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Weekly News Digest

April 11, 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.

Annual Reviews Makes Public Health Information More Available

Annual Reviews made the 2017 volume of its Annual Review of Public Health journal OA under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license. All of the back volumes (1980–2016) are also free to read. The journal’s reviews summarize information about public health problems and how they can be solved. Topics include autism spectrum disorders, public policy changes’ impact on health, organic foods, and how climate change affects health.

For more information, read the press release.

W3C Defends Encrypted Media Extensions Standard

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) issued a statement in response to UNESCO’s letter and article about the proposed Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) standard. In part, it states the following:

We agree on the concept of Internet Universality. We even believe that those who are trying to restrict movies from the Internet are violating the concept of universality by preventing certain content from being on the Web.

 We note that EME does in fact provide improvements in privacy, security and accessibility over the alternatives.

  • The alternative to EME allowing interaction with copyrighted content in Web browser plugins is abandoning the Web. Without in-browser decryption ability, content providers would use their own native application, which will have much more leeway to spy on the user, and possibly infect their machine.
  • With EME, the browser can protect the user from the worst effects of the DRM system, by putting it in a processing “sandbox”, such that access to network, user’s data or machine is only permitted as allowed by the sandbox, thus offering protection against things like the root kit problems and privacy breaches we have had in the past.
  • Regarding accessibility, analysis and testing confirmed that the specification’s approach to captions, transcripts and audio description does not block access to this accessibility information. Moreover, since EME recommends that accessibility information is transmitted without any encryption, it is particularly suited (EME and accessibility) for accessible and legal fair use where accessibility is concerned—including accessibility adaptations to the video stream itself.

For more information, read the blog post.

New Initiative Plans to Open Scholarly Citation Data

Six organizations, including eLife and PLOS, founded the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), which aims to coordinate efforts to “open up data on the citations that link research publications” and “promote the creation of a comprehensive, freely-available corpus of scholarly citation data.” Thirty-three organizations have pledged their support for I4OC. According to the press release, a fully open citation dataset can provide benefits such as the following:
  1. The establishment of a global public web of linked scholarly citation data to enhance the discoverability of published content, both subscription access and open access. This will particularly benefit individuals who are not members of academic institutions with subscriptions to commercial citation databases.
  2. The ability to build new services over the open citation data, for the benefit of publishers, researchers, funding agencies, academic institutions and the general public, as well as enhancing existing services.
  3. The creation of a public citation graph to explore connections between knowledge fields, and to follow the evolution of ideas and scholarly disciplines.

For more information, read the press release.

Dato Capital Launches Tool for Finding Company Information

Dato Capital introduced the Company Information Extractor, which helps researchers, journalists, lawyers, investors, civil servants, and executives investigate international companies and directors. This tool updates in real time and improves the speed with which users can analyze documentation. Users enter a URL, upload a file, or directly enter text, and the tool scans the document for mentions of companies and directors (sourced from a database of 14 million companies and 12 million directors from various regions). The results list includes country of incorporation or activity, name, type, and context (the surrounding text in a document) for each company or director.

For more information, read the press release.

Pew Charitable Trusts Studies E-Poll Book Usage

The Pew Charitable Trusts created an interactive tool for tracking state and local adoption of electronic poll books (digitized voter registries). It was designed to “examine trends in implementation, identify emerging best practices, inform users about innovations and potential improvements, and help guide states as they consider adopting or updating e-poll book systems.”

For more information, read the article.

BiblioCommons Goes All-In on Green Energy

BiblioCommons announced that as of January 2017, it has enabled a green online presence for public libraries by powering its BiblioCore and BiblioWeb production servers with 100% green electricity (wind and hydropower) with help from Bullfrog Power. This reduces the company’s and its partner libraries’ carbon-emission footprints.

“By powering our servers with green energy we’re helping to do our part for our community and the library sector in the transition to a renewably-powered future. We’re reducing our environmental impact and supporting the development of renewable energy projects at the same time,” says Patrick Kennedy, BiblioCommons’ president and co-founder.

For more information, read the blog post.

Thomson Reuters Unveils Resource for U.K. Law Students

Thomson Reuters introduced the Law School Resource Centre on its Practical Law platform, which provides legal information for law students (at no additional cost) and lecturers in England and Wales. Its materials include practice notes, standard documents and clauses, articles, and key cases. Each topic has links to recommended textbooks, practitioner books, and external resources.

For more information, read the press release.

WIPO Plans World Intellectual Property Day

World Intellectual Property Day is April 26, 2017. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), “This year, we’ll explore how innovation is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable, turning problems into progress. We’ll look at how the intellectual property system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow’s innovators can build on today’s new technology.”

For more information, read the webpage.

Alexander Street Broadens Counseling Videos Collection

Alexander Street launched Volume V of its Counseling and Therapy in Video Series collection. Titled The Symptom Media Collection, it has 400-plus short Symptom Media training videos covering topics such as ADHD, eating disorders, PTSD, and substance-related and addictive disorders. This fifth volume also has assessment options for instructors. An additional 150 videos will be added to the collection by 2021.

For more information, read the press release.

GIS Data Facilitates Better Collection of Health Information

According to StateTech, “Geographic information systems (GIS), a collection of tools that make it possible to visualize sets of data on regional maps, are growing in popularity for state and local health agencies.” A federal health agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rolled out its 500 Cities Project, “which aims to provide data on the geographic distribution of chronic disease risk factors; public health concerns such as alcoholism and physical activity; and the occurrences of diseases like heart disease or diabetes in a specific geographic area.”

For more information and for specific state and local examples, read the article.



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