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Weekly News Digest

February 12, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Publishers Join EPUB eBooks Distribution Channel Through OverDrive

OverDrive, Inc. (www.overdrive.com), a global distributor of digital books for libraries and retailers, announced a growing list of leading publishers from around the world who are selling ebooks in the emerging EPUB format through OverDrive. Publishers include Random House (U.S. and U.K.), Hachette Book Group (U.S.), Hachette Livre, Harlequin Mills and Boon, Pan MacMillan, Palgrave MacMillan, Penguin (U.S. and U.K.), Simon & Schuster (U.K.), Bloomsbury, Pearson Education, Zondervan, HarperCollins (U.S. and U.K.), and many more.

OverDrive provides digital distribution through its secure, web-based, wholesale distribution service, Content Reserve (www.overdrive.com/contentreserve). OverDrive’s Content Reserve enables publishers to sell and deliver ebooks, audiobooks, music, and video to library, school, and retail channels worldwide. Operating continuously since 2000, OverDrive’s Content Reserve currently holds 150,000 titles and serves nearly 1,000 publishers with direct links to 8,500 library, school, and retail locations in 30 countries.

As an early proponent of EPUB, OverDrive has gained significant experience in the ingestion and distribution of EPUB ebooks. As a result, OverDrive has identified leading service bureaus that provide a high level of technical proficiency in the conversion and workflow management of EPUB ebooks. These firms can help publishers who need assistance with offering EPUB: 

EPUB ebooks are enhanced for mobile reading with reflowable text to fit any screen size. The standard format for ebooks and other digital publications was developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (www.idpf.org) and adopted by leading publishers and technology firms as the industry standard for ebooks. OverDrive, an IDPF member company, was an early proponent of the industry standard for ebooks and has developed streamlined systems for distribution of EPUB files in its retail and library channels.

Source: OverDrive, Inc.

New Report From DLF Evaluates Metadata Tools

The Digital Library Federation (DLF) announced the publication of "Future Directions in Metadata Remediation for Metadata Aggregators," a report that identifies and evaluates tools that can be used to normalize and enhance metadata. Commissioned by DLF Aquifer, the report was written by Greta de Groat, electronic media cataloger in the Metadata Development Unit of the Stanford University Libraries, and was supported by a grant from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. The report is available for download, free of charge, from the DLF website (www.diglib.org/aquifer/dlf110.pdf). Print-on-demand copies will be sold on Amazon.com later this month.

DLF embarked on a project to inventory existing tools and services for metadata mapping, remediation, and enhancement. Once identified, tools were evaluated for general applicability across digital library and other cultural heritage environments. The results of the research show that a handful of tools are usable as is. But many tools need more work to be generally applicable in a variety of environments, and significant development would be required to create a robust and well-defined set of metadata remediation services.

The report is organized by categories of service that could be enabled with better metadata. Each section includes an inventory of the available tools, assessments of those tools, and an evaluation of what might be accomplished in the future. The information gathered here provides a reference framework for members of the cultural heritage community to use when considering their own tool development priorities and a road map for areas that would benefit from collaborative efforts.

DLF, founded in 1995, is a partnership organization of research libraries and related organizations that are pioneering the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services. Through its strategic and allied members, DLF provides leadership for libraries by identifying standards and best practices for digital collections and network access; coordinating research and development in the libraries’ use of technology; and incubating projects and services that libraries need but cannot develop individually.

Source: Digital Library Federation

Reprints Desk Enhances Doc Delivery Service

Reprints Desk, Inc. (www.reprintsdesk.com) announced the release of enhancements to its STM Document Delivery service that enable research-oriented organizations to transform article ordering and delivery into an enterprisewide, content workflow solution. Notable enhancements include the addition of web services technology capabilities that allow users to order directly from their intranets or corporate websites and client access to the Reprints Desk delivery engine for filling document delivery orders from existing in-house library collections.

For companies that require document delivery services as a critical research support function and that want to improve researchers’ ability to order directly without mediation, Reprints Desk works directly with customers’ IT and library staff to integrate web services. The benefits of web services for document delivery include saved time for researchers who no longer need to manually provide user-related information for each order, increased security for companies that no longer have to manage user-identity access across multiple locations, and the ability to seamlessly integrate article delivery with e-detailing and consumer healthcare websites. Reprints Desk now also provides client access to its article delivery engine, enabling a single reporting view across internal and external document delivery operations and providing patrons with a uniform document delivery experience regardless of the source of the article.

STM Document Delivery is a service that was launched by Reprints Desk in 2007. The service simplifies single article procurement, offers delivery of most articles within a few minutes to a few hours, and provides original and clean-color articles by default. Reprints Desk delivers PDFs using a proprietary Adobe-based DRM solution that requires no plug-ins.

Source: Reprints Desk, Inc.

BioOne Launches New Platform

After nearly 2 years of concerted effort with its partners, BioOne has launched its new platform (www.bioone.org), featuring a new look and improved content tools and features. BioOne’s upgraded platform is serviced by Allen Press, Inc. (www.allenpress.com) and powered by Atypon Systems, Inc. (www.atypon.com). BioOne embarked on this project to bring new functionality and a more user-friendly interface to all of its community members: researchers, participating publishers, and subscribing libraries.

Among its many new features that was designed with users in mind, BioOne now includes personalized profiles through My BioOne, allowing for saved searches, favorite journals, e-alerting preferences, article and title-level tools such as RSS feeds, related article and author searches, and toll-free linking.

The site now offers BioOne participating publishers branding, customization, and promotional opportunities that were previously unavailable, including dedicated informational pages for each publication and society.

For BioOne subscribing libraries, BioOne offers an increase in core access and reporting functionality, including easy download of COUNTER statistics and MARC records, Open URL compliance, and Shibboleth-supported access.

Source: BioOne

Milabra Reads and Labels Image Content for Online Media Companies

Milabra (www.milabra.com) launched a web-based image and video recognition engine for online media companies. The new company, based in New York City, also announced a $1.4 million financing round from private investors. Milabra’s engine quickly and automatically "reads" actual images, not image file names or tags. Its advanced technology also adds text labels to images, which increases their value to social media sites, ad networks, and advertisers. Using Milabra, customers can ensure that image and video content uploaded to their sites is appropriate and legal, and they can serve advertisements in context with the image content on the page.

The company says that the following factors distinguish Milabra’s engine from other image recognition technology: 

  • It can read and label images it has never seen before. 
  • It can learn to recognize any class of images—from puppies to porn. 
  • It works with different kinds of image content including photos and video. 
  • It works at speeds scalable for use with large social media sites and ad networks. 
  • It is delivered as a suite of web services that media companies can start using right away.

"Monetizing image content effectively should generate millions or possibly billions of dollars. However, the solution has to be able to scale and to work in real time. It also needs to be able to recognize new types of images. The fact that Milabra points multiple recognizers at images, and has designed a scalable system, may solve these problems," said Sue Feldman, International Data Corp.’s vice president for search and discovery technologies, writing in a recently published profile on Milabra.

Milabra’s image recognition engine is the platform for a suite of web services that customers access with one standard integration exercise—more than 14 services include image ad-tagging, copyright protection, duplicate prevention, and adult content filtering. Milabra’s neural network-based image recognition engine builds the value of online media image and video content with a configurable suite of image services delivered via its proprietary platform over the internet.

Source: Milabra

askSam Offers Free Searchable Database of Obama Speeches

A free, searchable database of the complete transcripts of more than 220 Barack Obama speeches has been released by askSam Systems: The Speeches of Barack Obama. Users can search the full-text transcripts of more than 220 Barack Obama speeches dating from 2002 to 2009. The transcripts can be searched by keyword or phrase, title, date, and location. Search online or download the ebook for use locally with askSam or the free Viewer (www.asksam.com/ebooks/obama-speeches).

In addition to this database, askSam has also prepared free, searchable versions of other government reports, legislative and political texts, works of literature, and other collections, including the following: 

  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act 
  • Basel II Accord 
  • State of the Union Addresses 1790–2008 
  • Medical Dictionary 
  • The Patriot Act 
  • The Bible

You can find more information on these and other ebooks at www.asksam.com/ebooks. askSam Systems publishes software that allows you to collect, organize, and distribute information. It is widely used by researchers, businesses, and information professionals to manage their information.

Source: askSam Systems



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