Academia.edu Premium

Most users of Google Scholar have been linked to a paper hosted on Academia.edu, a platform for sharing and finding research papers. However, Academia.edu (in addition to a slew of recent and controversial changes) has introduced what is essentially paid search. For example, you can still search papers by title, but to harvest the deeper and more broad results of full text search, you need to subscribe to the “premium” package (see below).

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Screenshot from Academia.edu

These changes have proven unpopular. Here’s what one writer had to say about the new fee, “this means the end of that medium.” I think that companies, like Academia.edu, are often more flexible that he implies. However, their introduction of paid search may well prove to weaken what, in times past, has been robust user support.

Books, Sweat, and Blood in the Andes

It’s easy for library patrons to forget that each and every item they use has been handled by many other humans. Librarians have worked to organize, process, describe, and prepare this item for use. This piece in the American Scholar is a good reminder of the work it takes to secure and preserve knowledge.

“In our digital age of e-readers and same-day delivery, it’s worth remembering how much blood and sweat used to go into the distribution of the written word.” Read the rest here.

The Humanities

The study of humanities is an important part of helping us understand what it means – and has meant – to be human. Declining enrollments in the study of arts, history, literature, language, and philosophy at colleges and universities across the country is a real and serious problem. At a recent forum at the Aspen Institute, Drew Gilpin Faust (President of Harvard) and Leon Wieseltier (former editor of The New Republic) discuss the situation and provide instruction dialogue about the issue.

Managing Oneself

I can scarcely recommend this book strongly enough. First written as an article in the Harvard Business Review, and then re-published as a longer booklet, Peter F. Drucker’s masterful Managing Oneself succeeds on every level.

Drucker focuses on the following key points and questions.

What are my strengths?

  • To discover one’s strengths use “feedback” analysis (e.g. write down your key decisions/actions and check results in 9-12 months).
  • Focus primarily on your strengths (as change is difficult/impossible)
  • Improve your strengths
  • Uncover where your intellectual arrogance is creating problems and work to eliminate.

“Manners are the lubricating oil of an organization.”

How do I perform?    

  • Am I a reader or listener?
  • How do I learn? Some folks learn by writing, others by talking and others by reading or listening. Learn how you learn.
  • Am I a loner or do I work well with others?
  • Do I produce better results as the decision maker, or as an advisor?
  • Do I perform well under stress, or do I need lots of structure?
  • Do I function best in large organizations, or small organizations?

“Do not try to change yourself – you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform.”

What are my values?

  • What kind of person do I want to see in the mirror each morning?

“Organizations, like people, have values. To be effective in an organization, a person’s values must be compatible . . . They do not need to be the same, but . . . close enough to coexist.”

  • Where do I belong?

“Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values. Knowing where one belongs can transfer an ordinary person – hardworking and competent but otherwise mediocre – into an outstanding performer.”

What should I contribute?

  • What does the situation require?
  • Given my strengths, my way of performing, and values, how can I make the greatest contribution to what needs to be done?
  • What results should be achieved to make a difference?

“A plan can usually cover no more than 18 months and still be reasonably clear and specific”

Responsibility for Relationships

“Managing yourself requires taking responsibility for relationships”

  • Others are as much individuals as yourself.
    • To be effective, one must know the strengths, performance modes, and values of your co-workers.
  • Take responsibility for communication.
    • You must communicate your strength’s, values, and performance style, and proposed contribution and find out the same about others.

The second half of your life.

“Knowledge workers are not “finished” after 40 years on the job, they are merely bored.”

  • There are three ways to develop a second career
    • Start one (e.g. moving to a new organization, change lines of work, etc.).
    • Develop a parallel career (e.g. volunteer for a non-profit, begin consulting, become more involved in the community, etc.).
    • Become a social entrepreneur (e.g. start a charity, etc.).

My Week in Review: February 12

“Does ROTC mean his family couldn’t afford tuition?” Curtis Sittenfeld, Eligible

Eligible-Curtis-Sittenfeld-April-19.jpgRead: I’m not a Jane Austen fan, but I have read Prep twice and thought I may enjoy Curtis Sittenfeld’s retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The book is set in Cincinnati (my hometown) and, despite Sittenfeld’s talent as a writer, fails. It reads like a dull NYT‘s “Modern Love” column with Cincinnati names and places cut-and-pasted on top.

“Often exploitative and sleazy, like the worst of future reality shows, the Simpson trial became appointment TV for an audience that found itself transfixed by every stomach-churning twist…leaving a media desperate to provide enough content to feed the beast.” Libby Hill, Los Angeles Times (2016)

Image resultWatched: The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story is a gripping and well written retelling of the trial of Orenthal James “O. J.” Simpson for the double murders of  Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.

“Ryan O’Neal wholeheartedly captures the intimacy of the world we live in.” Internet Review

Image result for sleeping at last cover

Listened: Based in Wheaton, IL, Sleeping at Last can be heard frequently on popular TV Shows and Films such as Grey’s AnatomySo You Think You Can DanceCriminal MindsBonesThe Vampire Diaries, and many more. Covers, Vol. 2 (2017) treats us to O’Neal’s moving retelling of some of the biggest hits of the past few years.