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Weekly News Digest

April 8, 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.

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Appeals Court Decision Serves as Setback for Net Neutrality Initiatives

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all internet traffic flowing over their networks. The text of the court decision, which rules in favor of Comcast Corp., is available at http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/201004/08-1291-1238302.pdf.

A report in The New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/technology/07net.html) indicated that, "As a practical matter, the court ruling will not have any immediate impact on internet users, since Comcast and other large internet providers are not currently restricting specific types of web content and have no plans to do so."

However, the Open Internet Coalition says the decision "creates a dangerous situation, one where the health and openness of broadband internet is being held hostage by the behavior of the major telco and cable providers." The group calls for the FCC to open a proceeding to clarify its authority over broadband network providers (http://openinternetcoalition.com/index.cfm?objectID=D41A7537-1D09-317F-BB479B7596F7B20C).

The FCC then issued a statement (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-297355A1.pdf) by spokesperson Jen Howard, as follows:

The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans. It will rest these policies-all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers-on a solid legal foundation.

Today's court decision invalidated the prior Commission's approach to preserving an open internet. But the Court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end.

Comcast issued the following statement (www.comcast.com/About/PressRelease/PressReleaseDetail.ashx?PRID=984) attributable to Sena Fitzmaurice, vice president of government communications:

We are gratified by the Court's decision today to vacate the previous FCC's order.  Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation. We have always been focused on serving our customers and delivering the quality open-Internet experience consumers want.   Comcast remains committed to the FCC's existing open internet principles, and we will continue to work constructively with this FCC as it determines how best to increase broadband adoption and preserve an open and vibrant internet.

H.W. Wilson Launches Careers Database

Continuing its Current Issues database series, the H.W. Wilson Co. (www.hwwilson.com) has launched Careers, a new resource designed for students or anyone considering launching or changing careers in today's tough job market. Careers offers an array of information on diverse careers in a single vetted source, in articles selected by H.W. Wilson editors from thousands of magazines and journals. From jeweler to journalist, fashion designer to florist, librarian to lawyer, Careers covers qualifications, duties and responsibilities, pay scales, application processes, and future prospects.

For each career, 15 to 20 in-depth articles are provided, hand-picked by Wilson editors to offer a solid grounding, answer key questions, and examine controversies from multiple perspectives. Users can view articles in plain text, or choose PDF page images for access to any graphical content accompanying the article. The database is structured to help users narrow broad interests into focus on specific questions and career challenges. Editors' introductions offer further help in defining subjects, delivering vital background information and explanations of the importance of the subtopics.

New information on each subtopic is provided through links to WilsonWeb searches. Clicking "More Full Text Articles" or "More Citations" links on the main articles page retrieves articles and citations from any of more than 4,200 journals indexed daily by the WilsonWeb database service. Additional information is provided with links to authoritative websites selected by Wilson editors (complete with annotations explaining their significance). Users can also launch an automatic Google search on each subtopic with a single click direct from the WilsonWeb interface.

Careers also features a "Job-Finder's Toolbox" with annotated links to more than 50 career-related websites, including many popular job-search and industry specific sites.

Source: H.W. Wilson Co.

Springshare Launches SMS Reference For LibAnswers

Springshare (http://springshare.com), a provider of Web 2.0 apps for libraries, announced a new addition to its LibAnswers platform-an SMS Reference module that enables libraries to receive texted reference questions from their customers. LibAnswers aggregates questions and answers from the web, from Twitter, and via SMS into one low-cost solution.

The SMS Reference Module is integrated into the LibAnswers workflow. Librarians get email and IM notifications for incoming SMS questions and they can collaborate on answers, claim questions, and pass notes. A wide variety of SMS statistics enables libraries to examine such details as the monthly/daily/hourly distribution of SMS questions, as well as compare SMS stats with Twitter and Web reference stats. An optional LibAnswers Analytics tool lets libraries analyze and evaluate the trends and staffing needs for each reference channel. With its unlimited number of simultaneous logins, libraries can feel confident about advertising the SMS number in LibAnswers widgets, embedding it into web pages, blogs, courseware, etc.

A hosted solution, the module assigns a local phone number for each library so there are no short codes or special keywords to memorize. With the exception of a one-time setup fee of $149, Springshare is offering the SMS Reference Module to libraries free of usage charges for the first year. This includes 400 messages per month. Any unused messages are carried from month-to-month, for 4,800 messages total. After the free first year, a variety of plans are available, starting at $30 per month. For more information contact sales@springshare.com or visit http://springshare.com/libanswers.

Source: Springshare

SAE International Partners With Elsevier

Under the terms of a newly-announced agreement, SAE International's engineering content is now indexed and available via Elsevier's online solutions Scopus (www.scopus.com), the abstract and citation database, and Compendex on Engineering Village (www.engineeringvillage2.com).

Elsevier (www.elsevier.com) says the ability to index SAE International's content in Elsevier's databases is a monumental development, as now engineers and researchers can search and retrieve SAE's content in the context of other publishers, especially in interdisciplinary contexts, such as O&G (including biofuels, fuel cells, alternative energy), plastics, aerospace, electronics, transportation, HVAC, physics, and lubricants.

SAE International (www.sae.org) is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries. Under the agreement, engineers and researchers can access SAE International's more than 20,000 technical papers written between 1906 and 1979, as well as SAE International's entire library of 88,000 documents utilizing subject-specific indexing and contextualized searching via Elsevier's online solutions.

"This new partnership is an important step forward in expanding SAE International's reach into the global mobility community," says Thomas Drozda, SAE International's director of program and product development. "By teaming with Elsevier, access to SAE technical information is expanded into many new sectors and industries not traditionally reached by SAE."

Source: Elsevier

Free Access in April to American History in Video

Electronic publisher of educational and library reference resources Alexander Street Press announced that its online streaming video collection, American History in Video, will be freely accessible through the month of April at the URL http://alexanderstreet.com/UShistory.htm.

The collection, which was named both a 2009 Booklist Editor's Choice selection and a 2009 Library Journal Best Reference, gives patrons at subscribing libraries access to a current total of more than 4,000 complete newsreels and documentaries from leading video providers, including PBS, The History Channel, Bullfrog Films, California Newsreel, Media Rich Learning, and Documentary Educational Resources, among others. It will grow to include more than 5,000 video titles totaling more than 2,000 hours of footage.

Unique to the collection are the complete series of both United News and Universal Newsreel-content that is currently available in-full nowhere else online-and for rare, archival footage such as that from the Longines Chronoscope series. Also unique is the collection's rich functionality for teaching and research.

Search and browse capabilities are driven by Alexander Street's trademarked Semantic Indexing, which uses extensive controlled vocabularies and more than 15 combinable search fields to help users find and analyze content. Search fields include historical event, era, date, place, historical figure, speaker, subject, video type, and years discussed. Users can quickly compare, for example, Kennedy's rhetorical flair with Nixon's, or find all on-film occurrences of civil disobedience in the southern U.S. prior to 1968, or all footage of Depression-era soup lines. Users can also tap the expertise of others by searching shared clips and playlists within a secure environment.

Technical features built into American History in Video include synchronized, searchable transcripts for every minute of footage; visual tables of contents that let the user quickly scan the content of each video; clip-making and sharing tools; permanent URLs that let users cite and share video of any length down to a second; an embeddable video player that lets libraries and instructors deliver video content to other users on secure website pages or via classroom sites; and playlists that let users organize clips and include links to any content (video or text) anywhere on the web.

After the free open access period has ended, anyone may browse the collection for free, but accessing search or browse results will require authorization. Libraries or faculty needing trial access after the open access period may email sales@alexanderstreet.com.

Source: Alexander Street Press

EBSCO Releases Series 2 of American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection

EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) has released the second of five series from American Antiquarian Society (AAS; www.americanantiquarian.org) with American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 2. The series is part of a collection that provides digital access to a comprehensive collection of American periodicals published between 1691 and 1877.

Series 2 provides more than 1,000 titles dating from 1821-1837. The themes in this second series reflect the era of Jacksonian democracy with subject areas including agriculture, entertainment, history, literary criticism, and politics. The holdings, consisting of more than 888,000 pages, are broad and deep in scope with almost every American title during this timeframe represented.

Series 2 is available through the EBSCOhost Content Viewer, specifically designed to meet the needs of scholars and researchers by enabling them to navigate historical content in new ways. The new interface was designed to allow researchers to navigate historical content in a manner that is fast, natural, and preserves the serendipity involved in doing historical research. EBSCOhost Content Viewer replicates the experience of browsing and reading original archival material while also allowing users to explore, manipulate, collect, take notes, and export content.

EBSCO partnered with the American Antiquarian Society, one of the premier historical societies, back in June 2008 to create the American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection.

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 2 is the second of the five series collection that includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals never before available outside the walls of the American Antiquarian Society, the premier library documenting the life of America's people from the Colonial Era through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The collection, broken up into five series based on time period, will total more than 6,500 periodicals estimated at more than 9 million pages.

Source: EBSCO Publishing



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