The Open Review of Bit by Bit, Part 3: Increased access to knowledge

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This post is the third post in a three part series about the Open Review of Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age.  This post describes how Open Review led to increased access to knowledge.  In particular, I’ll provide information about the general readership patterns, and I’ll specifically focus on readership of the versions of the manuscript that were machine translated into more than 100 languages.  The other posts in this series describe how Open Review led to a better book and higher sales.

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The Open Review of Bit by Bit, part 2: Higher sales

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This post is the second in a three part series about the Open Review of Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age.  This post describes how Open Review led to higher sales.  The other posts in this series describe how Open Review led to a better book and increased access to knowledge.

Before talking about sales in more detail, I think I should start by acknowledging that it is a bit unusual for authors to talk about this stuff.  But sales are an important part of the Open Review process because of one simple and inescapable fact: publishers need revenue. My editor is amazing, and she’s spent a lot of time making Bit by Bit better, as have her colleagues that do production and design.  These people need to be paid salaries, and those salaries have come from somewhere. If you want to work with a publisher—even a non-profit publisher—then you have to be sensitive to the fact that they need revenue to be sustainable.  Fortunately, in addition to better books and increased access to knowledge, Open Review also helps sell books. So for the rest of this post, I’m going to provide a purely economic assessment of the Open Review process.

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The Open Review of Bit by Bit, Part 1: Better books

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My new book Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age is for social scientists who want to do more data science, data scientists who want to do more social science, and anyone interesting in the combination of these two fields.  The central premise of Bit by Bit is that the digital age creates new opportunities for social research.   As I was writing Bit by Bit, I also began thinking about how the digital age creates new opportunities for academic authors and publishers.  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed that we could publish academic books in a more modern way by adopting some of the same techniques that I was writing about.  I knew that I wanted Bit by Bit to be published in this new way, so I created a process called Open Review that has three goals: better books, higher sales, and increased access to knowledge.  Then, much as doctors used to test new vaccines on themselves, I tested Open Review on my own book.

This post is the first in a three part series about the Open Review of Bit by Bit.  This post describes how Open Review led to a better book.  After I explain the mechanics of Open Review, I’ll focus on three ways that Open Review led to a better book: annotations, implicit feedback, and psychological effects.  The other posts in this series describe how Open Review led to higher sales and increased access to knowledge.

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Announcing the Open Review Toolkit

Originally post on Freedom to Tinker

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I’m happy to announce the release of the Open Review Toolkit, open source software that enables you to convert your book manuscript into a website that can be used for Open Review. During the Open Review process everyone can read and annotate your manuscript, and you can collect valuable data to help launch your book. The goals of the Open Review process are better books, higher sales, and increased access to knowledge. In an earlier post, I described some of the helpful feedback that I’ve received during the Open Review of my book Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age.  Now, in this post I’ll describe more about the Open Review Toolkit—which has been generously supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation—and how you can use it for your book.

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Open Review leads to better books

Originally posted on Freedom to Tinker

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My book manuscript, Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age, is now in Open Review. That means that while the book manuscript goes through traditional peer review, I also posted it online for a parallel Open Review. During the Open Review everyone—not just traditional peer reviewers—can read the manuscript and help make it better.

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I think that the Open Review process will lead to better books, higher sales, and increased access to knowledge.  In this blog post, I’d like to describe the feedback that I’ve received during the first month of Open Review and what I’ve learned from the process.

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