A little Friday fun

Minor (or not so minor) unrelated items:

  • Dear Academic Journals: Sending me emails (from specific journal “editors”) asking me to review specific scholarly papers within a week’s turnaround, after zero advance vetting, with no prior agreement on my part to serve as a referee–and on topics consistently well outside even the broadest scope of my possible expertise–serve mostly to remove any question about the nature of your operation. “Refereed by random email recipients” is not the mark of a quality OA journal, and I hasten to add that there are many quality OA journals that do adhere to proper standards.
  • Speaking of which, have I mentioned recently that everybody really should buy my terrific, world-changing, concise overview from ALA Editions, Open Access: What You Need to Know Now? 30,000 words of my best work–with the advantage of professional editing, copyediting and indexing–in a neat little package. You can buy an “eEditions” ebook bundle–a .zip file containg ePDF, ePub, Kindle and MobiPocket versions–or, if you’re so inclined, buy a Kindle edition as a direct Amazon Kindle download.
  • I was reminded again this week of that important internet truth: “Don’t feed the trolls.” And two corollaries: “Learn to recognize a troll” and “Don’t become a troll–at least not too often.”
  • An interesting week, beginning under the weather (some odd combo of upper respiratory virus/flu and something like food poisoning–I’m mostly better now) and continuing with crucial next steps in two Real Book projects. To wit, the first half of the advance for my 2012 project was deposited to my account (and the countersigned contract is in the mail), while the signed contract for my 2011 project (which might not actually appear until 2012) arrived yesterday (and the countersigned copy will go out in today’s mail). I continue to be excited about both projects…and am more than 1/3 of the way through the rough draft for the 2011 project, one I truly believe will be worth having for nearly every public library.
  • And there’s a new Cites & Insights issue…a two-month combo to leave some room to think about C&I and work on other stuff.
  • An odd little Slate article about rules for punctuation and quotation marks that asserts that British style is “logical” and U.S. style isn’t. The writer seems to be saying that stuff on the web represents better editorial practice than copyedited material. To me, the U.S. rule is the “flyspeck rule.” To wit: Too often, a period or comma following a closing quotation mark–especially when using proportional type, which today means “almost all the time”–looks like a flyspeck on the page, an accident rather than a purposeful mark. Yes, that’s an aesthetic argument; I also believe it’s a reasonable one. It’s fair to say that I plan to continue following U.S. rules here, and that I find the British practice no more logical than the U.S. practice. Oh, and as for the Oxford comma (properly the “serial comma,” what I think of as the penultimate comma, as it follows the penultimate item in a list)? Call me an AP man in this case–I prefer not to use the serial comma unless it’s needed to reduce ambiguity. (Note that: I do use serial commas when required to reduce ambiguity.) As it happens, I’m being inconsistent, since the serial comma is less commonly used in Britain and in other languages.

Hmm. Maybe not quite as random as I thought. Perhaps worth noting: I wouldn’t argue with a copyeditor on serial commas–and, in fact, I normally make a point of not going back to my original manuscript when reviewing galleys, assuming that professional editors usually know what they’re doing–but I think I’d be dismayed if I published through a UK publisher and saw a bunch of flyspecks at the end of quoted material.


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