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Weekly News Digest

June 16, 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.

DOE Announces International Agreement on Global Science Online Gateway

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the establishment of a multilateral alliance to govern the rapidly growing online gateway to international scientific research information—WorldWideScience.org. Officials from 11 founding member organizations representing 38 countries formalized their commitment in Seoul, Korea, by signing a WorldWideScience Alliance agreement to sustain and build upon joint efforts to provide a single, sophisticated point of access for diverse scientific resources and expertise from nations around the world.

WorldWideScience.org is the result of an agreement—signed in January 2007 by Raymond L. Orbach, undersecretary for science of the DOE, and chief executive of The British Library Dame Lynne Brindley—to partner on the development of a global science gateway to accelerate scientific discovery by giving people faster and more convenient access to online scientific databases. (The first name for WorldWideScience.Org was Science.world. For the background, see the NewsLink Spotlight, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=19230.)

When WorldWideScience.org was first made publicly available in June 2007, it was capable of searching 12 databases from 10 countries. Today, the website enables anyone with internet access to launch a single-query search of 32 national scientific databases and portals from 44 countries, covering six continents and nearly half of the world’s population.

The typical user query searches 200 million pages of science and technology information not typically accessible through popular search engines. The governance document laying out the structure for the WorldWideScience Alliance was ratified in February at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) 2008 Winter Meeting in Paris. DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), within DOE’s Office of Science, serves as the WorldWideScience.org Operating Agent. OSTI conceived of the global science gateway and developed the application based on research results from DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research program.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

H.W. Wilson and MLA to Make Article-Level Records Available in OCLC WorldCat.org

Database producers H.W. Wilson (www.hwwilson.com) and the Modern Language Association (MLA; www.mla.org) have agreed to make article-level records available in OCLC WorldCat.org. The agreement is designed to increase visibility and access to authoritative content licensed by libraries on the web.

MLA and H.W. Wilson will permit a portion of their content to be indexed in WorldCat.org, the web destination that allows information seekers to find what they need from a single source, online through OCLC’s cooperative organization of libraries.

The article-level metadata from H.W. Wilson and MLA will be added to the more than 50 million articles indexed from NLM MEDLINE, the Department of Education’s ERIC database, the British Library Inside serials, the GPO Monthly Catalog, and the OCLC ArticleFirst database to expand access and discovery of authoritative content through WorldCat.org.

OCLC (www.oclc.org) will continue to add article-level records to WorldCat.org to enrich the search experience and make collections from libraries more visible on the web.

Source: OCLC

Peer-to-Patent Pilot Releases Report on Pilot Project

Peer-to-Patent (www.peertopatent.org), the web-based governmental social networking project, has released a report on the results of its 1-year pilot. Peer-to-Patent seeks to improve patent quality by connecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to an open network of scientific and technical experts to enhance the patent examination process.

Launched on June 15, 2007, by New York Law School Professor Beth Noveck together with a network of corporate and academic collaborators and in cooperation with the USPTO, Peer-to-Patent is the first social networking project with a direct link to decision-making by the federal government.

Under traditional practices, USPTO patent examiners bear the sole burden of identifying and relating information pertinent to patent applications. Under Peer-to-Patent, expert volunteers were permitted to assist in these efforts. With the consent of participating inventors, patent applications were posted to the Peer-to-Patent site where the expert reviewers discussed the applications and submitted bibliographic information, known as prior art, relevant to determining if an invention was new and nonobvious, as the law requires to obtain a patent. At the conclusion of the review period, this prior art was forwarded to the USPTO patent examiner for consideration and use in their further search efforts.

Data from the first year of the Peer-to-Patent pilot shows that an open network of reviewers can improve the quality of information available to patent examiners and that such citizen-reviewers are capable of producing information relevant to the patent examination process and are willing to volunteer time. Initial results based on a survey of patent examiners from the USPTO suggest that information provided by the public is beneficial to the examination process. Peer-to-Patent attracted more than 2,000 peer reviewers. The first 23 office actions issued during the pilot phase showed use of Peer-to-Patent submitted prior art in nine rejections.

To view the Peer-to-Patent report in its entirety, visit http://dotank.nyls.edu/communitypatent/P2Panniversaryreport.pdf.

Source: Peer-to-Patent

Rocketinfo Launches New Version of Online RSS Reader

Rocketinfo, Inc. (www.rocketinfo.com), a pioneer in news monitoring, analysis, and search technology, announced the release of a new version of its free online RSS reader, Rocket Reader (http://reader.rocketinfo.com). The new version of Rocket Reader offers a number of new features, while retaining many of the features that originally made Rocket Reader popular. 
  • Consumers can add or export collections of RSS feeds via OPML import and export. 
  • Favorite news stories or blog posts can be saved with one click and these clipped items can be accessed at any time. 
  • Popular RSS feeds can be selected from Editors’ Picks feed packs and automatically added to Rocket Reader. 
  • Sharing continues to feature prominently in Rocket Reader, as references to news stories or blog posts can be shared by email or through a shared feed. Shared feeds allow consumers to create their own personalized RSS feeds that include noteworthy news stories and these personalized RSS feeds can then be shared with friends or business associates.

The redevelopment of Rocket Reader is an integral part of Rocketinfo’s strategy to refine its core technology and to offer innovative news search and news monitoring solutions.

Source: Rocketinfo, Inc.

Newser Launches “NY Times in 60 Seconds”

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Newser (www.newser.com), the online news synthesizer that distills the best stories from a hundred news sources into lively summaries, has launched a new feature, "NY Times in 60 Seconds." Newser reads The New York Times for you, culling the "must-read" stories people are going to be talking about and giving you a crisp summary of each, housed in a dedicated grid you can scan in 60 seconds.

Newser also launched "Best of the Glossies" and "Pundit Watch"—new grids featuring the day’s best magazine stories and most provocative opinion pieces from all over the web. Newser is an online news service that adds human intelligence to machine-driven aggregation. Its editors pick the stories and provide summaries.

Newser has also added local news streams for more than 70 U.S. markets and another 16 international English-speaking cities using RSS feeds from sources selected by Newser’s editors. In addition to local news and weather, Newser Local provides sports coverage from the AP and restaurant and nightlife reviews via Yelp.

Newser has been beta testing, allowing its readers to create threads of stories on a particular topic in the news. Users have responded enthusiastically, and Newser is now launching Threads as an integral part of the site.

HighBeam Research (www.highbeam.com) created Newser as an extension of its existing online information businesses. Newser uses the HighBeam technology platform to access and filter millions of news and reference articles, photos and videos. Newser debuted in October 2007.

Source: Newser, LLC

Pluck Releases SiteLife 3.3 Social Media Platform

Pluck Corp. (www.pluck.com) announced the launch of SiteLife 3.3, the latest version of the company’s fully hosted and managed technology platform for integrating social media tools into publisher, brand, and retail websites. New features include enhanced SEO compatibility, new search and discovery features, broadened forums capabilities, additional third-party integration options, and expanded community management capabilities.

The SiteLife platform offers a comprehensive set of user participation and social networking tools via hosted widgets and APIs and is broadly deployed on more than 200 leading digital destinations, including USA TODAY, Circuit City, Scotts, The Guardian, and Discovery.

SiteLife capabilities include user comments, ratings, recommendations, reviews, photo and video sharing, forums, blogs, and integrated social networking profiles called Personas. SiteLife offers a robust set of APIs that allow customers to easily tailor social media experiences to the needs of their distinct audiences. While simple to integrate and configure, SiteLife readily scales for the needs of the world’s largest media, publishing, brand, and retail sites. The SiteLife platform is currently powering nearly 2 billion monthly social media interactions.

Source: Pluck Corp.



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