Category: Growly

Aaron Swartz was right

And today in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Peter Ludlow points it out. Amen, so say we all, and fuck yes. Until academics get their acts together and start using new modes of publication, we need to recognize that actions like Aaron Swartz’s civil disobedience are legitimate. They are attempts to liberate knowledge that rightly belongs to all of us but that has been acquired by academic publishers through tens of thousands of contracts of adhesion and then bottled up and released for exorbitant fees in what functionally amounts to an extortion racket. When Swartz wrote his manifesto he pulled […] keep reading…

we are not the ones who failed

On Facebook, in comments online, and face-to-face, a few librarians and chemists have expressed sadness, dismay, or concern that we’re canceling our ACS content. The message, uniformly, is “That’s a bad decision. Your users need that content. You need to reconsider.” So here’s the thing. I don’t disagree with two of those three points. It’s a crappy decision. Our users do need that content. But I cannot reconsider. I’m notorious in a small SUNY circle for insistently saying the following: “A good deal that I can’t afford is still a good deal, and I still can’t afford it.” The difference […] keep reading…

Respecting your customers

I made clear my institution’s stance on the American Chemical Society, and our reasons for it, in this post. I was as fair as I could be, I gave credit where they deserved it, and I discussed how the facts of the matter impacted our campus. I then wrote a follow-up about how comparatively even-handed the internet response has been, and how impressed I was by it. When Jennifer Howard of the Chronicle of Higher Education asked for a comment from the ACS on the matter, they said this: “We find little constructive dialogue can be had on blogs and […] keep reading…

new frontiers sometimes suck

I just did something I’ve never done before. I deleted a tweet. You can guess which one. I’d left it up because it’s a legitimate part of the record of my actions and communications, and while I’d preferred, on an emotional level, to delete it, I thought it mattered to leave it up as a part of the integrity of the whole debacle. I advocate for owning your shit, and so I was trying to do that. But I’m done trying with this instance. The people who want to crucify me have it in screenshots. It’s cached wherever it is […] keep reading…

“I am not a shouty man”

It was true when Sergeant Jackrum said it, and it’s true when I say it. I am not a shouty man. But by all that’s holy, vendors make me shouty. And I am not alone. Harvard is shouting about Big Deal packages and why they, actually, are kind of crappy for libraries. FINALLY. This matters because Harvard (despite their current leadership crisis) is a voice that gets listened to, so when they get shouty, it is, intentionally or not also on behalf of all of us small fish. Librarians and others are shouting about a kooky choice by Canadian Universities […] keep reading…

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