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Weekly News Digest

February 28, 2017 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Amazon Says Alexa Is Protected by the First Amendment

According to Forbes, “Amazon is sticking to its guns in the fight to protect customer data. The tech titan has filed a motion to quash the search warrant for recordings from an Amazon Echo in the trial of James Andrew Bates, accused of murdering friend Victor Collins in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015. And it’s arguing as part of that motion that the responses of Alexa, the voice of the artificially intelligent speaker, has First Amendment rights.”

For more information, read the article.

Updates to CC Search

Creative Commons plans to continue improving and enhancing its new search functionality, CC Search, by adding content and features over the next year.

Ryan Merkley, Creative Commons’ CEO, says, “It’s a big project to index and search multiple media types for over 1 billion works. I expect this is a multi-year project. We’re also actively fundraising to support it. That will influence how quickly we are able to develop the final product.”

Future developments will include adding more content and content types by the end of the year. Creative Commons hasn’t said exactly what that content will be, only that it will be driven by community and partner input. Its initial focus will certainly be on CC licenses and works in the public domain, which according to Merkley, “is over 1.1 billion works. We haven’t gone beyond that in our planning yet to include other licenses.”

Just this week, Creative Commons announced that it is adding its CC BY-licensed photos to the Unsplash photo repository. Expect this content and more to be integrated into the search tool soon.

—Corilee Christou 

PubFactory Partners With PaperHive

PubFactory integrated its platform with the PaperHive collaborative reading hub. Publishers hosted on PubFactory—such as Oxford University Press (OUP), De Gruyter, and Brill—can now switch on the integration to offer readers the ability to use annotations, participate in group discussions, and access sharing capabilities. PubFactory hosts 1,400-plus journals and more than 400,000 books, among other materials.

For more information, read the press release.

HathiTrust Collection Reaches 15 Million Volumes

HathiTrust announced that it now has more than 15 million volumes. The 15 millionth item was the French translation (from the original Italian) of The Book of the Courtier from the University of California–Irvine, which was published in 1585.

For more information, read the update.

W3C Plans to Standardize the Web of Things

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) started a working group for the creation of initial standards for the Web of Things, as well as cross-domain linked data vocabularies, serialization formats, and APIs. Its goals include countering the fragmentation of the Internet of Things (IoT), reducing development costs, and encouraging market growth for IoT devices and services.

For more information, read the press release.

Springer Nature Rolls Out Research Paper Recommendation Service

Springer Nature introduced Recommended, a service connecting researchers to the most relevant content amid the increase in published research so they can keep up-to-date in their fields. Users get personalized recommendations from across more than 65 million papers from 45,000-plus journals by various publishers. The service analyzes the last 100 papers researchers read on Springer Nature’s publishing websites, searches for similar papers in Crossref and PubMed, and uses other sources such as Altmetric data to choose the top relevant papers. Users can view these results in their browsers while on Springer Nature sites such as BioMed Central or SpringerLink or via emails.

For more information, read the press release.

Thomson Reuters Updates Westlaw Secondary Sources

Thomson Reuters Westlaw has a new design for Westlaw Secondary Sources that improves the organization and functionality of its analytical resources. Enhancements include new publication filter and sort options in the library experience, the ability to browse and interact with tables of contents, an improved reading mode, and pinpoint linking capabilities.

For more information, read the press release.

Wolters Kluwer's PrepU Solution Gets Its 1 Billionth Answer

Wolters Kluwer announced that students who use its PrepU adaptive learning platform while getting their healthcare-industry education have submitted more than 1 billion answers “to customized questions generated through formative assessments in their courses and preparation for licensure,” according to the press release. “Each new answer enhances the power of PrepU to deliver significantly higher pass rates and learning gains through personalized educational experiences and instruction.” PrepU is designed to help students gain test-taking confidence and improve their critical-thinking skills.

For more information, read the press release.

Cochrane Applauds March for Science

Cochrane announced its official support for the March for Science, which will be held April 22, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (along with satellite marches around the world). Cochrane US staffers will participate in the march and host a teach-in about evidence-based methods.

“The March for Science is a celebration of passion for science and the many ways science serves our global communities. It advocates for robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity, and for political leaders and policy makers to enact non-partisan, evidence-based policies in the public interest,” according to the press release.

Cochrane encourages its members to join the march and provides a list of how anyone can contribute.

For more information, read the press release.

Yahoo Partners With U.K. Publishers

Yahoo entered into content distribution deals with U.K. publishing partners such as The Telegraph, The Guardian, and the Independent to enrich its news, sports, finance, and lifestyle coverage. The publishers will be able to distribute content via a curated feed, giving British content an expanded audience. Content will be monetized through a revenue-sharing model.

For more information, read the blog post.

New Open Source Software Helps Analyze Big Data

A research team from the University at Buffalo is developing Vizier, a software tool that is designed to get out ahead of malfunctioning computers, data entry errors, and other problems that can skew data. The project, which launched in January, is funded by a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Users can work with large datasets on spreadsheet software similar to Excel so they can explore, clean, curate, and visualize data, as well as identify problems and their solutions.

For more information, read the article.



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