|Weekly News Digest
January 8, 2009 — 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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Nature Education Launches Free Educational Resource—Scitable
Nature Education has launched Scitable (www.nature.com/scitable), a free, online educational resource for undergraduate biology students and educators. Currently focused on genetics, Scitable combines authoritative scientific information with social media functionality. Scitable is the first product launch from Nature Education, a division of Nature Publishing Group (NPG; www.nature.com) formed in January 2007 to develop innovative education resources and tools for college science students and educators. Nature Education plans to expand the service to other subject areas in the future.
Scitable provides students with free online access to more than 180 overviews of key genetics concepts. The overviews are evidence-based and have been vetted by NPG staff. By connecting with other Scitable users via groups, chat functionality, and other social media features, students can collaborate online with classmates or with a wider community of experts, researchers, and fellow students.
Scitable is also intended as a teaching tool for faculty. Educators can set up public or private groups for their students, providing reading lists, course packs of Scitable articles, and group discussions. Scitable is flexible and easy to use, and it can be incorporated into courseware services such as Blackboard.
Nature Education introduced the Scitable beta site in October 2008 and invited faculty and students to provide feedback. Of 31 faculty who beta-tested Scitable, 97% would recommend it to other teaching faculty, and 100% would recommend Scitable as a study resource to students.
Source: Nature Publishing Group
Serials Solutions Introduces Resource Manager Consortium Edition
Serials Solutions (www.serialssolutions.com), a business unit of ProQuest LLC, announced the release of Serials Solutions 360 Resource Manager Consortium Edition, a new e-resource management service for consortia, groups, and their member libraries. 360 Resource Manager Consortium Edition helps consortia managers increase efficiency by consolidating e-resource metadata and acquisition information in one place. Now consortia can manage holdings, subscription, licensing, contact, and cost information for their group and streamline delivery of information to all group members.
Serials Solutions 360 Resource Manager Consortium Edition helps consortia to more easily and effectively manage e-resource selection, acquisition, and analysis by consolidating subscription, licensing, and holdings data and organizing it in a way that makes sense for the group. Consortia managers can choose which data to share and automatically push that data to their members, managing all member libraries from a single service. Libraries with multiple group memberships also can inherit data from more than one group at once. As a result, more content can be made available to patrons for research, and their access and discovery tools work more effectively.
The 360 Resource Manager Consortium Edition includes Serials Solutions 360 Core and Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks.
Source: Serials Solutions
Hoover’s Mobile Goes Live at CES
Hoover’s, Inc. (www.hoovers.com) and its parent company D&B, a provider of global business information, tools, and commercial insight, launched a new mobile product line at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES)—Hoover’s Mobile for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile smartphones and Hoover’s MobileSP for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphones. The products are now available in the U.S. Existing customers have been testing Hoover’s Mobile as a beta product.
Hoover’s Mobile and Hoover’s MobileSP allow users to access important customer, prospect, and partner information; identify new prospects; size up competitors; prepare for meetings; and seize upon unexpected opportunities. Both products include mobile search for finding 28 million companies and 36 million executives, as well as maps and driving directions.
Additionally, Hoover’s MobileSP users have the following at their fingertips:
- One-click access to call executives
- GPS-enabled location searches
- Advanced search and list-building
- Custom call queue and "Save to Contacts" capabilities
Hoover’s Mobile is available for free, and Hoover’s MobileSP is available for an introductory price of $19.99 per month or $199 annually. Users can subscribe by visiting www.hooversmobile.com.
Source: Hoover’s, Inc.
EBSCO Announces New Digital Content Viewer
EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) has announced its new EBSCOhost Content Viewer, which was created to help users access the information in EBSCO’s three new historical digital archive collections, which will begin to be released this year. These collections require new ways to view digitized content that reproduce the best aspects of the physical library research experience while incorporating the advances in modern digital technology. As such, the new state-of-the art EBSCOhost Content Viewer was designed to enable researchers to navigate historical content in a manner that is fast and natural and that preserves the serendipity involved in doing historical research.
The universal browser-based delivery system provides a visual overview of the document being searched, allowing users a sense of the length and content of a given document. If searchers are using keywords, the keywords are highlighted on the page images. Users are able to see how many times a given keyword is mentioned in a periodical, monograph, article, or one of the other document types in the databases on a Document Map. The viewer also provides distinctive highlight styles for both exact and nonexact or "fuzzy" matches.
For periodical content, the EBSCOhost Content Viewer lets users browse multiple issues in a volume without having to leave the page viewer interface, encouraging the serendipitous discovery that historians working with EBSCO had hoped to preserve. The viewer uses zooming and panning technology similar to searching online maps. The technology also allows users to jump to the next section of an article via hyperlinks. Users will be able to take advantage of other features such as persistent links, saving articles or pages to folders, printing and saving user-selected articles or pages as text-searchable PDFs (which are full-size page images). Users will also be able to create, save, and print Page Notes related to a particular item. Those notes will retain the citation and page information of the viewed item and persistent links back to the page will be included.
The company is digitizing content from the American Theological Library Association and the American Antiquarian Society as well as key aspects of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project from Arte Público Press.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
SEC Approves Requirement of Interactive Data for Financial Reporting
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov) has voted to require public companies and mutual funds to use interactive data for financial information, which has the potential to increase the speed, accuracy, and usability of financial disclosure and eventually reduce costs for investors. With interactive data, all of the facts in a financial statement are labeled with unique computer-readable "tags," which function like bar codes to make financial information more searchable on the internet and more readable by spreadsheets and other software. Investors will be able to instantly find specific facts disclosed by companies and mutual funds and compare that information with details about other companies and mutual funds to help them make investment decisions.
For public companies, interactive data financial reporting will occur on a phased-in schedule beginning this year. The largest companies who file using U.S. GAAP with a public float greater than $5 billion will be required to provide interactive data reports starting with their first quarterly report for fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2009. This will cover approximately 500 companies. The remaining companies who file using U.S. GAAP will be required to file with interactive data on a phased-in schedule over the next 2 years. Companies reporting in IFRS issued by the International Accounting Standards Board will be required to provide their interactive data reports starting with fiscal years ending on or after June 15, 2011.
Companies will be able to adopt interactive data earlier than their required start date. All U.S. public companies will have filed interactive data financial information by December 2011 for use by investors.
The SEC earlier this year unveiled its new financial reporting system—IDEA (Interactive Data Electronic Applications)—to accept interactive data filings and give investors faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds. The new IDEA system is supplementing and eventually replacing the agency’s 1980s-era EDGAR database, marking the SEC’s transition from collecting forms and documents to making financial information itself freely available to investors. (For more information, see http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/wndReader.asp?ArticleId=50361 and http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=18423.)
Investors can begin seeing this new information at http://idea.sec.gov. For participants in the SEC’s Voluntary Filer Program, investors can find clearly labeled buttons taking them to a company or mutual fund’s voluntary interactive data submissions. As soon as companies and funds make their mandatory interactive data submissions to the SEC, their financial information will be immediately available to investors through the SEC’s IDEA system as well as on the websites of companies and funds disclosing the data.
Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Nature Publishes PDF With 3D Interactive Images
Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., announced that Nature (www.nature.com) gained an extra dimension with its first PDF containing a three-dimensional interactive figure. Published in the Jan. 1 issue, figures in a paper by Alyssa Goodman and colleagues enable Nature readers to view and rotate maps of molecular clouds.
The paper describes a new method for analyzing 3D maps of molecular clouds, shedding light on the role of gravity in star formation. The researchers borrowed technology from medical imaging to analyze data cubes of molecular clouds, where the x and y axes represent the plane of the sky, and the third dimension (z) is velocity.
The PDF of the article makes the most of recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Professional, which enables the creation of PDFs from 3D and computer-aided design (CAD) file formats. The resulting PDF retains the structure and detail of the 3D model. While the PDF can be viewed and printed as normal, a window is embedded in the PDF adding extra functionality. Click on the image in the PDF and a 3D toolbar appears across the top of the image, and the image becomes interactive. The tools provided allow the user to rotate the model, pan horizontally or vertically, zoom in or out, and isolate or hide individual parts. To use the interactive functionality on 3D PDFs, users need Adobe Reader 9.0 or a more recent release.
The need for 3D figures is well-understood in fields from medical imaging to structural biology, and Nature expects that authors from many scientific disciplines will soon take advantage of this functionality. Timo Hannay, publishing director of Nature.com, says, "Developments in software capability and web functionality mean that scientific communication can be much richer and more dynamic than has been possible in the past. We will continue to make the most of these developments wherever we can to maximize our service to both authors and readers."
Source: Nature Publishing Group
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