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Weekly News Digest

July 25, 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.

Libraries Ready to Code Is Now Accepting Grant Applications

ALA announced that the application period for Libraries Ready to Code grants is now open. Public and school libraries can apply for funding of up to $25,000 to develop programs that promote computer science and computational thinking among young patrons. ALA will choose 25–50 libraries and help them create a Ready to Code toolkit for implementing programs.

The Ready to Code project team will host a webinar on Aug. 1, 2017, to give guidance to potential applicants. RSVP here.

For more information, read the press release.

Free Summer Access to Wolters Kluwer's Federal Developments Knowledge Center

Wolters Kluwer is offering free access through the summer (and possibly longer) to a beta version of its Federal Developments Knowledge Center. This web-based platform tracks and summarizes congressional bills, executive orders, and proposed and final regulations, with editors providing analysis in 14 broad areas: antitrust, banking and finance, employee benefits, government contracts, global trade, healthcare, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment, life sciences, pension, products liability, securities, and tax. In coming months, users can expect content to be added in the areas of environment and energy. Over time, subscribers likely will see material from the publisher’s new Cybersecurity & Privacy Law Suite appear here as well.

The Federal Developments Knowledge Centerpermits browsing of each topic. In addition:

  • Advanced search options include Boolean connectors, exact phrases, or synonyms (from the site thesaurus). Searches also can be limited by jurisdiction and/or date.
  • Use the Smart Chart to select a practice area(s) and document type (Enacted law, Executive order, Final rule, Presidential memorandum, Proposed legislation, Proposed rule). Each result presented includes commentary provided by an editorial staff comprised primarily of lawyers. The legal analysis provided by Wolters Kluwer editors is part of the value proposition for targeted subscribers for the service: legal law firms, corporate counsel, law libraries.
  • In addition to indicating the effective date/status, each synopsis highlights the most important aspects of the bill/regulation, assesses the likelihood that proposed bills/regulations will become law, and indicates the impact a law or regulation is likely to have, including the reasoning behind the assessment. A third pane on the results page offers links to the original text of the legislation/regulation as well related expert analysis (e.g., Wolters Kluwer white paper or Federal Developments News articles).
  • Users can set up research folders and alerts for searches and annotate documents, even highlight sections to be shared with others, be it inside their organizations or externally, for example, to clients. The ability to share the legal analysis provided by Wolters Kluwer editors is an attractive aspect of the product for its target audience of legal professionals eager to share with co-workers and clients, though it should have wider appeal, for example, among advocacy groups eager to share these insights with “members.”

A curated daily news feed—designed to keep users updated on federal legislation, regulation, oversight, and investigation—can be browsed, searched, or provided as an RSS feed. (A curated raw feed for “breaking news” with links to primary source documents should be available by year’s end, giving subscribers an advance look at the material editors will be reviewing and analyzing in the coming days.)

Only around 5% of the about 10,000 bills proposed in each 2-year congressional session are enacted. Editors must carefully consider which bills deserve the greatest scrutiny and analysis. Wolters Kluwer plans to employ predictive analytics for proposed legislation, supplementing the judgment of editors with a numeric value to indicate likelihood that a bill will become law.

The beta site features a link to Wolters Kluwer’s Health Reform KnowlEDGE Center and other links, including to Congress.gov and the Federal Register. The publisher is interested in feedback for what else should be included in the links pane. Sign up for free access, and weigh in on links that would be helpful to you. govinfo or upcoming livestreaming committee hearings, anyone?

—Barbie Keiser

IFLA Promotes Successful Global Vision Discussions

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) highlighted the response to its Global Vision Discussion initiative. It notes that so far, 178 librarians from 140 countries have engaged in the discussions, and they have encouraged other regions to get involved in the IFLA Global Vision workshops. These workshops “have focused on how to strengthen the ties within the library field and respond to the fast-pacing globalisation that is opening new opportunities and challenges.”

For more information, read the press release.

Overleaf and ShareLaTeX Agree to Merge

ShareLaTeX and Overleaf are bringing their teams and services together to work toward a common goal: the development of the best tools for collaborative writing. As the most popular LaTeX editors, their combined community consists of more than 2 million authors. In the coming months, they will work on transitioning into a single service, with the help of community input and feedback.

For more information, read the blog post.

D&B Joins Forces With Microsoft for Cloud Computing

D&B partnered with Microsoft to give companies around the world access to D&B data through Microsoft’s cloud services. According to the press release, “Dun & Bradstreet will power core applications and build new services on Microsoft Azure, and plans to use Microsoft intelligent cloud services to modernize applications,” among other endeavors.

For more information, read the press release.



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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