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  #1  
Old 28th February 2017, 12:15 PM
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Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
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Default Why most science/academic publishers are morons.

In the "good old days", this was how journals were organised:-

http://classic.sciencemag.org/content/current

Note how everything is easily accessible and organised.

Contrast the above with the new format science mag has introduced below:-

http://science.sciencemag.org/conten...urrent-issue=y


Oh, yes, a lovely modern face-book style page. Except it is harder to find shit, harder to mine citation for bibliographic databases, etc.

To their credit, the publishers of Science mag do retain their old format. Now, most science publishers have moved to the facebook, smart phone/tablet type of look. Pushing graphics on you that you might not want to see.

Sure, I get it, it is supposed to be an enhanced "visual experience", but what about serious scholars?

Downloading my electronic issue used to take less than 10 minutes. Now, if I use the new interface, the best part of an hour or more. It is like science publishing is going the way of humanities. Retarded. Dumb, flashy, trashy shit.

Scientists and academics generally have less time than ever before to do research. First of all, clerical support-there is none. Everything is online. Second, teaching loads have increased dramatically. Due to "competition", there is a race to the bottom is far as academic standards go. They want bums on seats, so academics mark easier, allow too many "exceptions" and waive pre-requisite requirements, give supp and deferred exams out like it was candy.

Now, with so little time to research, they are faced with information poor, kindergarten-style electronic journal pages. Researchers need to scan, search, file, store information and the papers that contain them with plenty of cross-references and notes.

In the good old days the process was helped by downloading the citation file for a paper or article in the format that suited your particular bibliographical database: Endnotes, Refworks, Zotero, or whatever the fuck. Increasingly however, these download files are poorly formatted, and so one often ends up entering the data manually, which takes forever.

In short, I am pissed off. And I am not even a practising scientist or academic. I just like to report a wide range of interesting science shit for y'all.

I do not have an eidetic memory, so I just can't glance once at some shit and remember it forever. I need to file it, with cross-references, key words, etc.

Colour me pessimistic, but I think these new formats will dumb down even the professionals. Facebook and tweets are all very well, but if that is all there is, or will be, watch out!

Rant over!
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  #2  
Old 28th February 2017, 04:22 PM
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Svadifari Svadifari is online now
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Default Re: Why most science/academic publishers are morons.

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
.........

Downloading my electronic issue used to take less than 10 minutes. Now, if I use the new interface, the best part of an hour or more. It is like science publishing is going the way of humanities. Retarded. Dumb, flashy, trashy shit. ......

Rant over!


http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/
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Old 28th February 2017, 07:12 PM
Zeroth Zeroth is offline
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Default Re: Why most science/academic publishers are morons.

The new design is certainly intended to interest more casual/lay visitors. It looks like a blog rather than an academic medium.

The purpose of the space-hogging slideshow is to show something that is attention-grabbing and interesting at a glance. That is why all the images are pretty and have simple symbolism. Without it, many casual browsers may think 'nothing to see here' and move on. For some reason the designers felt the need to cater to that audience, like they are an entertainment publisher.

The PDF downloads haven't been optimised. I think they've assume that you have the bandwidth to download PDFs containing hi-res photos. They could have their pretty graphics and provide fast downloads, but to do so they need downsample the images to 96ppi. The high resolution is wasted bytes.

I think the new navigation interface looks nicer, but they've moved parts of the site navigation down into the sidebar. For example, to get to previous issues I had to click Archive in the sidebar, while that link is in the classic header. If were designing it I would have opted for a more efficient header design that enhances the site navigation for serious users, rather than reducing it.

Last edited by Zeroth; 28th February 2017 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 28th February 2017, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Why most science/academic publishers are morons.

That is what I like about the Science mag websites, they cater for the serious and the casual users. But most are dumbing it down. Most serious readers will want easy access to the pdf's [which include the main paper, and supp papers. And high res graphics are also essential. Sciences advances is not bad, while Scientific Reports and Nature Comms [both from the Nature mag stable] are both good from an asthetic and a functional POV.

PNAS, which keeps the old format so far, is pretty good apart from it's download citations function, and I like the PLOS websites too.

However, some of the non-free sites are just truly awful, requiring login just to access the abstracts or supplementary files, which traditionally have been free even if the main paper is behind a paywall.

The Oxford publishers, which used to have great sites for journals such as "Genome Biology and Evolution", "Molecular Biology and Evolution", etc, which had the best sites on the net, have gone to shit.

Of course it may be that the senile old puppy just needs a new brain, but I seriously don't think I am alone in being pissed off with the behaviour of many journal publishers:-

http://www.nature.com/news/scientist...urnals-1.21223
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