Current Cites

April 2013

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Leo Robert Klein, Roy Tennant

Baveye, Philippe C. "A Short Note on Pointless Reference FormattingJournal of Scholarly Publishing  44(3)(April 2013): 283-288. ( - Entertaining article probably written more in the spirit of April 1 lamenting the immense time and money wasted on getting citations right. The author calls for a single or unique reference style. This would replace the current myriad of styles which, the author concludes, deserve as much "scorn" for their wastefulness as $640 toilet seats from the U.S. Department of Defense. - LRK

Bosch, Stephen, and Kittie  Henderson. "The Winds of Change: Periodicals Price Survey 2013  (25 April 2013)( - The good news is that journal price increases "seemed to have plateaued at about 6% for 2013," about the same rate of increase as last year. The bad news is that's way above the CPI (last year it was 1.7%) and library budgets, you'll be surprised to hear, are not keeping up. Here's an interesting tidbit: the cost of library science journals has risen by 9% in the ISI data, joining education (also 9%) as the disciplines with the highest levels of increase in 2013. That's right: library science's percentage increase is topping that of STM journals, and that's after a 6% increase in 2012. (The Academic Search Premier data tells a different story: only a 7% rise for library science; anthropology and health sciences lead the pack at 9%.) As usual, this article provides a wealth of interesting data that helps us grasp the important, but always troubling, state of scholarly journal publishing. - CB

Engst, Adam. "23 Years of TidBITS: Thoughts on Our Past, Present, and FutureTidBITS  (19 April 2013)( - As a newsletter team that has published continuously since 1990, allow us at Current Cites to tip our hats to another newsletter that has been published slightly longer -- TidBITS. Created by Adam and Tonya Engst in April 1990 (a few months before our August debut), they have doggedly published news about the Apple Macintosh on a weekly basis. This brief piece by Adam takes a look back at their beginnings, and describes their present and future. As an early subscriber to the weekly newsletter, I very much valued the news that TidBITS brought to my in-box each week, and although I eventually dropped off the distribution it wasn't for lack of publication quality. Kudos to the Engst family and contributors for keeping it going for so long. - RT

Rampp, Carrie. "We Love E-Books!EDUCAUSE Review  48(2)(March/April 2013): 56-57. ( - The catchy title might make you think that this piece is all "rah-rah e-books!" but that is misleading. Although the author does indeed love e-books, she is not fooled by marketing hype. She believes, for example, that an e-book should be lendable from one library to another just like print books. She defends the principle of Fair Use and the First Sale doctrine. Meanwhile, she also urges us to continue and increase our digitization projects and to put more e-readers in the hands of staff, so that our service to end-users comes from knowledge and experience. So yes, the author does love e-books, but from a position of critical thinking and familiarity rather than slavish unthinking obsession. - RT

Tananbaum, Greg. Article-Level Metrics -- A SPARC Primer  Washington, DC: SPARC, 2013.( - There is increasing interest in a new measure of scholarly impact: article-level metrics. As the name implies, ALMs focus on the impact of individual articles rather than entire journals. In addition to citations, ALMs can measure social media impacts, news media impacts, download activity, user comments, and other nontraditional impact data. Needless to say, faculty and administrators have shown keen interest in citation-based impact analysis as part of the tenure process. ALMs can provide more fine-tuned impact measures aimed at the scholar's work itself rather than the journals it is published in. Further, they can offer rapid feedback. Keep ahead of the curve and read Tananbaum's concise overview of ALMs. - CB