Avoiding the Heron’s Way: Introduction

When I gave this talk at the local WiLSWorld conference in 2011, my preparations were already underway for what wound up being a clean break with the institutional-repository business. I didn’t actually intend it that way at first—I joined the code-and-consulting outfit DiscoveryGarden for a brief ill-omened time—but I did know with complete certainty that my worklife was about to change dramatically.

“Avoiding the Heron’s Way” is therefore blunter even than my blunt wont. (I went on an even worse tear later in the day, as cleanup hitter for a panel of local IR managers. My sole explanation for my appalling behavior is that I absolutely cannot abide seeing good people slighted or sneered at, and that was exactly what had just happened to the other panelists.) Those who have read the deeply cynical and openly accusatory “How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative” will doubtless recognize its roots in this talk.

Cliff Lynch keynoted this conference, but left immediately afterward, so he did not in fact see my talk. Someone must have told him about it, though, because the poor man has been shy of me ever since.