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July-August 2013

   Ulrich's Bimonthly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten years Bimonthly Ten years "Bimonthly" The Bimonthly and its predecessor, the Monthly Picture, celebrate their tenth anniversary. With this issue, the eleventh year begins. Ten years is not nothing. A little celebration may be allowed.

Open access Not by mere coincidence, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – a much more important example of a contribution to open access than my modest web site, to be sure – is also celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. One of the motives that made me start the Bimonthly, and a little earlier the web site of which it is a part, was my desire to go open access, so as be able to serve my readers better and also to spare myself those sweeping kinds of copyright transfer agreements that most publishers still require their authors to sign, "agreements" that make it difficult for the academic community to share the results of research freely.

Today, I am more than ever convinced that the future of academic publishing is open access. For some major reasons, see here (Ulrich, 2006a). Meanwhile I have engaged myself as a coeditor of the Journal of Research Practice, a small but rather special OA journal. If the OA movement is to become strong and serve the academic community well, we better do something for it!

Open access (click for earlier Bimonthly)

 

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For a hyperlinked overview of all issues of "Ulrich's Bimonthly" and the previous "Picture of the Month" series, see the site map

 

Conventional publishers, too, have no doubt a continuing, important role to play in academic publishing; but there is an equally important role for high-quality OA publishing and my impression is that academia is far from exploiting its potential.

In the summertime.… But I am getting carried away. I am not going to celebrate ten years of writing regular monthly and bimonthly pages by writing another one! It's summertime, the only open access I wish to call for right now is that to lakeshores and rivers, beaches and hiking trails. For this anniversary edition of the Bimonthly, I have decided to give my readers and myself a break. From now until September, the Bimonthly is on summer holiday. And I'm out of here too! Bye now! See you!

    …

Wait a moment. Of course not. How am I going to be such a bloody egoist and celebrate alone. Although I can't invite you all to my little place at the lakeshore – it might get a bit overcrowded, and the calm would be gone – I can at least share with you some current holiday pictures, to put you and us (not UBS) in the mood.

To do justice to the occasion, we also need some festive music. May I suggest this summer's upcoming Basel Tattoo, which will take place from the 19th to 27th July, 2013 (a few tickets are still available). Understandably, as I am writing this summer Bimonthly prior to this year's Tattoo, the picture I have is from last year's fantastic event:

Tatto time (click for earlier 'explosive' Bimonthly with video)

I don't really need to say more about the Tattoo, as I have dealt with this pleasurable topic in an earlier summer Bimonthly, the one of July-August 2010. (Ulrich, 2010). Read it – see it – and then tell me you don't like my suggestion, ha!

The art of duck watching After such explosive celebration, the next challenge will be to relax and recover. I for one will try and dedicate myself to doing as little as possible. It's easier said than done though. Have you tried to switch off (or at least ignore) all computers, tablets, smart and other phones? That's what I meant. When it comes to such new challenges, even older dogs need to learn a new trick sometimes. Try this one: in my admittedly not very extensive experience with doing nothing, it helps to sit quietly at a quiet lakeshore and watch the ducks. Just watch the ducks. (You don't need to count them, just be with them.) Here is an example from my current holiday:

At the lakeshore

Now this is really an authentic proof that I practice what I preach. It is a brand new picture of my most recent visit to the lake. For obvious reasons, I couldn't photograph myself sitting there, so I took the liberty of asking an anonymous lady to sit there for me, while a sailing boat was just passing by and her dog benefited to take a swim. As to the dog, I am not sure. He will be happy if you take him to the lakeshore, sure – so happy that he will want to show it to you by running up and down excitedly and into the water and back only to finish by splashing water all over you. Refreshing perhaps, but not ideal for duck watching, for slowing down.

Playing with your dog is a good idea, of course. But duck watching is better. I can say this based on earlier intensive summer research. I have in fact given a full account of this topic in another summer Bimonthly, incidentally the very first one ever, of July-August 2006 (Ulrich, 2006b). Sorry to give so many references, but I told you I was not going to write a lot, and this is how I can avoid it. Anyway, should you already have forgotten those carefully researched findings and undoubtedly still valid conclusions of just seven years ago about the art of duck watching, I recommend you go and study that earlier piece of research. Go for it, study it, and then come back to the lake and join me in training the art of watching those ducks.

Surfing the summer Of course, after a while, duck watching risks becoming a bit monotonous, as cute as the little darlings are and as necessary as it is to accept some monotony on your way to slowing down. But once you have already progressed in the art of slowing down, enough to feel your energy level is high and rising, the next best alternative to duck watching may be "surfing the summer." As figura shows:

Surfing the summer

Well, I admit it, this one is not from my present summer holiday. It's a slightly older picture, from August 2010. I might cut a slightly less good figure now but who cares.

Summer retreat Finally, when it's all done and we (the Bimonthly and I, and you if you care to join us) will likely be exhausted from all those holiday efforts, we'll be ready to really let go. To go, in fact, and escape to some summer hideout where nobody and nothing can disturb you or us. Become silent for a while. Invisible. Even unproductive. Now here is where my sharing of this summer celebration ends: with a secret.

OK I can share a picture of a possible, modest little summer hideout as I imagine it. Just to give you the idea, see this Bimonthly's main picture below. I don't guarantee this is my actual refuge and no, I won't tell you where it is. Except that it is in a small medieval town in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, in the Romandie as we call this Latin part of our country where everything tends to be a little more relaxed, a bit more savoir vivre, than in the German-speaking part. The rest must remain untold. This is why the door in the picture is closed – sorry, no open access here. With all my support for open access, it's just the way secrets and hideouts work. Open access is an indispensable principle of academic publishing, but when it comes to taking a summertime break and to protecting our private lives, it is perhaps suboptimal. It's another story.…

I need to conclude. My holiday clock is ticking! To save time, let me sum up my hints for your holiday break in the terms of that very first Bimonthly of Summer 2006. It seems a fitting way to end this brief anniversary edition in celebration of the Bimonthly's ten years. For the sake of brevity, I have recast the earlier text in condensed lyrical form:

 

 

In the Summertime
(A Summer Fantasy)

Summertime: do less, enjoy more.
Forget multitasking, discover simplicity.
Simplicity is the secret.

Give room to the simple pleasures of summer.
Leaning back, doing nothing ...
Letting go is key.

Let it feel like summertime.
Do what you want! but free yourself
From all those many too muches.

And discover that nothing's missing!
Living a duck's life ...
For a while, in the summertime.

(My summertime lyrics, 15 July 2013)

 

 

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Bye now! See you in September, alligators.

References

Ulrich, W. (2006a). Open doors: a plea for open access publishing (Part 1/2). Ulrich's Bimonthly, formerly Picture of the Month, February 2006, first published 1 February 2006, http://wulrich.com/picture_february2006.html.

Ulrich, W. (2006b). Slowdown. Ulrich's Bimonthly, July-August 2006, first published 7 July 2006, http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_july2006.html.

Ulrich, W. (2010). Summer explosion. Ulrich's Bimonthly, July-August 2010, first published 1 July 2010, http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_july2010.html.

Picture data Digital photograph taken on a lazy summer Sunday afternoon, on 7 July 2013, in a medieval small town of French-speaking Switzerland. ISO 200, exposure mode aperture priority with aperture f/7.1, exposure bias 0, exposure time 1/160 seconds, metering mode center weighted average. White balance auto, contrast low, saturation high, sharpness low. Focal length 39 mm (full frame), equivalent to 39 mm with a conventional 35 mm camera. Original resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels; current resolution 700 x 525 pixels, compressed to 231 KB.

July-August, 2013

 

Summer hideout

 

 Summer hideout: "Chambres d'hτtes"

 

„The Bimonthly is on summer holiday!”

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Last updated 22 Jun 2014 (title layout), 20 July 2013 (text); first published 17 July 2013
http://wulrich.com/bimonthly_july2013.html

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