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Weekly News Digest

July 17, 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 ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Guardian News Acquires ContentNext Media

Guardian News & Media (GNM; www.gmgplc.co.uk) announced the acquisition of ContentNext Media (www.contentnext.com), a B2B media company that covers digital media, the entertainment and technology sectors, and publishes paidContent.org. Its founder and editor, Rafat Ali, and CEO, Nathan Richardson, will continue to run the company as a stand-alone business.

ContentNext, based in Santa Monica, Calif., and New York City, is an online media hub delivering professional news, information, and analysis to executives in the media, entertainment, and technology sectors. Its publishing network comprises the flagship paidContent.org, providing global coverage of the business of digital content; mocoNews.net, covering the business of mobile content; paidContent:UK, focusing on the U.K. and Europe; and contentSutra.com, covering India’s digital content market. The company also runs a complementary events business.

The move marks a major step in Guardian News & Media’s expansion outside of the U.K. In the last 9 months it has launched Guardian America, offering news and comment to a U.S. audience, and forged a new commercial relationship with Reuters to sell advertising in the U.S. GNM, which publishes two U.K. newspapers, The Guardian and The Observer, and the guardian.co.uk network of websites, also owns a B2B division, Guardian Professional, providing publications, events, and conferences to professional audiences in its core sectors of media, education, and the public sector. ContentNext will form part of the Guardian Professional group.

ContentNext was founded in 2002 by Rafat Ali and funded by Greycroft Partners in 2006. Guardian News & Media Ltd. is a division of Guardian Media Group plc. Guardian Media is owned by the Scott Trust. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. [Price of the acquisition is rumored to be $30-plus million.]

Source: Guardian News & Media

AquaBrowser Adds Social Networking Tools

Medialab, creator of the library search and discovery platform AquaBrowser (www.aquabrowser.com), announced the general release of My Discoveries with functionality for users to create reviews and ratings and view personal tags. These features boost the existing AquaBrowser social networking experience and are designed to create a true global community for library users. AquaBrowser is an ILS vendor-neutral, visual faceted search that connects to any number and type of data sources.

My Discoveries was introduced in 2007 and initially allowed users to tag items, search and refine on user tags, plus create, share, and search on user lists. My Discoveries with LibraryThing content has been seeding library catalogs with 21 million tags created by users of LibraryThing.com. Now with the latest release of My Discoveries, users can review and rate items and view personal tag clouds. The user interface was also enhanced to be more intuitive based on patron comments and customer feedback.

Ratings are easily created using the star system employed at other popular sites. Individuals see not only the rating they’ve attached to an item but the averaged global community rating based on all user input across all My Discoveries libraries worldwide. And the user functionality to create tags, lists, reviews, and ratings is now accessible at both the results list and title level.

Blacklisting support for tags has been expanded and is also available for reviews. Although libraries are embracing Library 2.0 technology, there is still a desire to monitor language that appears in the library’s website and catalog. Library staff members may also monitor their statistics for how many tags, lists, ratings, and reviews are being created in their local system as well as globally.

Medialab Solutions BV is dba AquaBrowser North America in the U.S. and is a business unit of R. R. Bowker (www.bowker.com).

Source: Medialab

Zotero 1.5 Research Tool Now Synchronizes Collections

Zotero 1.5 (www.zotero.org) has been released in public beta. Users can now access their Zotero collections from anywhere and synchronize them across multiple machines (of any operating system). Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help users collect, manage, and cite research sources. It requires the new Firefox 3.0. Zotero 1.5 also offers significant performance improvements over Zotero 1.0.

The Zotero 1.5 Sync Preview introduces a slate of new features, including the following: 

  • Automatic synchronization of collections among multiple computers, e.g., sync your PC at work with your Mac laptop and your Linux desktop at home 
  • Free automatic backup of library data on Zotero’s servers 
  • Support for thousands of existing Endnote export styles—While the CSL styles utilized by Zotero are a more robust and long-term solution for styling references, Zotero offers users the ability to use Endnote styles where there are currently no available CSLs. 
  • A new style manager allowing you to add and delete CSLs and legacy style formats 
  • Preliminary support for local sharing of collections through ZeroConf on OS X—Other platforms and full support to come with the final release of Zotero 1.5

Zotero is a production of the Center for History and New Media (http://chnm.gmu.edu) at George Mason University. It is generously funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (www.imls.gov), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (www.mellon.org), and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (www.sloan.org).

Source: Zotero

AIIM Offers Email Management ROI Calculator Tool

To help organizations determine the cost of unmanaged email systems, AIIM developed an Email Management ROI Calculator Tool that allows organizations to identify and analyze their current costs, total cost of ownership (TCO), the benefits of managing email more efficiently, and effective return on investment (ROI) of an email management solution. AIIM’s calculator is available for $125 at www.aiim.org/emailroicalculator and is free to AIIM professional members.

Today, the cost of an unmanaged email system can weigh heavily on an organization especially during litigation. The Email Management ROI Calculator consists of three tabs. The first tab asks for information that can be used to analyze the current costs of email to the organization today. The second identifies and quantifies the costs of implementing an effective email management solution, including procurement costs and costs to operate the solution over a 3-year period. The third identifies the benefits to be realized from the email management solution as compared to the existing costs from tab 1 and applies the costs and benefits in order to determine an ROI figure.

AIIM (www.aiim.org) is the community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize their information. AIIM was founded in 1943 as the National Microfilm Association and later became the Association for Information and Image Management. AIIM is also known as the Enterprise Content Management Association.

Source: AIIM

New Report on Copyright Law and Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress, through its National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and in cooperation with partners in Australia, the Netherlands, and the U.K., has issued a joint report, "International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation." It states that digital works are ephemeral, and unless preservation efforts are begun soon after they are created, they will be lost to future generations. The report finds that although copyright and related laws are not the only obstacle to digital preservation, there is no question that those laws present significant challenges. An electronic version of the report is available through the NDIIPP website at www.digitalpreservation.gov.

Recommendations are provided for legislative reform and other solutions to ensure that libraries, archives, and other preservation institutions can manage copyrighted digital information in a manner consistent with national and international laws. Specific recommendations include structuring national copyright laws to provide exceptions for preservation institutions to proactively preserve at-risk copyrighted material in digital form, subject to measures appropriate to protect the legitimate interests of rights holders.

The recommendations in the U.S. jurisdiction section of the report follow those outlined in by an independent Section 108 Study Group report (www.section108.gov) issued in March 2008. (For details, see the NewsBreak by George Pike at http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=48703.) Recommendations from the other jurisdictions reflect each country’s specific copyright laws. The four organizations also worked very closely together to develop joint recommendations for how copyright and intellectual property law might better accommodate the preservation of digital information.

According to the report, copyright laws should permit preservation institutions to preserve copyrighted works in accordance with international best practices for digital preservation, including making copies for administrative and technical purposes; migrating works into different formats in response to technological developments and changing standards; and maintaining redundant copies among preservation institutions and legally authorized third-party preservation repositories to protect against catastrophic loss. The report further recommends that copyright exceptions for digital preservation should not be conditioned on the category (such as literature or music) or format (such as compact disc or website) of information.

Source: The Library of Congress

New Version of Read It Later Now Available

The new version of the web productivity tool Read It Later with Firefox 3 support is now available. It allows you to save webpages of interest to read later (www.ideashower.com/ideas/launched/read-it-later). Read It Later has been completely revamped and offers new features including built-in RSS feeds, syncing, offline reading, tagging, multilanguage support, and more. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest.

The newest version of Read It Later exclusive to Firefox 3 has been improved across all levels. Using Firefox 3’s new Places architecture, the extension can now fully perform the way it was meant to be. Here are some of the new features: 

  • One Click Saving, Sorting, and Tagging 
  • Sync Your List With Any Number of Computers 
  • Offline Reading 
  • RSS Feeds 
  • Click to Save Mode 
  • Save All Tabs for Later

Read It Later is a product of web developer Nate Weiner, founder of the Idea Shower, "a launchpad for new ideas on the web."

Source: The Idea Shower



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