thought Leadership  pp. 4-12

That’s not even the full title. There’s a subtitle, “or why 140 characters is less than 1% of what I need to say about this cluster of topics,” which relates to the Twitter “conversation” that resulted in this somewhat-redundant commentary being written.

Enjoy. Or not.


Modified 9:10 a.m. to fix link-ruining typo. Thanks, Linda Ueki Absher

GOAJ2: August update

August 31st, 2017

Here’s how things are going for GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016 and The Countries of OAWorld 2011-2016 and related stuff (all linked to from the project home page), through August 31, 2017 [noting that most of the last day of each month is missing because of how statistics are done):

  • The dataset: 176 views, 32 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 691 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks), plus 190 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 289 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 650 copies

Oddly enough (or not), along with 88 new PDF downloads of GOAJ2 and 32 new downloads of Countries, August also saw 307 downloads of Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 and 204 downloads of the earlier Countries version. Not sure why more people are downloading the earlier and less complete editions, but most of those may not be “people” anyway.

As a comparison for C&I issues: the July 2017 Cites & Insights, another Economics of Access essay, now has 718 downloads to date–and the August 2017 issue, with no serious essays at all (old movie reviews and The Back. snarky little stuff), had 412 downloads in August.

 

The nerve of that guy!

August 6th, 2017

A comment that updates & expands the “Partial Social Media Bankruptcy” note I offered at Facebook & Twitter. To wit, it’s likely to be even “less of the web” for a few days, weeks or possibly months.

The title’s significance may become evident.

Wednesday, August 2

My wife went in for (planned and very much needed) carpal tunnel release surgery, which meant her right/dominant hand would be in a lower-arm/hand splint for a week, then a removable splint for another week. Basically one-handed…and that hand needs different attention later. Oh, and with thumb arthritis issues on the other hand to be addressed at a later date.

I figured I’d step back from stuff and spend as much time as needed providing a helping hand. (We also purchased an Etak Deluxe One-Handed Paring Board with Rocker Knife, and it’s a marvelous device for one-handed paring, peeling, opening jars, and lots more. Highly recommended.) Anyway…

I was just a little unsteady to & from the outpatient clinic; I attributed this to getting up VERY early.

Thursday, August 3

She’d done so much advance preparation–and the Etak is such a great device–that she didn’t need very much help. But she noticed a little continuing instability in my walk, and I noticed that I had white noise in my right ear. At dinner, she said “Smile” and informed me that the right side of my mouth was drooping. Fortunately, I passed the other “911 he’s stroking out” tests [e.g. holding arms out straight, touching nose with finger, etc.,) so we agreed that if it wasn’t better Friday morning I should call my doctor.

Friday, August 4

It wasn’t better. It was somewhat worse. I called to make an appointment. My primary care doctor wasn’t in on Friday; when I described my symptoms to the receptionist, she had me on hold for a few seconds, then said “Go to the emergency room.” Not quite “call 911” but “get in here now.”

We went to ER. After initial tests, the ER doctor thought it looked like Bell’s palsy, but wanted to check with a neurologist–as it happens, the neurologist who tested for nerve conductivity in the nerve damaged an March 2016 (when I had a Schwannoma, a benign nerve sheath tumor, removed from my right forearm). She didn’t find any, and the last three fingers of my right hand still can’t be lifted when the wrist’s steady or lifted–I’m now a seven-fingered typist. But that was 2016.

Now, after an MRI,  she discussed the symptoms, tried a couple quick tests, and thought it was more likely to be a minor stroke. And wanted me to stay overnight and get more tests…

A ultrasound/echocardiogram, neck ultrasound, second MRI with contrast, and an odd night (including alerting nurses when the person in the other bed fell on his way to the bathroom–at 3 a.m.) later… and, of course, my wife driving to & from the hospital twice, with one arm barely mobile…

Saturday, August 5

Symptoms… drooping mouth a little worse, drooping right eyelid, and–as it turns out–blinking doesn’t fully shut the right eyelid, and I can’t shut just that eyelid at all. After looking at these, reviewing the various tests, reviewing the second MRI especially, etc., they conclude that the first diagnosis was right: Bell’s palsy, “a nerve disorder that usually happens suddenly and without warning.” No clear cause, but usually a virus, such as a cold sore (a flareup of herpes simplex).

And yes, going to ER was appropriate, because the symptoms are similar to those of a stroke. Fortunately, Bell’s palsy is “rarely serious” and usually subsides in a few weeks without treatment. But one aspect of it–one eyelid not working properly–means the eye needs to be kept closed so it doesn’t dry out and damage the cornea, and with one eye closed there’s no depth perception, and so no driving (and the instability’s not quite gone, another issue even for walking). [Also probably the only connection I’ll ever have to Angelina Jolie: she supposedly had Bell’s palsy.]

I’m on prednisone and valtrex [respectively corticosteroid and antiviral], both for a week, and finally on baby aspirin forever, like most older men. I’d assumed that I’d finally lose my old status of  being over 70, male, and *not* on any continuing prescription drugs, but since it’s not a stroke and y cholesterol panel and other results were fine, I may retain that odd status for a while longer.

And beyond…

So does the post title make sense now? Seems like when  I do have problems they’re nerve-related

For the nonce, I’m spending much less time online and much more time resting, listening to music with my eyes closed, and of course helping my wife (she could only prepare veggies etc. so far ahead, so come tomorrow I’ll start learning/practicing more food prep. Cheerfully.)

I may not be around much. Haven’t read any tweets or status since early Friday morning and won’t even think about catching up. Some day, it will be better…

Oh, by the way: keeping one eye closed did not earn me the Dread Pirate Walt badge. The patch with a strap protects the eye from light but does nothing to keep the eye closed. I’m using boring combinations of gauze pads and adhesive eye patches (my beady little eyes are too sunken for the adhesive patch to work by itself): not dashing, but seems to work. And lots of eye drops and closing both eyes frequently for the break periods in which I get to use both eyes.

In case it’s not obvious: this–my situation and my wife’s–is a damn nuisance but a temporary one. No sympathy requested or required, and certainly not comparable to ongoing ability issues!

[Special thanks to my wife–39 great years and counting–and my brother and sister-in-law.]

Now I’m gonna go check on a couple of things and log off.


Update, Wednesday August 8:

So how’s it going?

Well…

Tuesday 3 a.m.: When you’re a little unstable and wearing an eyepatch and going to bed, maybe it’s not the ideal time to resume every-other-night wearing of a full-hand right resting splint…

…and getting up in the middle of the night for the usual reason, not sitting long enough, heading for the step up in the (all tiled) area near the door, noticing (I did have a flashlight) you’re too close, reaching out on the side you can’t see (eyepatch) with the hand that’s really a cloth-covered slab to steady yourself…

…kaboom, not falling badly but managing to hit forehead just above (left) eye on door on the way down. Wife appropriately upset, cleaned up bloody hands (not really that much blood, but), had a “911?” conversation, assured ourselves no concussion, no broken bones, not even any blood or serious bumps other than the one.

Was admonished NOT TO GET UP without waking my wife, who guided me Tuesday early. The wound was narrow but deep and not really bleeding, so we checked urgent care hours, then I called my regular doctor (just down the hall), who had an opening a couple hours after urgent care would have opened.

Saw her. She was great. Didn’t need to add sutures. Did provide excellent suggestion on stability–and as it turns out we already have a cane.

So I’m bloodied and bowed, moving slowly with right hand on a cane. *Not* wearing eye patch during the day (closing eyes at least once a minute, and the blink’s getting better). Won’t be driving for a bit longer. Everything takes 2-3 times as long, and resting a LOT. As I should. Other symptoms actually improving (I can furrow both sides of my brow, my smile is less ghastly, the blink is at least halfway there)–but gait/stability problems were first to show and probably last to go. Feeling like a weary little old man, but then again…

GOAJ2: July update

July 31st, 2017

Here’s how things are going for GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016 and The Countries of OAWorld 2011-2016 and related stuff (all linked to from the project home page), through July 31, 2017 [noting that most of the last day of each month is missing because of how statistics are done):

  • The dataset: 155 views, 30 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 603 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks), plus 150 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 257 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 521 copies

Oddly enough (or not), July also saw 213 downloads of Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2015 and 175 downloads of the earlier Countries version. Not sure why more people are downloading the earlier and less complete editions, but most of those may not be “people” anyway.

As a comparison for C&I issues: the July 2017 Cites & Insights, another Economics of Access essay, had 603 downloads to date.

 

Cites & Insights 17.7 (August 2017) available

July 30th, 2017

The August 2017 Cites & Insights (volume 17, issue 7) is now available for downloading at https://citesandinsights,info/civ17i7.pdf

The 32-page (6″ x 9″, designed for online/tablet reading) issue includes:

The Front: The Summer Issues  pp. 1-2

An ode to stone fruit season and a note on lack of deeper significance.

Media: Mystery Collection, Part 8  pp. 2-16

Three years in the making, this set of mini-reviews covers discs 43 through 48 of the 250-movie collection.

The Back  pp. 17-31

Audio oddities: catching up with almost a year’s worth of peculiarities–plus a tally of International Journals of Stuff.

What’s that you say? What’s on page 32? Overhead: the ongoing nearly-pointless “Pay What You Wish” and the masthead. The last page is short, and I chose not to write a couple of paragraphs to pad it.

Mystery Collection Disc 48

July 12th, 2017

With four movies to a disc, how does Mill Creek get 50 movies on 12 discs—or, in this case, 250 on 60? By having the occasional disc with more, usually shorter, movies. Like this one, with six relatively short mysteries.

 

Rogue’s Gallery, 1944, b&w. Albert Herman (dir.), Robin Raymond, Frank Jenks, H.B. Warner, Ray Walker, Bob Homans. 1:00 [0:58]

The title makes no sense at all, but this is a wacky little story of the wisecracking woman reporter (the smartest one in the flick) and her slightly dim photographer sidekick as they encounter a wonderful (and wonderfully dangerous) invention and a couple of murders.

The plot moves quickly and maybe isn’t worth recounting. (The invention allows you to listen to anybody, anywhere, if you know the “unique frequency” their location has. It has one very prominent vacuum tube. Hey, it was 1944.) There’s also a corpse that keeps getting moved and a couple of car chases. That the cameraman had the bad guy’s picture all along and didn’t realize it may not be too important, since all the action seems to take place in one night. Fast-moving and pretty enjoyable. That Frank Jenks (the sidekick) gets first billing over Robin Raymond is typical Hollywood sexism: she’s the star player. Given its length, I’ll say $1.25.

The Black Raven, 1943, b&w. Sam Newfield (dir.), George Zucco, Wanta McKay, Noel Madison, Robert Livingston, Glenn Strange, Byron Foulger. 1:01 [0:59]

It was a dark and stormy night…

That’s the weather and the mood of this movie, which is so dark that the action’s invisible much of the time (the print doesn’t help). The action takes place in The Black Raven, a hotel near the Canadian border whose host (Amos Bradford, also known as the Black Raven) makes a few extra bucks by smuggling criminals across the border—and probably through other means. As the picture begins, his old partner in crime (busted out of prison with ten years left to serve) shows up and, in the usual manner of Movie Bad Guys With Scores To Settle, stands there talking at him instead of using that gun—so that when his tall, oafish assistant Andy, the comic relief of the movie, walks in, Bradford can wrestle the gun away and tie the guy up in his office. He gets out at some point.

I’m probably missing some of the plot, but basically the bridge across the border is washed out, as are other ways across, so the guy turning people back directs them to the Black Raven. Thus, in addition to a wanted criminal mastermind awaiting the cross-border smuggle, we have a bank clerk who’s embezzled $50,000; a young couple planning to get married in Canada because her father, a crooked politician, opposes the marriage; the father in question; and eventually a sheriff. (I may have missed someone.) The politician winds up dead; the bumbling sheriff immediately assumes that the young man must have done it; and, as time goes on, we get [I think] three more deaths.

Between the dark print and the muddled plot, I can’t see much to recommend this. Charitably, $0.50.

Seven Doors to Death, 1944, b&w. Elmer Clifton (dir.), Chick Chandler, June Clyde, George Meeker. 1:04 [1:00]

While this flick also suffers from goings-on-in-the-dark print problems, the main problem is that it’s 100 minutes of plot in a 60-minute film. It starts out with a sequence that never quite makes sense, and I’m not sure I ever did figure out the full cast of characters and who did what to whom when why…

The title’s easy enough. Most of the film takes place in an odd community of seven shops (and apartments for the shopkeepers?) arranged around a courtyard. There’s a photographer, a milliner (the heroine, who also may or may not be heir to the whole operation), a furrier/taxidermist (primary villain) and…well, others. There’s a jewelry heist, two murders, a disappearing corpse, and an interesting gimmick. Oh, and the wisecracking…architect, apparently, with a jalopy named Genevieve. He winds up with the beautiful milliner. Cops are also involved. There’s even a dance number.

It’s not terrible, but it’s not all that great either. Maybe $0.75.

Five Minutes to Live, 1961, b&w. Bill Karn (dir.), Johnny Cash, Donald Woods, Cay Forester, Vic Tayback, Ron (Ronnie) Howard, Merle Travis. 1:20 [1:14]

An unusual cast and an improbable bank-robbery plot, adding up to an OK movie. The cast features Johnny Cash as a gun-happy thief with a sadistic streak (he’s only too happy to shoot his girlfriend, but he’d rather not shoot kids) and Ronnie Howard (later Ron, but this is at Opie age), along with Vic Tayback as the hardbitten criminal mastermind whose plot really doesn’t work out very well. (At least he’s alive at the end, albeit in the hands of the cops: Cash doesn’t fare as well.) Merle Travis has a brief role as a bowling alley owner (and plays a guitar solo on the theme song and guitar through much of the soundtrack).

A lot hangs on a banker who was about ready to run off with his girlfriend and divorce his wife, but in the end turns out to love his wife after all. Maybe. I’d spell out the rest of the plot, but why bother? (The title, which is also a Johnny Cash song over the titles, alludes to a key plot point: if Cash, holding a gun on the wife, doesn’t get called every five minutes she gets it—except that it doesn’t quite work out that way.) Clearly a low-budget flick, so-so print, but some interesting acting (esp. Cay Forester, the wife and hostage, a little over the top—and why not, since she also wrote the screenplay?). All in all, not memorable, but not bad. $1.25.

Lady Gangster, 1942, b&w. Robert Florey (dir.), Faye Emerson, Julie Bishop, Frank Wilcox. 1:02.

The basic plot is that a would-be actress, in the same rooming house as three would-be bank robbers, facilitates the robbery…and is sent to prison. She’s also an old friend of a sort-of crusading radio station owner. After lots of scenes in a women’s prison (which seems to let inmates wear the clothes they arrived with), she escapes to help apprehend the others (although she’d actually hidden the $40K loot anyway). Somehow, despite multiple killings and her unquestionable involvement, it has a Cute Ending with Probable Nuptials. Apparently, a young Jackie Gleason was one of the robbers.

Even charitably, and mostly for Faye Emerson fans, make it $0.75.

The Sphinx, 1933, b&w. Phil Rosen (dir.), Lionel Atwill, Sheila Terry, Theodore Newton, Paul Hurst. 1:04 [1:02]

This time, it’s a wisecracking male reporter—with a society/features writer girlfriend who he wants to marry. He works the crime beat, and the crime’s a stockbroker strangled in his office, as were three other stockbrokers previously. There’s a witness of sorts, a janitor who sees a guy come out of the office, ask him for a light and ask him the time.

The murderer, obviously—except that he’s a deaf-mute, as tests by both defendant’s and state’s doctors attest. The woman thinks he’s also a Great Man, a benefactor to charities, and starts going to his mansion to interview hum (sometimes with the help of an assistant/interpreter, sometimes with the use of a notepad.

I won’t go through the rest of the plot, but it has to do with identical twins and secret chambers and piano playing. Oh, and the old suicide-through-poison-ring bit.

A bit low on plausibility—the killer’s excuse is that the other stockbrokers disagreed with him on a deal, but he’s been doing the deaf/dumb routine for years and obviously expected to be caught eventually (otherwise why the poison ring?). Still, not bad. $1.00.

Cites & Insights 17:6 (July 2017) available

July 1st, 2017

The July 2017 Cites & Insights (17:6) is now available for downloading at https://citesandinsights.info/civ17i6.pdf

This 60-page (6″ x 9″) issue consists of one essay:

Intersections: Economics and Access 2017  pp. 1-60

A roundup of various items relating to the cost, price, fees and other aspects of scholarly journals, with an emphasis on open access.

GOAJ2: June update

June 30th, 2017

Here’s how things are going for GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016 and The Countries of OAWorld 2011-2016 and related stuff (all linked to from the project home page), through June 30, 2017 [noting that most of May 31 and June 30 are missing because of how statistics are done):

  • The dataset: 123 views, 25 downloads.
  • GOAJ2: 523 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks), plus 127 copies of chapters 1-7 (C&I 17.4)
  • Countries: 224 PDF ebooks (no paperbacks)
  • Subject supplement (C&I 17.5): 431 copies

 

How many times?

June 21st, 2017

I see yet another OA conference is happening (I’ve never been to one, probably never will be, and that’s OK.) My question, after seeing some tweeted photos: How many times during the conference will gold OA be equated with APCs? Dozens? Hundreds?

Maybe a better question: How often will somebody mention gold OA and explicitly note that most gold OA journals (and 43% of articles in 2016) do NOT involve APCs?

Dear Martin…

June 21st, 2017

NOTE: (second update, 6/23/17): I’m now satisfied that I was misreading Eve’s commentary. In the interest of openness, I’ll leave the post [which follows the horizontal line]. Since Eve’s response was for some reason rejected by the commenting system, here’s a link to it.

Original post (between the lines):


I’ve disagreed with Martin Paul Eve in the past but find myself much happier with what he’s trying to do lately. OLH isn’t the model for OA in the humanities, but it’s one promising initiative.

However…

Just encountered “Open Access Publishing Models and How OA Can Work in the Humanities” and, while it’s an interesting piece, I believe Eve oversells the idea that OA just wasn’t happening in the humanities until he came along. And that’s just not true and unfair to some of the pioneers in the field. [See update below the line.]

Here’s the key number: 109,420. Gold OA articles in serious OA journals in the humanities and social sciences in 2016. (80% of those articles in journals that don’t charge APCs.)

I don’t know how many humanities and social sciences articles get published every year, but I’m fairly certain that 109,420 is a substantial portion of them–quite possibly as large a percentage as the 225,591 articles in STEM (excluding biology) albeit probably not the 188,194 articles in biomed.

Those aren’t all in the social sciences by any means. Arts & architecture, 5,019 articles. Education, 15,234. History, 8,289. Language & literature, 11,967. Law, 5,292. Library science, 2,276. Media & communications, 3,884. Philosophy, 3,045. Religion, 3,639.

Maybe I’m misreading Eve’s article; maybe he’s not actually suggesting that there hadn’t been much OA activity in the humanities. Because there has, starting from the very beginning (quite a few of the earliest OA journals were in the humanities, including PACS-L Review, Postmodern Culture, EJournal and New Horizons in Adult Education. I guess it bothers me to see all the work that’s been done to date somewhat minimized–and, again, I may be unfair in reading Eve that way. I’d much rather see a celebration of the enormous amount of work that’s been done in OA by humanities people (certainly including librarians) along with a call to do more and a recounting of innovations. But that’s just me, someone who’s been nattering on about “free electronic journals” for at least 20+ years now.

[OA monographs are a different and fiendishly difficult area. I’m not going there.]

If you’re wondering where those figures came from, go check out GOAJ2: Gold Open Access Journals 2011-2016. It’s an open access monograph, freely available in ebook form and priced at 20 cents above the cost of production in paperback form. More info on it and its predecessor and companions at the GOAJ site.


*Updated 6/23/17: A number of people in Twitter–including Martin Paul Eve–saying this just isn’t so. They may be right. Not the first time that I’ve felt Eve tended to understate the work that had gone before, but I certainly accept the possibility that “tight word counts” are to blame. Since I don’t get invited to do pieces that much, maybe I’m just ignorant of the realities of being a high-profile OA person.