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Weekly News Digest

September 25, 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.

EveryLibrary Encourages Libraries to Get Out the Vote

EveryLibrary joined forces with Vote.org to offer free-to-use white label voting forms that libraries in all 50 states can embed into their websites. They enable patrons to register to vote, check if they’re registered, get election reminders, and apply for an absentee ballot. Libraries can promote the forms on social media and access them on tablets while registering people to vote.

For more information, view the webpage.

Nextdoor Safeguards Its Community With FaunaDB

The Nextdoor social network picked Fauna’s FaunaDB relational NoSQL database to help meet its needs of scalability, security, and flexibility. According to the press release, “In particular, Nextdoor is seeing a steady increase in the number of globally distributed users of its mobile app, prompting the company to find a database solution capable of scaling to meet growing traffic demands while maintaining high availability to regions around the globe.”

FaunaDB has a full suite of platform features that will help Nextdoor support more applications and use cases. It “was designed from the ground up as a cloud-native, horizontally scalable database that delivers robust data management capabilities without sacrificing relational features.”

For more information, read the press release.

Congressional Research Service Reports Are Now Free Online

The Library of Congress has begun providing Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public at crsreports.congress.gov. Covering topics such as agriculture policy, counterterrorism operations, banking regulation, and veterans’ issues, this resource will include all reports as they are given to Congress as well as a back catalog of reports. The public site uses the same search functionality that the congressional one does, and reports can be searched by common keywords. The public site will be updated with the same enhancements made to the congressional site.

For more information, read the blog post.

Third Iron's LibKey Discovery Improves the Research Workflow

Third Iron rolled out LibKey Discovery, a suite of APIs that integrates into a number of library discovery systems. The APIs offer one-click access to PDF articles (from subscribed and OA sources), cover art from more than 20,000 journals, and one-click access from the article record to the journal issue via BrowZine. LibKey Discovery works with any web browser.

“Libraries make significant investments in commercial and open source discovery systems to deliver their library services,” says John Seguin, Third Iron’s president, COO, and chief librarian. “LibKey Discovery helps libraries extend the value of these systems by improving and simplifying the research process, keeping the library at the center of the user journey.”

For more information, read the press release.

HighWire Introduces BenchPress Unlimited Manuscript Submission Tool

HighWire launched BenchPress Unlimited, a simplified and intuitive manuscript submission tool to help publishers that have low-volume, straightforward submission processes. It “offers an alternative pricing model that removes submission-based pricing. Instead, publishers now have the option to pay a single flat rate regardless of the number of submissions received; removing barriers to growth and leaving publishers free to scale their program. BenchPress Unlimited provides priority features without overwhelming authors, editors, and reviewers with more functionality than they need.”

For more information, read the press release.

'New Bill Would Finally Tear Down Federal Judiciary's Ridiculous Paywall' by Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee writes in Ars Technica, “Judicial records are public documents that are supposed to be freely available to the public. But for two decades, online access has been hobbled by a paywall on the judiciary’s website, called PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), which charges as much as 10 cents per page. Now Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) has introduced legislation that would require that the courts make PACER documents available for download free of charge.”

He notes that it would level the playing field—“everyone, rich and poor alike, [would have] equal access to documents that help them understand the legal system. And tearing down the PACER paywall would have benefits that go beyond dollars and cents.” For example, “Opening up PACER would allow reporters, academic researchers, and anyone else writing about the judiciary to link to the judiciary’s official copy of any lawsuit, legal opinion, or other document. That will allow readers to read source documents if they want to and draw their own conclusions.”

Additionally, “Making documents free would also enable journalists and academic researchers to perform large-scale statistical analysis of the legal process, which could help to uncover biases or other problems with the judicial system.”

For more information, read the article.

Lucidea Buys Australian Information Management Company

Lucidea acquired Maxus Australia, a distributor of Inmagic library automation and knowledge management (KM) solutions. Norma Tovey, Maxus Australia’s managing director, says, “I believe that because of their investment in and active commitment to Inmagic customers and products, Lucidea is the best company to look after Maxus’ clients.” She and Lucidea’s CEO, Ron Aspe, “share the same values with regard to client service, and to providing innovative KM and library technology, so I know the Maxus business including its customers and employees will be well cared for.”

For more information, read the news.

ARL Applauds House Approval of Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) expressed its approval of the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act. It had previously been ratified by the U.S. Senate, so now it goes to the president, who “must sign the act into law and the US State Department will need to deposit the instrument of ratification with the World Intellectual Property Organization. ARL urges the Administration to swiftly complete these next steps.”

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) administered the original treaty—the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled—which has been ratified by various countries. The European Union is expected to complete the ratification process later in 2018.

For more information, read the news.

Project COUNTER Tutorials Teach Foundational Topics

Project COUNTER is offering COUNTER Foundation Classes, a series of online tutorials that run for about 10 minutes and cover aspects of COUNTER usage data. The first class is on metric types, and the second is on Release 5 reports. The next one will be on how user actions are recorded in COUNTER Release 5 reports.

For more information, read the blog post.

SAGE Supports News Analysis Tool

SAGE is offering a $50,000 sponsorship to PublicEditor, a content analysis tool for news articles that is run by volunteers. “A nonpartisan project, the tool uses transparent, neutral criteria to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of news articles resulting in credibility scores for the news,” according to the press release.

It continues, “Members of the public wanting to help in the editing process receive training and then the Public Editor web interface guides them to read passages from news articles and respond to a few prompts that help them identify mistakes made by journalists and those they quote. … Identified mistakes are also labeled so that news readers understand the quality of the news through a colorful overlay of the text. Content platforms can use Public Editor’s credibility scores to promote high quality journalism while reducing the quantity of sloppy content appearing in news feeds.”

SAGE’s support will fund the creation of videos, updated websites, a social media campaign, and more.

For more information, read the press release.



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