- A New Year Worth Noting
Turning a calendar’s page to a new year symbolizes a new beginning. Calendars themselves, in concept and as artifacts, can similarly signal a fresh start and often afford an opportunity for reflection. The Gregorian calendar is a good example. Adopted by England and the American Colonies in 1752, its implementation advanced time 11 days, literally overnight. The new calendar purportedly triggered revolt among some British citizens, who demanded the return of that lost time. On the other hand, Ben Franklin applauded the change, noting, “It is pleasant for an old man to be able to go to bed on September 2, and not have to get up until September 14.”1 Regardless of one’s perspective, the transition to Gregorian time was a significant departure from the Julian calendar that had been in place. Historically, calendar reform has been prompted by a perceived need to improve the way things had been done before—in this case, marking time.
Journals whose volume numbers change at the start of a calendar year, as portal’s do, often seize that moment to make adjustments, be it with updating the physical design of the publication, shuffling the makeup of the editorial board, or revising the content that is presented. Sunsetting the old and showcasing the new is a characteristic way for a journal to mark time. At once, it can acknowledge the past and announce a new direction, as T. S. Eliot wrote: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language / And next year’s words await another voice.”2
As portal embarks on its 17th year and unveils the first issue of the corresponding volume, number 17, it also introduces a new feature. “Worth Noting” will not so much replace but rather expand upon the concept of a book review column. Designed to highlight what is new and noteworthy, this offering will be broadly inclusive. It will present interviews with scholars and administrators, previews of what is innovative in libraries and the academy, and reviews of design concepts, emerging technologies, assessment approaches, or whatever else may be significant. And—yes—sometimes, reviews of books. Thanks to Tomalee Doan of Arizona State University in Tempe for agreeing to join the portal Editorial Board and take on the role of editing our new feature. We expect that “Worth Noting” will run in each issue, and we welcome your submissions.
As our first “Worth Noting” installment, we are pleased to present a data paper, “Subject Liaisons in Academic Libraries: An Open Access Data Set from 2015,” by Neil [End Page 1] Nero and Anne Langley. A data paper has been described as “a short, peer-reviewed publication that is designed to raise awareness of a dataset and its re-use potential.”3 The publication of such a paper is a first for portal.
With the launch of our exciting new feature, portal retires the traditional “Reviews” column that has been part of the journal since its inception. Sincere thanks to Fred Rowland of Temple University in Philadelphia, who ably served as that feature’s editor for the better part of nine years, never missing an issue or a deadline. Under Fred’s stewardship, 33 “Reviews” columns were produced and more than 240 individual book reviews published—a truly notable accomplishment. The entire Editorial Board of portal expresses its gratitude to Fred and extends best wishes to him as he takes on new professional challenges.
The journal’s masthead, listing feature editors and topics, has been updated to reflect these changes.
Marianne Ryan is the editor of portal: Libraries and the Academy and the dean of libraries at Loyola University Chicago; she may be reached by email@example.com.
1. Jennie Cohen, “6 Things You May Not Know about the Gregorian Calendar,” History channel, 2012, http://www.history.com/news/6-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-gregorian-calendar.
2. T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding,” in T. S. Eliot: The Complete Poems and Plays 1909–1950 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962), 141.
3. Katie Green, “Open Access Data Papers at Internet Archaeology,” International Open Access Week, 2013, http://www.openaccessweek...