Category Archives: alt-publishing

Centrifugal Citation Conformity Machine

I was recently in an information briefing (which was very useful) about Web of Science and citations/searches. Here are some thoughts on how the system at present breeds conformity. Or at least, this is what I said, pretty much. very slightly odified to remove some names:

On Metrics as Tools

My concern – something I have discussed with a few others – is how there are some serious gaps in the Web of Science coverage for some areas of the social sciences and humanities.  I wonder if you are interested in this discussion as well. I think there are a few important things to consider, or if they have been considered, make the thinking clear as to how they have been handled.

I work (and think) in a variety of different ways that sometimes seem to me to be specifically designed to fall between the cracks of the indexes. This started with noting that the journals I really admire, were not making it from ESCI to SSCI, or rather, some were even choosing not to. I don’t think I should say which ones, but a few I have had some reviewing or editorial exchange with have said they are pulling out of the indexing ‘game’ as metrics was both too blunt and too normative. There are also a few things, discussed especially, that were not being indexed. Smaller magazines for example, museum catalogues and artist books, visual research (I had taught ethnographic film for many years) and political pamphlets are falling by the way in the face of a normative centrifugal force.

The blunt version of the argument here is that the new Incites tools do not ‘incite’ enough – but rather encourage heading in the same direction that everyone else is heading in – collaborate with those who are most likely to collaborate with you, cite those who cite you, read those who read you etc. Sure, that perhaps has its merits in terms of group cohesion, but academic work should surely be, at one level at least, not about that at all. It is disagreement and difference we should seek, not everyone heading towards the same spiral of universal chanting “ISI ISI” as if a group of characters from a Thomas Pynchon novel had spring off the page in full riot gear. Doesn’t the tendency to seek out the most popular make it harder for new and novel ideas to get a hearing? At what point do the top citations, top metrics, top index procedures need to be disrupted by ideas might not even be recognised by ‘metrics’? Ideas that disrupt the play of uniformity, conformity, safety and repetition? Obviously, I am setting this out starkly to make the point clear, but I think there is a fundamental problem when we have 50 million papers that are there because, as you said, ‘we want to make the world a better place’ but some could argue that the world is demonstrably becoming less better, or at least a significant set of indicators would suggest that. maybe the 50 million need to not refer more and more to the centre, but seek more and more the alternative, angular, oblique and even opposite/oppositional ideas. Ahh, we are communist after all (though in communism there is also a tendency to centralisation, of course – as I said, overstating to make the point).

What mechanisms can be demonstrated within your presentation, or within the tools, that cater for the need to engage in a ‘ruthless criticism of everything’ as old beardo would have us do. The old man with a beard also saw himself as on the road to science, but that it was no easy path, there was work to be done. What could be entered into the search algorithms to ensure the critiques of normative and even hegemonic ideas in each area are challenged? What mechanisms in the search can be dysfunctional for the ongoing business model that is, frankly, no longer really fit for purpose in a degraded and entropic world…

I would love (ironic and hysterical laughter – cackle cackle hee hee hee) to see some explicit attention to how critical disruptive thinking could be built in as potions for the indexing process. I know indexing cannot be neutral, but can the biases run the other way sometimes? can you say how these questions might be addressed? And what great possibilities would be there if 100 flowers contended with 100 schools of thought in bloom…

cheers

Just to confirm that referentiality takes all kinds, my most often cited ISI works (ISI articles cited by ISI journals) show interesting trends. (All available on the download texts link in the sidebar).

Authors:  John Hutnyk 

Authors:  John HutnykSanjay Sharma Published:Jun 2016 in THEORY, CULTURE AND SOCIETY DOI: 10.1177/02632760022051211

Authors:  John Hutnyk  Published:Jun 2016 in THEORY, CULTURE AND SOCIETY DOI: 10.1177/0263276406062700

Authors:  John Hutnyk  Published:Jul 2016 in CRITIQUE OF ANTHROPOLOGY DOI: 10.1177/0308275X9801800401

Authors:  John Hutnyk Published:Feb 2002 in FUTURES DOI: 10.1016/S0016-3287(01)00032-5

downloads

WordPress started counting text downloads of articles in July this year. Interesting stat.

So the books get quite a few

56 for Rumour of Calcutta 1996  (buy here)

26 for Pantomime Terror 2014

But just the occasional hit for individual papers  like:

10 for British Asian Communism (2005)

6 for Semi-Feudal Cyber Colonalism (on the multimedia super corridor 1999)

and just the 1 for poor old The Authority of Style (first serious essay published 1987)

Unfortunately, Icannot easily cut and paste all the totals, but some are in the hundreds (thanks) and most of the papers are here.

Reblogged: useful list of Left History stuff

This is from Hatful of History. There was a time when links to these sorts of sites etc were a common thing on blogs, but even the ones I did, which were much more Asia focussed, have fallen into disuse (I will seek out the link [see the bottom left hand column here, many no longer live]). nevertheless, its really good to see Tandana on this list, and indeed I’ve been in a few of the other groups, given it is a bit Australia and UK focussed, but yeah, more of this sort of thing, as they say:

Radical history online – a list of collections

by hatfulofhistory

I am very interested in the growing amount of radical literature from around the world that is being scanned and digitised. As there are so many and from many different places, I thought it would be useful to make a list. All of those that are included are free to access (there are others that require some form of subscription). If there are any that I have missed, do let me know, either by commenting below or sending me an email.

African Communist

Amiel and Melburn Trust Internet Archive

Anglo-Soviet Journal

Anti-Apartheid Movement

Anti-Fascist Action

Assorted Soviet stuff

Assorted communist stuff (via Socialist Truth – Cyprus)

Australian Left Review

Australian Marxist Review

Banned Thought (collection of global Maoist literature)

Big Flame

Comintern Online Archive

Communist Review (Australia)

Communist Party of Australia pamphlets (from State Library of Victoria)

Daily Worker (USA)

De Waarheid (paper of the Dutch Communist Party)

Die Rote Fahne (paper of the German Communist Party)

Digital Innovation South Africa (including Communist Party and ANC material)

Direct Action (IWW Australia)

Documents in Revolutionary Socialism in Canada

Entdinglichung (German left history)

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Freedom archive (US and international material from 1960s-80s)

Freedom newspaper (London)

Gay Left

High Times (Australia)

Independent Voices (US Alternative Press archive)

International Labour and Radical History Pamphlet Collection (Canada focused)

International Times

Irish Democrat

Irish Left Archive

Koori History

La Bataille Socialiste (French)

Labour Monthly

Labor Star (British Columbia)

Libcom

Living Marxism (RCP)

Mao Projekt (German far left)

Marxism Today

Marxists InternetArchive

Oz (Sydney)

Oz (London)

Political and Rights Issues and Social Movements collection

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine historical documents

Reason in Revolt

Red Action

Red Army Faction

Red Mole Rising

Revolution (Australia)

Revolutionary Communist Group publications

RudéPrávo (paper of the Czech Communist Party)

Socialisme ou Barbarie

Solidarity! Revolutionary Center and Radical Library (US)

Splits and Fusions (British Trotskyist history)

Tandana (Asian Youth Movement)

The Communist (Australia)

The Communist (USA)

The Digger (Australia)

The Leninist

The Living Daylights (Australia)

Wits Historical Papers (includes material on Communist Party of South Africa and ANC)

Workers’ Star (Communist Party of Australia – Perth newspaper)

Workers’ Weekly (Australia)

Articles to download

Screen Violence and Partition

Inter Asia Cultural Studies

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 09.58.40ScreenviolenceandpartitionIACS2018

 

Other downloads:

(Not sure if you need to make an account to get these, but it works for me):

Contexts for Distraction

HenriTomHutnykJohn

Clifford’s Ethnographica

HutnykJ.

Pantomime Terror: Diasporic Music in a Time of War

HutnykJ.

Music for Euro-Maoists: On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among Pop Stars

HutnykJ.

CLIFFORD GEERTZ AS A CULTURAL SYSTEM: A Review Article

John Hutnyk

THE AUTHORITY OF STYLE

John Hutnyk

Critique of Exotica: Music, Politics and the Culture Industryby J. Hutnyk

Review by: E. Dominique Midolo

Jungle studies: the state of anthropology

John Hutnyk

Comparative Anthropology and Evans-Pritchard’s Nuer Photograph y

HutnykJ.

CALCUTTA CIPHER: Travellers and the City

John Hutnyk

Poetry after Guantanamo: M.I.A.

HutnykJohn

The Dialectic of Here and There: Anthropology ‘at Home’ and British Asian Communism1

HutnykJohn

Sexy Sammy and Red Rosie? From Burning Books to the War on Terror

HutnykJ.

Bataille’s Wars: Surrealism, Marxism, Fascism

HutnykJohn

Music & Politics: An Introduction

HutnykJ.SharmaS.

Tales from the Raj

HutnykJohn

The Rumour of Calcutta: Tourism, Charity, and the Poverty of Representationby John Hutnyk

Review by: Bodhisattva Kar

Adorno at Womad: South Asian crossovers and the limits of hybridity-talk

HutnykJohn

The chapatti story: how hybridity as theory displaced Maoism as politics in Subaltern Studies

HutnykJohn

THE DIALECTICS OF EUROPEAN HIP‐HOP

HutnykJohn

Brimful of agitation, authenticity and appropriation: Madonna’s ‘Asian Kool’

KalraVirinderHutnykJohn

Book reviews : The Cambridge Survey of World Migration Edited by ROBIN COHEN (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995) 570pp.  75.00

HutnykJ.

Photogenic Poverty: Souvenirs and Infantilism

HutnykJohn

Proletarianisation

HutnykJohn

Media, Research, Politics, Culture: Review article

HutnykJ.

Indexing

The requirement imposed upon untenured ‘early career’ scholars to target only alleged “quality” publications is academic narrowcasting. Zines fall between the cracks of experiment and necessity. Over time necessity produces conformity. A conformity encouraged by pressures of dubious provenance, a consequence of the new privatisation championed by parasite aggregator companies like Elsevier, academia.edu and Taylor and Francis that prefer not to employ many people (as is the way of platform capitalism) and so engineer elite sector data compliance through simplification and regularity of product – electronic proletarianisation, insofar as this enables algorithmic automation (full luxury uniformity, replicant writing and dalek alliegences)….

scamming journalographica (trinketization at large)

Was helping a colleague find a place for a journal article. I thought a one day turnaround was rapid – its unlikely the article was read, only the abstract (and even then misapprehended). What seems to be going on is a funnelling system designed to entrap younger researchers into open access pay to publish (even after not being paid to write):

For future reference (the tricks and traps in publishing a getting more and more dubious).

Article is sent to journal. A day later the article is praised by the editor but regrettably not suitable for the journal, but perhaps could be placed in x series. Two days later, a personal message from some assistant editor of an previously unheard of series:

Dear L xxxx, I think your paper could be of particular relevance to Cogent Social Sciences (indexed in Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), amongst others), and I would be very pleased should you decide to take us up on this offer. Please email transfer@cogentoa.com with your existing manuscript ID number (this can be found in the subject line of this email) to automatically transfer your manuscript, or if you have any further queries. Please also let us know which Cogent journal you would like to transfer to in this email. I look forward to hearing from you.

The message is signed, the links check out, Taylor and Francis are not exactly pretending to be completely altruistic – but I find it very dubious that younger researchers are offered this. I’ve never had such a letter, and frankly, if I’d got one I would kick off much more than you can see in this little squib about my colleague (who rightly already had questioned this ‘model’.

A few seconds’ search about Cogenta yields some other squibs, well expressed:

But in looking at the original journal, I noticed this crazy business model they have. The journal, Cogent Social Sciences, is an open-access outlet published by Cogent OA. It charges $1350 to publish an article, unless you don’t have $1350, in which case they’ll take some unspecified minimum.
Okay, so far it sounds like every other scammy “peer-reviewed” open access journal. But wait. Cogent OA, it turns out, is owned by Taylor & Francis, one of the largest academic publishers. Taylor & Francis owns Routledge, for instance, and publishes Economy and Society, Environmental Sociology, and Justice Quarterly, to pick a few I’ve heard of.
Cogent OA has a FAQ that conveniently asks, “What is the relationship between Cogent OA and Taylor & Francis?” Here’s the answer (bold is mine):
Cogent OA is part of the Taylor & Francis Group, benefitting from the resources and experiences of a major publisher, but operates independently from the Taylor & Francis and Routledge imprints.
Taylor & Francis and Routledge publish a number of fully open access journals, under the Taylor & Francis Open and Routledge Open imprints. Cogent OA publishes the Cogent Series of multidisciplinary, digital open access journals.
Together, we also provide authors with the option of transferring any sound manuscript to a journal in the Cogent Series if it is unsuitable for the original Taylor & Francis/Routledge journals, providing benefits to authors, reviewers, editors and readers.
So get this: If your article gets rejected from one of our regular journals, we’ll automatically forward it to one of our crappy interdisciplinary pay-to-play journals, where we’ll gladly take your (or your funder’s or institution’s) money to publish it after a cursory “peer review”. That is a new one to me.
https://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/that-gender-studies-hoax-is-dumb-but-look-at-this-business-model/

 

Keep in mind this happens just a month after Sweden made the impressive move to cancel contracts with Elsevier (not renew them, not quite the same) and that follows France, and indeed various controversial aspects of so-called open access (as opposed to property ownership v squatting or v access to all by all for all etc). See The Scientist here and THE here (the latter is paywalled – the original article from THE, how apposite).

Open access or not – both are now worse.

sweden cancells Elsevier

(screen grab from Por la ilusión de un Ministerio de Ciencia)

PS. Contrary to some views I’ve heard out and about, Sci-hub is still operating. Search around and you can find a live link/proxy – though this is never an official recommendation. Pay the labourer.

img_2546

PPS. in the interests of Fairness (!) here is the Cogenta position on payments. Of course no self-respecting institution is going to fork out a subsidy for you. Discounts for world bank designated low-income apply – but since when did designation mean extorted? – ahh, oops, there goes the rhetoric of fairness. Ah well, I suppose the rhetoric of freedom had been bashed enough in the following:

Freedom Article Publishing Charges
Freedom Article Publishing Charges, pioneered by Cogent OA, allow authors to choose how much to contribute towards the publication of their research in an open access journal.

Authors with funding, institutional support, or from commercial organizations should select the recommended Article Publishing Charge (APC) of $1350.

Authors without direct funding/support should talk to their librarian and faculty about options that may be available:

Your institution may be part of the Taylor & Francis pre-payment membership scheme, which also covers Cogent OA publications. So, your APC may already be covered.
Alternatively, most funding bodies will allow authors to use part of their research grant to cover the cost of article publishing charges.
Cogent OA operates a Freedom APC model; whereby, if you don’t have funds available to you, you can choose to pay what you can. In order to support sustainable open access publishing, a minimum APC applies to ensure we cover the costs of the peer-review process, copyediting, typesetting, publication on our website, marketing, and indexing in major databases. To ensure the integrity of peer review, our team of editors and reviewers receive no information about payments at any stage.