Archive for June 2009

All the news lately makes me angry — today, it’s Elsevier again

So. Who here is still writing for Elsevier? And how much do you pay for their journals and textbooks, again?

Elsevier officials said Monday that it was a mistake for the publishing giant’s marketing division to offer $25 Amazon gift cards to anyone who would give a new textbook five stars in a review posted on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. While those popular Web sites’ customer reviews have long been known to be something less than scientific, and prone to manipulation if an author has friends write on behalf of a new work, the idea that a major academic publisher would attempt to pay for good reviews angered some professors who received the e-mail pitch.Here’s what the e-mail — sent to contributors to the textbook — said:

“Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to Clinical Psychology. Now that the book is published, we need your help to get some 5 star reviews posted to both Amazon and Barnes & Noble to help support and promote it. As you know, these online reviews are extremely persuasive when customers are considering a purchase. For your time, we would like to compensate you with a copy of the book under review as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. If you have colleagues or students who would be willing to post positive reviews, please feel free to forward this e-mail to them to participate. We share the common goal of wanting Clinical Psychology to sell and succeed. The tactics defined above have proven to dramatically increase exposure and boost sales. I hope we can work together to make a strong and profitable impact through our online bookselling channels.”

Hmm. I wonder how much they’d pay me to not post a negative review? As if the Merck fake journal thing weren’t bad enough. Ooh, wait! I wonder how much the going rate in Amazon gift certificates is for five-star reviews of fake peer reviewed journals?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the “anything to make a buck” mentality, but I must be naive. Idonotgeekelseviertoday. :)

What do I geek?

Igeekthatgeekisnotaverb! I also like to.put.spaces.between.words. But maybe I’m old. I think I don’t get this site. Or don’t geek this site. But it’s so shiny and pretty…

I do GROK the library. Ooh! the domain’s available: Dear Bill and Melinda Gates: Please give me millions of dollars to develop a marketing site there. Or hundreds of thousands. I’m flexible.

Alas, poor Bozeman, I thought I knew ye well

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve always had a soft spot for Montana. Less so at the moment, now that I’ve been reading on newlib and ReadWriteWeb and, oh, everywhere all morning about the city of Bozeman’s new application requirements — guess my long-term plan of working as a Montana librarian in retirement someday is going on the back burner :) . Not a joke:

Applying for a job with the City of Bozeman? You may be asked to provide more personal information than you expected.

That was the case for one person who applied for employment with the City. The anonymous viewer emailed the news station recently to express concern with a component of the city’s background check policy, which states that to be considered for a job applicants must provide log-in information and passwords for social network sites in which they participate. (emphasis mine)

What the? Login information? Passwords?? Really? I thought perhaps this was one of the news stories outlets tend to accidentally pick up from The Onion, but look at the background check form on the city’s own website:

Please list any and all, past and present, personal or business website or web pages, memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.
Website/Domain Username/Member Log-In Password (if applicable)

Whoa. (Not only that, they only give 2 lines for it — perhaps they don’t hire web designers or, I dunno, people who use the Internet in Bozeman.)

So, now let’s start taking bets on exactly how long it will take before public outrage makes them change the form. I say: Within the week. You? Update: I guess I was a week off ! ;)

Cheap flip video camera

I posted this over at Mashup Mom this morning, but after getting comments over there from librarians saying that their youth services department might be interested, I thought I’d xpost here so more librarians might see it! Yup, this is an affiliate link, if you don’t want to support Liminal Librarian then use your super infopro skills to find it unlinked. :)


This flip video camera is down to $49.99 on Amazon — $100 off, and free super-saver shipping!