22 September 2009

Academic Journals - the open access publisher

I was asked recently to review a paper for the International Journal of Library and Information Science - and declined, through pressure of work. However, I decided to take a look at the site and found a very odd animal indeed!

The current issue (September, 2009) has two papers, one is entitled:

Spectral sensitivity coefficients (SSCs) of the based materials for photonic devices under optical wavelength and temperature sensing variations in modern optical access networks

This is a predominantly mathematical paper, which appears not to have been copy-edited by any native English speaker and the text is almost completely without paragraphs. Regardless of editorial issues such as these, however, I am bewildered as to what definition of "library and information science" this paper is intended to fit.

The second paper Indian journal of physics: A scientometric analysis is obviously within the usual definition of the field, but again, copy-editing is clearly absent, since occasional sentences are not only ungrammatical but unintelligible.

Others have drawn attention to this publisher of OA journals and, on the basis of this example, they can hardly be said to add to the reputation of open access publication in general.

08 September 2009

More browser wars?

A number of browsers have been releasing updates or even new editions recently and Opera 10 has just been released.

I have something of a soft spot for Opera, since I was using it before Firefox (in its first version as Phoenix) came along. The big thing about Opera is that it has been responsible for just about every innovation in browser technology from its beginning. Tabs, for example, were in Opera long before Firefox, it was first with mouse gestures, personalisation with skins, etc. and much more - so it has a strong record of innovation - and, as someone said recently in a discussion group, is worth supporting just for that reason. The problem for Opera, of course, is that it has never made it as a mass-use browser. In the past month, for example, almost 59% of the hits on the Information Research site come from Internet Explorer, 30% from Firefox, 3.5% from Google Chrome, and only 1.12% from Opera. That the newly introduced Chrome should be used twice as much as long-established Opera, is really rather ridiculous!

I'm using Safari most of the time now, since it seems to give me just about all I need, but I'm tempted once again by Opera, because it really has quite a lot going for it. Notes, for example: you can bring up a sidebar and drag and drop text from Web pages; and the Closed tabs button, which enables you to get back to a site you might have closed accidentally. Another advantage of Chrome is that it is multi-platform - every new version is released simultaneously (or as near as dammit) for pretty well everything - whereas it is taking Google forever to get its Chrome fully operational on the Mac.

I think I'll be trying Opera again, however; and I'm sure that the other browsers will be looking at it very carefully and, once again, stealing all the goodies with never a word of acknowledgement.

Here's the video: