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10 questions you need to ask before choosing your content platform

Photo by  Ilkka Kärkkäinen  on  Unsplash Choosing the right partner for your publishing needs can go a long way in helping you achieve your publishing goals, but how do you choose the right partner in the first place? Here are 10 questions you could ask and ascertain that your publishing process is in the right hands. 1.   Have you understood...
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Why the indies need Artificial Intelligence

Photo by  Katya Austin  on  Unsplash This week, I was fortunate enough to address a large group of publishing industry leaders at the IPG (Independent Publishers Guild) Spring Conference in a wide-ranging discussion about Artificial Intelligence and its impact on a range of industries, including publishing. It was encouraging to see so many publishers...
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The musical virtuosity of AI composers

As someone who is constantly trying to convince people of the  wave of AI  I believe is coming, I find that a lot of people— both lay persons and the tech savvy — struggle to accept that machines will soon be able to engage in complex creative endeavors. This is a completely understandable resistance, and I too feel the force of this gut feeling...
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Marshall Cavendish Education launches pilot with PageMajik

Photo by  Mike Enerio  on  Unsplash Leading Singapore-based education publisher Marshall Cavendish Education will be piloting PageMajik’s publishing workflow-based Content Management System. The roll out will happen in stages, upon the successful completion of the pilot. Marshall Cavendish Education produces more than 400 curriculum-based titles...
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Blame Watson: Real AI vs. Fake AI

Photo by  Franck V.  on  Unsplash T he phrase “Artificial Intelligence” has become ubiquitous over the last several years and we know where to place the blame — on IBM’s Watson. From predicting the weather to playing Jeopardy to diagnosing patients, Watson, and thus AI, appears to be everywhere and apparently can do anything. No longer the terror that is...
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Frankfurt Book Fair 2018 — A preview for the tech savvy

Next week marks the most important time of the year in the publishing calendar, as the Frankfurt Book Fair gets into gear and hundreds of thousands of book industry professionals prepare to swamp Germany’s business hub. But the world’s biggest publishing gathering can be a daunting place for many, with packed halls, bustling aisles and hundreds of events, seminars...
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#CockyGate and the Perils of Trademark Bullying

T rademarks are among the most important ways creative professionals can protect their brand and ensure their fans can easily identity their work, as well as protect themselves from similar products from others. But trademark allocation brings up tough questions about what a reasonable trademark would consist in, and at what point trademarks are being used unfairly...
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The Mona Lisa and Machines

T he artistic machines are coming. Artificial intelligence is already starting to upend deep assumptions about the indispensability of human input in the diverse areas like  journalism ,  archaeology ,  writing , and even  musical composition . Although a lot of this technology is still in its infancy, there doesn’t seem to be any real limitation in...
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Trust, but verify

Photo by  chuttersnap  on  Unsplash O ne popular conception of science stresses the need to always question, to always remain skeptical. However, given that scientific work requires the coordination of a massive number of people scattered across the world and across disciplines, it is the ability to trust the work others are doing that allows scientists...
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Archaeology and…machine learning?

Figure 1 — Inscriptions in ancient Hebrew discovered near Fort Arad.  Credit: PNAS, Faigenbaum-Golovin, et al. W ith the increase in use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in every domain, it is now commonplace to find reports about how humans are likely to become increasingly otiose in the coming world. A more clear-eyed analysis of how...
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How the History of Peer Review can help us think better about change

Photo by  João Silas  on  Unsplash T ech thrives on disruptive innovation, so it comes as no surprise that publishers regard proposals from publishing tech with suspicion — after all, why change something that works? At least part of this resistance can be traced to a tacit understanding of the current system as having been in place for a significant...
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Blockchain and the Future of Publishing

In the last six months, the term “blockchain” has been cropping up in publishing conversations — at the  London Book Fair , as well as this year’s  STM Conference  and  Book Industry Study Group annual meeting . As these conversations occur, it is becoming clear that to many publishers the term is as foreign as “metadata” once was, with...
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Blockchain and STM — a marriage made in heaven?

T wo weeks ago, in our blog post  the AI Elephant in the room ,  we welcomed the fact that blockchain was to be discussed at the London Book Fair for the very first time. This week, as the crowds descend upon Philadelphia for the STM US Annual Conference, blockchain is once again on the menu, however, less as a starter and more as a main course. This is...
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What three studies tell us about automation in the workplace

Photo by  Alex Knight  on  Unsplash One of the most popular topics we regularly tackle on this blog is automation, and the impact technology such as AI, Machine Learning and robotics is having, and will have, on the job market and the way we work. In recent weeks, both in the US and UK, some interesting studies have been carried out on this hot topic by...
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The AI elephant in the room

T wo years ago, almost to the day, Oxford University Professor Nick Bostrom, the Founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, addressed the crowd at The London Book Fair’s Quantum Conference and gave a riveting keynote talk entitled  “ The Machine Intelligence Revolution ” . During his presentation, he compared the likely impact of machine...
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Why Preprint repositories are essential to academic work: A Case Study

“white microscope on top of black table” by  Ousa Chea  on  Unsplash T here is a lot of talk about peer review and how it can be made better, but unfortunately, a lot of this happens at a level of abstraction that makes it easy to miss more modest changes that can go a long way. For example, a common way of proceeding in certain sciences is the...
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The Future of Research: What is the Answer?

In scholarly publishing today, there is an on-going debate about the efficiency and accuracy of workflows, and the security of current publishing models. Digital publishing improved speed to publication and open access provided a simplified and democratized way of sharing research, but these technological advances also brought the threat of piracy, the ease...
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An Antidote to the Curse of Knowledge

W hen celebrated cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker was recently asked what he considered to be the greatest impediment to clear communication, he  named  the “curse of knowledge” cognitive bias. This is the phenomenon where a person who knows something finds it extremely difficult to imagine what it is like to not know it. This can lead...
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Removing the Pain Points in Journal Publishing

In December, David Crotty, Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press,  published a piece  in  Scholarly Kitchen  lamenting the shutdown of Aperta, the workflow solution created by Public Library of Science (PLOS), giving voice to the disappointment of the research community which has had “high hopes for...
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How can New University Presses be more disruptive?

New University Presses (NUPs) and Academic-led Publishers (ALPs) are very much the hot topics on the agenda of scholarly publishing conferences. With as many as 19 NUPs becoming operational in the UK in recent years (including the likes of White Rose University Press, UCL, and Cardiff University Press), there is a perceptible shift taking place in academic...
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