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Weekly News Digest

March 29, 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.

UCís California Digital Library Launches DataCite Archive for Research Data

Data sets are often the building blocks of scholarship and research in the sciences and humanities. Scholars and archivists recognize the potential for increasing collaboration and synthesis when data are archived, published, and shared, forging the possibility for new discoveries built upon the research of others.

To facilitate the sharing of data sets, the University of California's California Digital Library (CDL) has become a founding member of the international DataCite consortium, a group of 12 leading academic and scientific memory institutions worldwide, providing data publishing opportunities for researchers lacking appropriate publication channels and incentives for their data sets.

DataCite (www.datacite.org) offers an easy way to connect an article published in a scholarly journal with the underlying data and allows authors to take control of the management and distribution of their research. Additionally, DataCite provides the means for researchers to share and get credit for data sets; establish easier access to research data; increase acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scholarly record; and to support data archiving that permits results to be verified and re-purposed for future study.

A pragmatic first step toward managing, or "curating," data is to register the existence of data sets publicly and permanently. Mirroring accepted publishing practice, DataCite's services make it easy for data producers to obtain permanent catalog records and persistent identifiers that are visible through familiar mechanisms, such as library systems, CrossRef, and search engines.

The University of California (UC) community produces an enormous body of research data-unfortunately, often inaccessible and at-risk, stored on local servers in individual departments. Within the CDL, responsibility for DataCite activities rests with the UC Curation Center.

In addition to the CDL, the DataCite consortium includes the German National Library of Science and Technology, The British Library, the ETH Zurich Library, the French Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, the National Technical Information Center of Denmark, the Dutch TU Delft Library, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, the Australian National Data Service, and Purdue University.

Source: California Digital Library

EBSCO Publishing Announces New How-To Databases for Public Library Patrons

Libraries are busier than ever and patrons making legal decisions or looking to create or expand their small businesses need resources for their specific demands. Two new databases from EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) are designed to help patrons help themselves answer legal questions and research small business issues. Legal Information Reference Center and Small Business Reference Center provide full text for many of the top consumer legal and small business reference books. These "do-it-yourself" resources provide patrons with the how-to instructions they need to independently address a wide-range of legal and business issues.

Legal Information Reference Center includes more than 320 full-text publications plus thousands of legal forms with more content being added on a regular basis. The database includes coverage of legal issues such as business law, personal finance and estate planning, family law, property and real estate, and rights and disputes.

Small Business Reference Center contains more than 500 full-text reference books, as well as more than 385 full-text magazines plus sample business plans, and videos. The database provides the everyday user with the necessary tools and detailed instructions to accomplish goals as varied as starting a business, buying or selling a small business, managing employees, writing a business plan, understanding legal information, and marketing a business.

Each database is presented with an easy-to-use interface that allows library patrons to easily search by subject or search specific books and other sources. Both databases include content from Nolo (www.nolo.com), a respected provider of legal information for consumers and small businesses.

Source: EBSCO Publishing

Achieving Data Harmony in the Cloud

Access Innovations, Inc. (www.accessinn.com) announced it is making its Data Harmony suite of software products and services available to clients through software as a service (SaaS) and cloud technology.

Jay Ven Eman, CEO of Access, noted, "Cloud computing was very much a buzzword of 2009, but the trend is expected to expand widely this year as more companies seek to make data and applications available from anywhere instead of relying on desktops and network servers. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are already offering or scheduled to begin offering cloud platforms this year; cloud computing is also being pushed by the U.S. government."

Ven Eman continued, "We're not doing this to be trendy. We believe that SaaS and cloud computing are reliable and ready for customers now. By making our software available over the internet either using a client or a browser, we are making it more convenient for our customers to use. They no longer need to purchase up front and then find a server, IT support, etc. They can begin using products such as Data Harmony and its suite of taxonomy management tools including Thesaurus Master, MAIstro, and XIS immediately," he explained.

Ven Eman said SaaS and cloud can also potentially save clients money. "Infrastructure spending to support locally installed software can actually exceed the cost of the initial software purchase. IT support can also add to the burden. By using remotely hosted software solutions, users can transfer much of the heavy lifting and costs to the vendor. The initial cost of entry is significantly lower, opening up software opportunities to small and medium sized businesses that were previously unaffordable," he said.

Ven Eman said Access hopes moving its products to a SaaS/cloud delivery model will open them up to a wider audience by providing the means to create smart content. For broader distribution through a web browser, clients can use the cloud computing model and encourage widespread use of the software and the data they add to the system.

Access Innovations offers 90-day free trials of its Data Harmony software through remote access models, allowing qualified organizations and clients to try the software before deciding to purchase it.

Source: Access Innovations, Inc.

TimesCast Daily Video Service Shows NY Timesí Videos and How Theyíre Chosen

The New York Times produces more than 100 original videos per month, featuring breaking news and analysis, as well as enterprise and investigative reporting by Times journalists around the world. TimesCast, an original daily video news program, offers an inside look at the top stories The New York Times is following each day. TimesCast will be available every weekday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time at the top of the NYTimes.com homepage; the video will also be available on the NYTimes' mobile site (http://mobile.nytimes.com).

Each daily TimesCast program takes viewers inside The New York Times newsroom and includes the editors' daily Page One meeting and discussions between editors and reporters about the stories they are covering that day. Daily video segments and an archive of TimesCast segments from previous days will be available at www.nytimes.com/timescast.

"This is another example of our continuing emphasis on video, which represents one of the largest growth areas in digital media," said Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group and general manager, NYTimes.com. "This series offers a new branding opportunity for advertisers, giving access to an engaged audience on the homepage and in multiple locations on the site and on mobile."

FedEx is the advertising sponsor for the launch of TimesCast. The advertising unit features a stationary banner that runs above the video player on the homepage, branding at the top of the player and a 15-second midroll ad unit within the video.

Source: NYTimes.com

Bowker Adds Video Clips, Reader Advisory Content to Syndetics for Library OPACs

Bowker, a business unit of ProQuest, has added new features to its popular OPAC-enrichment tool, Syndetics (www.bowker.com/syndetics), that make it easier for library users to choose catalog titles and get ideas for new titles that match their interests. Syndetics now enables libraries to provide video clips, book reviews from The New York Times, and Searchable Fiction Profiles to their users through their OPACs. Bowker announced the new features at the Public Library Association's national conference in Portland, Ore.

Syndetics integrates more than 11 million content enrichment elements that can enhance just about any library online catalog. Users can discover their next book by linking through character profiles, genre, topics, setting, and time period related to their favorite titles. More than 100,000 book profiles are available, primarily across fiction but also for nonfiction and children's books. Finally, DVD selection becomes more compelling with integrated video trailers for more than 35,000 U.S. and international movies and television shows.

Syndetics offers a wealth of descriptive information and cover images relating to videos, DVDs, CDs, and all types of books from juvenile chapter books to conference proceedings. Much of this data can't be found from any other source. Various elements of content are added weekly for more than 100,000 new titles each year. The new elements launch on the heels of the new Syndetics Plus (www.bowker.com/syndetics/plus), which includes a simple, easy-to-use widget that automatically integrates data into a library's catalog and allows customization of Syndetics content to neatly match the look and feel of the OPAC.

Source: Bowker

Bowker Adds New Features to OPAC-Enrichment Tool

Bowker (www.bowker.com), a business unit of ProQuest, has added new features to its OPAC-enrichment tool Syndetics that make it easier for library users to choose catalog titles and get ideas for new titles that match their interests. Syndetics, used by librarians for its ability to enhance the bibliographic content found in library online catalogs, now enables libraries to provide video clips, book reviews from The New York Times, and searchable fiction profiles to their users through their OPACs. 

Syndetics integrates more than 11 million content enrichment elements that can enhance just about any library online catalog. Syndetics users' OPACs will now include book reviews from The New York Times and Searchable Fiction Profiles will integrate reader's advisory within the catalog. Users can discover their next books by linking through character profiles, genre, topics, setting, and time period related to their favorite titles. More than 100,000 book profiles are available, primarily across fiction, but also for nonfiction and children's books. Finally, DVD selection becomes more compelling with integrated video trailers for more than 35,000 U.S. and international movies and television shows.

Syndetics offers a wealth of descriptive information and cover images relating to videos, DVDs, CDs, and all types of books from juvenile chapter books to conference proceedings. Much of this data can't be found from any other source. Various elements of content are added weekly for more than 100,000 new titles each year. The new elements launch on the heels of the new Syndetics Plus, which includes a simple, easy-to-use widget that automatically integrates data into a library's catalog and allows customization of Syndetics content to neatly match the look and feel of the OPAC.

Source: Bowker



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