Things we read this week (5 January 2018)

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Welcome to Things we read this week, a weekly post featuring articles from around the internet recommended by BMJ’s Digital Group members. These are articles we’ve read and liked, things that made us think and things we couldn’t stop talking about. Check back every Friday for a new post.

  • Research Workflows
    Investing in researcher workflow tools is an obvious next step for publishers seeking to increase revenues. It’s not hard to imagine, as Roger C. Schonfeld does, a future world in which Institutions drift into buying bundles of products and services alongside their institutional subscriptions. I think it’s more useful to follow Hax’s Delta model (see below) and think of these as total customer solutions strategies rather than lock-in strategies. A bundle which includes journal subscriptions, a research evaluation tool, an institutional repository and a reference management tool thrown in for free is likely to be cheaper and more efficient than purchasing and running all of those products from different vendors. Although this is likely to lead to lock-in/competitor lock-out.
    Not sure what Researcher Workflows are? Terry Clague also has a useful post trying to define the term “researcher workflow”.  LabWorm’s roundup of the Top 17 trending research tools/sites of 2017 that were most appreciated and used by the LabWorm community is an interesting insight into what researchers are actually using. (H/T: @pluto_network). Not on LabWorm’s list is ContentMine  which claims to provide tools for getting papers from many online sources, normalising them, then processing them to lookup and/or search for key terms, phrases, patterns, statements, and more – something to try next week.

 

  • Voice technology
    Voice technologies might be hot, see the Stop typing, start talking section of Schibsted’s Future Report, but they are also hard. Our experience with getting Alexa to play BMJ’s podcasts proved exasperating, “Alexa play Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery podcast from TuneIn” usually works, “Alexa play BMJ Podcast” tends to give you WBMJ which is a bilingual Bible teaching network.  Saying med-sin, med-i-sin or med-sun will get you different results. How Publishers Can Prepare for Voice Technology (H/T: @robeirne) suggests building generic topic rather than brand specific skills please get in touch (future@bmj.com) if you’re interested in working with us on this.

 

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