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Weekly News Digest

February 2, 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 ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Times Publishing Co. Plans to Sell Congressional Quarterly, Inc.

The Times Publishing Co. of St. Petersburg, Fla. (www.tampabay.com), announced it is exploring the sale of Congressional Quarterly, Inc. (CQ; www.cq.com). Paul Tash, chairman of Times Publishing, says the move represents the company’s decision to direct investment resources toward properties in Florida, including its award-winning newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times. Times Publishing has retained the Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI; www.jegi.com), a New York-based investment banking firm, to handle the transaction. JEGI performed the same role last year in the sale of CQ’s books division, CQ Press, to Sage Publications of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Based in Washington, D.C., Congressional Quarterly is a leading publisher of news and information on politics, public policy, and legislative activity at the federal, state, and local levels. With nearly 170 reporters, editors, and researchers covering governmental activity, CQ is recognized as a leader in the development of web-based information products.

CQ president Robert W. Merry, who joined CQ in 1987 after a dozen years covering Washington for The Wall Street Journal, said, "The Times Publishing Co. has been a wonderful steward of this business. But to maintain CQ’s double-digit growth, we appreciate that it’s time to bring our enterprise under the banner of an owner with national or international reach."

CQ was founded in 1945 by Nelson Poynter, then owner of the St. Petersburg Times. Though it began in print with CQ Weekly magazine, which continues to be a leading publication for political and policy professionals, the company today garners a majority of its revenue from electronic, real-time information. CQ.com, created in the late 1990s, is a subscription-based information service that tracks congressional activity for the sophisticated Washington audience and is seen by many industry analysts as an innovative service that pushed CQ to the first rank of digital publishing.

Similarly, Capitol Hill watchers turn to CQ’s daily newsletter, CQ Today, both in print and online, for key news and information on each day’s legislative happenings. CQ also reaches far beyond the Beltway with its free CQ Politics website (www.cqpolitics.com), which offers news, blogs, and interactive features on politics and campaigns for political professionals and opinion leaders of all stripes. And state and regional government leaders across the nation depend on CQ’s Governing magazine for in-depth analysis of the trends affecting their state governments.

Source: Times Publishing Co.

ALPSP eBooks Collection Launched by Ingram Digital

The much anticipated new ebooks cooperative service (www.alpsp-ebooks.org) enabling Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers members (ALPSP; www.alpsp.org) to offer multipublisher collections to libraries has launched. The ALPSP eBooks Collection (AeBC) includes more than 1,200 titles from 15 member publishers covering 11 subject areas. Many of the titles included in the AeBC have not been available previously in digital format. It is expected that other ALPSP member publishers will add titles in coming months. The AeBC will be available exclusively through Ingram Digital’s MyiLibrary platform (www.ingramdigital.com).

The launch collection publishers include American Psychiatric Publishing; Amsterdam University Press; Australian Academic Press; Edinburgh University Press; EDP Sciences; Equinox Publishing; Federation Press; Hindawi Publishing Corp.; International Food Information Service (IFIS Publishing); IOS Press; NRC Research Press; Multilingual Matters; Policy Press; Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The AeBC is available to libraries and other institutions through the extensive network of MyiLibrary distribution partners, which include Swets, the current provider of the ALPSP Learned Journals Collection, Coutts Information Services, and ProQuest.

Publishers participating in the AeBC will also benefit from access to Ingram Digital’s full range of content solutions including the MyiLibrary platform for individual ebook sales, the CoreSource digital asset management platform, and print-on-demand services from Lightning Source.

Source: ALPSP

JSTOR and Ithaka Merge

JSTOR (www.jstor.org) and Ithaka (www.ithaka.org) have announced the merger of their organizations. The new combined enterprise will be called Ithaka and will be dedicated to helping the academic community use digital technologies to advance scholarship and teaching and to reducing systemwide costs through collective action.

JSTOR was founded in 1995 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as a shared digital library to help academic institutions save costs associated with the storage of library materials and to vastly improve access to scholarship. Today, more than 5,200 academic institutions and 600 scholarly publishers and content owners participate in JSTOR.

Ithaka was started in 2003 by Kevin Guthrie, the original founder of JSTOR, with funding from the Mellon Foundation and others. Ithaka was established to aid promising not-for-profit digital initiatives and to provide research and insight on important strategic issues facing the academic community. Ithaka has become known for its influential reports including the 2007 "University Publishing in A Digital Age" and the 2008 "Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources." It is the organizational home to Portico, a digital preservation service; and NITLE, a suite of services supporting the use of technology in liberal arts education.

The two organizations say this is a natural step. JSTOR and Ithaka already work closely together, sharing a common history, values, and a fundamental purpose. During 2008, the Ithaka-incubated resource Aluka was integrated into JSTOR as an initial step, further strengthening ties between the organizations. JSTOR will now join Portico and NITLE as a coordinated set of offerings made available under the Ithaka organizational name. As one organization, Ithaka will explore how to use its combined knowledge and experience to help its constituents in new ways.

Source: Ithaka

Springer Launches AuthorMapper.com

Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com) has launched the website www.AuthorMapper.com, a free, analytical, online tool for discerning trends, patterns, and subject experts within scientific research. Currently, AuthorMapper searches more than 3 million journal articles. The current searchable content is from all Springer journals, and metadata from other STM publishers will be included in the near future.

The tool can provide a variety of analyses, such as keyword tag clouds and "Top 5" bar charts for various important metrics; it includes an interactive world map of the results. AuthorMapper’s advanced search function also allows complex queries using keyword, discipline, institution, journal, and author. The results can identify new and historic scientific trends through timeline graphs and bar charts of top statistics, allowing for identification of trends in the literature, discovery of wider scientific relationships, and locating other experts in a field of study.

The trend timeline graph, for example, allows authors to see whether their area of expertise is growing or has already peaked. Users who are only interested in open access content can restrict their searches accordingly, and all search results provide links to content on SpringerLink. For graduates, postdocs, and emerging researchers, AuthorMapper shows which institutions are the most prolific in specific research areas and allows for their comparison. AuthorMapper can even be useful for members of the general public who are seeking to identify experts, for example, medical specialists, working close to where they are located.

Source: Springer Science+Business Media

Cornell University Library Expands POD on Amazon

Expanding an ongoing partnership with Amazon.com, Cornell University Library is increasing its print-on-demand (POD) offerings to more than 80,000 titles. By the end of 2009, tens of thousands of new books will be added to the approximately 6,000 items in Cornell’s collection already available on Amazon. All of the books are in the public domain in the U.S., and many are currently out of print.

Positive feedback from users helped contribute to the decision to expand the number of titles available. The books that will be added throughout 2009 were digitized with the support of Microsoft over the last 2 years. These new volumes represent a substantial part of the library’s rare and unique offerings that were printed before 1923.

They will reflect Cornell’s subject strengths, including American history, English literature, astronomy, food and wine, general engineering, the history of science, home economics, hospitality and travel, human sexuality, labor relations, Native American materials, ornithology, veterinary medicine, and women’s studies. Collections already available for reprint from Amazon include New York state historical literature, core historical literature in agriculture, historical math monographs, and materials related to home economics.

Cornell University Library has been a cutting-edge participant with print-on-demand services and mass digitization initiatives, partnering with multiple outlets to make its collections available to the public. The partnership with Amazon began in 2006, and the library is currently engaged in a large-scale digitization initiative with Google that will create 500,000 digitized books over the next 6 years.

For a sample of the titles offered on Amazon, go to http://bookstore.library.cornell.edu.

Source: Cornell University Library

EBSCO to Distribute ConsumerReports.org Subscriptions to Libraries

Consumers Union (www.consumer.org) and EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) announced a distribution partnership allowing libraries to subscribe to ConsumerReports.org for a fixed annual subscription. The resource will be available alongside all other EBSCOhost databases so authentication and entry points are seamless and consistent.

Consumer Reports.org is reportedly the largest paid, subscription-based website in the world with 3.3 million paying subscribers. The website’s articles, blogs, forums, and videos enable consumers to make better purchasing decisions on all the products they are shopping for, to save money on home improvement plans, to shore up personal finances, to improve their health, and more. The site also features the ability to shop online for everything from electronics to appliances, new- and used-car pricing, and the New Car Selector Tool.

Consumers Union (CU), the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org, was founded in 1936 and is recognized as one of the most important consumer organizations in the world. It has the world’s largest nonprofit educational and consumer product-testing facility. No CU publication accepts outside advertising.

Carol Lappin, director of business development at Consumers Union says, "This is a wonderful opportunity to increase access to unbiased product reviews and money-saving tips for library users everywhere." ConsumerReports.org provides ratings and reviews, recommendations, and buying advice across several franchises. Each product includes an overview, a ratings report card, and reviews and recommendations. Additional information includes brand reliability and user reviews plus news, blogs, forums, and video content. The website breaks down topics, further allowing library patrons to explore the product reviews, ratings, news, and comparisons.

Source: EBSCO Publishing



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