|Weekly News Digest
May 27, 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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Europeana Publishes Public Domain Charter
Europeana.eu, Europe's digital library, museum, and archive, has published the Public Domain Charter. The Charter has been drawn up by the Europeana Foundation, Europeana's governing body, which is supported by the European Commission.
Europeana says it is publishing the Charter because the Public Domain is under threat. As Public Domain information is digitised, it is often becoming less accessible to those who own it: the public. Policy-makers and funding bodies need to consider the implications of removing information from the Public Domain and the knock-on effect this has for creative enterprise, learning, research and the knowledge economy.
When Public Domain material changes format from a book or a picture to a digital file it must not leave the Public Domain. What has been held in trust for the public for generations, often at taxpayers' expense, should not enter the private sector when it is digitised.
"A healthy and thriving Public Domain is vital for education, science, cultural heritage, and public sector information. No society can afford to put up barriers to information access in today's knowledge-based economies," says Elisabeth Niggemann, national librarian of Germany and chair of the Europeana Foundation
What is the Public Domain?
- The out of copyright information that people can freely use without restriction
- Information that rights holders have decided to remove barriers to access
- Much of the world's knowledge-the paintings of Leonardo, Newton's Laws of Motion, Diderot's Encyclopédie-is in the Public Domain.
Why is it important?
- Society constantly reuses and reinterprets material in the Public Domain and by doing so develops new ideas, inventions, and cultural works.
- The internet gives access to the heritage of previous ages on an unparalleled scale. It has accelerated the rate of innovation and the creativity of new ideas and applications.
- Access to Public Domain information lies at the heart of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."
The Public Domain Charter is published in support of the recent Public Domain Manifesto. The Manifesto is a statement made from the content users' perspective. Communia, who have published it, represent education and research, consumer agencies, technology developers, and think tanks.
Europeana, and its governing body, the Europeana Foundation, support the principal aspirations of the Manifesto. The Charter represents the position of the content holders-the organizations that are entrusted with the safe keeping of Europe's Public Domain content.
World’s Largest Oceanography Library Goes Digital
Approximately 100,000 volumes from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, the world's largest oceanography library, have been digitized and are being made publicly accessible (at http://books.google.com) as part of a partnership between Google, the University of California and the UC San Diego Libraries.
In 2008, UC San Diego became the first southern California university to partner with Google in its efforts to digitize the holdings of the world's most prominent libraries. Since then, approximately 300,000 volumes and other materials have been digitized from UCSD's International Relations & Pacific Studies Library, the East Asian Language Collection, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library. The University of California was an early partner with Google, joining the Google Book Search Project in 2006 and agreeing to provide several million books from UC libraries for digitization. To date, more than 2 million books from UC libraries have been digitized.
According to Peter Brueggeman, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, the materials digitized by Google include a wealth of books and journals, as well as numerous scientific expedition reports. The Scripps Library's collections cover subjects ranging from oceanography, marine biology, marine geology, marine technology, climate science, and geophysics, with extensive resources in ecology, zoology, fisheries, and seismology.
As part of the agreement with Google, the University of California is receiving digital copies of all books and other materials scanned from the UC libraries. The university's copies are stored in HathiTrust, a shared digital repository developed in partnership with other major research institutions across the country.
The digitized books from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library and other materials from the UCSD Libraries are accessible via the Google Book Search index. The search engine allows anyone to search the full text of books from libraries and publishing partners. For books in the public domain, readers will be able to view, browse, and read the full texts online. For books protected by copyright, users can access basic background (such as the book's title and the author's name), a few lines of text related to their search, and information about where they can borrow or buy a book.
Source: UCSanDiego News
New York Public Library Partners With HathiTrust
The New York Public Library (NYPL) has taken a giant step towards storing, preserving, and protecting its digitized book collections, partnering with HathiTrust, a shared repository of digitized content from academic and research libraries. NYPL is the 27th library to join the partnership, which was formed in 2008.
Ann Thornton, acting Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, says, "This partnership will allow us to preserve and protect our digitized books for future generations while making them more accessible and useful to readers worldwide. By adding our digitized book collections to those of the other Hathi partners, we take a major step toward the vision of a free, comprehensive library of the world's knowledge. We look forward to a long, productive future with HathiTrust and all of the great libraries who count themselves partners."
HathiTrust will take items digitized from NYPL's collections and store them securely. The group also has a delivery platform that will allow the public to easily access the Library's public domain books, as well as items from the collections of other HathiTrust partners.
HathiTrust was founded in 2008 by the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the 11 libraries of the University of California system, and the University of Virginia.
Source: The New York Public Library
Knovel Adds Interactive Problem Sets to Popular Engineering Textbook
Knovel, a web-based application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools, has incorporated real-world problem sets into the 6th edition of the textbook, The Science and Engineering of Materials, by Askeland, Fulay, and Wright. Working closely with publisher Cengage Learning, Knovel has added value to the core text by presenting a unique set of problems and solutions in each chapter. Based upon the topic of each chapter, students can search Knovel's engineering content and use the search optimization features and data analysis tools to answer a range of questions.
Currently, more than 300 universities, including 12 of the top 15 engineering schools in the U.S., subscribe to Knovel. Students and instructors at non-subscribing schools will have trial access to select Knovel content for a semester in order to complete problems highlighted in the text.
"We continually seek innovative ways to successfully engage students in the learning process, so we were particularly interested in Knovel's combination of reference content and data analysis tools," said Chris Shortt, publisher of the Global Engineering Program for Cengage Learning. "Knovel's additions to The Science and Engineering of Materials text will help professors expand the variety of problem sets they provide to students and allow them to comply with certification programs provided by ASEE."
Instructors may also access the problems and solutions online at www.cengage.com/engineering/askeland.
Cambridge University Press Grants Digital Rights to Bookshare for Accessible Formats Conversion
Cambridge University Press has entered into a license agreement with Bookshare, the Calif.-based nonprofit organization that provides books in accessible formats for people with qualified print disabilities, such as blindness or low vision, a physical disability, or a severe learning disability that affects reading.
Under the terms of the digital rights license agreement, Cambridge will deliver academic and scholarly books from all of its regional publishing centers around the world to Bookshare for conversion into accessible formats. Individuals with qualified print disabilities around the world will be able to download the books for a nominal Bookshare membership fee and read them using a computer or other assistive technology, with voice generated by text-to-speech technology, as well as options for digital Braille. Qualified students in the U.S. will have free access to the books, thanks to a special award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.
Bookshare operates in the U.S. under an exception to copyright law known as the Chafee Amendment and is expanding internationally thanks to publishers providing digital files with worldwide copyright permissions. In addition to worldwide availability of titles, this agreement supports Bookshare operations because digital files in EPUB format from publishers ease the challenge of creating digital accessible books.
Source: Cambridge University Press
Dialog and RefWorks Team Up to Boost Research Productivity
Dialog, a provider of online information services for professional searchers, and RefWorks, the web-based research management, writing, and collaboration tool, are enabling their shared customers to export Dialog and DataStar search results into RefWorks. This direct export ability is supported through multiple interface options plus alerts, boosting researchers' ability to manage, store and share results, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. RefWorks and Dialog are both members of the ProQuest family of brands.
Founded in 2001 by a team of experts in the field of bibliographic database management, RefWorks is known for its high quality within the academic, government, and corporate research communities. Customers subscribing to both research tools will find search results are quickly and easily exported from Dialog to RefWorks to create personal databases. The databases can then be used to manage, store, and share the information. Users who are creating reports can automatically insert references from their database, generating formatted bibliographies and manuscripts in seconds.
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