Lambert Academic Publishing – is it a real academic publishing?

Recently I received emails from Lambert Academic Publishing OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG.  I was surprised and happy that they came across a conference papers I wrote early this year. They were interested in my original work and publishing it to a book. Although it’s originally a working project report with me as a solo author, I knew I need to get agreement from the department first. With the agreement, I sent the report to the publisher as I’m also pleased to let people view my work and comment on it.

However, some thoughts I didn’t know why but occurred were warning me be careful. Within a week, my own instinct blows my overheated mind away.

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Why my paper? why me?
  • They responded my emails quickly. By my experience, journal article reviewers will have at least two weeks to review an article. How can they read my whole report in three days without any comment and modifications required, and agree to publish it if I wish?
  • I accidentally delayed to register in their system. They then sent me another email to chase up.
  • Is it proper to publish my working report to a book?  I may need to get advice from professionals in this area.
  • I read their T&C carefully and found it sounds very easy to publish my own book and sale it on Amazon.  It seems all proofreading and quality checking are upon to the author his/herself.
  • My concerns were will people really buy the report if they knew they can get an e-copy from me directly. How many people will buy a report about popular technologies, especially we all know technology changes so fast.
  • I’m confident that my report is useful and good enough to distribute. However, what do I want from this publication? An academic credit? If so, why not go for a more well-known publisher? From academic people’s point of view, how brilliant the book will be? If it’s not good enough, it will add bad credits to my career, will it? For me, having a bad published book is worse than not having a published book.
  • I qualified in Information and Knowledge Management, The ideas such as “intellectual property”, “copyright” and “free information” are always in my mind. I searched online and found a handful of useful blog entries and discussions about this publishing service. It’s confirmed me to some extent.

I, Librarian

I, Librarian is a PDF manager, a free and open source web application, which enables individual researchers or a small group of researchers to create an annotated library of scientific PDF articles. It enables smart browsing and fast searching in reference data and PDF files, and includes an advanced tool for mining scientific literature from PubMed, PubMed Central, NASA ADS, arXiv, IEEE Xplore, JSTOR® and HighWire Press®.

Citation software

I have used EndNote for many years. Some other popular citation applications I know are:

  • citeulike – a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references.
  • Mendeley – a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.
  • RefWorks – an online research management, writing and collaboration tool.
  • Reference Manager – is most commonly used by people who want to share a central database of references and need to have multiple users adding and editing records at the same time. (Windows only)
  • Zotero – a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Today I came across a couple of free citation applications and feel it’s good to add a list of free citation tools into this blog.

  • BibMe – a free citation generator developed at Carnegie Mellon University, for APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian styles.
  • BibTeX is a free tool for formatting lists of references, typically used together with the LaTeX document preparation system.
  • Citavi Free – no charge for up to 100 references.
  • Citethisforme – it is free and automatically formats your bibliographies and works cited correctly, for APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard styles.
  • cite2write – helps you learn how to reference properly.
  • Easybib – a free automatic bibliography and citation maker, for MLA, APA, or Chicago styles.
  • Essay Writer’s Harvard Referencing Generator is a free tool available to anyone who needs guidance on the proper format of Harvard style references.
  • Harvard Generator is a free tool that allows you to quickly and easily format references and sources in the correct Harvard Referencing Format.
  • JabRef – an open source bibliography reference manager. It supports the LaTeX bibliography style database initiative to build a searchable database of BibTeX style files, organized by journal names.
  • KnightCite – is free web-based citation maker, maintained by the Hekman Library at Calvin College, for MLA, APA and Chicago styles.
  • OttoBib – it’s free and easy, for MLA, APA, Chicago,Turabian, BibTeX and Wikipedia styles.
  • refbase – a web-based, multiple users interface for managing scientific literature & citations in various formats (Open Source GPL).
  • ScotchBib – automatic Harvard referencing generator maintained by Scotch College.

Other useful resource:

Information search websites

We often see terms such as “gateway”, “portal”, or “virtual libraries” when we search information.

To some extent, subject gateways refers to virtual libraries, and has the same meaning to subject trees. A “gateway” is a quality-controlled service that aims to help a community of users to discover high quality, relevant Web-based information quickly and effectively. It is a selection of resources via an intellectual process, within a pre-defined collection scope and an intellectually-constructed structure for browsing. It provides online links to independent third party sources and redirects users to the holders of the original digital material.


  • INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
  • BUBL Link is a catalogue of selected Internet resources covering all academic subject areas and catalogued according to DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification). Not sure why it’s not updated any more since April 2011.

A “web portal” is a website for a specific audience that aggregates an array of content and provides a variety of services including search engines, directories, news, e-mail and chat rooms.


  • CoolCite is a CV based academic portal.  It aims to support researchers and allow the sharing of ideas while supporting collaborations with peers. Users can access updated and relevant information for conducting innovative research. The portal supplies links to scientific associations, departments, disciplines and various forms of publications.
  • Excite is a collection of Internet sites and services owned by IAC Search & Media, which is a subsidiary of InterActive Corporation (IAC). Launched in 1994, it is an online service offering a variety of content, including an Internet portal, a search engine, a web-based email, instant messaging, stock quotes, and a customizable user homepage.
  • iGoogle (formerly Google Personalized Homepage) is a service of Google, and is a customizable Ajax-based startpage or personal web portal.

On my blog, I see gateway and portal resources as repositories, which is a selection of resources that are organised by certain categories.


Internet and intellectual property

Heard the news about the Sheffield Hallam University undergraduate accused of infringing film copyright and could be extradited to America to face trial over  copyright infringement accusations.

In terms of what the news said, I’m immediately concerned about my own blogs. As the blogs provide hundreds of links and resources which point people to other “useful” sites (that is, I feel it’s useful for distribution).  Although it’s all for the information sharing purpose, might it infringe some country’s copyright law?

Need to be extra careful now.  I know that intellectual property law (e.g., copyright, trademark, patents) is compulsory course content for LIS and CS students. However, as the Internet is widespread used, should it be more emphasised through education and social networking?

There are some resources related to copyright and piracy act:

Detecting fake resources

I was trying to renew my EHIC card and found it wasn’t free any more. Is it? I searched some discussions (e.g., here) and realised that websites like this and this are spoof sites. They charge you £9 plus for the online service. How annoying it is!

As such thing happens, I wonder if detecting fake resources will be a part of information/digital literacy skills?

On the Phil Bradley’s website, it lists “Fake websites or spoof websites. Examples of false sites to aid in evaluating internet resources”.

To avoid unpleasant online experience, I would suggest:

  • If you have any doubts of the website/email, don’t continue! Do some research and ask other people.
  • If you don’t know much about the service shown on the website, don’t carry on! Do some research, read the Terms and Conditions, or ask other people.
  • Be suspicious of any website/email that asks for your personal or financial information.
  • Check the address starts with “https://” rather than just “http://”.
  • Check if the logo or text on the website/email appears in poor resolution.
  • Check if it provides a full UK postal address, location, and telephone number. Phone them and check it out.
  • Install comprehensive security software.
  • Use common sense – ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is’.
  • Educate yourself and keep your awareness of cyber security.

Some research studies :

Other resources: