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Weekly News Digest

November 11, 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.

ACS Pilots Transparent Peer Review for Two Journals

The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) introduced transparent peer review, a peer review process implemented as a pilot for ACS Central Science and The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. ACS notes, “For authors and reviewers who choose to participate, transparent peer review makes the reviewers’ comments and the authors’ response to the reviewers visible to readers of a published article. … For a manuscript to undergo the new process, all authors and reviewers must opt into transparent peer review. If all parties agree, their reports and responses will be published alongside an article as Supporting Information.”

“This new approach provides insight into an essential part of the publication process that has been typically kept private,” says Sarah Tegen, SVP of the Journals Publishing Group at ACS. “Transparent peer review promotes open science by providing access to the exchange between reviewers and authors. It serves another function in helping to educate early career researchers who are just beginning to review or publish research articles. Seeing real examples of other researchers’ reviews and comments can be an invaluable tool for these young scientists.”

For more information, read the press release.

The Climate Change Knowledge Cooperative Goes Live

After gathering publisher partners, Kudos has announced the official launch of the Climate Change Knowledge Cooperative. “For the first time, 15 of the world’s largest and most reputable academic publishers have come together to explain the most important research on climate change to the public,” co-founder Charlie Rapple writes in a blog post. The platform, developed by Kudos and Impact Science, “provides easy-to-understand research summaries to help everyone”—including politicians and the public—act on the findings of climate change science. “The initiative will help to strengthen the trust between science and the public to enable people to make more informed decisions, lobby governments for change and successfully take urgent action on climate.”

Cambridge University Press, the American Meteorological Society, and Elsevier, among other prestigious publishers, have “selected a range of [their] most influential articles, books and other climate science content” for inclusion on the platform, which has been summarized by expert writers.

For more information, read the blog post.

News Coverage of Penguin Random House's Blocked Acquisition of Simon & Schuster

The New York Times reports, “The Biden administration on [Nov. 2] sued to stop Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the United States, from acquiring its rival Simon & Schuster, as part of a new drive in Washington against corporate consolidation.”

Publishers Weekly shares, “Notably, the [Department of Justice] focused its opposition to the deal around its impact on authors (and particularly on potential bestselling authors). … The reaction from both [Penguin Random House] and [Simon & Schuster] has been swift. In a release announcing their intentions to fight the lawsuit, the two publishers called the proposed deal a ‘pro-consumer, pro-author, and pro-book seller transaction.’ Furthermore, sources close to [Penguin Random House] said that the government cherry-picked the numbers used to oppose the deal. …”

Melville House posted a helpful roundup of what people have been saying about the lawsuit and the proposed merger, noting, “Will the [Department of Justice] be able to stop the merger? Back in March, the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was investigating the takeover, considering whether it would result in ‘substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services’. They investigated … and cleared the anticipated acquisition.”

The Passive Voice excerpts an article from The Wall Street Journal, and as usual for this blog, the comment section is worth reading: “Justice Department Sues to Block Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Simon & Schuster.”

John Warner wrote a column for the Chicago Tribune, “Publishing Works Like an Ecosystem, Which Is Why Penguin Random House Shouldn’t Eat Simon & Schuster,” which states, “One thing I feel confident in is that there will be fewer slots for people who want to work in publishing. … If we aren’t circulating fresh people through the ecosystem, the world of books will be harmed in ways that may be difficult to quantify, but are very real nonetheless. … I’m even open to the possibility that the merger may have positive effects, but to me that’s another reason to be glad that the Justice Department is going to pause the merger and take a look. Let’s be certain.”

CCC's Velocity of Content Podcast Looks at the Inclusion of Public Media in Infrastructure Funding

Velocity of Content, a podcast from CCC, recently featured Chris Kenneally (CCC’s senior director of content marketing) in conversation with Victor Pickard (a professor of media policy and political economy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication) about supporting NPR and PBS in infrastructure funding outlays.

“We have glaring market failure where local journalism is not being supported, and the information and news that we need as a democratic society is not being provided for. Really, that should be seen as a national crisis. Yet there’s been very little policy response thus far,” Pickard says.

Learn more about this podcast episode, “Rebuilding & Rethinking US Information Infrastructure.”

Bibliotheca's uniFi+ System Helps Libraries Share Information With Patrons

Bibliotheca has made uniFi+, its integrated communication system, available to libraries around the world. The company notes, “Unlike traditional digital signage, uniFi+ uniquely integrates with public PCs, Bibliotheca selfChecks, remoteLockers, and other solutions to enrich communications inside and outside the library walls. Developed specifically for libraries, uniFi+ allows content to be pushed to multiple screens across multiple branches while still allowing branches the autonomy to add specialized content for their users.” The uniFi+ system supports content such as video, wayfinding, and interactive displays. It can all be modified, scheduled, and distributed via the uniFi+ platform.

“Library communication is extremely important and historically, difficult to do well,” says Oliver Martin, Bibliotheca’s chief product officer. “uniFi+ solves this problem by offering libraries an easy, engaging way to share information, resources, and critical communications throughout their entire library. Whether broadcasting to patrons at checkout or offering wayfinding stations throughout the building, uniFi+ allows libraries to get the right message to the right visitor, at the right time.”

For more information, read the news item.

HeinOnline Shares Its New and Updated Content

Lauren Zazzara, from HeinOnline’s marketing team, posted an update on what’s new with the company. Here are some highlights:
  • The Air and Space Law database—“This new database is a collection of books, documents, reports, and more illustrating the multitude of ways humans interact with and explore the earthly skies and distant reaches of outer space.”
  • The Session Laws Library indexing project—“We continue to expand state session laws indexing for all states back to inception. Since our last update, we have completed the indexing for Arizona.”
  • Mandates to Vaccinate: A Brief History” blog post—“Vaccination requirements aren’t new in the United States. Many infectious diseases have resulted in mandatory inoculations at the federal and state level—well before today’s health and safety measures were put into place.”
  • Libguides—The new libguides are Air and Space Law, McGill Institute of Air and Space Law Publications, and Legal Classics.
  • Database content updates—The Law Journal Library has eight new journals, the U.S. Congressional Documents database added 150 hearings and 86 Congressional Research Service reports, Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases got 114 new titles, and 18 titles were added to Criminal Justice & Criminology.

For more information, read the blog post.

New Gale Learning Centers Teach Students How to Use Primary Sources Databases

Gale introduced Learning Centers for Gale Primary Sources, which are designed to help “faculty and students enhance their digital literacy and critical thinking skills.” These learning centers show students “the content and topics available in a digital archive, spark inspiration for new research topics and provide guidance and best practices for searching, browsing, citing and reusing primary sources.” They give faculty members and librarians “an invaluable, all-in-one instructional tool that helps learners get acclimated with a primary source database, saving educators’ time creating teaching material.”

There are four workflow steps to the learning centers: 1) conceptualize, 2) find, 3) read, and 4) use. Gale notes, “Each workflow section features detailed instructional content that’s engaging and accessible. The content in each individual Learning Center is tailored to the digital archive it supports. Content includes topic overviews, sample searches, essays by subject experts, step-by-step search strategies, case studies and discussion questions to encourage further exploration.”

For more information and a list of the primary sources databases that currently have learning centers, read the press release.

Biophysics Colab Starts Reviewing Preprints on Sciety

Biophysics Colab joined Sciety to bring review and curation to biophysical preprints on the Sciety platform. Sciety notes, “Biophysics Colab is a collaboration of biophysicists working in partnership with eLife to improve the way in which original research is evaluated. It aims to drive forward the principles of open science by providing an environment for peer review that is equitable, inclusive and transparent.”

Sciety facilitates Biophysics Colab’s efforts to “identify preprints of interest, provide constructive and collegiate feedback to the authors, and publicly endorse studies that they consider to be rigorous and robust,” says Lesley Anson, executive director of Science Colab, Biophysics Colab’s parent organization. Authors can choose to respond publicly to feedback via Sciety, which is posted alongside the peer reviews. Authors are also allowed to post revised versions of their preprints. Biophysics Colab’s endorsements are viewable on Sciety’s activity pages.

For more information, read the blog post.

Lean Library Shares Results of Survey on Librarian-Patron Workflows and Relationships

Lean Library published the free “Librarian Futures” white paper (registration required), which is “based on a large-scale survey of 4,000 librarians and patrons that examines librarian-patron workflows and relationships. The report finds that while patrons are unaware of the full extent of librarian support (with 77% beginning research discovery outside of the library), more than 80% greatly appreciate librarians and would want the library more deeply embedded in their natural workflows.”

Other findings include the following:

  • 79% of faculty and 74% of students now begin their discovery process outside the library, on websites such as Google Scholar, but appreciation and use of library services remain high, suggesting further appetite for librarians to meet patrons in their workflow.
  • Librarians are highly appreciated by their patrons, significantly more so than librarians anticipated. 84% of faculty patrons appreciate librarians … “a lot” or “a great deal”.
  • 82% of librarians and 88% of patrons would want librarian and library services embedded throughout their workflow, available to call on when needed. Patrons may have preferred routes outside the library in recent years, but this does not diminish their demand for librarian support. It underscores the need for librarians to come to them.

The press release notes, “Lean Library, a company that delivers library services into the patron’s workflow, is part of the newly launched Technology from SAGE portfolio of digital services alongside Quartex from Adam Matthew and Talis. Each of the services was created to improve the patron’s workflow using technology based on years of librarian feedback and research on patron needs. … Technology from SAGE services include workflow services and resource access solutions from Lean Library; resource list management services and collaborative annotation services from Talis; and archival discovery solutions from Quartex.”

For more information, read the press release.

CyberRisk Alliance Buys Information Provider for the Cybersecurity Market

CyberRisk Alliance (CRA) acquired After Nines, Inc., which produces the digital information brands ChannelE2E (information for managed service providers, IT service providers, channel partners, and strategic investors) and MSSP Alert (a service for managed security services providers, managed detection and response, and security-driven managed service providers). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The press release states, “The addition of After Nines continues CRA’s aggressive expansion of best-in-class services that inform, connect, and facilitate collaboration in the fast-growing cybersecurity industry. The transaction represents the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions for CyberRisk Alliance since its founding in late 2018, joining earlier acquisitions of SC Media, Security Weekly, Infosec World Conference and Expo, Cybersecurity Collaboration Forums, Cybersecurity Collaborative and the company’s organic launch of the CRA Business Intelligence Unit.”

For more information, read the press release.



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