The Hybrid Publishing Lab organized a panel on the critical idea of “open” at the biggest european conferecne on digtal society, media and technologies – re:publica 13. Watch the recorded discussion with Mercedes Bunz, Nishant Shah, David Berry and Cornelius Puschmann:
From a hybrid’s point of view, the most interesting thing of the London Book Fair was to get to know the business model of Ubiquity Press, an open access publisher of peer-reviewed, academic journals that has emerged from UCL. In our little chat with publisher Brian Hole I learned that it has established a business model that works for them – we are eager to learn more and will try to catch up with them soon (stay tuned). Otherwise I quickly wanted to share some interesting impressions: Sony proudly announces “eReading since 1990″, and Elsevier praises “share”. Exciting times!
The Hybrid Publishing Lab researches and develops new forms of scientific publication and communication for the humanities in cooperation with publishers, librarians, software developers, authors and other stakeholders.
The image-oriented research platform HyperImage continues to be developed and refined as a concrete application of the HPL’s research. The position and identity of image details are usually described and delimited in conventional terms, using symbols, words or gestures. HyperImage sup ports the precise marking of image regions, allowing them to be linked to other regions and data, as well as supporting sophisticated search technologies on the corpus. Images and metadata can be imported from external repositories as well as from collections on local storage media.
If you have a chance to visit next week’s Transmediale media arts festival in Berlin (and hopefully drop by at our workshops), make sure you don’t miss Andrew Norman Wilson’s performance Movement Materials And What We Can do.
Wilson’s video piece Workers Leaving the Googleplex made the rounds in the blogs some time ago. In it he narrates his experience working for a subcontractor of Google at the company’s US headquarters, and his encounter with the Google Books ScanOps division which eventually led to him being fired. He found out that the workers who perform the rather repetitive work of scanning books must wear special badges, are kept separate from other employees in the more knowledge-intensive divisions of the company and are denied access to Google’s famed amenities. Noticing how these second-class workers are overwhelmingly people of colour, Wilson approached some of them with a video camera and the intention to find out more about their labour conditions – which quickly led to security intervening and his contract being severed.
As a follow-up, Wilson made the manual labour cloaked by Google’s secrecy visible again through a photo series pulled from Google Books. Scanned fingers of workers flipping the pages of classics like Adam Smiths Wealth Of Nations leave traces of the human labour necessary for digitising our cultural heritage.
To my mind, Wilson’s works are a most welcome reminder of the persistence of manual labour underpinning the knowledge economy, and of the ways this mostly invisible form of labour – precarised and always under threat of automation – is deeply entangled with issues of class and race. In his performance at Transmediale, Wilson will use “corporate, academic and artistic lecture techniques” in order to further interrogate this theme.
A series of workshops being held at the Transmediale festival
Berlin 30.1 – 2.2 http://www.transmediale.de/bwpwap
‘The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed’, William Gibson.
Organised by Simon Worthington and the Hybrid Publishing Consortium, the four days of Post-digital Publishing workshops are meant to contribute, even if on a small scale, to a ‘future re-distribution’ of open source and indy publishing. While an imminent deluge of books is already underway, as the book goes digital and universities open their libraries with Open Access publishing, we will look at the ways in which to engage with these re-distribution processes, as well as explore cyber-librarianship, DIY publishing tools, indy infrastructures and the ongoing battle for the re-imagining of the University in the digital age.
The workshop will explore how video is being used in the new wave of distance learning software packages recently termed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We’ve take the liberty of removing the ‘Massive’ part to demonstrate our preference to examine the learning aspect and to question the motives for this optimistic idea of a wide reach.
The workshop will have three contributions, firstly The Hybrid Publishing Consortium who are examining how textual research material can technically be related to video in a set of open source MOOCs, by testing a learning package in five different platforms; Kaltura, P2PU, Matterhorn, Google Course Builder and edX (if it gets released).
In addition Dr Shaun Hides and Jonathan Shaw of Coventry University’s Department of Media will be attending and present their open media courses.
Adding the perspective of small cultural organisations use of video and learning contexts, Caroline Heron from Mute will represent the London based online video project ‘Common Practice Video Network’.
What: Video Vortex 9 – workshop – http://videovortex9.net/ai1ec_event/video-and-open-source-moocs
When: 1. March 2013 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Where: Lüneburg, Germany
As the academic book publishing field is erupting, there have been a couple of very good conferences recently. Besides the “Public Library – HAIP Festival 2012!” Simon describes below, one of them was “Books in Browsers 2012″ held at The Internet Archive in San Francisco. There, the famous technology publisher O’Reilly Media introduced its new book publishing platform “Atlas”, which is in beta at the moment as the publisher and a couple of authors are testing it. Introducing Atlas, Adam Witwer (who oversees the publishing services division at O’Reilly Media) said something that is partly true: “We’ve got the tools. Let’s start using them!”
It is true. More and more book publishing platforms are developed. Our own lab, for example, has recently looked into Booktype and Open Monograph Press, and there are many more. But look at this screenshot of the editing interface of Atlas below. Is this really a writing environment for everyone? Do we really have the tools?
For sure, Atlas is very good an online collaborative writing tool as it is keeping track of your versions. It is also excellent that it comes with four different book layouts, and you don’t have to get lost in InDesign. It nicely converts your text in three different formats (pdf, epub, mobi) using the open source software development environment git. But while this might be good for engineers, I am not sure this is also suits academic writers really, and here is where I disagree with Adam Witwer. We do not have the tools…
At the moment, everyone is looking at the cloud trying to get authors and publishers working on certain platforms. Even when these would be developed a bit more user friendly guiding/locking users in the Apple way… could it be, that the platform idea might be the wrong track? Not only, because academic genres have very different ways of publishing. Also because…
To write and develop ideas and thoughts is a strange thing, and Derrida has said that the concept of writing is what defines the field of a science.
It is a process with a certain weight. It is a burden. Therefore writing isn’t necessarily and at all times a process you want to do in an environment that already feels public. Digitizing the writing/editing/publishing process should take this a bit more into account. While it is possible to mingle all three in code, to do two steps in one might not be the best digital environment for all of us researchers. Thinking about publishing needs to start with writing, and for a lot of us humans writing is much more than just typing words.
Public Library – HAIP Festival 2012! Kiberpipa/Lublijana 28.-30.11.2012
Come join us at the festival, come hackathon, come coordination meeting to explore cyber-librarianship exploring art as infrastructure and autonomous infrastructures.
The Hybrid Publishing Consortium, the open source software infrastructure part of the the Hybrid Publishing Lab will be presenting an outline of its newly hatched plans.
We’ll keep you posted on MIKRO our micro-blog corner of the free and open web.
In the catalog of History the Public Library is listed in the category of phenomena that we humans are most proud of. Along with the free public education, public health care, scientific method, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Wikipedia, Free Software…
It’s one of those almost invisible infrastructures that we start to notice only once they go extinct. A place where all people can get access to all knowledge that can be collected seemed for a long time a dream beyond reach — dependent on the limited resources of rich patrons or unstable budgets of (welfare) states.
Internet, however, as in many other instances, has overturned what we take as given and as possible. The dream of all people getting access to all knowledge suddenly came within our reach. It seemed just an issue of interpreting when the trajectory curves of global personal computer distribution and internet access penetration would finally make universal access to knowledge a reality. However, the actual trajectory of development of public libraries in the age of internet are pointing in the opposite direction – that the phenomena we people are most proud of are being undercut and can easily go extinct.
Public libraries now cannot receive, and sometimes not even buy, the books of some of the largest publishers. The books that they already hold they must destroy after lending them 26 (?!?) times. And they are loosing the battle to the market dominated by new players such as Amazon, Google and Apple.
In the catalog of History the emancipatory revolutions are listed in the category of phenomena that we humans are most proud of. They empower the oppressed and give them the means to reach their dreams. That the dream of Public Library in the age of internet, the dream of universal access to all human knowledge, should now be relinquished, that cannot be let happen. And artists and hackers, as in many other instances, are taking upon themselves to make dreams a reality.
Melvil Dewey would be happy. “Free schools & free libraries for every soul” shall never wither away.
The old publishing system we have inherited from the 20th century, has marginalized research from developing countries. With Open Access there are new opportunities and possibilities and this gives also new hope for academic publishing in the developing world. Yet, in the developing world context there remain specific challenges and untapped opportunities for OA. The African Commons Project now has published a positioning paper on “Open Access and Development: Journals and beyond” (PDF). This report sets out to explore the current and potential uses of open access in the context of the developing world and how OA can be used to redress some of the imbalances, which currently exist within the traditional models of scholarly communication.
Note: If you want tp take part in the discussions on OA in the developing world aimed at world critical thinkers, activists and academics by the UNESCO’s Knowledge Communitiy, you can Register for the online discussions on the UNESCO’s WSIS Open Access Knowledge Communitiy Forum. The first debate with the topic “Production, publication and consumption of scholarly knowledge and OA.” will kick off on Tuesday, 27 November 2012.