Advanced Open Access publishing model

There are two main modes of open access publishing – Green Open Access, where the author has the right to provide free access to the article outside the publisher’s web site in a repository or on his/her own website, and Gold Open Access, where articles are available for free download directly from the publisher on the day of publication.

BDJOpening of content and data, however does not necessarily mean “easy to discover and re-use”. The Biodiversity Data Journal proposed the term “Advanced Open Access” to describe an integrated, narrative (text) and data publishing model where the main goal is to make content “re-usable” and “interoperable” for both humans and computers.

To publish effectively in open access, it is not sufficient simply to provide PDF or HTML files online. It is crucial to put these under a reuse-friendly license and to implement technologies that allow machine-readable content and data to be harvested and collated into a big data pool.

The Advanced Open Access means:

  • Free to read
  • Free to re-use, revise, remix, redistribute
  • Easy to discover and harvest
  • Content automatically summarised by aggregators
  • Data and narrative integrated to the widest extent possible
  • Human- and computer-readable formats
  • Community-based, pre- and post-publication peer-review
  • Community ownership of data
  • Free to publish or at low cost affordable by all

BDJ shortens the distance between “narrative” (text) and “data” publishing. Many data types, such as species occurrences, checklists, measurements and others, are converted into text from spreadsheets for better readability by humans. Conversely, text from an article can be downloaded as structured data or harvested by computers for further analysis.

Books can help with a child’s social struggles

A new study out of the University of Cincinnati not only finds that parents feel responsible about taking action when their children struggle with social issues, but also that parents are influenced by their own childhood memories.

Jennifer Davis Bowman’s study examined parents’ use of what’s called bibliotherapy – using books as interventions for children who experience social struggles that may arise from disabilities such as autism or Down Syndrome.

Bibliotherapy involves books with characters that are facing challenges similar to their reading audience, or books that have stories that can generate ideas for problem-solving activities and discussions. Bowman says previous research found that bibliotherapy can improve communication, attitude and reduce aggression for children with social disabilities.

“The parents found that the same supports that were useful for leisure or academic reading were beneficial for bibliotherapy,” Bowman writes. “The parents felt that the strategies that improved reading comprehension, vocabulary and higher-order thinking skills would also strengthen their child’s response to the intervention.

“The parents also reported that their own feelings about reading literature were established when they were children, and continued into adulthood,” says Bowman. “Parents who loved reading when they were children worked on incorporating reading into their children’s daily routine. On the other hand, parents who were nonchalant about reading as a child were concerned that their own child would feel the same, and those parents reported that they went to great lengths to prevent that from happening.”

Parents reported occasions in which the children disagreed with the book selection, yet the parent was selecting the book as an intervention to address a particular behavior. Other challenges involved the child’s attention span during the book reading. Yet, despite previous research that parents were reluctant in getting involved in social interventions, Bowman says her research revealed that perceived challenges around bibliotherapy (such as modifying the intervention) actually strengthened the parents’ dedication and persistence.

Bowman says her research ultimately revealed that parents felt it was their responsibility to intervene when their child had social issues. “In order to maintain a healthy sense of responsibility, it is essential that parents access the social supports available for their children” Bowman states in the study. “Pursuing an open dialog with professionals such as school counselors, school social workers and representatives from parenting organizations would be beneficial in facilitating parent use of support services.”

How to get more followers on Twitter

What do all Twitter users want? Followers – and lots of them. But unless you’re a celebrity, it can be difficult to build your Twitter audience (and even some celebs have trouble). Looking at a half-million tweets over 15 months, a first-of-its-kind study from Georgia Tech has revealed a set of reliable predictors for building a Twitter following.

The research was performed by Eric Gilbert, assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. Gilbert found that Twitter users can grow their followers by such tactics as:

– Don’t talk about yourself: Informational content attracts followers at a rate 30 times higher than content focused on the tweeter. The study found users talked about themselves in 41 percent of their tweets on average.

– Be happy: Twitter is mainly based on weak social ties (most followers do not know each other offline), which makes it more important to stay away from negative posts such as death, unemployment and poor health.

– Cool it on the hashtags: While hashtags are definitely useful tools for expressing emotional commentary or tying tweets to larger events or issues, they can be abused. Researchers found that the higher a Twitter users’ “hashtag ratio,” the less likely they were to attract new followers.

The study discovered that certain identifiable strategies in message content and interaction with other Twitter users, as well as the structure of one’s Twitter network, have a predictable effect on the number of followers. For example, Twitter “informers” (users who share informational content) consistently attract more followers than “meformers” (users who share information about themselves).

The findings are summarized in the paper A Longitudinal Study of Follow Predictors on Twitter.

Buying ad time just got easier

Today’s consumers switch between media forms so often – from TV to laptops to smart phones – that capturing their attention with advertising has gone, as one CEO explained, from shooting fish in a barrel to shooting minnows.

Now, a Michigan State University business scholar and colleagues have developed the most accurate model yet for targeting those fast-moving minnows. The research-based model predicts when during the day people use the varying forms of media and even when they are using two or more at a time, an increasingly common practice known as media multiplexing.

That’s good news for companies struggling to predict when to buy ads on the Internet, television and radio, and in print publications. Previous models for predicting when consumers use media were 60 percent-70 percent accurate; the new model led by MSU’s Chen Lin has proved 97 percent accurate.

The study, published in the academic journal Marketing Science, is based on a survey of the media-consumption habits of nearly 2 000 U.S. residents. Lin and colleagues used the survey data to create their complex forecasting model.

Among the study findings:

  • People spend about 35 percent of their time consuming media.
  • Television is still the most popular outlet, followed by computer.
  • During the weekend, consumers spend more time watching TV and reading print publications and less time on the computer and listening to radio.
  • People spend about 1.5 hours a day consuming multiple media at the same time (e.g., surfing the Web while watching TV). This happens more at during the start of the workday and before bed – at about 9 a.m. and again at 9 p.m.
  • Chen also said she was surprised to find consumers still value print media at certain times, particularly in the morning. Print was especially popular when it was paired with other forms of media.

Lin said ad buyers should stop considering the different media forms as competing and instead view them as complimentary. For example, print ads should be partnered with radio and Internet media forms in the key time slots when consumers are likely to be using all three forms.

Natural world in decline in illustrated children’s books

Was your favorite childhood book crawling with wild animals and set in places like jungles or deep forests? Or did it take place inside a house or in a city, with few if any untamed creatures in sight?

A new study has found that over the last several decades, nature has increasingly taken a back seat in award-winning children’s picture books — and suggests this sobering trend is consistent with a growing isolation from the natural world.

A group of researchers led by University of Nebraska-Lincoln sociology professor emeritus J. Allen Williams Jr. reviewed the winners and honor books receiving the prestigious Caldecott Medal from the award’s inception in 1938 through 2008. In total, they examined nearly 8,100 images contained in nearly 300 books. Caldecott awardees are the children’s books judged by the American Library Association to have the best illustrations in a given year.

Researchers looked at whether images depicted a natural environment, such as a jungle or a forest; a built environment, such as a house, a school or an office; or something in-between, such as a mowed lawn. They also noted whether any animals were in the pictures — and if so, if those creatures were wild, domesticated or took on human qualities.

Their results visibly exhibited a steady decline in illustrations of natural environments and animals, as well as humans’ interactions with both. Meanwhile, images of built environments became much more common.

While the study was limited to Caldecott awardees, researchers said the findings are important because the award leads to strong sales and the honorees are featured in schools and libraries. Caldecott winners also can influence tastes for children’s literature more generally.

The study does not say that increasing isolation from the natural world influenced the content trends, but it does hint that the steady increase in built environments and the simultaneous decline in natural environments and wild animals are consistent with that isolation.

(via e-book / print)

Kookkuns @ Unisa

Content from the QVRP website Kookkuns.com is to be featured in a study guide on Afrikaans literature at the University of South Africa (Unisa).

The study guide will be used for the academic year 2013 – 2018 and 18 000 copies will be reproduced.

To date QVRP has contributed to two new Afrikaans text books for high school learners in 2012 via the Afrikaans website Roekeloos.co.za.

Encyclopedia Britannica stops printing

This doesn’t surprise me, but given the trouble I have to go to weekly to advocate the adoption of electronic publishing, this can be considered important news on the street. The New York Times reports that the Encyclopedia Britannica is about to announce that it will no longer print its 32-volume set of printed encyclopedias. After 244 years this publication is saying goodbye to the printing press.

The Britannica will not cease to exist. At this stage the print edition only brings in a small percentage of the company’s revenue. The tradition of the Britannica continues with its educational and electronic offerings.

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses