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Weekly News Digest

August 13, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Google Adds Participant Comments to Google News

Google, Inc. has added a new, experimental feature on the Google News home page. It has added a mechanism for publishing comments from a special subset of readers: those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question. Comments are published in full, without any edits, but they are marked as "comments" so readers know it is the individual’s perspective, rather than part of a journalist’s report. This feature is now available only in the U.S., but, based on how things go, it will be expanded to other languages and editions.

All comments published are "on the record" statements made by the commentator. Google employees verify the commentators’ identities and then allow them to say whatever they’d like about the story. Google said it would not publish comments that include hate speech, calls to violence, or other offensive statements. Comments will be available in Google News for the usual 30 days. They may later be made available through the Google News Archive.Source: Google, Inc.

Northern Light Introduces Analyst Direct

Northern Light (www.northernlight.com) introduced Analyst Direct (www.analystdirect.com), a search engine for information technology (IT) analyst research. Analyst Direct helps technology marketers, product planners, analyst relations specialists, and other professionals search reports from multiple research firms simultaneously, as well as seamlessly access reports using their existing analyst site logins. Analyst Direct is an individual subscription version of Northern Light’s SinglePoint hosted market research portal and content integration application for large enterprises.

Analyst Direct provides integrated search of market research reports from IT analysts including Forrester, Gartner, IDC, and other leading firms. It leverages Northern Light’s search engine and patented results classification to search all reports using a single search and alerting interface and relevance ranking. Most reports are full-text-indexed and subject-classified to a single consistent standard. Northern Light has agreements in place with all of the IT analyst firms and secondary sources used by its clients today. The company manages the content aggregation directly from each IT analyst firm in order to be able to index all new content from all sources on a daily basis.

Analyst Direct offers a feature called MI Analyst, Northern Light’s IT research-optimized text analytics engine. MI Analyst identifies the tone of voice (positive or negative) toward the user’s company and its competitors in each report. Additionally, the text analytics engine performs meaning extraction to tell users what business issues reports address in areas such as corporate strategy, product marketing, market share, and pricing. For more information on MI Analyst, see the NewsBreak at http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=36109.

Analyst Direct also includes access to millions of business news, trade journal, and magazine articles. All articles are subject-classified to provide analysis, commentary, and perspective on 20 industries.

Subscriptions to Analyst Direct are $1,500 per year for one seat, $5,000 per year for five seats, and $50,000 for an enterprisewide license.

Source: Northern Light

EBSCO Publishing Improves Web Accessibility

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has teamed with accessibility experts to make it easier to search EBSCOhost using screen readers and keyboard controls. Working with the EBSCO Accessibility Interest Group, led by the Illinois Center for Instructional Technology Accessibility (iCITA) at the University of Illinois–Urbana/Champaign (http://cita.uiuc.edu), EBSCO was able to determine that text-only interfaces, the industry standard for Web accessibility (which is referred to as 508 compliance in the U.S.), were no longer enough.

The EBSCOhost text-only interface met the standards for 508 compliance, as outlined within the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards (www.section508.gov). However, the text-only interface still incorporated various elements that presented roadblocks to functional usability for impaired researchers using screen readers. By working with the EBSCO Accessibility Interest Group, changes have been made that make the full features of EBSCOhost available to all users, including those with various physical and visual disabilities.

Some of the improvements include the following:

  • Elimination of most tables to improve searching with screen readers or keyboard controls
  • Descriptive page titles, section header tags, and selected link labels
  • Redesigned form controls for easier tab navigation
  • Streamlined code for simpler page structures
  • Access keys that support international keyboard functionality across multiple browsers
  • Detailed alternative text image descriptions
  • Visually and physically impaired users can perform searches independently most of the time
  • Decreased page sizes mean shorter download times for all users

More information can be found at www.ebscohost.com/webaccessibility.

Source: EBSCO Publishing



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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