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Topical Spotlights

Water Resources, their Sustainable Use and Long-Term Approaches to their Management

The growing scarcity of water resources worldwide requires the adoption of sustainable water management practices and approaches, such as water stewardship.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


Introduction

In this book, Pernille Ingildsen argues that achieving water-related sustainability requires a change of individual-level attitudes to this issue. For this reason, the monograph Water Stewardship offers a broad inquiry into the following, broadly conceived research question: ‘How do we become true water stewards?’ As this book suggests, the transformation of water use and management practices, to make them more sustainable, is likely demand establishing connections between affective attitudes, holistic analyses of water-related issues and pertinent actions guided by ecological integrity. Ingildsen likens the role of water stewards to that of shepherds that have historically been given the responsibility to guard over the sheep. Based on that, local communities trusted that these animal stewards would take care of the herd, make sure its needs are met and protect it from adverse external or internal influences. Thus, to accomplish their roles, shepherds needed to adopt a long term perspective on their activities, while ensuring their environmental sustainability, e.g., by preventing overgrazing, a feasible access to water resources and the availability of shelter conditions against elements and predators. In other words, over time shepherds have evolved into stewards of the herds in their charge, which included taking the responsibility for the well-being of the latter. Similarly, this book argues that water stewardship entails taking the responsibility for human water consumption and its environmental implications. According to Ingildsen, with regard to water stewardship, it is necessary to interconnect the big-picture understanding of environmental processes with a very long term perspective. Thus, agents in water steward roles ought to demonstrate in-depth reflection on how water should be treated and how relationships with water resources need to be shaped. Whereas water utility professionals have the knowledge of water consumption processes and have been entrusted with managing water resources, this book argues that their role also entails aspects of water stewardship for the implementation of which specialized concepts and individual-level reflexivity are needed.

Ingildsen, Pernille. Water Stewardship. IWA Publishing, 2020. Accessed November 27, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.
Ingildsen, Pernille. Water Stewardship. IWA Publishing, 2020. Accessed November 27, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Topical Spotlight

In the preface to this book, Pernille Ingildsen proposes that one needs “to spend time and attention in reflecting upon the future of water. As water has become a vital topic of the perilous global sustainability crises, this need becomes ever more acute. As technology gets better, we need to upgrade our moral, emotional, spiritual professional selves as well. My findings lead me to believe that this marks a transition from water professionals to water stewards” (Ingildsen, 2020, p. xxvi).

The urgency of water management issues derives from recent research reports, such as by the World Wide Fund for Nature, that highlight the need to build water resource resilience and to prepare for water scarcity in the long term. Around the world, a hundred cities, such as Jakarta, Mumbai, Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro, are expected to be experiencing severe water scarcity by 2050, as their populations are projected to rise on average by 51% by that year. This also requires an adequate management of long-term water-related risks, the development of nature-based solutions and the establishment of public-private collaborations (Down To Earth, 2020).

Similarly, recent United Nations research reports indicate that at present approximately two billion people already experience high levels of water stress, whereas around four billion people worldwide are affected by intermittent water scarcity (Lozowski, 2019). These issues are compounded by the critical role that the availability of fresh water plays in multiple systems, such as electricity generation and energy production that can be adversely affected if water availability will decrease, due to extended drought periods, diminished seasonal precipitation and climate change effects (Copeland et al., 2019, p. 22).

Conclusion

These environmental imperatives have, therefore, let to the calls for implementing water stewardship practices, such as sustainable water management, in order to mitigate the looming water scarcity risks and their knock-on effects from which local communities are likely to suffer (Khalid et al., 2018, p. 8). This also apparently demands involving multiple stakeholders in water management practices, as part of increasing the efficiency of water use, protecting available water resources and ensuring their sustainable utilization over time (Krchnak, 2011, p. 16). Thus, the notion of water stewardship captures these long-term concerns about sustainable water use and its attendant risks.


Published by IWA Publishing in 2020, Water Stewardship, written by Pernille Ingildsen, has become available in Open Access at the Open Research Library in September 2020, as part of the KU Select 2019: STEM Frontlist Books collection.


References

Copeland, Christina, Sara Law, Maurice R. Greenberg, Amy Myers Jaffe, Joshua Busby, Jim Blackburn, Joan M. Ogden, and Paul A. Griffin. Impact of Climate Risk on the Energy System: Examining the Financial, Security, and Technology Dimensions. Report. Council on Foreign Relations, 2019. 22-31. Accessed November 27, 2020. doi:10.2307/resrep21839.5.

Down To Earth. “WWF identifies 100 cities, including 30 in India, facing ‘severe water risk’ by 2050.” Down To Earth, 3 Nov. 2020, p. NA. Gale OneFile: Environmental Studies and Policy, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A640392099/PPES?u=lirn17237&sid=PPES&xid=bd214908. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Ingildsen, Pernille. Water Stewardship. IWA Publishing, 2020. Accessed November 27, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Khalid, Imran Saqib, Samavia Batool, and Ahmad Awais Khaver. Water and the Private Sector: Accelerating Sustainable Corporate Water Stewardship & Collective Action in Pakistan. Report. Sustainable Development Policy Institute, 2018. 8-11. Accessed November 27, 2020. doi:10.2307/resrep24400.5.

Krchnak, Karin M. “Eco Logic: Involving Stakeholders in the Development of a Global Water Certification Standard.” Journal (American Water Works Association) 103, no. 8 (2011): 16-17. Accessed November 27, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41314784.

Lozowski, Dorothy. “Addressing water scarcity.” Chemical Engineering, 22 July 2019. Gale Academic OneFile Select, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A597895609/EAIM?u=lirn17237&sid=EAIM&xid=df153b3c. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.


Featured Image Credits

Water Scarcity a Problem at IDP Camps in North Darfur, Shangil Tobaya, Sudan, January 15, 2014 | © Courtesy of Albert González Farran/United Nations Photo/Flickr.


Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "Water Resources, their Sustainable Use and Long-Term Approaches to their Management," in Discussions Générales Open, 27/11/2020, https://dgo.hypotheses.org/831.

 

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Topical Spotlights

East Asian Cinema, Cultural Globalization and Identity Articulation

In this book, Ran Ma investigates the modalities of transnational Asian cinema, as reflected in independent films of auteurs either based in East Asia or belonging to global diasporas.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


Introduction

This monograph examines an array of auteur-driven fiction and documentary independent film projects that have emerged since the turn of the millennium from East and Southeast Asia. Its author, Ran Ma inquires, thus, into a strand of transnational film-making that converges with Asia’s vibrant yet unevenly developed independent film movements amidst global neo-liberalism. As this book traces, these projects bear witness to and are shaped by the ongoing historical processes of inter-Asia interaction characterized by geopolitical realignment, migration, and population displacement. This study on contemporary independent film-making in Asia, therefore, threads together case studies of internationally acclaimed filmmakers, artists, and collectives, such as Zhang Lu, Kuzoku, Li Ying, Takamine Go, Yamashiro Chikako, and Midi Z. The trans-border journeys and cinematic imaginations of the latter, as Ran Ma argues, disrupt static identity affiliations built upon national, ethnic, or cultural differences. This border-crossing film-making can also be viewed as both an aesthetic practice and a political act, reframing how people, places, and their interconnections can be perceived. Thereby, these film-makers, this book suggests, open up possibilities to re-imagine Asia and its connections to globalization.

Ma, Ran. Independent Filmmaking across Borders in Contemporary Asia. Amsterdam University Press, 2019. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.
Ma, Ran. Independent Filmmaking across Borders in Contemporary Asia. Amsterdam University Press, 2019. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Topical Spotlight

As Ma indicates in his introduction to this work, “[i]ndependent border-crossing cinema, which here includes both fiction  film and documentary, is closely analyzed in the first chapter, […] at the conjuncture of inter-Asian culture and media  productions and the new waves of independent film movements across Asia  since the late 1980s and early 1990s” (Ma, 2019, p. 22). While theoretically leveraging the notions of translocalism, transnationalism and postcolonialism, Ma analyzes border-crossing Asian film-making in terms of the connections it establishes between different locations, the articulations of aesthetic positionings in conjunction with minority identity and the larger-scale discussions of diasporic, intercultural cinema, as presented across international film festival events (Ma, 2019, p. 22).

For instance, Ma approaches the works of the Korean-Chinese filmmaker Zhang Lu, such as Scenery (2013), as instances of translocal authorship that emphasizes multi-layered identities, translocal movements and globalization processes. Likewise, the cinema of independent Japanese filmmakers Tomita Katsuya and Aizawa Toranosuke, and their colleagues, e.g., Saudade (2011), features marginalized figures, part-time workers, rap musicians and foreign immigrants as intertwined subjectivities that draw on disparate temporalities and affectivities, while gaining in visibility. This book also focuses on Japan-based displaced subjects, in order to delineate how they articulating a plural sense of national or cultural  belonging across the international sinophone community. While drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s notion of time-image, Ma interprets film narratives as texts with heterogeneous layers that cut across the boundaries between the real, the imagined and the virtual. This also allows for examining Jacques Rancière’s philosophical points concerning aesthetics in relation to border-crossing film-making, such as in Human Flow (2017) by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei that concentrates on the global refugee crisis and illegal immigration trajectories (Ma, 2019, pp. 23-25).

Similarly, Chris Berry and Laikwan Pang (2010, pp. 89-90) have previously argued that, as regards contemporary Chinese cinema, its significant restructuring under the impact of globalization needs to be put into the context of global film production and movements, while investigating the thematic, aesthetic and stylistic layers that are internal to this accumulating oeuvre,  as these cut across geographic boundaries, e.g., between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This approach also places an emphasis on the cultural openness and multiple identities that the umbrella notion of the Chinese cinema increasingly encompasses, as it participate in global cultural production relations (Berry and Pang, 2010, p. 90).

Conclusion

Ma’s book is an important contribution to field of transnational cultural studies, as it concentrates on East Asian cinema. Furthermore, as the boundaries between mainstream and independent cinema, art and cinematography,  and national and transnational film-making are becoming blurred, the transnational cinema demands additional interrogation, particularly in the context of globalization processes and cultural and economic logics on which these are based (Berry, 2013, p. 453).


Published by Amsterdam University Press in 2019, Independent Filmmaking across Borders in Contemporary Asia, authored by Ran Ma, has become available in Open Access at the Open Research Library in 2020, as part of the KU Select 2019: HSS Frontlist Books collection.


References

Berry, Chris. “Transnational Culture in East Asia and the Logic of Assemblage.” Asian Journal of Social Science 41, no. 5 (2013): 453-470. Accessed November 23, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23654795.

Berry, Chris, and Laikwan Pang. “Remapping Contemporary Chinese Cinema Studies.” China Review 10, no. 2 (2010): 89-108. Accessed November 23, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23462331.

Ma, Ran. Independent Filmmaking across Borders in Contemporary Asia. Amsterdam University Press, 2019. Accessed November 23, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.


Featured Image Credits

Avenue of the Stars, Hong Kong, SAR Hong Kong, China, November 23, 2014 | © Courtesy of Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr.

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Topical Spotlights

Learning Spaces, Educational Challenges and Classroom Settings

Though classrooms can be conceived of as autonomous environments, the degree to which they are intertwined with external policy frameworks, social processes and associated activities can be under-appreciated.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


Introduction

In this book, Joachim Broecher explores the question of what can be learnt from a teacher’s journal about working with challenging youth groups. Focusing on the Training Room Program in German schools, Creating Learning Spaces, also seeks to inquire qualitatively into the factors that impede the development of an empowering learning culture. In addition to also presenting relevant quantitative data, Broecher’s wealth of qualitative observations, materials and transcripts attempt to capture the experiences that transpire during a train trip to the sea with an unruly crew of school boys. This mixed-method study also includes travelogue elements, especially in the chapter that sketches what happens when children plan a trip on their own. Based on his accumulated experiences in teaching, Broecher has incorporated creative, visual aspects into this monograph. Thus, this selection of educational case studies illustrates formative and inspirational moments from the author’s career as a teacher and father.

Broecher, Joachim. Creating Learning Spaces. 1st ed. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2019. Accessed November 19, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.
Broecher, Joachim. Creating Learning Spaces. 1st ed. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2019. Accessed November 19, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Topical Spotlight

For this study, as the theoretical backdrop serve the previous studies that focus on fostering “caring teacher-student relationship (e.g., Cefai 2013; Cooper 2011; Garza 2009; Kniveton 2004), responding with sensitivity to the developmental needs of the students (e.g., Boorn et al., 2010; Boxall 2010; Colley 2009; Doyle 2003), tuning into the students’  life experiences and learning preferences (e.g., O’Connor et al., 2011),  and [proposing] a teaching approach that also makes use of humor (e.g., Rogers  2013)” (Broecher, 2019, p. 12). Similarly, the study by Dipane Hlalele et al. (2015, p. 169) deploys case study methodology to explore student-level learning outcomes, community engagement practices and teacher-level leadership initiatives, in order to indicate that adaptive instructor practices can stimulated a shared sense of learning ownership.

Likewise, Terri Seddon (2016, p. 563) approaches the classroom environment as a space for conceptual orientation, in which policy imperatives, social norms and learning practices are transmitted to students. Thus, regardless of students’ age, education settings can become locations, in which structural contradictions and conflicts of social or economic interests, such as between globalization and sustainability, play out (Seddon, 2016, p. 563). Classrooms are, consequently, socially and historically entangled in their larger contexts, which also affects learning processes as diachronic and transdiscursive phenomena (Seddon, 2016, pp. 569-570). For this reason, Broecher’s (2019) study resorts to the detail-rich case study method, since it allows the delineation and mapping of the vernacular discourses that educators encounter in classroom and related settings.

This particularly applies to at-risk students that, on the one hand, may experience unique educational challenges, and, on the other hand, are likely to require the application of transformational pedagogical approaches that emphasize interpersonal trust and communication (Roberts, 2011, pp. viii-xi). Moreover, the inclusion of special need students into classroom environments can also demand their transformation into active learning spaces that places a premium on student engagement, future readiness and collaborative learning, such as through a focus on meaningful learning experiences with flexible in-person and online delivery options (Basye et al., 2012, p. 1).

Conclusion

Similar to a growing body of academic literature (Boys, 2011, p. 1), Broecher (2019) argues in favor of re-envisioning classrooms as learning spaces that are positioned at the intersection of theoretical, social and personal concerns. This approach can also increase their pedagogical effectiveness, as policy and conceptual assumptions about learning processes increasingly encompass associated social contexts, informal, non-formalized underpinnings and non-compulsory activities.


Published by Transcript Verlag in 2019, Creating Learning Spaces, authored by Joachim Broecher, has become available in Open Access at the Open Research Library in 2020, as part of the KU Select 2019: HSS Frontlist Books collection.


References

Broecher, Joachim. Creating Learning Spaces: Experiences from Educational Fields. 1st ed. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2019. Retrieved from https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Hlalele, Dipane, Desiree Manicom, Julia Preece, and Cias T. Tsotetsi. “Strategies and Outcomes of Involving University Students in Community Engagement: An Adaptive Leadership Perspective.” Journal of Higher Education in Africa / Revue De L’enseignement Supérieur En Afrique 13, no. 1-2 (2015): 169-192. Accessed November 17, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/jhigheducafri.13.1-2.169.

Seddon, Terri. “Sustainable Development and Social Learning: Re-contextualising the Space of Orientation.” International Review of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift Für Erziehungswissenschaft / Revue Internationale De L’Education 62, no. 5 (2016): 563-86. Accessed November 17, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44980048.

Roberts, Jay W.. Beyond Learning by Doing : Theoretical Currents in Experiential Education, Taylor & Francis Group, 2011. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Basye, Dale, et al. Get Active: Reimagining Learning Spaces for Student Success, International Society for Tech in Ed., 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Boys, Jos. Towards Creative Learning Spaces: Re-Thinking the Architecture of Post-Compulsory Education, Taylor & Francis Group, 2011. ProQuest Ebook Central.


Featured Image Credits

Informal Self-Study Area, Library, City Campus West, Northumbria University, Haymarket, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK, October 17, 2006 | © Courtesy of Jisc infoNet/Flickr.

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Topical Spotlights

Intergenerational Transmission, Social Reproduction and Individual Agency

This collected volume explores cross-generationally, and across different societies, countries and cultures, the practices of parenthood, their urban contents and attendant aspects, such as child care, expert knowledge and personal histories.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


Introduction

The volume edited by Siân Pooley and Kaveri Qureshi (2016a) on the inter-generational aspects of reproductive cultures engages with recent scholarly literature that has identified modern “parenting” as an expert-led practice. From this perspective, parenting begins with pre-pregnancy decisions, entails distinct types of intimate relationships and places intense burdens on mothers and increasingly on fathers too. While exploring within diverse historical, geographical and global contexts, such as Uganda, China and Antilles, how men and women make—and break—relations between generations when becoming parents, this volume brings together innovative qualitative research by anthropologists, historians, and sociologists. Its chapters focus closely on inter-generational transmission, while demonstrating its importance for understanding how individuals become parents and rear children.

In their introduction, Siân Pooley and Kaveri Qureshi (2016b, p. 2) indicate that “[a]ll of the chapters [in this volume] focus on the intimate powers of being, doing, knowing and remembering. In doing this, we build on a second set of pioneering feminist studies that examine how women learnt socially-constructed and historically-specific forms of motherhood, and their ambivalence about the resulting roles that they were expected to take on (Chodorow 1978; Kristeva 1975; Rich 1976). Like Kitzinger (1996), Brannen, Moss and Mooney (2004) and Thomson et al. (2011), we consider how intergenerational interactions – between fathers, mothers and sons, as much as between mothers and daughters – were profoundly gendered. ”

Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.
Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Topical Highlight

Pooley and Qureshi (2016b, p. 4), likewise, argue that reproductive practices, inter-generational interactions and cultural transmission are embedded into social narratives that tend to be linguistically and historically specific in their implications. This book, thus, seeks to explore reproduction in terms of the practices involving the production and nurturance of children. It also probes into the negotiations of social arrangements, culturally histories and the place of traditions in relation to its topic (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, p. 5). The emergent reconceptualization of reproduction, as a social and cultural phenomenon, that this collected volume proffers both echoes and departs from the notion of social reproduction anchored in Marxist, feminist and sociological traditions, as it seeks to bring to light the active agency of the subjects of reproductive practices, such as children (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, p. 7).

Additionally, the diverse contributions to this volume, e.g., the chapter on same-sex parenthood by Pralat (2016), the chapter on non-marital pregnancies in Japan by Hertog (2016), intergenerational infant care in Amazonia by Rahman (2016) and kinship ties and male ageing in the Antilles by Heron (2016), invite a comparative perspective that explores parenthood both synchronically and diachronically (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, p. 8). This volume, therefore, collects disparate case studies that also offer more fundamental insights into parenthood practices, such as about their cross-generational hybridization. By the same token, this volume also allows the notion of generation to be more sharply delineated theoretically, such as in terms of collective memory and the relationships between the present and the past (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, p. 12).

Another topic this volume thematizes is the impact of modernization on the the intergenerational transmission of reproductive practices and cultures, especially in the West (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, p. 18). In this respect, the development of modern states, the colonial legacies and the industrial development have had profound impacts on the regulation of reproductive practices, the transformation of parenting practices and the shaping of parental agency by bodies of external, scientific expertise, such as that provided by state institutions (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, pp. 20-21).

Conclusion

By exploring the simultaneity of generational social roles, this volume also brings to light the complexity of attendant familial and societal dynamics. Though this can take the shape of intergenerational inheritances and their repudiation, this work also strives to avoid the prism of social and generational determinism, as it observes the engagements of reproductive cultures with the practices and experiences of preceding generations (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, pp. 14-15). Thus, the various contributions to this volume explore the processes of inter-generational transmission in terms of normative expectations, moral judgement, habitual practices and collective memory (Pooley and Qureshi, 2016b, p. 22). As Pooley and Qureshi conclude (2016b, p. 31), “[e]fforts at passing-on are continually refracted and reoriented by men, women and children as they, selectively and critically, draw on the models provided by older kin and as they apply these to their own diverse children and unique circumstances.”


Published by Berghahn Books in 2016, Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures,, edited by Pooley and Qureshi, has become available in Open Access at the Open Research Library in 2020, as part of the KU Select 2019: HSS Backlist Books collection.


References

Heron, Adom Philogene. Becoming Papa: Kinship, Senescence and the Ambivalent Inward Journeys of Ageing Men in the Antilles. In Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds.  pp. 253-276. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Hertog, Ekaterina. Intergenerational Negotiations of Non-marital Pregnancies in Contemporary Japan. In Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures, pp. 114-134. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures. Berghahn Books, 2016a. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi. Introduction. In Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures, pp. 1-42. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Pralat, Robert. Between Future Families and Families of Origin: Talking about Gay Parenthood across Generations. In Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures, pp. 43-64. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.

Rahman, Elizabeth. Intergenerational Mythscapes and Infant Care in Northwestern Amazonia. In Pooley, Siân, and Kaveri Qureshi, eds. Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures, pp. 181-206. Berghahn Books, 2016. Accessed November 6, 2020. https://openresearchlibrary.org.


Featured Image Credits

Intergenerational convesation, May 8, 2009 | © Courtesy of B Hartford J Strong/Flickr.


Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "Intergenerational Transmission, Social Reproduction and Individual Agency," in Discussions Générales Open, 06/11/2020, https://dgo.hypotheses.org/801.
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Open Access News

Pluto Journals Launches Pilot to Flip its Entire Journal Portfolio to Open Access Using the Subscribe-to-Open Model

An Open Access initiative in collaboration with Knowledge Unlatched and support from Libraria.


Pluto Journals, the social sciences publisher based in London, UK, has announced a pilot to transform its complete journal portfolio of 21 titles to Open Access (OA) from 2021 onwards. The project “Pluto Open Journals” will be realised in partnership with Knowledge Unlatched and supported by the conceivers of the ground-breaking Subscribe-to-Open (S2O) model Libraria, a group of anthropologists and other social scientists committed to Open Access. Pluto Journals will be asking those libraries and institutions currently subscribing to any of the journals to renew for 2021 on a S2O basis, thus, contributing to making these journals completely free to readers and authors all over the world. The flip is, furthermore, supported by JSTOR, who will continue to provide the hosting service for the project.

“The pilot is a great example of how journals in the humanities and social sciences can move to Open Access with the support of their current subscribers,” says Stanford University Professor John Willinsky, member of Libraria’s Executive Committee and founder of the Public Knowledge Project. “We are pleased to support this ground-breaking endeavor from Pluto Journals, which demonstrates how readily a complete journal portfolio can be made Open Access by working with those institutions who already value the publications.”

“We are convinced that publishing our portfolio of journals Open Access will greatly benefit the global scholarly community and our editors are especially keen to find equitable Open Access solutions for their authors,” says Pluto Journal’s Managing Director Roger Van Zwanenberg. “We now appeal to subscribing libraries to back the model, which should also showcase a sustainable solution to Open Access across publications and publishers of all sizes. With librarian support, we hope this model can be adopted more widely as an alternative to the ‘Publish and Read’ Big Deals that are starting to dominate the Open Access landscape to the detriment of smaller-scale journals.”

In addition to relying on its usual subscription agents, Pluto Journals will also be supported by Knowledge Unlatched in introducing the Subscribe-to-Open model to libraries. By building on the current subscription processes, the S2O model involves librarians in their existing roles as decision-makers and curators as to which journals merit support, in this case on behalf of readers worldwide as the journals move to Open Access.

Edited by Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Libraría ateneo, July 16, 2013 | © Courtesy of Mariana Heinz/Flickr.

This post is based on a press release that originally appeared in knowledgeunlatched.org, 05/08/2020, https://knowledgeunlatched.org/2020/08/pluto-journals-launches-pilot-to-flip-its-entire-journal-portfolio-to-oa-using-the-s2o-model/.

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Topical Spotlights

The Output and Impact Factor Performance of Open Access Journal Portfolio of De Gruyter between 2014 and 2018

As output and performance data concerning De Gruyter’s Open Access journals for recent years suggest, launching journals as Open Access titles increasingly serves as significant precondition for attaining high levels of impact factor performance.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


According to Scopus database information, in 2014 De Gruyter Open, an erstwhile Open Access imprint of De Gruyter, had only 47 Open Access journals in its portfolio with a cumulative total of documents published in the preceding three years of 3,756 articles. For this year, SCImago database lists 90 Open Access journals, which includes 45 De Gruyter Open titles. This largely corresponds to the information of Scopus. Out of the current Open Access journal list of De Gruyter, 23 items were accumulated in 2014.

In 2015 the Open Access journal portfolio of De Gruyter has reached the title count of 71 journals, while reflecting portfolio growth of 51% for this journal group. According to SCImago data, in 2015 De Gruyter has 97 Open Access titles in its portfolio, out of which 47 titles were published by De Gruyter Open.

In step with its overall growth, the Open Access journal portfolio has demonstrated a growing output of 4,759 in the preceding three years, an increase of 26% as compared to the figure for 2014. In 2016, according to Scopus data, De Gruyter has published 154 Open Access journals. Similarly, according to SCImago data, in 2016 in its Open Access portfolio De Gruyter has held 114 journals, including 61 De Gruyter Open titles.

In 2017, as Scopus data indicate, De Gruyter has published 214 Open Access journals. Likewise, according to SCImago data, in 2017 De Gruyter’s portfolio included 121 Open Access journals, which comprised 67 De Gruyter Open titles.

As compared to 2014, in 2018 the cumulative output of Open Access journals for the three preceding years (2017-2015), as recorded by Scopus, has grown more than three times, while attaining the sum of 12,096 articles. As SCImago data indicates, in 2018 De Gruyter has published 124 Open Access journals in total, which includes 69 legacy De Gruyter Open titles.

This corresponds to the information form the Scopus database, according to which in 2018 De Gruyter had 82 Open Access journals in its portfolio. For the years 2019-2020, De Gruyter is slated to add 18 items to its Open Access portfolio.

This growth dynamics also translates into impact factor (IF) performance levels, as from 2017 and 2018, whether a journal was launched as an Open Access title has started to make a significant positive difference for IF levels. From 2018, the Open Access journals with high levels of papers published have also tended to exhibit high IF levels as well.

However, the performance profiles of Open Access journals in the domains of humanities and social sciences as opposed to those in the areas of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics can be expected to remain significantly different, such as because of differences in their output levels.

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Printing the past: 3-D archaeology and the first Americans, December 13, 2016 | © Courtesy of Matt Christenson/Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington/Flickr.


Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "The Output and Impact Factor Performance of Open Access Journal Portfolio of De Gruyter between 2014 and 2018," in Discussions Générales Open, 16/12/2019, https://dgo.hypotheses.org/747.
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Open Access Sector Topical Spotlights

SCImago Journal Rank and Source Normalized Impact per Paper Performance of De Gruyter’s Open Access Journals

Similar to an increase in the average SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) levels of De Gruyter’s Open Access journals between 2015 and 2016, in 2018 the SJR and SNIP metrics has exceeded their levels for previous years, such as 2016. At the same time, cross-indicator variation in the movements and levels of these impact metrics is likely to be due to the changing composition of the Open Access journal portfolio, as represented by Scopus, and the differences in the methodology of their calculation.

A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.


The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator measures both the journal-level citation numbers and the importance of journals in which external citations appear. Similar to CiteScore, for a specific year, the SJR measure is based on an average estimation of weighted citations the journal receives during the preceding three years. Higher levels of SJR values correspond to a greater degree of journal importance. The difference between the SJR metric and the Impact Factor (IF) consists in being based on article-level average citations from the previous two-year period (Falagas, Kouranos, Arencibia-Jorge, & Karageorgopoulos, 2008).

The Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) metric was launched in 2012. This metric is calculated as a ratio of the raw impact per paper and the citation potential divided by the median database citation potential. SNIP aims to measure a contextual journal-level impact both across and within subject fields. The SNIP metric is perceived as a relatively robust journal impact measure (Moed, 2010).

In 2014, the average SJR performance of Open Access journals stood at 0.251, based on Scopus data. In 2014, the best performing Open Access journal has shown the SJR of 0.665. This figure is lower than its 2015 counterpart for Open Access titles, which indicates a tendency for improving maximum SJR level performance for the 2014-2015 period. In 2015, the best performing Open Access journal has, thus, exhibited the SJR of 0.773.

Excluding trade journal data, in 2016 the average SJR performance of Open Access journals has progressed to the level of 0.311. In 2016, the best performing Open Access journal has remarkably attained the SJR of 2.015. In 2018, the Open Access titles of De Gruyter have exceeded the average SJR performance levels of previous years. According to Scopus data, in 2018 the average SJR level of the Open Access journal portfolio has improved to 0.333.

In 2015 the average SNIP performance of Open Access journals has attained the level of 0.453. According to primary data sourced from Scopus, in 2015 the best performing Open Access journal has reached the SNIP of 1.659. The 2016 figures for the Open Access have exceeded their previous-year counterparts. Save for trade journal data, in 2016 the average SNIP performance of Open Access journals stood at 0.599. In 2016, based on Scopus information, the best performing Open Access journal has reached the SNIP of 1.887, which is lower than the level of this indicator for 2017. In 2017, the best performing Open Access journal has reached the SNIP of 2.813, which is higher than the corresponding figure for 2016.

These findings contrast strongly with the average IF performance of the current portfolio of Open Access journals that De Gruyter sports. The average IF levels have consistently increased from 0.733 in 2014 to 1.443 in 2018.

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: University of El Geneina, West Darfur, November 12, 2012 | © Courtesy of Albert González Farran/UNAMID/Flickr.


Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "SCImago Journal Rank and Source Normalized Impact per Paper Performance of De Gruyter’s Open Access Journals," in Discussions Générales Open, 10/12/2019, https://dgo.hypotheses.org/727.

References

Falagas, M. E., Kouranos, V. D., Arencibia-Jorge, R., & Karageorgopoulos, D. E. (2008). Comparison of SCImago journal rank indicator with journal impact factor. The FASEB journal, 22(8), 2623-2628.

Moed, H. F. (2010). Measuring contextual citation impact of scientific journals. Journal of Informetrics, 4(3), 265-277.

Categories
Open Engineering Topical Spotlights

Innovation Management, Balanced Scorecard and Six Sigma Methodologies

On February 26, 2019, João M. F. Calado, José Gomes Requeijo, António Abreu and Ana Dias have published an article entitled “Management of Innovation Ecosystems Based on Six Sigma Business Scorecard” in Open Engineering.

A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.


In their paper, João M. F. Calado, José Gomes Requeijo, António Abreu and Ana Dias have concentrated on “the principles of Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard [BSC]” (41), in order to demonstrate that “the BSC ensures that top management pays attention at any time to the specific elements of the Six Sigma implementation that are not working as planned” (41). As these researchers explain, “[a]t the end of the 1980’s the methodology […] known as Six Sigma was developed at Motorola. This methodology presents the limit value of 3.4 per million as an admissible value for non-compliant production. It identifies “two states” in a productive process, the first called “short term” and the second “long term”. In the first, it is considered that the process is stable and produces items with mean µ and standard deviation σ [sigma]. In the second, […] it is assumed that the process average can range from ± 1.5σ” (43).

Therefore, as this article explores, in the framework of this methodology, “the quality level (sigma level) of a given process is expressed as a function of σ” (43). Similarly, as these scholars indicate, “the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) [developed as a management tool by Robert Kaplan and David Norton] is […] a structured model that not only complements the traditional financial indicators but also relates the long-term strategy to short-term interventions. The BSC has emerged as a decision support approach at the strategic management level” (45). Furthermore, as Calado, Requeijo, Abreu and Dias specify, “[b]ased on the Six Sigma philosophy and the BSC approach, Praveen Gupta proposed a Six Sigma Business Scorecard methodology […] that allows management to monitor company performance based on the dimensions of the Balanced Scorecard but through Six Sigma levels” (45-46).

Relying on their analysis results in the context of applying this management methodology to collaborative business networks, such as “collaborative innovation ecosystem[s]” (49), these authors conclude that “the BSC is a tool with great capacity to integrate and interact, in a logical and coherent way, with a set of other tools used by organizations, such as the Six Sigma approach” (50). Calado et al., likewise, add that, whereas in their study the BSC has been deployed as “an instrument to assess the degree of alignment of the organization with its strategic direction” (50), the “Six Sigma strategy worked as a way to operationalize the necessary improvements for this strategic alignment” (50), while providing “a link between strategy and quality initiatives” (50).

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: IMG_2237 Holistic Management – Östling on Scania Leadership 1531, May 31, 2011 | © Courtesy of Johan Lange/Flickr.


Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "Innovation Management, Balanced Scorecard and Six Sigma Methodologies," in Discussions Générales Open, 04/12/2019, https://dgo.hypotheses.org/711.

Reference

Calado, João MF, et al. “Management of innovation ecosystems based on six sigma business scorecard.” Open Engineering 9.1 (2019): 41-51.

 

Categories
Topical Spotlights

De Gruyter and Kinokuniya Enter Exclusive Ebook Partnership for Japan

De Gruyter has appointed Books Kinokuniya as its exclusive distributor for ebooks in Japan, building on De Gruyter’s and Kinokuniya’s decades-long successful cooperation in providing content to Japanese institutions.

A Blog Post by Eric Merkel-Sobotta.


With immediate effect, Books Kinokuniya, the renowned Japanese book distributor founded in 1927 and headquartered in Tokyo, will promote and distribute the De Gruyter ebook portfolio in Japan for the next three years, with an auto renewal option for an additional period of three years. Japanese universities, colleges, schools, governmental institutions and libraries can now source De Gruyter ebooks with rapidity and convenience through Kinokuniya.

In this regard, Tony Ng, De Gruyter’s Sales Director for Asia Pacific, has added that “[t]he market for ebooks in Japan is growing and through Kinokuniya’s extensive network of sales people […] [De Gruyter is] confident to make it much easier for Japanese institutions to access and take advantage of […] [its] wide range of content including Partner Publishers. This agreement will further bolster […] [De Gruyter’s] efforts to make […] [its] publications easily available to scholars and researchers in Japan.”

Keijiro Mori, Vice President of Kinokuniya and responsible for Import and Distribution as well as International Business Development, has also expressed its pride on becoming “the first Japanese bookstore appointed as an exclusive distributor of a major international academic publisher’s eBook service. De Gruyter is one of the world’s leading academic publishers, with high-quality content covering a wide range of academic fields.  Kinokuniya is currently expanding its eBook portfolio to accommodate […] [its] customers’ growing demand, and […] excited to have De Gruyter’s ebooks as a central part of it.”

Written by Eric Merkel-Sobotta

Edited by Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Kinokuniya Books, September 19, 2009 | © Courtesy of Hong/Flickr.

This post is based on a press release that originally appeared in degruyter.com, 20/11/2019, https://www.degruyter.com/dg/newsitem/358/de-gruyter-and-kinokuniya-enter-exclusive-ebook-partnership-for-japan.

Categories
Open Physics Topical Spotlights

Digital Rendering, Image Rasterization, and Ray Tracing Heuristics

On October 4, 2019, Patryk Walewski, Tomasz Gałaj, and Dominik Szajerman have published an article entitled “Heuristic based real-time hybrid rendering with the use of rasterization and ray tracing method” in Open Physics.

A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.


In their paper, Patryk Walewski, Tomasz Gałaj, and Dominik Szajerman present “a hybrid approach for real-time rendering using both rasterization and ray tracing using heuristic” (527) that are commonly deployed for achieving photorealistic visual effects in interactive digital environments, such as games, in real-time. As these authors explicate, “[t]he first rendering method that was widely used in generating images in real-time was rendering using rasterization […] not only in computer graphics, but also in scientific or database field […][, while] more photorealistic results in rendering images […] [could be attained via] ray tracing” (527). This article, thus, discusses “[t]he initial work introducing full recursive ray tracing idea […] proposed […] by Turner Whitted […]. In this algorithm, primary rays were responsible for geometry detection and base surface color calculations, where the secondary rays were responsible for additional effects – reflections, refractions and shadows” (528).

As these researchers indicate, “[r]ecently, two promising APIs [(application programming interfaces)] were […] released that provide support for implementing GPU [(graphics processing unit)-based] ray tracing algorithms. Those are DirectX Ray Tracing API (DXR) and NVIDIA RTX API [, which is a graphics rendering development platform]” (530). This article, consequently, describes a rendering solution that “allows rendering scenes using hybrid rendering [algorithms], in which four stages can be distinguished” (530), which comprise a rasterization stage, a heuristic stage, a ray tracing stage and a blending stage. To examine the correctness this solution, Walewski, Gałaj, and Szajerman “have performed two sets of tests each performed in four different scenes” (529).

The results of these tests have indicated that the “presented solution is capable of making ray tracing a method that may be used in real-time interactive applications, especially with the use of high-end graphic cards […] [with greater] computing power” (541). As this article suggests, the use of contemporary high-performing GPUs makes it possible “to perform ray tracing along with rasterization stage and maintain the real-time characteristic of [its] application[s]” (541-542).

By Pablo Markin


Featured Image Credits: Photoshop Fixes: Challenge 50, March 26, 2010 | © Courtesy of Matt Lindley/Flickr.


Cite this article as: Pablo Markin, "Digital Rendering, Image Rasterization, and Ray Tracing Heuristics," in Discussions Générales Open, 23/11/2019, https://dgo.hypotheses.org/651.

Reference

Walewski, Patryk, Tomasz Gałaj, and Dominik Szajerman. “Heuristic based real-time hybrid rendering with the use of rasterization and ray tracing method.” Open Physics 17.1 (2019): 527-544.