The editorial for the last issue occasioned some comment, both by e-mail and personally, either to the effect that, 'I had no idea so much work was involved!', or, from those more involved in journal production, 'Thank you for reminding authors what has to be done'. My experience is certainly that authors have no idea how much work goes into the production of their papers in print or on screen, and probably imagine that the December issue is produced by Santa's elves 😊

To give some idea of what goes on in the final stage, when the papers come into my hands, here's a picture of my progress spreadsheet for the current issue:


Seventeen of the columns identify the actions that must be taken on every paper (but not on every review) and with twenty-six papers from the ISIC conference, plus twelve regular papers, plus seven reviews, even though not all operations were required of every item, this gives a total of more than 600 separate operations to be carried out before the issue appears on your screens. And this does not take into account the supplementary files, for figures, for example, that need to be individually checked and, in some cases re-done to make them more 'professional' in appearance. In total, the current issue has involved attention of some kind being given to a total of 245 files. The March issue will have the final set of ISIC papers, so the whole process will be repeated then, with probably approximately the same number of files.

ISIC Proceedings

The first tranche of ISIC papers, from the meeting in Leeds in September, appear in this issue. For the first time they are designated as a completely separate 'Proceedings', which I think fits the normal approach to conference proceedings, and which we have used with the CoLIS conference, and they are referenced as such in the 'How to cite this paper' section at the end of each paper, for example:

Harviainen, J.T. & Savolainen, R. (2014). Information as capability for action and capital in synthetic worlds. In Proceedings of ISIC, the Information Behaviour Conference, Leeds, 2-5 September, 2014: Part 1, (paper isic12). Retrieved from http://InformationR.net/ir/19-4/isic/isic12.html (Archived by WebCite© at http://www.webcitation.org/6UArcxy2n)

You will see that the ISIC papers, in common with the regular papers, are now archived to Webcite, so that should the journal disappear from the Web in the future, the papers will continue to be available. The journal is also archived by LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe).

The regular papers

The regular papers are twelve in number on this occasion covering the usual wide array of topics: the use of social media in seeking and communicating health information; social question and answer services; information literacy; records management; the visual display of research findings; information use by municipal officials; information behaviouir - of mathematicians, family historians and music record collectors; getting research results to health service managers; and a bibliometric study relating to open access. This last deserves some comment because we publish very little in the way of bibliometric studies. So many submissions in this area provide very little in the way of new insights or new methods, but deal in a very standardised way with a study of a single journal or a particular discipline in one country. We are happy to take submissions that apply bibliometrics in new ways that actually have the potential to make an impact on information practice or that reveal new understanding of researchers' publishing behaviour, but we get few such submissions, which is rather odd, given the extent to which universities are appointing bibliometricians to support their research. The paper published here is of interest because it shows the difference between support for an ideal and actual practice, i.e., the extent to which proponents of open access publish in open access journals - or, rather, fail to publish in open access journals.

The book reviews

I was very impressed with all three books that I reviewed for this issue: the biography of Turing (the virtual founder of computer science) is fascinating and although it tells the story of Enigma at Bletchley Park, it does so in a way that I found refreshingly new. The collection of papers on the future of writing was also an excellent compilation and if you are at all interested in what is going on in publishing, authoring and journalism, you should not miss this book—even at its rather eye-watering price. Finally, Peter Baldwin's The copyright wars, is something I never expected to experience; a readable fascinating account of the history and present condition of copyright! Of course, others have reviewed other books, and I'm sure they were as fascinated by some of them as I was by these, but I didn't think about this until it was too late to get their input!


My thanks, as usual, to my colleagues in the University of Murcia, Jose-Vicente Rodriguez Munoz and Pedro Diaz who prepare the abstracts in Spanish and to the regional Editors, copy-editors and layout editors who help to keep the journal alive. You can read about them here. And a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers.

Professor Tom Wilson, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
December, 2014