|Weekly News Digest
January 21, 2008 — 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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Google Details New Philanthropic Initiatives
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, announced five core initiatives that will be the focus of its philanthropic efforts over the next 5 to 10 years. Google.org will collaborate with experienced partners working in each of these fields, investing its resources, and tapping the strengths of Google’s employees and global operations to advance its core initiatives. The announcement includes more than $25 million in new grants and investments to initial partners. The resources come from a commitment by Google’s founders to devote approximately 1% of the company’s equity plus 1% of annual profits to philanthropy, as well as employee time.
The three new efforts include the following:
• Google.org supports efforts to empower communities to predict and prevent events before they become local, regional, or global crises by identifying "hot spots" and enabling a rapid response—initially focused on Southeast Asia and tropical Africa.
• Google.org works with partners to improve the flow of vital information to improve basic public services for the poor in India and East Africa.
• Google.org supports efforts to lower transaction costs to invest in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to create opportunities to access larger financial markets, and to make investments in this sector in the developing world.
These three new efforts join two climate change-related initiatives announced earlier this year: to develop renewable energy that is cheaper than coal (known as RE<C) and to accelerate the commercialization of plug-in vehicles (RechargeIT).
ProQuest Acquires RefWorks
ProQuest (www.proquest.com), a Cambridge Information Group company (www.cambridgeinformationgroup.com), has acquired RefWorks LLC (www.refworks.com), a provider of web-based research management, writing, and collaboration services for the academic and research communities. Cambridge Information Group has had an ownership position in RefWorks since May 2001. Complete ownership will enable ProQuest to integrate RefWorks into its Community of Science (COS) business, which serves the same market.
Jeff Baer, ProQuest vice president and general manager of what is now known as RefWorks/COS, will lead the newly merged group. RefWorks’ tools—best known for their abilities to help researchers easily gather, manage, store, and share all types of information—are uniquely complementary to COS Scholar Universe. COS Scholar Universe is known for its networking capability, which provides direct access to more than 1.4 million active researchers from around the world working in more than 200 disciplines. With RefWorks and COS joining forces, researchers will be able to turn to one source for tools that help them identify colleagues with similar research interests around the world, establish alliances, and manage joint research projects.
RefWorks CEO Earl Beutler will remain a consultant to support strategic projects from RefWorks/COS. The remaining senior management team of RefWorks will report directly into Baer. The other RefWorks staff will be combined with the COS staff to create a single, integrated organization.
NetLibrary Now Offers Blackstone eAudiobooks Through Subscription
NetLibrary, OCLC’s platform for eContent (www.oclc.org/netlibrary), will offer downloadable eAudiobooks from Blackstone Audio (www.blackstoneaudio.com) through subscription as well as through its current purchase program beginning March 3. Through an expanded partnership with Blackstone Audio, the third largest producer of unabridged audiobooks in the United States, NetLibrary will offer libraries an extensive collection of 1,800 eAudiobook titles available on a subscription basis. Approximately 15 to 25 new titles will be added to the collection each month at no additional cost.
Key subject areas in the Blackstone eAudiobook collection include fiction and literature, biography, business, religion, philosophy, science fiction, nonfiction, mystery, and suspense. The Blackstone eAudiobook collection is delivered via the NetLibrary platform, in WMA format, seamlessly integrating with existing NetLibrary eBook and eAudiobook holdings. The subscription is delivered under a simultaneous, multiuser access model. Any number of patrons can access the same eAudiobook title at the same time through the internet. Users will have the ability to check out and download up to 10 titles at one time for a period of 21 days.
Source: OCLC NetLibrary
Swets Launches SwetsWise 5.0 With New License Bank
Swets (www.swets.com ) announced the launch of SwetsWise 5.0, the latest technical update to its subscriptions management tool. SwetsWise 5.0 adds new functionalities to SwetsWise Subscriptions, the central focus of the SwetsWise platform. The most significant addition is the introduction of License Bank, a functionality that makes a large collection of publisher license conditions available to all SwetsWise customers at no extra cost.
License Bank was developed with extensive input from customers and the cooperation of all the publishers whose licenses are included, with regular discussions on the original requirements, usability testing, and beta testing included in the process. Customers can view which publishers require a license agreement and the different licenses offered. License Bank contains 45 separate license data fields, which are tracked following the guidelines of the Digital Library Federation’s (DLF) Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI).
SwetsWise 5.0 also includes new ejournals management, activation, and tracking capabilities, as well as an overview of financial information, such as payments, credits, and invoices. Furthermore, this new release incorporates a "multiple subscriptions" section into SwetsWise that enables users to select and renew many subscriptions at once. SwetsWise 5.0 completes the first full year of development on the new, fully integrated SwetsWise platform.
Outsell Acquires Business Research Division of Eduventures
Outsell, Inc. (www.outsellinc.com), a syndicated research and advisory firm for companies in the information industry, has acquired the business research division of Eduventures (www.eduventures.com), a higher education research and consulting company. Under the terms of the agreement, Outsell will assume responsibility for Eduventures’ syndicated research business serving the hundreds of content, technology, and services companies in the education industry. Eduventures launched its business research division in July of 2000.
The companies will maintain independent consulting divisions focused on serving their respective clients; however, they will combine their resources as appropriate on custom client engagements that could benefit from the unique expertise of both firms. In order to better serve current and new customers, three key Eduventures executives will be participating in the business transition. Adam Newman, managing vice president; Laurence Bloom, research manager; and Noah Carp, senior analyst will be serving existing education customers while helping to integrate Eduventures’ education industry perspective and research library with Outsell’s family of research offerings.
Source: Outsell, Inc.
Vivísimo Adds Clustering 2.0 Technology
Vivísimo (www.vivisimo.com) announced a new patent-pending technology—remix clustering—to help users find new topics and gain insights related to their search queries. Vivísimo’s standard clustering (Clustering 1.0) organizes search results into topical folders on-the-fly, without any preprocessing of source documents. Clustering gives a quick overview of the main topics, enables easy access to valuable but low-ranked search results, and groups together related documents for joint consideration. Clustering saves time and improves the ability to find and discover valuable information within search results.
Vivísimo’s patent-pending remix clustering (Clustering 2.0) is designed to take the searcher’s productivity to a new level. Remix clustering works like this: The user first sees clustered results in the usual style. Then, a single click reveals submerged or secondary topics that were not generated in the initial clustering. It works by feedback: cluster the same search results again but explicitly ignore the topics that the user has already seen.
Remix clustering functionality is built into Velocity 6.0, Vivísimo’s enterprise search platform used by many Global 1000 companies and government organizations worldwide. It is also now available on Clusty.com, Vivísimo’s online web search site. More information is available at: http://searchdoneright.com/2008/01/introducing-clustering-2.0.
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