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Weekly News Digest

January 9, 2018 — 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.

SSRN Adds EngRN Preprint Server for Engineers

SSRN launched the Engineering Research Network (EngRN), a new dedicated network on its platform. Gregg Gordon, SSRN’s managing director, says, “EngRN will enable engineers to share early stage research—preprints, working papers and data—prior to publication. It will cover all areas of engineering and include both theoretical and applied research.” They can share their profiles and expertise to the engineering community, which includes fields such as aerospace, chemical and bioengineering, and manufacturing. EngRN joins other new SSRN networks, such as BioRN and ChemRN.

For more information, read the press release.

Highlights of the Upcoming Computers in Libraries Conference

Jane Dysart, program director of Information Today, Inc.’s Computers in Libraries (CIL) conference, posted a sneak peak of the 2018 event—to be held April 17–19 in Arlington, Va.—on her blog. Keynote speakers will include Rick Huijbregts (VP of strategy and innovation at George Brown College), Jeanne Holm (senior technology advisor to the mayor and deputy CIO of Los Angeles), and Brendan Howley and Daniel Lee (co-founders of Icebox Logic). The conference’s main themes will include navigation and search, community engagement, makerspaces, the future and innovation, and tech tools.

For more information, read the blog post.

Cengage Learning Unveils New Subscription Service

In a Jan. 9 article, Porter Anderson, editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, discussed Cengage Learning’s new service for educational materials. The company “has announced that it’s transitioning its consumer sales to a total-inventory, unlimited-subscription format: Cengage Unlimited. Later this year, this model will offer students digital access to more than 20,000 titles in 70 disciplines, comprising more than 675 courses, for a cost of US$119.99 per semester.” Starting in August, this service will allow students to rent print copies of texts for free (paying only for shipping) and store up to six digital texts in their digital locker for up to a year after a course ends.

For more information, read the article.

NISO Begins Managing Standardization of Document Description and Processing Languages

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) announced that it “has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to take over management of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 - Document description and processing languages. This international technical committee is concerned with standardization in the field of document structures, languages, and related facilities for the description and processing of compound and hypermedia documents. The portfolio includes standards for document structures, structures for interactive documents in web environments, document processing architectures, multilingual font information interchange, and APIs for document processing. The accreditation also means that the United States will once again be a voting member of ISO/IEC/JTC 1/SC 34 after a lapse of some months.”

For more information, read the press release.

Early Bird Rate for the NFAIS Annual Conference Ends Jan. 16

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) announced that Jan. 16, 2018, is the deadline for registering with the Early Bird rate for its 60th annual conference, which will be held Feb. 28–March 2 in Alexandria, Va. The theme will be Information Transformation: Open. Global. Collaborative. Attendees will discuss the forces that could impact future directions of information and publishing technologies that have changed how researchers consume, exchange, interact with, and disseminate scholarly works, among other topics.

For more information, read the conference webpage.

Bookstores Struggle With Demand for Trump Tell-All Fire and Fury

Shelf Awareness reports that the “furor over Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Holt) continued on Friday and over the weekend,” with attacks from the president himself as well as his supporters. “If the book retailing world has any regrets, it’s that it can’t fully meet Fire and Fury demand. From indies to Barnes & Noble to Amazon, booksellers of all kinds said they don’t have enough copies or don’t have any because they didn’t receive shipments in time for the new pub date last Friday.”

Bookstores shared their reactions. Changing Hands in Arizona tweeted, “So gratifying to know that books and readers have the power to terrify a president who thinks nothing of violating your First Amendment rights.” Astoria Bookshop in New York “announced that it is donating profits from Fire and Fury to the Voting Rights Initiative and the N.Y. Immigration Coalition because ‘ensuring that every citizen has the ability to vote, and that immigrants have access to healthcare, housing, education, and legal representation are two missions that we believe will make America a better place for everyone who lives here.’” Solid State Books in Washington, D.C., tweeted, “If you’re still, like, looking for Fire & Fury, it doesn’t take, like, a very stable genius to know, that, like, we have bigly numbers of copies, like, arriving Monday morning. It’s gonna be huge!”

For more information, read the Shelf Awareness issue for Jan. 8.

Library Babel Fish Blog Explores Book Censorship

Barbara Fister writes on her blog, Library Babel Fish, “Nothing demonstrates books are powerful more clearly than trying to keep them from being read.” She explores the question of whether a book can be harmful—which seems like a trick question, but as she goes on to share, the ideas in books can be dangerous. “The Turner Diaries and Mein Kampf have inspired people to engage in violence just as YouTube videos inspire ISIS wannabes and personalized Google results influenced the mass murder of black church members by a white supremacist.” However, this “doesn’t mean a book should be suppressed. Reading should never be made a crime. Even terrible books can give insight into unfamiliar perspectives.”

For more information, read the blog post.

'Why Elsevier Is a Library's Best Friend' by Joseph Esposito

Joseph Esposito writes on The Scholarly Kitchen blog, “Elsevier publishes or helps to publish (through arrangements with society publishers) about 2,500 journals. Let’s imagine a world where Elsevier does not exist. In this hypothetical world every one of these journals is independently published. Thus 2,500 journals means 2,500 publishers. In that world, would the cost of these journals be higher or lower than the cost today (IRL—in real life), where Elsevier indubitably does exist and publishes a huge portfolio?”

For more information, read the blog post. The comments after the post are also worth reading. 

GPO Digitizes Last Section of the Congressional Record

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has finished the digitization of the historical Congressional Record, which dates back to March 5, 1873. The last release of the project covers the debates and proceedings of the two chambers of Congress from 1873 to 1890 and is available for free on govinfo. This time period includes the assassination of President James Garfield, the admission of seven new states, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, aka Custer’s Last Stand. GPO worked with the Library of Congress to create digital images of the publication.

For more information, read the press release.

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