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CITIES IN THE 21st CENTURY: A Primer

Book Review

John Matthew Barlow reviews John Lorinc's new book, Cities: A Groundwork Guide. Last year marked the first time that the majority of the world's population lived in cities; Lorinc's introduction to the subject offers a timely, and lively, critique of the issues confronting cities and humanity as a whole as we confront this radical restructuring of our way of living in the urban century.

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  • Cities: A Guide

    Book Review

    John Matthew Barlow reviews John Lorinc's new book, Cities: A Groundwork Guide. Last year marked the first time that the majority of the world's population lived in cities; Lorinc's introduction to the subject offers a timely, and lively, critique of the issues confronting cities and humanity as a whole as we confront this radical restructuring of our way of living in the urban century.

    Read more...

  • The Hurt Locker

    Review

    Eric Randolph reviews Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, and notes a shift in film-making sensibilities from the war-as-heroics paradigm of earlier Hollywood, towards the everyman's war-as-hell model that has now lodged itself in Western cultural consciousness.

    Read...

  • Architecture & Biopolitics

    Interview

    Berlin-based writer Daniel Miller's October 2008 interview with Swedish philosopher and SITE Magazine Editor-In-Chief Sven-Olov Wallenstein, on his new book Biopolitics and the Emergence of Modern Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009).

    Read...

  • Wired For War

    Symposium

    The second symposium in CTlab's 2009 series, focused on Peter Singer's new book, Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Penguin Press: 2009), ran from 30 March to 2 April. Singer and half a dozen scholars from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Austria debated the use and ethics of robots in war.

    Read...

  • DEFCON 17

    Current Intelligence

    Tim Stevens reports back from the DEFCON 17 conference in Las Vegas: are hackers thinking meat isn't just meat anymore?

    Read...

CONTRIBUTORS

Editor: Michael A. Innes // posts // web
Contributor: Matthew Barlow // posts // web
Contributor: Christopher Albon // posts // web
Contributor: Charli Carpenter // posts // web
Contributor: Bradley Evans // posts // web
Contributor: Eric Randolph // posts // web
Contributor: Tim Stevens // posts // web
Contributor: Marisa Urgo // posts // web
Alumni: Kenneth Anderson // Marc Tyrrell

From the Bookstore
Comments
Wednesday
20Jan2010

Academia And The NYT

I don't know how the New York Times' decision to implement a new subscription/metering model in 2011 is actually going to affect me but I do know I use their website a lot for article access. When the decision was announced I had the kind of irrational knot-in-stomach feeling I certainly didn't get when Rupert Murdoch made the choice to take his papers down a similar route.

Even though this type of model probably has a life-span limited to ten years at most, I can see the current logic about recession-proofing and generating resilient revenue streams and the like. I wonder, though, what will happen to its Google Scholar rankings and its academic impact?

The NYT's generous gift of its mostly excellent journalism is one of the reasons why it crops up so much when doing research online: the big chunks rise to the top. They have the journalists and they have the product. Consequently, they get referenced a lot by academics in fast-moving fields like politics, IR and security. In my own peculiar field, it's often John Markoff that breaks the stories and follows them up - he makes it into my own papers as a source in his own right. Not being able to afford the dead-tree version, will I still be referencing it as much in two years time if the fees prove unsustainable?

I'm not totally averse to paying the NYT something for its service. In that respect, I view it much like the BBC, whose flat-fee model is running out of time but for which I will voluntarily pay (eventually). I may not actually use the NYT as much as I think, and fall below the paywall radar, but I'm curious whether I'll still be viewing it in the same way a couple of years from now.

How might this decision effect academics, for whom free-to-internet journalism has been a major boon? Have paywalls had a measurable effect on anyone else's research experience?

Reader Comments (6)

I had a similar thought sometime last week. I found myself filling in footnote citations for a paper, after having done a trawl through university databases and pulling up a number of newsprint items in PDF. I caught myself, mid-process, frantically searching the web for URLs to insert in my footnotes.

Waaaaitaminit... in the old days, URLs were anomalous content in research papers. Back then, for newsprint, it was author, title, publication, date, and page number. Hrrrmm. So that's what I did, no URL. And it felt, well, like I was leaving out vital information. Go figure.

Jan 20, 2010 at 22:34 | Registered CommenterMike Innes

My thoughts exactly. Especially as the Times is way ahead with regard to all things digital compared to the German press.
I’d probably be willing to shell out the money (depending on how much they actually want) though I still subscribe to the “information needs to be free“ open source spirit. Guess we’ll see …

Jan 21, 2010 at 1:15 | Unregistered CommenterTCHe

Mike,

.... in the old days, URLs were anomalous content in research papers. Back then, for newsprint, it was author, title, publication, date, and page number. Hrrrmm. So that's what I did, no URL. And it felt, well, like I was leaving out vital information.

Precisely. Particularly as web and paper content often differs. Most news sites don't say if the web content was published in paper form. The Guardian is particularly good at doing this, and I think the NYT does for some of its content, but they are a minority (nb: my impression anyway). Sometimes, though, I want to be able to put the old-school paper reference - the veneer of legitimacy.

TCHe,

I think the NYT would love to provide everything for free. As long as someone pays for it ...

Jan 21, 2010 at 7:38 | Unregistered CommenterTim Stevens

How might this decision effect academics, for whom free-to-internet journalism has been a major boon? Have paywalls had a measurable effect on anyone else's research experience?

For most university-based academics, I imagine it will make little difference--don't most of us already have extensive access to paid online subscriptions through our respective libraries? Sure, it requires a few moments to pop up a VPN connection for IP confirmation if you're off campus, but otherwise it's pretty painless.

Jan 25, 2010 at 3:09 | Registered CommenterRex Brynen

don't most of us already have extensive access to paid online subscriptions through our respective libraries?

No, unfortunately, not for the NYT anyway. Nor even for most UK newspapers, unbelievably. This is a global top 25 university too. Hence the reason why I do most of my newspaper research and reading in the zone of the free, let alone the land of the brave.

Jan 25, 2010 at 7:17 | Unregistered CommenterTim Stevens

Seems I was wrong, so humble apologies to everyone from the Principal down. It may invalidate my original post completely but if I hadn't posted it, I'd never have known! You learn from your mistakes ...

Jan 25, 2010 at 20:22 | Unregistered CommenterTim Stevens

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