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Weekly News Digest

December 4, 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.

W3C Helps Web Workers Create Accessibility Statements

The Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG), part of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), released a new resource, Developing an Accessibility Statement. Designed to help content managers create an accessibility statement for websites, mobile apps, and other digital content, it features guidance, examples, and a free generator tool. Users can collect and enter information into the tool, which provides a customized accessibility statement for their particular situation.

For more information, read the news.

ALA and Google Continue Their Partnership

ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative, which is sponsored by Google, gave 250 school and public libraries $500 in micro-funding so they can plan and implement coding activities during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 3–9, 2018).

ALA is continuing its partnership with Grow with Google to expand Google’s in-person workshops for job seekers and small businesses to libraries in every U.S. state, among other activities. Grow with Google made its own announcement about the partnership here.

“We are thrilled by today’s announcement of Grow with Google’s new initiative to enhance the role of libraries as digital community centers,” says Loida Garcia-Febo, ALA’s president. “It is exciting to see what started three years ago as a collaborative exploration has grown into a broad range of investments in America’s libraries that promote computational thinking, fuel innovation and advance our nation’s workforce.” 

For more information, read the press release.

The University of California Is Negotiating With Elsevier

MacKenzie Smith, university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship at the University of California (UC)–Davis, and Dennis J. Ventry Jr., professor of law and vice chair on the UC–Davis Academic Senate’s University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, published an open letter to the UC–Davis academic community regarding the university’s relationship to Elsevier.

They write, “The University of California is renegotiating its systemwide licenses with some of the world’s largest scholarly journal publishers, including industry giant Elsevier. These negotiations may create significant changes in our access to new articles published in Elsevier journals as soon as January 1, 2019.” UC–Davis aims to “constrain the runaway costs of journal subscriptions … [and] make it easier and more affordable for UC authors to publish their research with open access.” Smith and Ventry warn that if an agreement is not reached, the university community “may lose access to future articles in Elsevier’s journals through their ScienceDirect platform.”

For more information, read the letter.

SAGE Invests in Content Analysis Tool for Social Science Researchers

SAGE made a major seed investment in Thusly, Inc., a startup providing research tools for doing Big Data analysis in document archives. The first investment from the SAGE Ocean initiative, it will support Thusly’s launch of TagWorks in the academic research market.

According to the press release, “TagWorks enables social science researchers to perform complex content analysis on very large document collections at up to ten times the speed of existing methods. The collaborative tool enables researchers to deeply analyze documents by asking internet-based workers a series of detailed questions to evaluate passages of text. TagWorks is currently being used to identify and report nuanced forms of misinformation in news articles such as ‘exaggerated metaphor,’ and ‘confusion of correlation and causation.’”

For more information, read the press release.

The Wearables Market Will Heat Up in 2019

According to an article on Gadgets 360, Gartner predicts that global shipments of wearable devices will increase 25.8% from 2018 to 2019, meaning there will be 225 million devices, and spending will be $42 billion. The smartwatch market is expected to decline slightly, but still sell 74 million devices at $16.2 billion in spending. “Hearables,” such as Apple AirPods, are predicted to become the top wearables by 2022, at 158 million devices shipped.

For more information, read the article.

ChemRxiv Makes It Easy to Submit Preprints to Journals

ChemRxiv introduced Direct Journal Transfer, a feature that allows authors to submit posted preprints to established journals—such as those from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)—for editorial consideration and peer review. Other scientific publishers may adopt Direct Journal Transfer for their own journals.

With more than 800 original preprints from authors in 40 countries that have been read 800,000-plus times since 2017, ChemRxiv is aggregating content that has evolved into full research publications. With Direct Journal Transfer, it offers a way for researchers to access publishing pathways.

For more information, read the press release.

Infobase Acquires Credo

Infobase acquired Credo under undisclosed terms. “This is exciting news and a significant milestone for Infobase,” says Mark McDonnell, Infobase’s president and CEO, “because it brings another strong name in the reference category under the Infobase umbrella. The obvious synergies between the two companies will benefit both sides and improve our offerings, particularly in the academic market.” He adds that Infobase intends to maintain Credo’s “diversity of sources” from reference publishers.

The acquisition will allow Credo to expand its reach, and Infobase’s content fits in with Credo’s library instruction framework, says Ian Singer, Credo’s general manager.

For more information, read the press release.

eLife Backs the SwipesForScience Game-Making Service

eLife announced that it will contribute to developing SwipesForScience, a templating service for researchers that allows them to create mobile-friendly games centered on analyzing large amounts of research data. eLife notes, “By helping scientists gamify the crowdsourcing of data analysis, SwipesForScience will engage the community to speed up research.”

SwipesForScience uses “natural-language processing to mine free-text descriptions of scientific research and identify numerical data and text within them.” The data analyzed during game play “could then be fed back into the natural-language processing algorithms to further improve automatic sample-size detection in research papers.”

For more information, read the news.

OCLC Readies Another Round of Its Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Project

OCLC will use an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) award of nearly $250,000 to expand its Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project into more U.S. small and rural public libraries. So far, OCLC has supported 15 libraries in 12 states in applying design thinking resources to their social spaces—see their stories here. Now, OCLC will choose another 15 libraries to help with creating active learning spaces. The application period will begin in January 2019.

For more information, read the press release.

ProQuest Brings More BBC Studios Titles to Academic Video Online

ProQuest and BBC Learning expanded their agreement to give libraries access to more BBC Studios content via the Academic Video Online streaming video subscription service for education. More than 1,500 titles will be available on Academic Video Online in the coming months, and the service will add new titles in the future. And throughout the term of the agreement, ProQuest will curate a selection of BBC-branded video collections by field (including science, technology, drama, and literature), featuring previously unavailable content and current releases.

“There is arguably no more important creator of educational and news content than the BBC,” says David Parker, senior director of product management at ProQuest. “With this partnership, libraries are able to provide this content to users in a streaming platform specifically designed to support academic research and classroom assignments.”

For more information, read the press release.



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