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Weekly News Digest

May 6, 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Ex Libris Group Announces Primo Version 3.0

Ex Libris Group (www.exlibrisgroup.com) announced the general release of version 3.0 of the Primo discovery and delivery solution. The major new functionality in version 3.0 is the result of continued collaboration with the expanding international Primo community, consisting of more than 270 sites that span 29 countries on six continents.

Bringing together a simplified, modernized user interface, enhanced search and display options, the integration of OPAC functionality, and support for seamless searching in the Primo Central index of scholarly materials, Primo 3.0 now enables users to interact fully with the library through a single interface in a straightforward and engaging manner.

Primo Central covers hundreds of millions of electronic resources harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators. Primo Central is currently undergoing beta testing by 10 Primo libraries together with a number of MetaLib libraries, and will be available to all Primo and MetaLib institutions later this year. Primo 3.0 is designed to accommodate Primo Central's blend of local and global results.

Highlights of this version include the following:

  • A redesigned, simplified user interface: On the result list page, users can now see all information related to an item-the entire record, with all the details; availability information; a preview (for online items); tags, ratings, and reviews; detailed location information; recommendations based on scholarly usage patterns; etc.
  • Integration with Primo Central: Primo provides seamless access to Primo Central, a mega-aggregate of scholarly materials hosted by Ex Libris in a cloud computing environment. Primo displays a single relevance-ranked list of local and global materials, with the visibility of local collections controlled by the institution.
  • Integration of OPAC functionality: Library services are now available through the Primo main window-for example, users can renew loans; see hold requests, fees, and fines; and update their contact information. This complete integration with the library management system is carried out through the use of APIs that comply with the Digital Library Federation recommendations for discovery interfaces (DLF ILS-DI), which are implemented in the Aleph and Voyager integrated library systems. An intermediary Primo-like screen is available for integration with library systems that do not provide such APIs.
  • Recommendations: The integration of two recommender systems-the Ex Libris bX article recommender service and the University of Karlsruhe BibTip recommender for library catalogs-enables Primo to display the most relevant recommendations generated on the basis of researchers' usage of scholarly materials.
  • Enhanced search and display options: The Primo search engine has been enhanced with a "starts with" (left-anchor) search option and new sorting features, including out-of-the-box ascending and descending sort order and author and title sorting; locally defined fields for sorting; and a customizable sorting order for characters. Other enhancements offer libraries further control over relevance ranking and the grouping (FRBRizing) of search results.
  • iPhone interface: The out-of-the box CSS-based iPhone interface, which can be easily customized by library staff, provides an additional library-branded access point to collections.
  • Multilingual thesauri: In a multilingual environment, controlled terms in the full display and in facets automatically correspond to the interface language.
  • Back-office enhancements: Enhancements to the Primo back office in version 3.0 include an increased number of function-specific administrative roles; the availability of institution-based filtering of the back-office operations, a feature that facilitates efficient and secure access for consortium administrators; and a webpage harvesting capability.

Source: Ex Libris Group

EPA Releases New Chemical Toxicity Database

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new database, called ToxRefDB (http://epa.gov/ncct/toxrefdb/), which allows scientists and the interested public to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals. ToxRefDB captures 30 years and $2 billion of testing results.

ToxRefDB provides detailed chemical toxicity data in an accessible format. It is a part of ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource), an online data warehouse that collects data from about 500 public sources on tens of thousands of environmentally relevant chemicals, including several hundred in ToxRefDB. Those interested in chemical toxicity can query a specific chemical and find all available public hazard, exposure, and risk-assessment data, as well as previously unpublished studies related to cancer, reproductive, and developmental toxicity.

ToxRefDB connects to an EPA chemical screening tool called ToxCast. ToxCast is a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort that uses advanced science tools to help understand biological processes impacted by chemicals that may lead to adverse health effects. ToxCast currently includes 500 fast, automated chemical screening tests that have assessed more than 300 environmental chemicals. ToxRefDB, along with ACToR, allows users to take advantage of this linkage to find and download these results.

ToxRefDB contains toxicity information that forms the basis for pesticide risk assessments when combined with other sources of information, such as those on exposure and metabolism.

More information on the database is available at http://actor.epa.gov/toxrefdb.

Source: EPA

Quintura Releases Quintura Site Search, Version 2.0

Quintura (www.quintura.com), a visual-based search engine, has released version 2.0 of its hosted site search service, Quintura Site Search. Based on user feedback from more than 7,000 service registrations over the past 2 years, the company improved website crawling and indexing, added new search display options, and improved service user interface.

Quintura indexes a website and builds a search cloud of keywords and phrases related to the site. The cloud is displayed as graphical user interface for searching and can be embedded to the site as a search widget.

The updated version features a new control panel for creating and editing a site search, giving webmasters a tool for configuring and customizing the search. Search options settings are grouped within tabs provided with hints. New site search and tag cloud (keywords) settings include the following:

  • Search box and results-Quintura offers search results pages using the search box and results list, without tag clouds.
  • Tag cloud management-Editors and administrators can add to the tag clouds the most popular themes and words from the site.
  • New view modes of the tag cloud-In the "alphabet" cloud, the words are sorted alphabetically. In a cloud with "falling" words, words are poured into a cloud, like into a glass. In the "peeping" words mode, words are "following" after the movements of the mouse cursor.
  • Uniting search clouds using tabs-Users can combine several site search clouds using tabs, enabling them to create a unified search through several websites on a common theme or belonging to a single publisher. That provides users with a choice of where to search and find the articles they are interested in. Search requests can be redirected from one site to the other with one click.

Last month, Quintura announced the relaunch of its search destination homepage, Quintura.com. The new homepage on Quintura.com simplifies access to online search services offered by Quintura, such as web search, site search, and kids-friendly search.

Quintura has been recently awarded three U.S. patents for its search engine graphical interface and context-based search visualization using neural networks.

Source: Quintura

NewspaperDirect’s PressReader App for iPad is Now Available

The latest version of PressReader, optimized for the Apple iPad, is now available for download from the iTunes App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/app/pressreader/id313904711?mt=8). Developed by NewspaperDirect, Inc. (www.newspaperdirect.com), a provider of multichannel newspaper and magazine content distribution and monetization solutions, the iPad version of PressReader delivers a visually stunning experience for reading the more than 1,500 newspapers and magazines offered by NewspaperDirect.

PressReader app for iPad allows subscribers to automatically download their favorite daily read from a selection of more than 1,500 newspapers and magazines from 90 countries in 46 languages. Other functions include the following:

  • Enjoy complete digital replicas, often before the print version is on the newsstands
  • Effortlessly browse entire publications with one finger
  • Navigate quickly to a favorite section using the Table of Contents
  • Read stories in both rich graphics view and an easy-to-read text view
  • Pinch-zoom to get a better look at photos and text when in graphics view
  • Jump from article to article
  • Search across publications from more than 90 countries to get a perspective from around the world, while online
  • Set up automated subscriptions to favorite titles
  • Authorize a device for their existing PressDisplay.com account

The PressReader iPhone/iPad application and the first seven titles are free downloads from the iTunes AppStore. Individual newspapers and magazines can then be purchased for $0.99 per issue, or downloaded in conjunction with a paid subscription on PressDisplay.com. A growing list of international and national titles is available, including: The Washington Post, USA Today, National Post, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Daily Mail, Irish Independent, Le Figaro, Bangkok Post, and South China Morning Post.

Whenever PressReader, or its online service, PressDisplay.com, supports a new device, it is also made available to NewspaperDirect's publishing partners for their own SmartEdition ePapers. Therefore, publishers of the hundreds of private-label SmartEdition newspapers powered by PressDisplay technology can now offer their subscribers their ePaper on the iPad at no operational cost.

Source: NewspaperDirect, Inc.

ScholarOne and SciVee Team Up

Thomson Reuters (www.thomsonreuters.com) has announced a new partnership between ScholarOne (www.scholarone.com), its peer review workflow management solution, and SciVee (www.scivee.tv), a provider of rich media solutions to the STM market. The partnership will give users of ScholarOne Abstracts (formerly Abstract Central) the ability to capture live meeting content and share this content post-event using one source.

"This partnership is in direct response to the feedback we have received from our customers who want support beyond abstract review," said Keith Collier, vice president and general manager of ScholarOne, Thomson Reuters. "The products SciVee offers create innovative multimedia components for the world of scholarly publishing and we are confident this partnership will help our clients get the most from their meeting content."

What does this mean to ScholarOne Abstracts users? From a scholarly standpoint, users can augment their meetings or conferences with fluid, multimedia content. As a business tool, this application increases post-event revenue opportunities.

"As more scientific endeavors move online, SciVee strongly believes that video and rich media will play an increasingly important role," stated Marc Friedmann, CEO of SciVee. "We are pleased to partner with ScholarOne to bring this enhanced capability to their society and conference customers."

ScholarOne Abstracts, a web-based workflow solution, provides those organizing meetings with a secure, complete, cost-effective workflow solution for abstract submission, peer review, program creation, publishing output, and administrative control.

SciVee provides internet video and rich media web products and services for institutions and individual researchers to help the advancement of scientific knowledge. Based in San Diego, SciVee was launched in late 2007 as a joint initiative between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Gale Databases Now Directly Accessible Via Ex Libris’ Primo Central

Ex Libris Group (www.exlibrisgroup.com) announced that following an agreement with Gale (www.gale.com), a number of Gale's academic databases can now be accessed directly via the Primo Central mega-aggregate of scholarly e-content. The flagship full-text periodical databases Academic OneFile and General OneFile, together with the Eighteenth Century Collections Online and Sabin America resources, are now available via Primo Central.

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is the latest of the rapidly expanding group of aggregators who have chosen to make their content accessible to library users via Primo Central-a centralized index comprising data harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators.

Gale has provided metadata for the e-journals in these databases for central indexing by Primo Central. With Primo Central, users simultaneously search locally managed collections and global e-content and receive search results that are blended into a single relevance-ranked list. Primo Central is now undergoing beta testing by 14 Primo Central partner libraries around the world, and will be available to the customer community later this year.

Source: Ex Libris Group



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