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Weekly News Digest

December 10, 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.

OECD Enhances Access to Statistics

OECD (www.oecd.org) announced the launch of a new beta service for accessing OECD Statistics called OECD.Stat. Following 5 years of behind-the-scenes work to combine OECD’s databases into a single system, OECD.Stat will enable users to search for and extract data from across OECD’s many databases for the first time. The launch of OECD.Stat in SourceOECD, OECD Publishing’s iLibrary (www.sourceoecd.org), is the first step in an extensive project to enhance OECD’s publishing services. Over the next year, OECD will launch a number of major improvements to its online services covering both statistical and analytical publications.

OECD.Stat offers three key features:

  • Discovery: Users can search for complex statistical data across OECD databases with one click access to the datasets themselves from the search results.
  • Mix and Merge: For the first time, users can extract data from across all 50 databases in one enquiry. New functions enable users to gather and assemble data from various data sets in unique and customizable tables.
  • Metadata: Improved metadata down to the level of each data point means that users can understand the origins of each number and the overall context, aiding comprehension.

Source: OECD

ARL Publishes Report on the Print-to-Electronic Transition for Journals

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published "The E-only Tipping Point for Journals: What’s Ahead in the Print-to-Electronic Transition Zone," by Richard K. Johnson and Judy Luther. The report examines the issues associated with the migration from dual-format publishing toward electronic-only publication of journals. The report is available for free download at www.arl.org/bm~doc/Electronic_Transition.pdf.

The persistence of dual-format journals suggests that substantial obstacles need to be surmounted if the transformation to e-only publication is to be complete. This study, commissioned and disseminated by ARL, seeks to create a better understanding of the dynamics of the transition process for librarians as well as publishers. Neither publishers nor librarians independently control the process, and the need to coordinate their activities greatly increases the complexity of the transition.

The report provides a synthetic analysis of librarian and publisher perspectives on the current state of format migration, considering the drivers toward e-only publishing and barriers that are slowing change. The authors provide an assessment of likely change in the short term and recommend strategic areas of focus for further work to enable change.

The work is based in large part on interviews conducted between June and August 2007 with two dozen academic librarians and journal publishers. Publishers and librarians were consulted equally in recognition that these changes pose significant issues of coordination. Interviews were conducted with collection officers and others at ARL member libraries and publishing staff of societies and university presses, publishing platform hosts, and publishing production consultants.

Source: The Association of Research Libraries

IBM Enhances Free Enterprise Search Software

IBM (www.ibm.com) unveiled a new release of the free IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition enterprise search software with web search services powered by Yahoo!, which will enable users to further customize and personalize their searches. The new version of IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition offers the ability to easily separate content into different searchable document collections, an improved administration console that simplifies setup and management of the search tool, and enhanced search support based on the latest open source Lucene indexing library. Other enhancements improve the performance, indexing, and custom search field capabilities; they also add support for additional browsers.

IBM introduced IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition last December to address the growing need for a no-cost, full-featured search product that eliminated financial and technological barriers to information access. Since its launch, nearly 25,000 users have downloaded IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition, and global organizations of all sizes are using it to improve their enterprise search experience. In addition, numerous independent software vendors and businesses have developed new offerings that integrate with or support IBM’s free search platform. IBM and Yahoo! were the first major search vendors to offer a full commercially supported version of advanced enterprise software based on open source technology.

Additional features in the new version of OmniFind Yahoo! Edition include added support for detecting and removing "near-duplicates" from search results, designed to further improve the accuracy and usefulness of searches. The new version can also be more easily installed as a Microsoft Windows service. Earlier this year, IBM announced localized language support to meet expanding worldwide demand for the product in Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, and Swedish. IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition can search websites and local or remote file systems up to 500,000 documents per instance and search the web all from a single search user interface. IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition is available at no charge and can be downloaded at http://omnifind.ibm.yahoo.com.

Source: IBM



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