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Weekly News Digest

December 7, 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.

NISO Updates Its Access & License Indicators Recommended Practice

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) published an updated version of its Access & License Indicators (ALI) Recommended Practice, which originally came out in 2015. It “defines the metadata indicators used to indicate free-to-read content, as well as for linking to license terms for the use/re-use of that content.” New to this version are “metadata and indicators that allow content metadata users to filter or target subsets of license information. Content platforms and other applications can use this additional information to determine which of the asserted license or sharing indicators have relevance to their particular context.”

For more information, read the press release.

Springer Nature Celebrates Publishing 1 Million OA Articles With a Tree-Planting Project

Springer Nature announced the following:

To celebrate becoming the first to publish one million Open Access ... articles, [Springer Nature] will fund the planting of 10,000 trees—one for every employee—over the next year, in the Khasi Hills in Northeast India.

The commitment, which was chosen to reflect the importance of sustainability to Springer Nature, will be delivered in partnership with C Level and the Synjuk (federation) of ten indigenous Khasi communities. …

The project will address deforestation and biodiversity loss but also the poverty facing rural families by working with the ten indigenous Khasi governments in villages across the region. Indigenous tree species, grown in community tree-seedling nurseries run by local women, will be planted as a special initiative within the larger project in the Khasi Hills, India’s first community-based REDD+ programme (the UN’s programme to guide sustainable forestry).

For more information, read the press release.

SPARC Reacts to Clarivate's Completed Acquisition of ProQuest

Clarivate announced on Dec. 1, 2021, that it has completed its acquisition of ProQuest. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) issued a statement in response, which reads, in part:

The merger, which follows review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), increases concerns over the negative impacts that continued consolidation across the research enterprise will have on the academic community. 

SPARC filed a detailed antitrust brief with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in October, which outlined extensive antitrust concerns with the merger and within the broader research analytics and library services platform markets.

For more information, read the statement.

eLife and PREreview Partner With African Organizations to Train Peer Reviewers

eLife and PREreview joined forces with AfricaArXiv, Eider Africa, and the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa) to create a peer-review training course for early-career and mid-career researchers in Africa. According to eLife, “The course aims to raise awareness around preprints and foster the participation of African researchers in peer review, especially the open review of preprints.” It features guided learning to help them build a profile as a constructive peer reviewer. eLife notes, “To ensure the scalability and maximise the impact of the course, the organisers will introduce a ‘train the trainer’ model, where the first cohort of researchers will be recruited to the workshop and given the opportunity to learn how to instruct others in peer review. The participants will also be invited to help co-create the training materials, adapt these resources to their needs and contexts, and deliver the workshop to their own research communities.”

For more information, read the news item.

SAGE Founder Signs Over Control to the SAGE-SMM Trust

SAGE shares that its “founder and owner Sara Miller McCune has signed over her voting shares and control of the company to the independent SAGE-SMM Trust. The move takes an irrevocable step towards her long-standing estate plan goal of ensuring SAGE remains an independent company focused on its mission to build bridges to knowledge through educational and research publishing.”

McCune states, “My late husband George and I determined early on that we would never let SAGE be sold. We saw too many companies lose their goals, values, and missions in mergers. By transferring control of SAGE to the SAGE-SMM Trust now, I am making sure that SAGE can remain independent and true to the purpose for which we established it.”

CEO Blaise Simqu adds, “We believe that Sara’s estate plan is unique in publishing. Our independence has made us free to make long-term decisions, take risks, and make investments that advance our mission and our academic goals for decades to come.”

For more information, read the press release.

New Zealand Researchers Study the Benefits of Children Engaging in Pleasure Reading

Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT) Ruth Boyask, Celeste Harrington, and John Milne write the following for The Conversation:

Encouraging children to read for pleasure—which is different from it being a school task—has all kinds of benefits, as highlighted in the first comprehensive review of reading for pleasure in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The review is one of three reports commissioned from AUT by the National Library as part of its Putoi Rito Communities of Readers initiative. The researchers looked at international and national research on reading for pleasure, finding very little on the topic in New Zealand. What research there has been has had little influence on policy.

The review’s main conclusion is that reading for pleasure is a beneficial social activity where everyone has a role to play in distributing those benefits.

Parents should feel reassured, however, that this doesn’t mean they need to be ‘teachers’. Simply supporting their children’s enjoyment of reading is relatively easy to do and has been shown to be very good for children’s overall development and health.

For more information, read the article.

Carnegie Mellon University Unveils Podcast Season on the History of Computing

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Libraries launched the second season of Cut Pathways, a podcast from CMU’s Oral History Program. The six-episode season, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” looks at the history of computer science at CMU from 1956 to 1987. It is hosted by the program’s director, Katherine Barbera, and its production assistant, David Bernabo, and features special guests. CMU states, “The season covers the early computers housed in the basement of the business school—then known as the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA)—the influence of government funding, a personnel crisis in the early 1970s, the emergence of robotics and software in the 1980s, and more.”

“The Wild West of Computing” will release three episodes in December and three in January. Full episodes are available from all of the major podcasting platforms.

For more information, read the news item.

Florida State University Partners With Public Libraries to Create Resiliency Hubs

Florida State University (FSU) is working on a project to make libraries into disaster response centers. Kelsey Klopfenstein writes the following for FSU:

The increasing frequency of natural catastrophes and their uneven impact on vulnerable populations calls for the development of disaster Resiliency Hubs. Now, through a grant from the National Science Foundation, a multidisciplinary team of Florida State University researchers is looking to utilize a commonly underrecognized space in disaster response: public libraries.

Focusing on Calhoun County, Florida, a region that remains devastated by 2018’s Hurricane Michael, the researchers will collaborate with public librarians and community members to establish a transferable design and assessment process that will enable rural public libraries to be Resiliency Hubs.

Resiliency Hubs are community-serving facilities tailored to support residents, coordinate communication, distribute resources and provide technical assistance while enhancing the quality of life. They offer an opportunity to effectively work at the nexus of community resilience, emergency management, climate change mitigation and social equity while also providing opportunities for communities to become more self-determining, socially connected, and successful before, during and after disruptions.

For more information, read the news item.

Exact Editions Launches Digital Archive of Fact-Based Children's Books

Exact Editions announced the following:

Non-fiction children’s book publisher What on Earth Books has launched a new digital collection of fact-filled books that are available for individual and institutional subscriptions through the Exact Editions platform. The collection offers readers a diverse perspective on the world, perfect for engaging children’s natural curiosity and passion for learning.

Founded in 2010, What on Earth Books publishes beautifully illustrated books that aim to educate children in a wide range of topics. It has formed publishing partnerships with numerous world-renowned institutions and museums. The collection includes books produced in association with the Natural History Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. …

Navigational features provided by the Exact Editions platform, including an advanced search function, allow users to easily locate specific references to animals, countries, or historical figures within individual titles, or across the complete collection.

For more information, read the press release.

Kanopy Collection Gains Films That Center on Marginalized Communities

Kanopy added 130-plus films from Milestone Films, via a distribution partnership with Kino Lorber, to its collection for global academic and public libraries. The blog post notes, “In addition to award-winning classic cinema masterpieces, groundbreaking documentaries, and American independent features, the selection includes films from beyond the traditional canon. Since 2007, Milestone has focused on restoring ‘lost’ films by and about African Americans, Native Americans, LGBTQ+ people, and women.”

For more information, read the blog post.



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