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Weekly News Digest

February 12, 2019 — 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.

EBSCO Information Services Announces Acquisition of Stacks

EBSCO Information Services acquired Stacks, whose platform was released in partnership with EBSCO in 2016. This hosted content management system for libraries simplifies content creation, enables the marketing of library programs and services, and facilitates conducting surveys and polls, among other tasks. It also helps libraries surface their collections and provide a search and discovery experience.

“Our new relationship with EBSCO will help expand Stacks’ reach to more libraries, helping them to create and manage a truly customized website,” says Kristin Delwo, Stacks’ president and CEO.

“This acquisition is a natural extension of our working relationship, and we expect to expand these technologies and continue our goal of improving the library experience for users, as well as providing efficient, streamlined workflows and a robust user experience,” says Mark Herrick, EBSCO’s SVP of business development.

For more information, read the press release.

White House Goes All In on AI

A Forbes article by Jessica Baron—“Will Trump’s New Artificial Intelligence Initiative Make the U.S. the World Leader in AI?”—notes that the president is “signing an executive order that would create an American AI Initiative designed to dedicate resources and funnel investments into research on artificial intelligence (AI).” Baron continues:

The order, titled Accelerating America’s Leadership in Artificial Intelligence, ‘will direct agencies to prioritize AI investments in research and development, increase access to federal data and models for that research and prepare workers to adapt to the era of AI.’ While an obvious concern is funding for these innovations, no announcements have been made about the specific financial resources that will become available to the new program.

Aside from how it will be paid for, we also currently lack information on how the government intends to structure or re-structure resources, who, exactly, they intend to call on for this effort (other than ‘federal agencies’), or how soon we should expect to see things take shape. Of course, Congress will ultimately decide how much money the program gets.

For more information, read the article.

ARL Unveils Its Latest Salary Survey

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) released its annual salary survey for 2017–2018 online and in print. It analyzes salary data for professional staffers in 123 ARL member libraries: 10,000-plus staffers in 114 university libraries and 3,000-plus staffers in 9 non-university research libraries. The university library data are split into three groups (general library systems, health sciences libraries, and law libraries), and the salary data are examined from different perspectives (race, ethnicity, sex, etc.). Findings include the following:

The median salary for professionals in US ARL university libraries in 2017–2018 was $73,357, an increase of 1.1% over the 2016–2017 median salary of $72,560. …

Individuals from historically underrepresented groups make up 15.5% of the professional staff in US ARL university libraries; the percentage of individuals in managerial or administrative positions who are also from historically underrepresented groups is lower. Women make up 68.2% of historically underrepresented staff members. Sex-based salary differentials persist in ARL libraries in 2017–2018. The overall salary for women in the 114 ARL university libraries is 94.9% of that paid to men.

For more information, read the news.

CLOCKSS Recruits More Publisher Partners

CLOCKSS partnered with 11 more publishers to preserve their digital content for the future, including the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), the Canadian Dental Association, Georgia Southern University, IntechOpen, iScience Notes, Quantum Publishing, and Spandidos Publications. There are more than 260 publishers participating with CLOCKSS.

“Our readers and authors rely on continuous access to the world’s scientific literature. As publishers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our high-value content will always be available,” says Natalie Marty, director of publications at new partner Swiss Medical Publishers EMH.

For more information, read the news.

Yewno Discover Indexes Peter Lang Publishing Group's Content

All books and journals from the Peter Lang Publishing Group, which specializes in the humanities and social sciences, are now discoverable via the Yewno Discover platform. According to the press release, “Yewno’s technology has ingested the full text of Peter Lang’s digitally available content in both [the] English and German language[s] and can therefore surface parts of books and articles that might be undiscovered in other environments.”

“Peter Lang welcomes digital solutions that enhance the discoverability of academic research. The Yewno Discover platform, using AI technology to create search methods that look beyond mere keyword-matching, is a huge step forward in that direction,” says Arnaud Béglé, Peter Lang’s CEO.

For more information, read the press release.

The IET Adds Power Engineering Journal Collection to ScienceOpen

ScienceOpen joined forces with the IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology) to integrate selected OA articles from the IET’s power and energy journals into ScienceOpen’s research discovery environment. These journals comprise a featured collection, called Power Engineering, of titles that include IET Renewable Power Generation, IET Electric Power Applications, High Voltage, and IET Smart Grid.

“We are excited to work with the IET on this freely accessible collection of high quality, open access articles on ‘Power Engineering’ to provide essential knowledge to engineers solving real world problems across the globe,” says Stephanie Dawson, ScienceOpen’s CEO.

For more information, read the press release.

QxMD Hits Milestone for App Integration

QxMD announced that according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 ranking, its Read by QxMD app reached 100% integration with the top 100 medical schools for research. They include Harvard Medical School, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Stanford University School of Medicine. Students and faculty members can navigate from their customized scholarly literature feeds in the app directly to full-text content that is OA or available via institutional subscription.

“With the mission of supporting better decisions at the point-of-care, QxMD is committed to removing the friction that commonly exists for accessing scholarly content that has the potential to improve healthcare and save lives,” says Daniel Schwartz, QxMD’s CEO and medical director. “By integrating with user authentication systems, QxMD is able to identify authorized patrons from hospitals and healthcare systems, and save them time accessing full-text content by automatically routing them to licensed information resources.”

For more information, read the press release.

'When Amazon Went From Big to Unbelievably Big' by Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis C. Madrigal writes for The Atlantic, “The past three years have seen a new Amazon emerge as the company’s physical footprint balloons.” It “now has 288 million square feet of warehouses, offices, retail stores, and data centers. In 2017—the biggest growth year for the company’s properties—alone, it added more square feet of building (74.6 million) than the company had total in 2012 (73.1 million), when it was already the largest online retailer in the world. Amazon has added more building space from 2016 to 2018 than it did in all the rest of its history.”

This “growth has been in the service of logistics, the work of getting stuff you order on the internet to your home or business.”

For more information, read the article.

'Amazon Sells Way Fewer Books to Academic Libraries Than People Think' by Adam Rowe

Adam Rowe writes for Forbes about a new study from Ithaka S+R, “Library Acquisition Patterns.” “Ithaka S+R gathered acquisitions data from 124 U.S. higher education institutions in fiscal year 2017 along with data from 51 institutions covering between 2014 and 2017,” Rowe writes. “The report has more than one interesting takeaway about the under-examined world of academic literature, but here’s the big one: Amazon isn’t anywhere close to controlling the academic library market.” 

He continues, “The study found that the academic book vendor GOBI Library Solutions provides 68.7 percent of print book sales and 86.4 percent of ebook sales to academic libraries. Granted, Amazon took second place in the print book category, but it was by a massive margin, with just an 11-percent piece of the pie compared to GOBI’s 68 percent.” 

Rowe quotes the study: “The slight increase in spending to acquire ebooks is not high enough to offset the decline in spending to acquire print books. Nor does the increase in ebook expenditures necessarily mean that libraries are acquiring more books in digital format. Rather, ebooks appear to be becoming more expensive (including ebooks costing more than $350), making it costlier for libraries to acquire the same number of digital materials.”

For more information, read the article.

Anythink Gets a Green Thumb

In March 2019, Anythink libraries in Colorado are hosting Dig It, a district-wide program that allows customers to explore “all things gardening and backyard farming,” according to the announcement. Regardless of experience level or age, people can learn new skills—such as indoor planting or creating their own food business—with the help of partners including Colorado State University Extension, Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion, and the Colorado Cactus and Succulent Society (CCSS).

Also planned for Anythink’s 10th anniversary in 2019 are other programs relating to Dig It: Pop It and Own It. Pop It, in May, “will celebrate all things pop culture in conjunction with Denver Pop Culture Con,” and Own It, in September, will encourage customers “to further develop career and life skills to help them get ahead”; all three programs in this series offer “a platform for Adams County residents to create community, explore culture, and nourish personal and professional aspirations.” 

For more information, read the announcement.



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