When it comes to privacy, librarians watch out for their patrons

[W]e got out of the camera business…

Seattle’s King County Library System has decided to remove all security cameras from their libraries. The reason? Fear that the video footage would be used by law enforcement to pry into the reading lives of their patrons.

via MOBYLIVES » When it comes to privacy, librarians watch out for their patrons.

David Dobbs on the importance of open-source science

Right now, most scientific research exists behind paywalls. And expensive paywalls at that. A license to read a single peer-reviewed journal article can set you back $50. Depending on the journal, that number might be a little lower, or a little higher, but access usually doesn’t come cheap … even if the research was funded with public money. When I write about a paper, I usually have to request a copy from the researcher before I can even know whether the paper in question is one I want to write about. And it’s not just journalists that get locked out. Even scientists themselves can’t always get access to the papers they need to read in order to do their jobs. New science is being stifled by the old business of scientific publishing, argues science journalist David Dobbs.

Open-access journals are different. These publications—the most famous being the Public Library of Science, or PLoS—make all the papers they publish available to anyone online, rather than printing expensive paper copies for subscribers. In a great article at his Neuron Culture blog, Dobbs makes the case for open-access science:

via BoingBoing – David Dobbs on the importance of open-source science

Philip Roth Wins Man Booker Intl Prize

Philip Roth has won the Man Booker International Prize. Booker judge Carmen Callil was so annoyed with the decision to honor Roth, she resigned from the judging panel.

“I don’t rate him as a writer at all. I made it clear that I wouldn’t have put him on the longlist, so I was amazed when he stayed there. He was the only one I didn’t admire – all the others were fine,” said Callil … “Roth goes to the core of [Booker judges Justin Cartwright and Rick Gekoski’s] beings. But he certainly doesn’t go to the core of mine … Emperor’s clothes: in 20 years’ time will anyone read him?”

The thing is, people are still reading Goodbye, Columbus, which Roth wrote over 50 years ago. So, yeah, I think his work will be around in 20 years. It doesn’t make any sense to ask if his work will stand the test of time when it already has.

via Jessa Crispin