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On typos, etc.
- To: "Liblicense-L@Lists. Yale. Edu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: On typos, etc.
- From: Joseph Esposito <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 19:34:38 EDT
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please see Kent Anderson's post on the Scholarly Kitchen about typos: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2011/07/21/does-the-price-of-typos-justify-the-price-of-remaining-focused-on-print/ 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 trade. 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