Huge C-Span Video Archive

C-Span is about to launch a video archive that will include 160,000 hours of footage it has recorded since the 1980s.  A beta version is now available at

Their site says that “Every event covered by the C-SPAN Networks since 1987” will be available.

Users can keyword search for videos or browse through various categories such as date, topics, or specific programs (Book TV, Washington Journal, etc.)  Those interested in books and authors will find over 8,000 Book TV videos available now.  One nice feature C-Span has included is giving users the ability to create a custom start and endpoint for a video (a “clip”) and generate a hyperlink directly to it. With this you can link people to a specific segment of any video.

Ghostwriting policies at medical schools in the US

PLOS has a new article that examines the academic publishing policies on “authorship, ghostwriting, and conflicts of interest” currently in place at 50 medical schools in the US.  The 50 schools were selected based on their appearance in US News’ Best Medical Schools 2009 list.

Some of the results show that just over half of these top 50 schools do not have a published policy on authorship or ghostwriting and that only 13 of the 50 schools have policies in place that prohibit ghostwriting. The paper has an excellent reference list pointing to other research and writing on the topic of ghostwriting in medical journals.
If you don’t know much about ghostwriting, here’s a good starting point:

Ghostwriting: The Dirty Little Secret of Medical Publishing That Just Got Bigger

Need a scholarly journal article, rent it

Wired Campus reports on DeepDyve, a company that deals in scholarly publishing with a Netflix-like rental model. It offers articles from traditional publishers as well as open access sources.  Open access articles can be viewed for free while individual “premium” articles (from traditional publishers) can be rented for 24 hour period.  Rental prices start at 99 cents. It’s important to note that articles cannot be printed or downloaded, only viewed on screen.

As with Netflix, monthly subscriptions are available: $9.99/20 articles OR $19.99/unlimited articles.


Some of the things I noticed while searching:

–It does not understand DOIs.  Plugging a DOI into the search box won’t find your article like CrossRef would. In some cases it would list the DOI in the citation, so I knew it was there, but finding it using the search was fruitless.

–The date of publication on some (maybe, all?) records pulled from Medline are wrong.  This could be a simple fix.  DeepDyve appears to be incorrectly using Medline’s DA field (date created) as the date of publication instead of using the DP field (date of publication).  Could make cause confusion for those who require accurate citations.

Here’s an example article that appears in both DeepDyve and Medline:

Frost, R., Hartl, T., Christian, R., & Williams, N. (1995). The value of possessions in compulsive hoarding: patterns of use and attachment. Behaviour Research And Therapy, 33(8), 897-902. (view publisher’s citation)

Deep Dyve’s record has the publication date as being December 6, 1995 while the Medline record has it as November 1995. Here’s part of the field view from Medline that shows where DeepDyve’s date originated:

PMID- 7487849
DA  – 19951206
DCOM- 19951206
VI  – 33
IP  – 8
DP  – 1995 Nov
TI  – The value of possessions in compulsive hoarding: patterns of use and attachment.
PG  – 897-902
SO  – Behav Res Ther. 1995 Nov;33(8):897-902.

–Speaking of citations, where are they? No nicely formatted APA or AMA citations here.  Most of the elements you’ll need will be there, just check the date (see above), or run it through CrossRef to verify. There is also a “Download from publisher” link that should take you to the publisher or source.

–The adjustable document viewer can switch quickly into fullscreen mode and offers zoom control. The big buttons to navigate from page to page are nice and easy to hit.

The service is listed as being in beta so expect kinks along the way.  Will be interested to see how it develops.