|Weekly News Digest
July 23, 2007 — 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.
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House Approves Bill That Mandates NIH Public Access Policy
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH; www.nih.gov) to provide free public online access to agency-funded research findings within 12 months of their publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The House passed the provision as part of the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill. A similar measure has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be considered by the full Senate later this summer.
The current NIH Public Access Policy, implemented in 2005 as a voluntary measure, has reportedly resulted in the deposit of less than 5 percent of eligible research by individual investigators.
In a recent letter to Congress (https://mx2.arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OAForum/Message/3858.html), 26 Nobel Laureates called for enactment of mandatory NIH public access, noting that "[r]equiring compliance is not a punitive measure, but rather a simple step to ensure that everyone, including scientists themselves, will reap the benefits that public access can provide. We have seen this amply demonstrated in other innovative efforts within the NIH—most notably with the database that contains the outcome of the Human Genome Project."
Passage of the measure has been strongly advocated by the Alliance for Taxpayer Access (www.taxpayeraccess.org), a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that support open public access to the results of federally funded research.
Source: Alliance for Taxpayer Access[ Editor’s Note : The Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division (www.pspcentral.org) of the Association of American Publishers (www.publishers.org) has been a strong opponent of the measure. In June, the PSP and a coalition of academic and society publishers from within the DC Principles Coalition of scientific publishers (www.dcprinciples.org) wrote a letter to members expressing strong concern with language in the appropriations bill (see www.pspcentral.org/publications/LHHS_appropriations_bills.pdf).]
Thomson Announces Westlaw Business Powered by GSI
Thomson West (http://west.thomson.com) announced the upcoming release of Westlaw Business powered by GSI (www.westlawbusiness.com) at the recent American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2007 meeting. It features three specialized work centers—GSI’s LIVEDGAR, the new Westlaw Business Securities Center, and the Westlaw Business M&A Center—on a new integrated platform. The new online research service is targeted at business law professionals.
LIVEDGAR, GSI’s flagship product, now includes several new enhancements including due diligence reports on 60,000 private companies. The new Westlaw Business Securities Center is an advanced workflow-enabled resource available for legal disclosures regulated by the ’34 Act. The Westlaw Business M&A Center offers global private and public company and deal coverage —including research, market analysis, and other exclusive Thomson content —helping users complete their work quickly and confidently using one source. It offers simple charge-back reporting and password management.
GSI (Global Securities Information; www.gsionline.com), a provider of securities-related information and transactional research, is a business within The Thomson Corp. and is aligned with Thomson West. GSI was founded in 1988 and acquired by Thomson in 2005.Source: Thomson West
Houghton Mifflin to Acquire Harcourt Divisions from Reed Elsevier
Houghton Mifflin Co. (www.hmco.com) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Harcourt Education, Harcourt Trade, and Greenwood-Heinemann divisions ("Harcourt"; www.harcourt.com) from Reed Elsevier (www.reedelsevier.com) for $4 billion in cash and stock. The sale represents the completion of Reed Elsevier’s plan, which it announced in February, to sell off its entire Harcourt Education division. (In May, Pearson (www.pearsoned.com) agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier.)
Completion of the transaction, which is expected in late 2007 or early 2008, is subject to regulatory review. The combined business will be led by Tony Lucki, chairman, president, and CEO of Houghton Mifflin and former CEO of Harcourt Education and Harcourt, Inc.
Houghton Mifflin said the acquisition would strengthen its position in the highly competitive educational publishing business. The combination will serve to broaden and deepen the geographic reach of the combined sales forces and enable them to develop innovative, updated, and customer-focused technology and educational programs and products to meet the evolving needs of customers, educators, and students throughout the country
Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Co. merged with Riverdeep in 2006. The company publishes a set of educational solutions, ranging from research-based textbook programs to instructional technology to standards-based assessments for elementary and secondary schools and colleges. The company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. Harcourt Education serves students and teachers in pre-K through grade 12, adult learners, and readers of all ages.Source: Houghton Mifflin Co.
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