The nonsense of lasers in Hollywood

Inaugural lecture Gert-Willem Römer 27 October 2022
Professor Gert-Willem Römer of the University of Twente says it’s one of his pet peeves: in many science fiction and action films, lasers are used in a way that completely defy the laws of physics. Take lasers that blow up spaceships. These lasers make a sound when they’re fired, but space consists of a vacuum, so sound doesn’t travel there. What’s more, the laser beam propagates from one spaceship to another in a straight line. This means that as an innocent bystander to the space battle, you wouldn’t be able to see the beam, except if your eyes were exactly in its path. And that would end very badly for you.

Libraries on Twitch: Ideas for Starting on the Streaming Platform

by Claudia Sittner

Twitch, actually, is a live streaming platform. Founded in 2011, it is mainly used for streaming games and e-sports, but you can also broadcast events there, and since 2015 other target groups have been addressed with Twitch Creative. In 2014, Twitch was acquired by Amazon. Since 2016, accounts can be linked to the Amazon Prime programme (Twitch Prime).

This is how the streaming works

The streamers (creators) show how they play a game. One camera is usually directed at the game, a second shows the face of the streamer and thus their immediate reactions during the game (face cam). A chat runs alongside, in which the viewers comment. In this way, the gamers can interact with them, for example, pick up on comments or answer questions.

Sharp rise in streamers during the pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, Twitch gained greatly in viewers. In 2020, for example, user numbers doubled; in 2021, Twitch recorded over 1 billion visits per month (German). Over 8 million streamers broadcast there (September 2022, German).

During the lockdown, the platform also became popular for streaming lectures. For example, a teacher from the USA regularly streamed his course about streaming on Twitch.

Follow, subscribe, donate, chat: This is how Twitch works

On Twitch, you can follow streamers or subscribe to their channels. Following is free of charge. With the paid subscriptions, viewers can support the streamer financially. Donations are also possible. Other options for professional streamers to earn money on Twitch are affiliate marketing, where viewers buy articles directly via commission links. The article “Twitch Marketing: What can Twitch do besides gaming?” (German) goes into more detail.

Streams can also be followed without a Twitch account. They are stored on the platform for 30 days and then automatically deleted. In the meantime, a link – and thus preservation – is possible via YouTube, for example. Emoticons are called “emotes” on Twitch. Streamers can activate their own. Emotes can also be added by subscribing to channels.

Who uses Twitch?

The average age of viewers on Twitch is 21 years. In detail, the users of Twitch look like this (German): 65 percent are male, 41 percent are digital natives of Generation Z and thus between 16 and 24 years old. 32 percent of users are between 25 and 34 years old. If you are an older Twitch user, you are considered an exotic. Users come mainly from the USA, France and Great Britain.

Libraries that are considering setting up a channel on Twitch should ask themselves how large the intersection between their target group and Twitch users is. In addition, one can also ask: What can the platform do for us as library staff?

Exotics wanted: Twitch Creative

In 2015, Twitch initiated the “Twitch Creative” project to promote creative formats beyond gaming and e-sports. The promotion consists of making it easier to find the channels of creative streamers. Twitch has thus become a meeting place for users interested in art and culture. Hobbyists, artists and programmers show their work processes live here.

Some unusual accounts have grown up in the wake of Twitch Creative, for example that of the 70-year-old “Bacon Mom“, who has been tinkering with her Minecraft world for years and tells stories of her life. With the new niches in the fields of art, culture and literature, Twitch Creative would probably also be the right place for unusual library, open science or infrastructure streams. Certainly programming or coding formats would also be well accommodated here. Institutions could score points with creative, entertaining or particularly helpful formats.

Example MarmeladenOma

A very charming example of an unusual account is that of grandmother (Oma) Helga Sofie Josefa, who is now over 90 years old. With the help of her grandson Jannik, she has been streaming as MarmeladenOma (meaning Marmelade Granny) for more than five years. On her channel, she regularly takes viewers to her fairytale island and reads stories from books, sometimes for hours. What started out small suddenly gained momentum in 2017 when YouTube star “Gronkh” spontaneously dropped by the live fairy tale hour undercover with a few thousand fans (German) , almost causing Helga Sofie Josefa’s server to crash and the old lady to be amazed because the number of incoming comments skyrocketed.

The account now has more than 70,000 followers. The fans like the authentic and loving manner of MarmeladenOma. She reminds them of their grandmother and the reading sessions from their childhood. When the videos are deleted from Twitch after 30 days, they can then be found on the streamer’s 240,000 subscriber YouTube channel (German). In the meantime, she has become a real celebrity beyond the scene and has been to industry events such as Gamescom. If you want to learn more about MarmeladenOma, I recommend this article (German). This example shows that even with simple tools, good ideas can take off and lead to successful and wide-reaching channels.

Libraries on Twitch

So far, libraries have been largely absent from Twitch. “The few libraries that currently use Twitch for programming use it for gaming and e-sports, online workshops, and other programs, such as art, book clubs, and guest speakers,” says an article in the American Libraries Magazine. And further “that Twitch is already being used in some higher education settings for language learning, lectures, coding demonstrations, and office hours”. All ideas that could also be implemented in libraries.

In German-speaking countries, the Pfalzbibliothek (Pfalz Library) or the KLAR project (German) of the Stadtteilbibliothek Klarenthal (District Library) in Wiesbaden are active on Twitch. Mainly lectures are streamed. The target groups are young people and their parents. The KLAR project started with the micro-influencer Koriwan. This is certainly also a good way for libraries to draw attention to themselves.

Getting started on Twitch: Necessary equipment

According to a Twitch guide for beginners (German) the following equipment is needed for a successful start:

  • A computer with good performance, ideally not a laptop because their graphics cards are often not as powerful,
  • at least four USB ports for accessories,
  • a good microphone,
  • a webcam,
  • a game capture device,
  • a streaming programme, for example Streamlabs OBS.

The latter can be used to link your own Twitch account with services such as Facebook, Prime or YouTube. In addition, so-called widgets are available. These can be used to add a chat or alerts to the stream for certain events. Events can be new followers or subscribers.

Five success factors for Twitch

As with all social media platforms, success on Twitch is a matter of luck and a long-distance run. Nevertheless, a few things are helpful to increase your chances of growing your number of followers and subscribers:

  1. Always remain authentic and have fun while streaming.
  2. Be creative.
  3. Stay true to your own line: Sometimes success comes from simply doing a certain thing for a very long time.
  4. Stream regularly: This creates reliability and strengthens the bond with the viewers.
  5. Incorporate recurring elements, this creates a brand and a recognition value.

This text has been translated from German.

This might also interest you:

About the author

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

The post Libraries on Twitch: Ideas for Starting on the Streaming Platform first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

It Isn’t Fake Science, Because It Isn’t Science at All. It’s Dupery.

What if even by saying “fake science” you inadvertently participate in a scam? What if this phrase legitimizes fraud, lies, and deceit?  Let’s call it what it is – dupery.

The post It Isn’t Fake Science, Because It Isn’t Science at All. It’s Dupery. appeared first on The Scholarly Kitchen.

The Beginning of the End of Publisher-Society Partner Contracts

Does the traditional society-publisher partnership contract make sense in an APC-fueled OA market? Angela Cochran reviews the new Wiley Partner Solutions offering and what that might mean for the future of contracts and guarantees.

The post The Beginning of the End of Publisher-Society Partner Contracts appeared first on The Scholarly Kitchen.

Kahn | Open Access with Chinese Characteristics: Understanding Recent History and Current Practice via Qualitative Interviews at a Large Chinese Research University | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Chinese scholars, administrators, and librarians possess nuanced understandings of what defines open access in China and the barriers that make wider adoption of open access difficult. When we say “open access” in the United States, we imply a complex set of underlying assumptions tied to the history and practice of scholarship. Saying “open access” in China brings with it a similarly complex set of assumptions, which may not be commensurate with the “open access” we speak of, and such 1:1 translation may not be possible or desirable given the unique historical, political, and linguistic differences between the world’s two largest producers and consumers of scholarship. Through a careful analysis of our participants’ observations and a review of the history and context of Chinese academic institutions, we posit that “open access with Chinese characteristics” describes a set of possibilities and constraints that determine how Chinese academics experience both the theoretical project and the practical distribution method we commonly call “open access.” While these multiple understandings of “open access” may not converge on a single, shared meaning, we can endeavor to understand one another better in the service of creating and sharing knowledge.


Google Scholar – Platforming the Scholarly Economy | Internet Policy Review

Abstract:  Google Scholar has become an important player in the scholarly economy. Whereas typical academic publishers sell bibliometrics, analytics and ranking products, Alphabet, through Google Scholar, provides “free” tools for academic search and scholarly evaluation that have made it central to academic practice. Leveraging political imperatives for open access publishing, Google Scholar has managed to intermediate data flows between researchers, research managers and repositories, and built its system of citation counting into a unit of value that coordinates the scholarly economy. At the same time, Google Scholar’s user-friendly but opaque tools undermine certain academic norms, especially around academic autonomy and the academy’s capacity to understand how it evaluates itself.


Open Access Articles Garner Increased Social Media Attention and Citation Rates Compared With Subscription Access Research Articles: An Altmetrics-Based Analysis – Amar S. Vadhera, Jonathan S. Lee, Isabel L. Veloso, Zeeshan A. Khan, Nicholas A. Trasolini, Safa Gursoy, Kyle N. Kunze, Jorge Chahla, Nikhil N. Verma, 2022

Abstract:  Background:

To better understand the research impact on social media, alternative web-based metrics (Altmetrics) were developed. Open access (OA) publishing, which allows for widespread distribution of scientific content, has become increasingly common in the medical literature. However, the relationship between OA publishing and social media impact remains unclear.



To compare social media attention and citation rates between OA and subscription access (SA) research articles within the orthopaedic and sports medicine literature.


Study Design:

Cross-sectional study.



Articles published as either OA or SA in 5 high-impact hybrid orthopaedic journals between January 2019 and December 2019 were analyzed. The primary outcome was the Altmetric Attention Score (AAS), a validated measure of social media attention. Secondary outcomes included citation rates, article characteristics, and the number of shares on social media. Independent t tests and chi-square analyses were used to compare outcomes between OA and SA articles. A multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to determine the association between article type and AAS while controlling for bibliometric characteristics.



A total of 2143 articles (246 OA articles, 11.5%; 1897 SA articles, 88.5%) were included. The mean AAS among all OA articles was 62.4 ± 184.6 (range, 0-2032), whereas the mean AAS among all SA articles was 18.4 ± 109.8 (range, 0-3425), representing a statistically significant difference (P < .001). The mean citation rate among OA articles was significantly higher (17.0 ± 22.5; range, 0-139) than that of SA articles (8.6 ± 13.4; range, 0-169) (P < .001). Multivariable linear regression analysis demonstrated that OA status (? = 15.15; P = .044), number of institutions (? = 2.13; P = .023), studies classified as epidemiological investigations (? = 107.40; P < .001), and disclosure of a conflict of interest (? = ?11.18; P = .032) were significantly associated with a higher AAS.



OA articles resulted in significantly greater AAS and citations in comparison with SA articles. Articles published through the OA option in hybrid journals as well as those with a higher number of institutions, those that disclosed a conflict of interest, and those classified as epidemiological investigations were positively associated with greater AAS in addition to a greater number of citations. The potential for more extensive research dissemination inherent in the OA option may therefore translate into greater reach and social media attention.

eLife’s New Model: Changing the way you share your research | Inside eLife | eLife

“From next year, we will no longer make accept/reject decisions at the end of the peer-review process; rather, all papers that have been peer-reviewed will be published on the eLife website as Reviewed Preprints, accompanied by an eLife assessment and public reviews. The authors will also be able to include a response to the assessment and reviews.

The decision on what to do next will then entirely be in the hands of the author; whether that’s to revise and resubmit, or to declare it as the final Version of Record.

Learn more about the changes we’re making and why….”

Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice | Scholarly Communications – MIT Libraries

“Open Access Week is October 24-30, and this year’s theme is Open for Climate Justice: “Climate justice is an explicit acknowledgement that the climate crisis has far-reaching effects, and the impacts are ‘not be[ing] borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,’ as the UN notes.” Learn more about climate justice in this explainer on MIT’s Climate Portal.

During OA week, head to the Libraries news site for stories on MIT’s Equitable Resilience Framework, new funds available for open access monographs, news on open from the MIT Press, and more.

Here are some goings-on in and around MIT related to OA and/or climate in the next week: …”

Open Access Week: An Open Knowledge Network for Climate Action

“Ellie Young is founder of Common Action. Common Action builds collective intelligence and communication tools for climate and sustainability innovators, to support dynamic network-based organization towards urgent global priorities. Her expertise includes both community building and software UX design, to support the development of software in “in-between”, ecosystem spaces, that can support multiple dynamic needs across a diverse range of users. Prior to founding Common Action, Ellie served as Head of Community at the Knowledge Graph Conference, launching the KGC Slack and community which continues to grow (~3,000 members). Ellie has co-organized or spoken in workshops at ESIP, NSF Open Knowledge Network design sprint and workshops, KDD, ACM SIGSPATIAL, and KGC, and is a co-author of the “Open Knowledge Network Roadmap” NSF/OSTP publication (2022).”



Abstract:  The purpose of this paper is to outline the current trends and strategies in making availability of Open Access (OA) e-resources for users. For essential scholarly content users either subscribe or access to freely available information. Escalating prices of information is forcing users switch to open access information. Emergence of open access enabled researchers worldwide to access scholarly content without any restrictions. Now, the OA philosophy has resulted in more publishing opportunities and more access to scholarly content throughout the world by facilitating the flow of information between industrialized and less industrialized nations.

Wikipedia is open to all, the research underpinning it should be too. | Impact of Social Sciences

“Often thought of as ‘the last good place on the internet’, Wikipedia plays a key role in the online information ecosystem by linking its entries to current and historic research papers. But, after following these links, how much of this research is openly accessible? Presenting evidence from a recent study, Andy Tattersall, finds that around 50% of research linked to Wikipedia from the White Rose Universities of Sheffield, York and Leeds, is openly accessible. As Wikipedia’s stated aim if for its sources to verifiable, he argues openness should be central to the use of research on Wikipedia. …”

Change and growth in open access journal publishing and charging trends 2011–2021 – Morrison – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

This study examines trends in open access article processing charges (APCs) from 2011 to 2021, building on a 2011 study by Solomon and Björk. Two methods are employed, a modified replica and a status update of the 2011 journals. Data are drawn from multiple sources and datasets are available as open data. Most journals do not charge APCs; this has not changed. The global average per-journal APC increased slightly, from 906 to 958 USD, while the per-article average increased from 904 to 1,626 USD, indicating that authors choose to publish in more expensive journals. Publisher size, type, impact metrics and subject affect charging tendencies, average APC, and pricing trends. Half the journals from the 2011 sample are no longer listed in DOAJ in 2021, due to ceased publication or publisher de-listing. Conclusions include a caution about the potential of the APC model to increase costs beyond inflation. The university sector may be the most promising approach to economically sustainable no-fee OA journals. Universities publish many OA journals, nearly half of OA articles, tend not to charge APCs and when APCs are charged, the prices are very low on average.