"As a young academic, I am reliably informed that the landscape of scholarly communication is not what it was 20 years ago. But, despite all that has changed, it seems that we still largely rely upon the same tired and narrow measures of quality and academic impact - namely, citation counts and journal impact factors.
As someone who has used the internet in almost every aspect of their academic work to date, it's hard for me to ignore the fact that these mechanisms, in predating the web, largely ignore its effects.
By holding up these measures as incentives, we appear to have our eye firmly fixed on the hammer and not the nail, adjusting our research habits in order to maximise scores and ignoring issues such as why we publish in the first place."
(Matthew Gamble, 28 July 2011, Times Higher Education)
"Thomson [Thomson Reuters] makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business 'irreparable harm' and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta-version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open-standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero 'reverse engineered or decompiled' not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. ...
Litigation, which may go to a jury trial, is pending, so judging this case on its legal merits would be premature. But on a more general level, the virtues of interoperability and easy data-sharing among researchers are worth restating. Imagine if Microsoft Word or Excel files could be opened and saved only in these proprietary formats, for example. It would be impossible for OpenOffice and other such software to read and save these files using open standards - as they can legally do.
Competition between open-source and proprietary software is long-running, as personified by the struggle between Windows and Linux for desktop and server operating systems, but also in many branches of software used by scientists. Researchers tend to lean towards open sharing, but they will also pay for added-value features, and it's important that the playing field is level. Ultimately, the customer is king."
Nature Volume 455, p.708 (9 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455708a; Published online 8 October 2008, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited.
"Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote) - the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references - and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways. Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and - on many major research and library sites - find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications; since it runs on one's personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). And it can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi)."
(Dan Cohen & Sean Takats)
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to."
"The four UK higher education funding bodies issued a second consultation on proposals for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), including proposals to assess the impact of research on the economy and society, and for citation information to be used by some panels to inform their review of research outputs."
(HEFCE, 2009, UK)
1). The Research Excellence Framework: A brief guide to the proposals' (Adobe PDF 124K).