Accessible scholarship (comment)


If you have ever tried and failed to obtain a legal copy of a scholarly publication, you know how frustrating it can be. It is more than twice as frustrating to obtain a copy and then discover that you cannot read it because of its format.  If you have normal eyesight but have struggled to read a microscopic and unenlargeable book or .pdf on your phone, you can understand how annoying it is to confront this problem every day.

Further discussion of censorship in China (comment)


Our sister H-Net network, H-Asia, has a follow-up post by Elizabeth Redden sharing links to recent comments on censorship of academic work in China and on Chinese efforts to control scholarly communication about China overseas. 

You can find the H-Asia post here:

What We Know and What They Know: Scholarly Communication, Usability, and Un-Usability

Dylan Burns (Utah State University) considers the usability of library collections and what librarians should do in light of students and faculty use of SciHub:

"We as librarians shouldn’t  “teach” our patrons to adapt to our obtuse and oftentimes difficult systems but libraries should adapt to the needs of our patrons."

Another comment on the current state of research sharing (comment)


Below is a link to another perspective on the recent scramble concerning the effort by major publishers such as Elsevir to clip the wings of research sharing operations such as ResearchGate and SciHub.

Willinsky advocates for changes in the copyright laws, arguing that the current situation frustrates the original intent of the framers of the US Constitution when they permitted copyrights, “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”

Below is an excerpt from this article:

What has happened to preprints? (comment)


The Scholarly Kitchen blog has an editorial by Kent Anderson that questions the value and role of pre-publication circulation of articles online as "preprints," noting that these open a path to the dissemination of information that has not necessarily been properly peer-reviewed or checked.  Anderson also lists other ways that he believes research and control over the dissemination of information are being misused to bias readers.

Here is an excerpt:

U-M Library Launches Visual Resources Toolkit

With the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the University of Michigan Library and Press have released a new collection of resources that will support the efforts of authors, editors, publishers, and arts organizations seeking to make their publications and collections more accessible to people with visual impairments and other print disabilities.


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