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Weekly News Digest

April 7, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Sophie Etext Reader/Writer Now Available

The Institute for the Future of the Book (www.futureofthebook.org) has made Sophie 1.0 software available for free download (www.sophieproject.org). Sophie is an etext reader/writer with multimedia and network capabilities. It runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Sophie was funded by grants from the Mellon and MacArthur Foundations and affiliated with the University of Southern California. (Sophie is open source software licensed under a version of the new BSD license. Copyright (c) 2004–2008, Regents of the University of Southern California. All rights reserved.)

Sophie’s goal is to open up the world of multimedia authoring to a wide range of people and institutions, and in so doing, it aims to redefine the notion of a book or "academic paper" to include both rich media and mechanisms for reader feedback and conversation in dynamic margins. There are tutorials, how-to-movies, and sample books available at the site. These will be refined and others will be added in the weeks to come.

The Institute for the Future of the Book explores the book’s shift from the printed page to a networked environment. The Institute is a project of the Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California. Its goal is to explore, understand, and influence this shift. (For information on the networked book, see Paula Berinstein’s article in the November/December 2006 issue of Searcher, www.infotoday.com/searcher/nov06/Berinstein.shtml.)

The TeleRead blog (www.teleread.org/blog) has more detailed information on Sophie. One interesting comment was made by blogger David Rothman: "The library angle: Could public libraries offer Sophie classes and encourage patrons to create multimedia books on, say, local history."

Source: The Institute for the Future of the Book

WilsonWeb Adds Short Story Index Retrospective: 1915–1983

H.W. Wilson (www.hwwilson.com) announced Short Story Index Retrospective: 1915–1983, a new tool to help users find short stories from among more than 150,000 published in the U.S., England, and Canada dating from the 1830s to the 1980s. The index provides access by author, title, and publication, as well as topics, themes, locales, genre, and people (individuals, ethnicities, or professions).

The database brings precise electronic searching to short fiction that would be otherwise just "hidden away." Sources include 350 periodicals and collections of short stories—from the golden age of short fiction in magazines through the most celebrated contemporary literary publications. Entries feature all the bibliographic information needed to find the actual story, plus links to other works by the author and other stories in the source collection. WilsonWeb’s library holdings indicator (linked to the library’s OPAC) lets users know if they’ll find cited publications on the shelves, and WilsonLink OpenURL technology links to full-text stories on any of the library’s other OpenURL-compliant reference sources, including free websites.

Short Story Index Retrospective brings together decades of content from Wilson’s Short Story Index. The databases search seamlessly in combination, offering access to more than 170 years of data. The new database is one of 16 now in the Wilson Retrospective Collection, which also includes indexes in art, applied science, social science, education, biography, business, law, library and information science, and the humanities. Other retrospective databases covering literature include Book Review Digest Retrospective, Humanities Index Retrospective, Readers’ Guide Retrospective, and the upcoming Essay & General Literature Index Retrospective.

Source: The H.W. Wilson Co.

ProQuest’s C19 Index Adds Index Records From LexisNexis

ProQuest (www.proquest.com) announced the addition to C19: The Nineteenth Century Index of two bibliographic records, the American State Papers and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, from LexisNexis (www.lexisnexis.com), a provider of business information solutions. Direct linking from C19 to these resources is designed to provide mutual customers with a single point of access to even more diverse content types and sources for researching the 19th century.

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the American State Papers cover more than 131,000 congressional and executive documents issued from 1789 through 1901. The American State Papers and the Serial Set capture all aspects of American life from westward expansion, Native American affairs, politics, international affairs, business, and manufacturing. Congressional reports and documents, executive documents ordered to be printed by Congress, presidential communications, maps, and treaty materials are discoverable through these newly added records.

Bearing ProQuest’s Chadwyck-Healey imprint, C19: The Nineteenth Century Index is part of ProQuest’s ambitious 19th-century digital publishing program. A finding tool for 19th-century materials in multiple formats, C19 is designed to enable faster, more comprehensive research of one of the most studied centuries. This one-stop finding tool covers an array of content types, with title-level records for books and government documents and article-level references for serials. ProQuest is part of Cambridge Information Group (www.cambridgeinformationgroup.com).

Source: ProQuest

Article Records From British Library Now in WorldCat.org

OCLC (www.oclc.org) announced it has added some 20 million article-level metadata records to WorldCat.org from The British Library. The new records come from British Library Inside Serials, the library’s flagship serials service that gives access to articles from 20,000 journals. This data load increases by 60% the amount of article-level metadata in WorldCat.org and brings the number of article records to more than 57 million. The records also are available in WorldCat Local, a localized version of WorldCat.org that integrates a library’s entire collection of information resources through a simple, locally branded interface.

Adding this article metadata helps OCLC member institutions in two ways: It makes more of their collections accessible on the open web through WorldCat.org, and it makes WorldCat Local an even more robust discovery service for a library’s local collections.

Other files with article records that have previously been added to WorldCat.org:
• MEDLINE
• ERIC
• OCLC ArticleFirst
• OCLC Electronic Collections Online

WorldCat.org is a web portal to the global WorldCat catalog with a supporting program of data syndication that makes a library’s collection and services discoverable virtually anywhere on the web, including major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Windows Live Search.

Source: OCLC

blinkx Launches BBTV Online Video Service

blinkx plc (www.blinkx.com), provider of the video search engine blinkx.com, has launched blinkx BBTV (Broadband TV), an online video service that enables users to view films and other programming from its partners. blinkx BBTV leverages blinkx’s patented speech and visual recognition technology to simultaneously deliver a high-quality television experience over the internet and link it to information on the web, adding dimension and context to the viewer’s experience.

Launching with a library of premium independent films and a variety of high-quality programming from existing partners, blinkx BBTV is a small download (1.8 MB) that is available free of charge at www.blinkxbbtv.com. (It is available for Windows 2000/XP and Windows Vista.) blinkx BBTV offers hybrid peer-to-peer streaming and a simple point-and-click channel interface. All content appearing on BBTV is delivered over an encrypted network and protected by Microsoft DRM technologies.

blinkx’s patented video indexing automatically creates a speech track of content within the video, making it easy for viewers to navigate literally word-for-word and jump to specific points in a program, simply by searching for a spoken word or name. While watching programs or movies on blinkx BBTV, viewers can instantly access features, including transcripts of the audio track and background information on everything from actors and personalities to reviews and locations shown within the video.

In the coming months, blinkx will be adding dozens of additional channels and premium video content to the BBTV offering. It will also be working behind the scenes to power similar BBTV experiences for partner media and entertainment sites that are looking for new ways to connect with their viewers. BBTV is fully compatible with blinkx AdHoc, blinkx’s contextual advertising platform.

Source: blinkx plc

2008 OECD Factbook Now Available

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) announced the electronic version of OECD Factbook 2008 (www.sourceoecd.org/factbook), which has been transformed to include animated diagrams of key indicators, designed to bring the data alive visually for users. The interactive graphs enable users to clearly observe trends in the statistics and interact with the data to perform their chosen comparisons between countries. There is also more data for key non-OECD member countries, Brazil, Chile, China, Estonia, India, Israel, Russia, Slovenia, and South Africa.

OECD Factbook 2008: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics covers the spectrum of OECD statistics in a single publication. The 2008 print edition is available at a new lower price of $50. The electronic version, complete with interactive diagrams, is available free online and on the unique OECD USB key. The key includes OECD in Figures and plenty of space for the user’s own files—said to offer the ultimate in portable statistics (price: $35).

Factbook 2008 has new indicators on tertiary education, migration, labor compensation, and nuclear energy. The interactive graphs enable users to understand and use the information more easily, and the underlying data is available in Excel files, allowing users to incorporate their own work via the StatLink service.

Source: OECD Publishing



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