|Weekly News Digest
August 18, 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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WebJunction Launches New Social Learning Site
OCLC (www.oclc.org) announced that WebJunction (www.webjunction.org), the online learning community for librarians and library staff, has launched a new social and learning experience in close collaboration with partners in 15 state libraries. The new site builds on the deep repository of content, relevant courses, and active discussions that have been the hallmark of WebJunction since 2003.
The new capabilities make it easier for librarians and staff members to do the following:
- Connect with friends, peers, and colleagues from across the library community using new social tools such as friends, public profiles, groups, discussions, tagging, and recommendations
- Create their own content, conversations, and spontaneous communities with fast, fun, and easy-to-use tools
- Learn the skills they need to thrive in their careers with new and more flexible online courses covering general business, technical, and library skills, complimented by social and learning management tools that add depth to the experience
Originally launched 5 years ago with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OCLC, and partners from across the library community, WebJunction has grown to more than 30,000 registered members and has delivered thousands of courses.
Along with the new central site, 15 state libraries launched branded WebJunction portals for libraries and staff in their states. Eleven existing partners migrated their prior sites to the new platform over the past few months: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Connecticut State Library; Illinois State Library; Indiana State Library; State Library of Iowa; State Library of Kansas; Maine State Library; WebJunction Minnesota, a statewide partnership between Metronet, MINITEX, and Minnesota State Library Services; New Hampshire State Library; Vermont Department of Libraries; and the Washington State Library.
WebJunction has also announced that four new state library portals are launching for the first time: Georgia Public Library Service, the Idaho Commission for Libraries, the State Library of Ohio, and Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services.
SEC Announces a New IDEA—The Successor to EDGAR
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC; www.sec.gov) has announced the successor to the agency’s 1980s-era EDGAR database (Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval), which is designed to give investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds. The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system. The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC’s transition from collecting forms and documents to making the information itself freely available to investors to give them better and more up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily use.
The IDEA logo will begin to appear immediately on the SEC’s website as the agency transitions to making IDEA the new primary source for all SEC filings. Companies’ interactive data filings, in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), are expected to be available through IDEA beginning late this year. (In April 2005, the SEC began a voluntary interactive data filing program, which allowed public companies to voluntarily submit XBRL documents as exhibits to periodic reports and investment company act filings.)
Currently, most SEC filings are available only in government-prescribed forms through EDGAR. Investors looking for information must sift through one form at a time and then rekeyboard the information—a painstaking task. With IDEA, investors will be able to instantly collate information from thousands of companies and forms and create reports and analysis on-the-fly, in any way they choose.
Investors and others who currently use EDGAR will be able to continue doing so for the indefinite future. During the transition to IDEA, investors will be able to take advantage of new interactive, IDEA-like features that will be grafted onto EDGAR in the short-run. This will make it possible for investors to tap IDEA’s advanced search capabilities and to use the information from EDGAR within spreadsheets and analytical software—something that was never possible with EDGAR. The EDGAR database will also continue to be available as an archive of company filings for past years.
[For background on the SEC’s decision to replace EDGAR and the companies involved in the process, see the October 2006 NewsBreak by Marydee Ojala, "The SEC’s Plans to Reinvent EDGAR," http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=18423. See also her NewsBreak this week about the SEC’s recommendations on the use of company websites, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=50320. Watch for a future NewsBreak with more details of the IDEA system as it becomes available. —Ed.]
Nexidia Releases Enterprise Speech Intelligence 7.0
Nexidia (www.nexidia.com), a provider of audio search solutions, announced the release of Nexidia Enterprise Speech Intelligence (ESI) 7.0, the next-generation version of its speech analytics solution. It offers new visual reporting tools and drastically improved search performance, scalability, and speed. ESI 7.0 reportedly provides the fastest available indexing speed in the market—more than 20,000 hours per day on a single server, doubling the speed of the most recent version.
Nexidia’s ESI 7.0 features visual reporting and analytics tools that enable better and faster decision making across a contact center’s entire operations. By summarizing and consolidating large volumes of data in a visually intuitive format, executives and contact center managers can gain high-level snapshots at a single glance—as well as effortlessly drill down for deeper investigation and root-cause analysis. New dashboards enable users to pinpoint "hot spots" driving call volume, while advanced reporting features reveal the most critical factors impacting service levels, talk times, and agent and team performance, among other key metrics. Using Nexidia’s call categorization methodology, executives can immediately target improvement areas around the highest priority issues impacting their businesses.
ESI can handle recorded media from many sources, such as security and surveillance, rich media creation, and contact centers in industries such as financial services, insurance, and healthcare.
ESI 7.0 will be available to new and current customers in September 2008.
EBSCO Publishing and NewsBank Link Up Customers
EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) and NewsBank (www.newsbank.com) announced that they have formed an integrated search partnership designed to benefit mutual customers of their services. Customers subscribing to databases from EBSCOhost and NewsBank will be able to easily link to NewsBank results using the EBSCOhost interface.
Through integrated search technology imbedded in EBSCOhost, mutual subscribers will be able to access results from NewsBank after launching a search in EBSCOhost. The service is free to mutual customers of both EBSCOhost and NewsBank full-text news databases.
A new link on the EBSCOhost interface allows users to go directly to their NewsBank results based on the EBSCOhost search. When a user enters search terms into the EBSCOhost interface, a link to relevant full-text results will appear in the result list—putting the NewsBank resources a click away.
Sources: EBSCO Publishing and NewsBank
New RefWorks Offers Greater Research Efficiency
RefWorks (www.refworks.com), a business unit of ProQuest, LLC (www.proquest.com), announced the latest release of features and enhancements to its web-based research management, writing, and collaboration service for the academic and research communities. Improvements include author linking with profiles from COS Scholar Universe and non-English/ multilanguage custom formatting. The enhancements were made in response to requests by RefWorks users.
Users can now further their research and collaboration efforts by learning more about authors through the new Author Linking feature. The Author Resolver service links author names from a RefWorks database to possible matching profiles within the COS Scholar Universe database (www.cos.com). Scholar Universe is a multidisciplinary database containing profiles of more than 1.7 million authors, university faculty, and other scholars. Organizations subscribing to the Scholar Universe database will automatically have access the complete profiles; nonsubscribing organizations are provided with a more concise complementary version of the scholar profiles.
RefWorks has new features for users with non-English or multilanguage bibliographies. These include special handling and automatic formatting of ordinal numbers and the ignoring of leading articles in titles when sorting the bibliography, as well as the ability to customize output styles for formatting in multiple languages.
In response to recent changes in publication formats by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), new fields have been added to RefWorks: PubMed ID (PMID) and PubMed Central ID (PMCID). Accordingly, import filters have been adjusted to accommodate these new fields, and output styles can be modified to include such fields. In addition, for users with visual difficulties, RefWorks has upgraded its interface to offer greater screen-reader compliance.
To help users more easily update their database of citations, a global edit feature now enables moving, deleting, or replacing information throughout all references. Several other additions and improvements have also been made, including enhancements to search functionality, attachment file sizes, user-defined fields, and administrator functions.
Future Point Integrates dtSearch Into the Starlight Visual Analytics Platform
Future Point Systems, Inc. (www.futurepointsystems.com) and dtSearch Corp. (www.dtsearch.com), a supplier of enterprise and developer text retrieval software, announced the integration of the dtSearch Text Retrieval Engine into the Starlight visual analytics platform. Developed in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL; www.pnl.gov), Starlight is a visual analytics platform for advanced information management and analysis in both military and commercial settings. Starlight uses the dtSearch Engine to perform the critical function of indexing XML data.
Starlight is software for "sensemaking," the process of creating situational awareness and understanding in situations of high complexity or uncertainty in order to make decisions. Starlight automatically organizes and summarizes large collections of information and then presents the results in easily interpretable graphical formats.
The dtSearch Engine provides native 64-bit and 32-bit developer access (including .NET, C++, and Java API access for Windows and Linux programmers) to dtSearch’s terabyte indexing and searching. The software can index more than a terabyte of data in a single index—as well as create and instantly search an unlimited number of indexes.
The dtSearch Engine also provides developer access to dtSearch’s file format support. The software can display web-ready content (HTML, PDF, XSL/XML, etc.) with highlighted hits and with all images, links, and formatting intact. Proprietary built-in HTML converters offer hit-highlighted display of other popular file types like MS Office, OpenOffice, ZIP, etc. For database formats like XML and SQL, the dtSearch Engine has precision searching, with support for BLOB data.
Source: dtSearch Corp.
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