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On typos, etc.

Please see Kent Anderson's post on the Scholarly Kitchen about 


Several weeks ago there was a discussion on this list about 
copy-editing.  I noted that publishers (Web-savvy ones, at any 
rate) enforced good copy-editing as it was a marketing tool, 
leading to greater integration into readers' workflow by creating 
high-quality metadata that enabled better linking.  Kent gets at 
this issue, known as SEO (search-engine optimization) in the 

There is an assumption among many scholarly publishers that only
inbound links count.  This is what I call "the Black Hole strategy":
bring users to your site and documents and then do everything possible
to keep them there, even collapsing a star to create an overwhelming
gravitational force.  Publishers that mostly work in library markets
(most journal publishers), who are inherently resistant to Web
marketing, like to think of the document as the endpoint of a search.

This is wrong on several counts.  First, the links out may be to 
the very same publisher's other publications.  Second, metadata 
of all kinds, including footnotes, can be used to increase search 
engine ranking (Google likes a big meal).  Third, the pingback, a 
information response tool, shows links to Web sites that link 
outward.  A document is thus part of a two-way or multi-party 
conversation, embedded in a network of documents, all "talking" 
to one another.

People like full-text search, and for good reason, but it does 
not solve all problems and misses many tricks.  Good metadata, 
high-quality copy-editing, all these mundane things--they are all 
part of the craft of facilitating online discovery.

I encourage all publishers to examine how many documents are set 
up in a Black Hole.  Although no light can emerge from such a 
document, there are ancillary signs:  look for references to 
documents associated with terms such as "archival," "official," 
"authorized," and "of record."  Librarians that have set up 
publishing services may wish to take this quiz, too.

Joe Esposito