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Weekly News Digest

November 19, 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.

'The Case for Internet Access as a Human Right' by Karl Bode

Karl Bode writes for Motherboard, “While many countries and corporations treat broadband as just another exploitable resource, experts have been making the case for years that internet access is better viewed as a fundamental utility—essential for free expression and a healthy democracy.” Bode shares that a new U.K. study “takes the argument one step further, arguing that internet access is a basic human right that should be provided for free to those who can’t afford it.”

To learn more about the study, read the article.

EFF Works to Combat Stalkerware Apps

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with several organizations, launched the Coalition Against Stalkerware “to unite and mobilize security software companies and advocates for domestic abuse victims in actions to combat and shut down malicious stalkerware apps.”

According to the press release, stalkerware “is installed on phones without device owners’ knowledge or consent to secretly spy on them. The apps track victims’ locations and allow abusers to read their text messages, monitor phone calls, see photos, videos, and web browsing, and much more. It’s being used all over the world to intimidate, harass, and harm victims, and is a favorite tool for stalkers and abusive spouses or ex-partners.”

The Coalition Against Stalkerware will aim to establish best practices for ethical software development, as well as bring attention to stalkerware apps and how they work so that people can identify them and remove them from their phones. It also aims to provide help for victims—such as by forming partnerships with law enforcement and lawmakers to enforce protections—and advocate for antivirus makers to build stalkerware detection into their products.

For more information, read the press release.

Nature Looks at Ph.D. Programs' Effects on Student Well-Being

The journal Nature joined with Shift Learning, a U.K. education market research company, to conduct the fifth biennial survey of global Ph.D. students. “The survey, which was completed by the highest number of respondents since its inception [more than 6,300], included for the first time questions on mental health, bullying, harassment and student debt. Respondents were self-selecting, based all over the world and represented the full spectrum of scientific fields. In addition to English, the survey was also available in Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish.”

The survey finds that 75% of respondents are “satisfied with their decision” to get a Ph.D., and 71% are “generally satisfied” with the experience so far. But 21% have experienced bullying by supervisors, other students, or staffers, and 21% have experienced discrimination or harassment. And 36% have “sought help for anxiety or depression caused by their studies.”

For more information, read the press release.

CMRubinWorld Explores the Effect of the Digital Age on Childhood

A blog post from CMRubinWorld, “The Global Search for Education: Are the Kids Doing Well in the Digital Age?” by C.M. Rubin, features an interview with Tracey Burns, author of a new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, “Educating 21st-Century Children: Emotional Well-Being in the Digital Age.”

When asked the pros and cons of digital technology for children, Burns says the following:

Young people today use digital tools to create content and socialize; to play, communicate and learn; and to work and share. Yet despite the many advantages of being online, the reality is that all digitally engaged children are exposed to cyber risks. These include consumer content-related risks such as online fraud and marketing and harmful content.  In addition, there are contact risks such as online predators, cyber-bullying and sexting, and privacy-related risks such as privacy breaches and identity theft. Children are increasingly required to navigate ambiguity, reconcile conflicting viewpoints and identify fake or misleading online content. The key is to strike the right balance between empowering children to take advantage of the digital world while also protecting them from potential risks.

For the rest of the interview, read the blog post.

EBSCO Provides Database on Career Readiness

EBSCO Information Services made the HBR Ascend digital learning resource from Harvard Business Review (HBR) available worldwide. It offers real-world insight and practical guidance to college students who are heading into the workforce. “Created to bridge the gap between the typical academic curriculum and on-the-job soft skills that corporations now demand, Ascend helps graduating students excel by providing them with diverse perspectives and seasoned advice from top executives, thought leaders and academics—including expert input from HBR authors and editors,” the press release notes. 

Content includes infographics, videos, podcasts, and short-form articles, and the focus areas are Jobs and Careers, Personal Growth, Managing and Leading, Working with Others, and Being Happy at Work.

“Graduating students and early-career professionals can access the content whenever they have a few minutes to spare. The content is short, crisp, insightful, useful, and impactful to help these young professionals master new skills from anywhere, anytime,” says Sam Hainer, Harvard Business Publishing’s VP of strategy for product and innovation.

For more information, read the press release.

Books Entering the Public Domain in 2020

Kelly Jensen writes for Book Riot, “The end of every year brings with it a few things: holidays, changes in weather, gift giving (or not), and news of what’s hitting the public domain in the coming year. This year marks the second year we’ll get a slew of new titles published first in English in 1924.” Jensen provides information about the public domain and lists titles that will enter it on Jan. 1, 2020. They include works by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Agatha Christie, W.E.B. Du Bois, Edna Ferber, E.M. Forster, Herman Melville, Hugh Lofting, H.G. Wells, Edith Wharton, and Mark Twain.

For more information and to see the list of new public domain titles, read the article.

Meltwater Data Backs AWS Data Exchange Launch

Meltwater shared that it is a launch provider on the new AWS Data Exchange, which helps Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers “securely find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud.” Companies from various industries can use Meltwater’s data products to support business processes, such as identifying trading opportunities, tracking media coverage, or rebalancing portfolios based on changing patterns across industry verticals.

“With the market calling for more external data to [complement] internal datasets, AWS Data Exchange customers can now leverage Meltwater’s data to enhanced visibility into the world around them, so that they can make better informed decisions,” says Stephen Orban, AWS Data Exchange’s general manager.

For more information, read the press release.

Google's Unannounced Chrome Change Aggravates Users

Tom Warren writes for The Verge, “Google left thousands of machines in businesses with broken Chrome browsers this week, following a silent experimental change. Business users accessing Chrome through virtual machine environments like Citrix kept seeing white screens on open Chrome tabs, blocking access to the browser and leaving it totally unresponsive.” IT administrators and Chrome users had not been warned about the change, and Google decided to roll it back, “following multiple reports from businesses with thousands of users affected.”

Warren reports, “One IT admin that alerted The Verge to the issue said ‘we felt that this is a shady thing that Google can update Chrome silently without announcing anything and can impact 100,000+ people on a whim.’ Those concerns are mirrored by hundreds of replies on Google’s support forum, the bug tracker thread, and on Twitter and Reddit.”

For more information, read the article.

Innovative Launches Inspire Discovery for More Efficient Searches

Innovative rolled out Inspire Discovery, the first module of a new library platform, at two places in the U.S.: Cairn University in Pennsylvania and Hillsdale College in Michigan. Inspire Discovery “revolutionizes traditional search-and-find by delivering curated information in context. The results are displayed in an intuitive, visual interface that’s easy to use.” This includes a “Context Wheel allowing people to ‘see’ and navigate relationships between authors, concepts, and resources.”

“One of the common threads in our solicited and unsolicited user feedback, since launching Inspire Discovery, is the ease in locating quality resources. The Cairn library staff are beyond pleased with the favorable feedback from our community and see ourselves as fortunate for the opportunity to be a part of this new solution from the ground up,” says Stephanie Kaceli, Cairn University’s library director.

“We are excited about the potential of Inspire Discovery to enhance discovery by allowing our system to fully participate in the semantic web. Our users expect efficient and powerful research tools, and Inspire will be that, for sure,” says Maurine McCourry, Hillsdale College’s library director.

For more information, read the press release.

The Web of Science Group Shares Its 2019 Highly Cited Researchers List

The Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, unveiled its latest annual Highly Cited Researchers list. The scientists and social scientists on the list have “produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers.” Key findings include the following:
  • The United States is home to the highest number of Highly Cited Researchers, with 2,737 authors, representing 44% of the researchers on the list. Harvard University, home to 203 researchers is the institution [that] has the highest concentration of Highly Cited Researchers in the world. California is also a hotbed of talent, with Stanford University (103), and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, San Diego and Los Angeles are all home to 50+ researchers each.
  • Mainland China has seen a huge surge, with 636 researchers named Highly Cited Researchers compared to 482 in 2018. In the main 21 Essential Science Indicator (ESI) categories, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of researchers named since 2014.
  • As China increased its share of Highly Cited Researchers, other nations declined. The number of Highly Cited Researchers based at institutions in the United Kingdom has dropped to 516 this year, compared to 546 in 2018. Numbers of Highly Cited Researchers based in Germany and the Netherlands have also fallen.
  • Australian research institutes continue to impress. The number of researchers recognized as Highly Cited has more than tripled in six years, from 80 in 2014 to 271 in 2019, among those selected in one or more of the 21 fields. Australian research institutions appear to have recruited a significant number of Highly Cited Researchers since 2014 while also increasing their number of homegrown Highly Cited Researchers.

For more information, read the press release.



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