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Weekly News Digest

January 21, 2010 — 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.

OpenCalais 4.3 Debuts With Key Updates to Tagaroo, SemanticProxy, and Gnosis

Calais (www.opencalais.com), powered by Thomson Reuters, announced that OpenCalais 4.3 offers an entirely new "News Names" feature and enhanced Social Tags. Sweeping 2010 upgrades also bring dramatic improvements in the Tagaroo plug-in for WordPress, SemanticProxy.com, and the Gnosis browser plug-in.

The following are the latest upgrades:

  • Enhanced Social Tags for categorization; improved disambiguation; new entities, facts and events in English; and an entirely new feature called News Names.
  • By popular demand, the improved Tagaroo plug-in for WordPress gives users more control over the tagging process.
  • The URL submission tool, SemanticProxy, has been normalized to ensure that its results are identical with those you would get by programmatically submitting content to OpenCalais via the API. Additionally, it is now supporting JSONP. You can now specify a callback function when requesting results in JSON.
  • The Gnosis plug-in for Firefox now includes categorization of processed webpages in the sidebar and can sort entities by alphabetical order or according to frequency or relevance.
  • The OpenCalais Schema has been published in OWL, enabling OWL enthusiasts to apply ontology based tools on OpenCalais metadata.

The OpenCalais Web Service automatically creates rich semantic metadata for the content you submit-in well less than a second. Using natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and other methods, Calais analyzes a document and finds the entities within it. But Calais goes well beyond classic entity identification and returns the facts and events hidden within the text as well. The tags are delivered to you; you can then incorporate them into other applications-for search, news aggregation, blogs, catalogs, etc.

The Calais initiative is sponsored by Thomson Reuters (www.thomsonreuters.com) and built on ClearForest technology.

Source: Calais

Cambridge University Press Launches New Ebook Platform

Cambridge University Press (www.cambridge.org), which is the oldest press in the world, is launching a brand new platform for its ebooks-Cambridge Books Online-that will give researchers all over the world access to more than 6,000 academic and professional books electronically. This is the first time that whole digital books can be bought online direct from Cambridge.

The new platform is due to be launched sometime in January, and it has been established in response to a growing demand for digital content. More than 10,000 titles are expected to be available by spring 2010. With the launch of Cambridge Books Online (http://ebooks.cambridge.org), both frontlist and backlist content is now available to purchase for a single, one-off access fee, offering even more flexibility.

Cambridge Books Online offers content in many fields of contemporary scholarship, including world-renowned books in science, technology, and medicine, as well as the humanities and social sciences. Comprehensive library support resources are also available, including MARC records, usage statistics, access, and authentication tools.

Cambridge Books Online has powerful search and browse tools. Books can be found quickly and easily, and hyperlinked references allow for cross-searching, making it an excellent tool for interdisciplinary studies.

Buying content from Cambridge Books Online means that libraries never need to run out of paper copies of books, as they can now obtain unlimited online access to books and content, making it very cost-effective for stretched budgets. The content in Cambridge Books Online is competitively priced, and there are a range of flexible purchase plans and custom packages.

Buying books and downloading online also means benefits for the environment, as there is hardly any waste involved in production or distribution. The content may be downloaded as a PDF.

Source: Cambridge University Press

Encore Discovery Offers New Article Integration Capabilities

Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (www.iii.com) announced that Encore Discovery (http://encoreforlibraries.com) now offers deep article integration to promote the most relevant article content alongside library catalog results, making articles more findable through facets and other discovery tools. This new feature set is native to Encore-not federated search-but a solution that streams enhanced data directly from content providers via modern web services to deliver faster results and a superior user experience.

On an initial search, Encore previews top article results in the catalog results view, promoting the most current scholarly content on the very first page. Encore exposes the abstract content for each article (to aid in evaluation), and whenever possible, a direct link to the full text is included on the browse display. An articles format facet allows users to focus exclusively on article results, and article-specific facets can refine results to full-text or peer-reviewed materials. What's more, Encore leverages its Did You Mean? algorithm to help users clarify and continue searches on the article screen; and a tag cloud driven by library subject headings and community tags guides users to related searches for articles. Deep article integration is available to any library using Encore 3.3 and higher, and the newest features are showcased in Encore 4.0.

Innovative also announced a new partnership with EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) that will offer integrated access to a library's own EBSCOhost subscriptions through the library's Innovative Encore Discovery platform. The agreement also allows Encore customers to add reading recommendations directly into Encore catalog results for mutual customers who use NoveList Select.

Innovative will utilize the EBSCOhost Integration Toolkit (EIT) to access metadata from EBSCOhost databases for which the library has a current subscription. The partnership will bring new features to those offered through EIT including source type, publication title, and facets to expose the subject and date range of the results set. This integration will provide the means for Encore searchers to retrieve real-time search results from EBSCOhost for databases subscribed to via EBSCO, without the need to preindex the content, integrated with their catalog search results. EIT also provides links to the underlying full text with support for a variety of file formats.

Source: Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

Ex Libris Announces the Beta Launch of Primo Central

Ex Libris Group (www.exlibrisgroup.com) announced the launch of Primo Central for beta testing at 14 partner institutions. When searching in their institution's Primo interface, users in partner libraries will have seamless access to the Primo Central mega-aggregate of scholarly econtent. Primo Central is planned for general release in mid-2010.

Primo Central is a centralized index consisting of data harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators. With Primo Central, users simultaneously search locally managed collections and global econtent and receive search results that are blended into a single relevance-ranked list. Libraries can tailor the relevance ranking to ensure appropriate emphasis on their local collections. Ex Libris provides Primo Central as a service, in a cloud computing environment.

Jody Combs, assistant dean for information technology at Vanderbilt University, a Primo Central library partner, commented: "Primo Central is a service we envisioned from the beginning of our development partnership for Primo. We are excited to see it moving from theory to practice. Not only will Primo Central draw attention to materials that some of our users were not aware of previously-thus improving return on our investment in e-collections-but it clearly indicates the origin of the materials for the benefit of those users who value specific scholarly collections. Using faceted categorization to select a particular collection, a researcher can narrow down the result list to show only items from that collection. The beauty is that the researcher can perform all these tasks from within the Primo interface."

Source: Ex Libris Group

Paratext Adds Millions More Full-Text Links

Paratext (www.paratext.com), an independent information company serving the global library market, has added more than 12 million links from its core research products-19th Century Masterfile (NCM) and Public Documents Masterfile (PDM)-to full-text resources, many in the public domain. These links, which will be fulfilled through Google Book Search and Google News Archive Search, include more than 1 million links to documents in The New York Times' archive.

Eric Calaluca, Paratext's CEO, says, "Discussions with our customers demonstrate that patrons value full-text access. However, we also know that key research sources may be difficult to locate or can go undiscovered without research finding aids-such as NCM, PDM, and Reference Universe. Each of the Paratext products includes multiple avenues to full-text, within the library's own collection and externally. We think that this offers the best of both worlds."

19th Century Masterfile (NCM) is an online index-based research database including metadata from Poole's Plus, along with detailed information pertaining to more than 70 seminal and obscure indexes to pre-1930 English-language publishing-including books, periodicals, government documents, and newspapers.

Public Documents Masterfile (PDM) is a cumulative source for locating, cataloging, and distributing government documents, published in the U.S. and worldwide. PDM is unique in its ability to provide federated searching of pre- and post-1976 Government Printing Office materials.

Source: Paratext

Crowley Debuts Table-Top Robotic Scanner in the U.S.

The Crowley Co. announced the American arrival of the Austrian-made Qidenus RBS Pro TableTop unit-a high-quality robotic book scanner. Crowley is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Qidenus, a European market leader. The company showed the scanner at the recent ALA Midwinter meeting and will be showing it at upcoming trade shows in the spring and summer, including AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), MARAC (Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference), SLA, and ALA Annual.

"Qidenus has managed to transfer the power, efficiency, and cutting-edge technology of their free-standing unit to a portable, affordable tabletop model," states Crowley. "This unit can scan up to 2,000 pages an hour in fully-automatic mode and is also available as a manual or semi-automatic unit. We expect that its many competitive advantages, including intelligent glass plate, intuitive bionic finger page-turner, workflow system and low maintenance, will raise the bar for what operators expect from a robotic scanner-or any book scanner for that matter."

A full list of features can be found at www.thecrowleycompany.com/scanning-equipment/qidenus/rps-pro-tt.html.

Download the PDF brochure from www.thecrowleycompany.com/downloads/pdf/Qidenus-Crowley-RBS-brochure.pdf.

Watch the video (link at the bottom of the page): www.thecrowleycompany.com/scanningequipment/qidenus/index.html

List of competitive advantages:

www.thecrowleycompany.com/downloads/pdf/Qidenus-RBS-competitive-advantages.pdf

Source: The Crowley Co.



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