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Weekly News Digest

June 22, 2021 — 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 Announces Web Audio API as an Official Standard

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has made Web Audio API—which focuses on music and audio creation and manipulation—an official standard. This JavaScript API is “for creating, shaping, and manipulating sounds directly in a Web browser. It is already widely deployed for the creation of music and sound effects on Web pages, for the creation of online musical instruments, for Web games, and for collaborative artworks such as sound installations.”

Web and app developers can use it to make resources such as “auditory feedback in user interfaces, musical instruments, soundtracks and effects for entertainment and gaming, teaching, spatial audio for AR and VR, online audio editing apps, crossfading and compression for in-car music management, and audio analysis and visualisation.”

For more information, read the press release.

Elsevier CEO Talks Inclusion and Diversity on New Podcast

Elsevier CEO Kumsal Bayazit appeared on the Unique Contributions podcast to discuss inclusion and diversity—including what Elsevier is “doing to nurture it, internally and in the wider research and health communities,” reports Ian Evans, content director for global communications at Elsevier. Bayazit was interviewed by Elsevier chairman YS Chi. Among other topics, the podcast also covers “the vital importance of trust,” “[w]hy inclusion and diversity matters (including the order of the words),” and “the most important lessons she’s learned” in her 2 years as CEO.

For more information, read the article.

'Brave's New Privacy-Focused Search Engine Takes Aim at Google' by Liam Tung

Liam Tung writes the following for ZDNet:

Chromium-based browser maker Brave has launched a beta of its Brave search engine in a bid to create a privacy-focused alternative to Google. 

The new search engine puts Brave into the category of firms that have both a browser and a search engine: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Baidu are also among these companies with both. …

Brave said its search is built on top of a completely independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks. …

Brave is promoting the idea of privacy-protecting ads that can pay publishers and users with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) when users pay attention to ads. It’s also opposing Google’s emerging new system for tracking users online without cookies, called FLoC, or Federated Learning of Cohorts. …

The company claims it now has 32 million monthly active users of the Brave browser, up from 25 million in February. It also claims that over 100,000 people signed up for preview access to the new search engine. 

For more information, read the article.

Clarivate Publishes Report on the Importance of Subject Diversity in Research

Clarivate released “Subject Diversity in Research Portfolios” (registration required), a new Global Research report that “examines the ability of nations and institutions to respond to unexpected challenges or opportunities in science, medicine, technology and social sciences based on the diversity of their research activities and expertise.” It shows “that subject diversity provides benefit, notably in resilience and responsiveness to unexpected challenges and examines [G7 and BRICK] nations’ ability to provide for their citizens’ needs in responding to a severe unforeseen global challenge—the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, Clarivate identifies a new and readily usable analytical approach to evaluate the capacity and competency of research organizations and nations.”

The press release continues, “The study demonstrates that diversity analysis provides a new forward-looking view of the opportunities for intellectual, and scientific evolution, in contrast to retrospective publication citation analysis, which looks back to achievement.”

For more information, read the press release.

'Legible Launches Browser-Based Reading and Publishing Platform' by Ed Nawotka

Ed Nawotka writes the following for Publishers Weekly:

Legible.com is a new browser-based, mobile-first digital reading and publishing platform that is currently in beta. The site, based in Vancouver, presently functions much like an online bookstore, allowing users to purchase books, but it also plans to offer several additional options for publishers and consumers, including an all-you-can-read subscription model and a sponsorship model, which will allow an individual or institution to pay to unlock a book or several books for a specific audience to read for a period of time for free. …

Another focus of Legible.com is ensuring books are, literally, legible: beautiful and easy to read on a screen, no matter what the size. …

Legible’s in-the-works subscription model will cost $14.99 a month and offer a 60/40 revenue split, favoring the publishers.

For more information, read the article.

U.S. Copyright Office Completes Reorganization

The U.S. Copyright Office announced that it “has updated its regulations to implement the Office’s May 2021 reorganization. The reorganization is intended to improve the Office’s effectiveness and efficiency by renaming divisions and realigning certain reporting structures and reflects the agency structure for the new copyright small-claims tribunal established by the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (‘CASE’) Act of 2020.”

The updates to its regulations include realigning the Office of the Director of Operations, renaming elements of the Office of Copyright Records, and updating division descriptions to encompass their current responsibilities.

For more information, read the news item.

Sciety Increases Its Support for the Evaluation of COVID-19 Preprints

Sciety has added three new groups that evaluate COVID-19 preprints to its network: the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC), Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), and ScreenIT. The blog post states, “There has been significant growth in research outputs relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for an efficient system to help readers navigate new results has become clear. Our three new groups have met this challenge by producing high-quality screenings, reviews and summaries of key findings, and Sciety has brought them all together in one convenient and accessible place.”

Sciety has 11 other groups offering evaluations, with each group getting its own custom page for providing context about its process and contributors. Users can find a group’s activities through a search or on its dedicated page. “In this way, Sciety itself can be agnostic about the review models its groups choose to support, while offering a single, understandable interface for consuming the diverse range of content available.”

For more information, read the blog post.

IGI Global's New Book Looks at Blockchain and AI in Scholarly Publishing

IGI Global has published the book Transforming Scholarly Publishing With Blockchain Technologies and AI, edited by Darrell Wayne Gunter of Gunter Media Group. It is available as a hardcover, as an ebook, in hardcover plus ebook, as a softcover, or as individual chapters on demand. The description states the following:

The scholarly publishing industry is in its early days of the digital transformation, and blockchain and AI technology could play a major role in this. However, the industry has been resistant to change. These reasons include but are not limited to staying with legacy systems, cost of new platforms, changing cultures, and understanding and adopting new technologies. With proper research and information provided, the publishing industry can adopt these technologies for beneficial advancements and the generation of a bright future.

Transforming Scholarly Publishing With Blockchain Technologies and AI explores the changing landscape of scholarly publishing and how blockchain technologies and AI are slowly being integrated and used within the industry. This book covers both the benefits and challenges of implementing technology and provides both cases and new developments. Topics highlighted include business model developments, new efficiencies in scholarly publishing, blockchain in research libraries, knowledge discovery, and blockchain in academic publishing.

Chapters include “Is AI in Your Future?: AI Considerations for Scholarly Publishers,” “Best Business Practices for Incorporating Change,” and “Blockchain and the Research Libraries: Expanding Interlibrary Loan and Protecting Privacy.”

For more information, read the book’s webpage.

eLife Ups Preprints' Usefulness for Medical Research

eLife introduced a new approach to peer review and publishing in medicine (which includes public health and health policy). The organization notes, “Despite the benefits of rapid, author-driven publication in accelerating research and democratising access to results, the growing number of clinical preprints means that individuals and institutions may act quickly on new information before it is adequately scrutinised.” To combat this shortcoming, eLife is adding “refereed preprints” to medRxiv that have undergone rigorous peer review. They give researchers a detailed assessment of the research, comments on its potential impact, and perspectives on its use. “By providing this rich and rapid evaluation of new results, eLife hopes peer-reviewed preprints will become a reliable indicator of quality in medical research, rather than journal impact factor,” eLife states.

“With the growing number of medical preprints appearing online, it makes sense to have a system for reviewing them that allows readers to see at a glance whether new results are trustworthy,” says Diane Harper, eLife’s deputy editor. “For authors, it’s great to be able to offer this solution for having their work published and reviewed as quickly as possible, especially when their findings may have important implications for human health.”

For more information, read the news item.

OASPA Endorses Make Data Count Initiative and Will Hold Data Citation Webinar

Bernie Folan writes for OASPA, “As leaders in the evolving open access publishing space, OASPA believes that developing and supporting best practices and broadly achievable standards for all aspects of open content is essential, including for research data. Because of this, OASPA endorses the Make Data Count initiative, and its goals of building for, and supporting, the inclusion of research data in responsible research assessment.”

On July 13, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. EDT, Make Data Count and OASPA will be hosting an interactive webinar on best practices for data citation. Folan shares, “We’ll be introducing Make Data Count, sharing a publisher case study on data publishing and citation, and covering the how, why and when for data citation. We will also look at the importance of supporting data citations from the OASPA perspective. We’ll also collect feedback from participants on data citation in their communities in preparation for a further piece of work with OASPA members—we want to understand and help remove barriers to data citation, and support those already doing this valuable work.” 

Register here.

For more information, read the news item. 

Gale Expands Its Primary Source Collection on Political Extremism

Gale introduced the second installment of its Political Extremism and Radicalism archive, titled Political Extremism and Radicalism: Far-Right Groups in America. This installment looks at the history of radical right movements in the U.S. from the 1850s to the 2010s—focusing on white supremacist and nationalist groups—and covers topics such as fascism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, political misinformation, and conspiracy theories. There are materials that both support and criticize the far right, from sources such as the University of California–Santa Barbara’s Christian Identity and Far-Right Wing Politics collection, the University of Iowa’s Social Documents Collection, and files from the FBI.

For more information, read the press release.



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