|Weekly News Digest
December 17, 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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Borders and Kobo to Launch New Ebook Store
Borders Group, Inc. (www.borders.com) announced a strategic investment and commercial partnership with Kobo, Inc. (www.kobobooks.com), a global e-reading service that is the newly named spinoff of Toronto-based Indigo Books & Music, Inc.'s Shortcovers digital reading initiative (www.chapters.indigo.ca). Through the partnership, Borders will launch a new ebook store integrated into Borders.com and powered by Kobo. In addition, Kobo will power a Borders-branded ebook store for multiple mobile devices. Sales through these Borders-branded ebook stores will be booked by Borders.
Kobo's mobile applications are device neutral, which will enable consumers to purchase ebooks from Borders on popular smartphones such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and Android, as well as other devices. Borders and Kobo plan to launch these new services in 2Q 2010.
Kobo, as Shortcovers, has already, in a matter of months, provided ebooks to customers from more than 200 countries who have downloaded its reader application more than 1 million times online and through devices including smartphones, desktops, and e-reader devices such as the Sony Reader. As a book retailer with a strong customer following (including more than 35 million members of its Borders Rewards loyalty program), Borders Group shares Kobo's vision of providing consumers with any book on any device.
Other investors in Kobo include Indigo; Instant Fame, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. of Hong Kong; and REDgroup Retail of Australia. Kobo also announced it had raised $16 million CAD (about $15.1 U.S.) in financing from its investors. Indigo will retain approximately 58% ownership of Kobo.
Source: Borders Group, Inc.
SLA Is Still SLA; Membership Votes No on Name Change
The Special Libraries Association (SLA; www.sla.org) announced the results of its associationwide vote on a new name. Voting in record numbers, SLA members failed to approve a proposal to change the organization's name to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals. Fifty percent of those members eligible to vote participated in the referendum, with 2,071 voting yes and 3,225 voting no.
"The active discussions, online and in local meetings, are a testament to the passion and commitment that knowledge and information professionals feel towards their association and their profession," said Gloria Zamora, SLA 2009 president. "This level of engagement will help make SLA and its members more effective advocates for the information profession in the years ahead."
The name change proposal stemmed from the findings of the Alignment Project, an intensive 2-year research effort aimed at understanding the value of the information and knowledge professional in today's marketplace and how to best communicate that value. "Our name will remain," Zamora continued, "but we will go forward with developing opportunities for our members to use the Alignment findings to demonstrate their contributions to the organizations that employ them."
For details on the name change proposal, which proved to be quite controversial with members, see the NewsBreak by Cindy Shamel, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/SLA-Name-Change-Can-the-Name-Convey-the-Value-57623.asp.
Gale Announces New iPhone Application for Library Research
Gale (www.gale.com), a part of Cengage Learning (www.cengage.com), announced the launch of the AccessMyLibrary (AML) mobile application for the iPhone-making access to library research just a click away on a mobile phone. AccessMyLibrary, an advocacy program, is a portal from the internet to libraries, allowing web searchers to find what they need by connecting them to their local libraries. This service helps people find quality information while raising awareness about the rich resources available in their libraries.
Gale's new application helps iPhone users find their local library and then access the vast array of information that the library has purchased on their behalf, using a web-product to connect information seekers to trustworthy library information, as well as quick, authoritative answers. Based on their location, AccessMyLibrary will point users to libraries within a 10-mile radius.
With AccessMyLibrary, the iPhone becomes a valuable research tool, bringing the electronic collection of resources to users wherever they are, as well as locating local libraries where they can go to attain even more information. The iPhone application is free, and the content is paid for by the library being accessed.
The Gale iPhone application can be downloaded at the iTunes store. AccessMyLibrary, Gale's platform for library discovery, can also be accessed at any time from any computer through the internet at www.accessmylibrary.com.
For some important details about the service, see the support site at http://galesupport.com/iphone/aml.html and Gary Price's first look on ResourceShelf at
Source: Gale, a part of Cengage Learning
Nielsen Business Media Sells Titles, Closing Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews
Nielsen Business Media, a part of the Nielsen Co. (www.nielsen.com), has reached an agreement with e5 Global Media Holdings, LLC, a new company formed jointly by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners, for the sale of eight brands in the Media and Entertainment Group, including Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, The Clio Awards, Backstage, Billboard, Film Journal International, and The Hollywood Reporter. e5 Global Media Holdings has also agreed to acquire the Film Expo business, which includes the ShoWest, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International, and CineAsia trade shows. The acquisition, which is subject to normal terms and conditions, is scheduled to close by Dec. 31, 2009.
Nielsen is also closing Editor & Publisher (after 125 years!) and Kirkus Reviews (after 70-plus years), its book review publication, by the end of the year to focus on its core business.
In its statement announcing the sale and closures, the company said, "This move will allow us to strengthen investment in our core businesses those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth and ensure our long-term success. We remain committed to building our trade show group and affiliated brands. These assets continue to be a key part of The Nielsen Company's overall portfolio and we strongly believe they are positioned to grow as the economy recovers. In addition, we'll continue to assess the strategic fit of our remaining portfolio of publications."
Source: Nielsen Business Media
OSTP Launches Public Forum on Public Access Policy to Funded Research
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP; www.ostp.gov) within the Executive Office of the President, has requested input (RFI) from the community regarding enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by federal science and technology agencies. This RFI will be active from Dec. 10, 2009, to Jan. 7, 2010. Respondents are invited to respond online via the Public Access Policy Forum at www.whitehouse.gov/open, or they may submit responses via electronic mail.
Currently, the National Institutes of Health require that research funded by its grants be made available to the public online at no charge within 12 months of publication. The administration is seeking views as to whether this policy should be extended to other science agencies and, if so, how it should be implemented.
The discussion will focus on three major areas of interest:
- Implementation (Dec. 10-20): Which federal agencies are good candidates to adopt public access policies? What variables (field of science, proportion of research funded by public or private entities, etc.) should affect how public access is implemented at various agencies, including the maximum length of time between publication and public release?
- Features and Technology (Dec. 21-31): In what format should the data be submitted in order to make it easy to search and retrieve information and to make it easy for others to link to it? Are there existing digital standards for archiving and interoperability to maximize public benefit? How are these anticipated to change?
- Management (Jan. 1-7): What are the best mechanisms to ensure compliance? What would be the best metrics of success? What are the best examples of usability in the private sector (both domestic and international)? Should those who access papers be given the opportunity to comment or provide feedback?
Each of these topics will form the basis of a blog posting that will appear at www.whitehouse.gov/open and will be open for comment on the OSTP blog. The blog post announcing the forum is at http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/12/09/ostp-to-launch-public-forum-on-how-best-to-make-federally-funded-research-available-for-free. Full details are available in the Federal Register notice, www.ostp.gov/galleries/default-file/RFI%20Final%20for%20FR.pdf.
Wiley-Blackwell Launches New Online Medical Reference Tool
International STMS publisher Wiley-Blackwell (www.wileyblackwell.com) announced the launch of Essential Evidence, a new product added to its online, evidence-based content resource Essential Evidence Plus. Synthesized from the most timely and late-breaking clinical evidence derived from the most respected medical authorities, this topic-oriented clinical resource tool is designed to help clinicians more effectively make diagnoses, chart treatment plans, and determine prognoses.
Essential Evidence is available exclusively with a subscription to Essential Evidence Plus and is accessible through the web or via a handheld computer (Pocket PC or Palm OS). The product features approximately 700 structured medical topics at launch with approximately 100 more in development. All topics are highly integrated and hyperlinked to content and tools including Cochrane Systematic Reviews, literature summaries (Daily POEMs), decision support tools, evidence-based guidelines, and interactive diagnostic test calculators.
Topics covered in Essential Evidence are written by leading researchers and peer-reviewed by medical experts. These experts evaluate clinical findings in the medical literature and summarize this information to provide clinicians with evidence-based data that is essential to making informed point-of-care decisions. Essential Evidence facilitates quick retrieval of the latest evidence that guides patient care decisions and includes a "Bottom Line" feature highlighting the most important findings in each section.
All content includes a "strength of evidence" rating for each recommendation that helps practitioners know which recommendations are most likely to improve health outcomes. Summary tables for at-a-glance information, algorithms for problem solving, and an extensive image library are also included to optimize patient care.
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