PubTech Radar Scan: Issue 15

Had a fantastic holiday walking along the Camino Frances mostly switched off from technology, enjoying the simple pleasures of walking, watching the vines being harvested, drinking Rioja in Rioja, and engaging with people who aren’t on a screen. My heart goes out to a young couple we met one of whom has terminal cancer. I really hope they manage to complete their journey to Santigo as planned. 

Here’s my latest update about things that have caught my attention since I got back:

New products and services

  • Project JASPER is a new initiative to preserve open access journals indexed in DOAJ.

  • JSTOR Labs have launched Juncture, a free-to-use, open-source framework for creating engaging visual essays.  Juncture allows you to create free and shareable essays where each paragraph is presented alongside interactive maps, zoomable images, and more. [Blog]

  • PeerRef will be offering open peer review for any manuscript at any stage

  • SSRN has introduced a new paid-for Author Impact Report [H/T: @lisalibrarian]

Platform news


Content linking

  • Hard to believe it’s 2021 and the community is having a conversation about adding links to content but we are. Read Todd Carpenter and then Michael Upshall. I can’t get exercised about this, news publications and magazines have been adding these kinds of links to generate revenue/”add  [questionable] value” for many years. An overlay/annotations model you can turn on and off, like this one below, is cleaner and probably a lot more useful but it’s really hard for users to access unless they know it’s available.

Tech buzzword bingo

  • Metaverse: Benedict Evans on the Metaverse is a good read. Hearst’s new branded blimp “to show the potential in co-branded VR experiences to reach Hearst’s audience of young female gamers” reminds me of the experiments Publishers, Librarians and Scholarly Communications people did in Second Life. I would like to get excited by this kind of tech but I’m not. There are days when simply switching between video conference platforms is enough of a challenge, the need to set up accounts and avatars across multiple platforms and then learn how to interact within each platform doesn’t fill me with enthusiasm! 

  • Micropayments: Axate, a pay-per-article and day-pass payment system for online newspapers and magazines, is crowdfunding.  It will be interesting to see if they can make this work, Blendle used to do something similar but looks like it is now focused on Dutch and German language publications. Too many vested interests within publishing companies for this kind of model to work with academic subscription/news content in the West I think. 

  • Blockchain: Roger Schonfeld interviews Darrell Gunter about his book Blockchain Technologies and AI, read comments at the end of the blog post.

Interesting reads




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