|Weekly News Digest
June 16, 2011 — 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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New Britannica Ebook Service for Schools and Libraries
Students in elementary school through college can easily access hundreds of high-quality books on the subjects they’re studying through a new web-based ebooks service available to schools and libraries from Britannica Digital Learning, a division of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. The new service, at http://ebooks.eb.com, makes it easier than ever to use Britannica’s expert-written single-volume titles for research, papers, homework, and projects. More than 300 non-fiction digital books are now available. They cover the full range of curriculum, including math, science, language arts, social studies, and health.
Each ebook contains the entire text of the print edition and illustrations—many of which are striking, high-definition, and full-color. Tables of contents, indexes, and glossaries are hyperlinked and fully searchable.
“These books are extremely valuable in digital form. They can be searched by several students at once, making them more accessible and useful than a single bound book,” said Michael Ross, senior vice president and general manager of Britannica Digital Learning.
Ebooks are whiteboard ready, making them ideal for use both in small classrooms and in large lecture halls. Schools do not have to spend additional funds on reading devices; these ebooks can be accessed 24/7 by students, teachers, and library patrons through any web connection. All titles in a school’s or library’s holdings can be searched with a single keyword. Password-protected notes can be saved and the material can be printed.
Britannica plans to add hundreds of additional ebook titles in the next few years. The first 15 pages of each title are available free.
Source: Britannica Digital Learning
Speech-Indexed Multimedia in Scientific Search Portals
The DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) announced a new tool in scientific discovery technology. Now citizens and researchers alike can search for both written and spoken words in a whole range of media using OSTI’s new, speech-indexed multimedia within large scientific search portals. To this point, online searches for scientific information have been limited to text, such as within scientific papers. The new development uses unique speech-recognition search technology in combination with OSTI’s two federated search portals, ScienceAcceleator.gov and WorldWideScience.org, which search a wide range of DOE and worldwide databases, respectively. This vastly extends the reach of federated searching and could lead to new connections and new breakthroughs.
OSTI Director Dr. Walter Warnick said, “The addition of speech-indexed multimedia to federated search is a major milestone in advancing scientific discovery, especially as R&D results are increasingly recorded in video, audio, animation, and visualization.”
OSTI has pioneered the use of federated searching to enable the science community to search and access large, decentralized collections of scientific and technical information. Major federated search products include ScienceAccelerator.gov, Science.gov, and WorldWideScience.org.
ScienceAccelerator.gov was developed by OSTI to search databases covering DOE research and research of interest to DOE. Science.gov, operated by OSTI on behalf of the Science.gov Alliance, searches the science databases and websites of 14 U.S. federal agencies, while WorldWideScience.org, operated by OSTI on behalf of the WorldWideScience Alliance, searches scientific collections of the U.S. and more than 70 other nations.
OSTI partnered with the Microsoft Research Audio Video Indexing System (MAVIS) project to build a multimedia search engine called ScienceCinema. Introduced in February 2011 with approximately 1,000 scientific videos from U.S. DOE national laboratories, ScienceCinema content continues to grow with the recent initial installment from the multimedia collection of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Along with huge DOE R&D collections such as the Information Bridge, DOepatents, Energy Citations Database, and DOE R&D Accomplishments, ScienceAccelerator.gov will now search the multimedia of ScienceCinema.
The addition of speech-indexed multimedia searching through WorldWideScience.org was announced by Warnick in his presentation to the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI), which serves as primary sponsor for WorldWideScience.org. Warnick also announced two other major enhancements to WorldWideScience.org: the addition of Arabic as the tenth language to be part of its multilingual translations capability and the introduction of a mobile web version, http://m.worldwidescience.org (another first in federated search technology).
OSTI, within the DOE Office of Science, is responsible for making R&D findings available and useful to researchers and the public.
ebrary Announces New Corporate Computing Ebook Collection
ebrary announced the availability of its new Corporate Computing subscription database. The collection features more than 210 titles in Certification & Compliance, Databases, Software Engineering, Internet & Web Development, and other subject areas from Wiley, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, and other leading publishers. The selection, which is also available for purchase, may be previewed by visiting http://corptitles.ebrary.com and clicking on “Corporate Computing.”
“Many of our customers have asked for purchase rights to a computing collection to help them support the IT needs of staff,” said Leslie Lees, Vice President of Content Development at ebrary. “We are pleased to offer authoritative ebooks from leading publishers to help corporations fulfill this critical function, as well as powerful technology that enables employees to find, use, and manage the information efficiently and productively.”
Corporations may supplement their subscription by purchasing individual ebooks in IT-related fields. Many titles are also available under ebrary’s Patron Driven Acquisition model for “just in time” access. The company’s Computer Hardware content may be previewed at http://site.ebrary.com/lib/computerhardware and Computer Software content may be previewed at http://site.ebrary.com/lib/computersoftware. ebrary is showcasing Corporate Computing as well as other products and services at the 2011 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO, June 12-15 in Philadelphia, PA.
Content from Brill Academic Publishers Coming to WorldCat Local
A recent agreement between OCLC and Brill Academic Publishers will make Brill’s reference, book, and journal content available to library users through WorldCat Local, the OCLC discovery-to-delivery service that offers users integrated access to electronic, digital and physical library materials.
Full text of content from Brill Academic Publishers will be available for search through WorldCat.org and the Touchpoint discovery service in addition to WorldCat Local. WorldCat Local authenticated users will also be able to search Brill’s abstract and index databases, including Index Islamicus, which has been the leading bibliography on Islam and the Muslim world for almost 100 years.
Brill Academic Publishers is an independent academic publishing house with a rich history and strong international focus, specializing in the humanities and life sciences. Main subject areas include History, Islam/Oriental Studies, and Religion, as well as specialist scientific fields.
Headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill also has an office in the U.S. and a representative office in Japan. Publications are predominantly in English and largely comprise monographs or books in series, encyclopedias, and some eighty periodicals. OCLC will index metadata for primary sources, reference works, books, and journals from Brill.
WorldCat Local provides access to more than 800 million items, including books, journals, and databases from international publishers; the digital collections of groups like HathiTrust, OAIster, and Google Books; open access materials; and the collective resources of libraries worldwide through WorldCat.
YouTube Adds Creative Commons Attribution License
YouTube added the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) as a licensing option for users. Now when users upload video, they can choose to license it under CC BY or to remain with the default “Standard YouTube License.” Users may also change the license on existing videos by editing each video individually.
YouTube also launched a Creative Commons video library containing 10,000 initial videos under CC BY from organizations such as C-SPAN, PublicResource.org, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera. The library serves as a base catalog of videos for users to access, edit, and incorporate into their own video projects.
The YouTube Video Editor now contains a CC tab that allows users to search the Creative Commons video library and select videos to edit and remix. Users may remix videos directly on the editor platform, and any video that is created using CC BY-licensed content will automatically display the linked titles of the source videos underneath the player. Since CC BY is enabled as a licensing option, the library will grow as more users choose to license their work under CC BY. Already, in less than a week, the number of CC BY-licensed videos on YouTube has grown to more than 60,000. Read more about the development on the blog.
Source: Creative Commons and YouTube
The New Physical Archive of the Internet Archive
Internet Archive announced it is building a physical archive for the long-term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie it is able to attract or acquire. Because it expects day-to-day access to these materials to occur through digital means, the physical archive is designed for long-term preservation of materials with only occasional, collection-scale retrieval. Because of this, it can create optimized environments for physical preservation and organizational structures that facilitate appropriate access. A seed bank might be conceptually closest to what it has in mind: storing important objects in safe ways to be used for redundancy, authority, and in case of catastrophe.
The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work. The universe of unique titles has been estimated at close to one hundred million items. Many of these are rare or unique, so it does not expect most of these to come to the Internet Archive; they will instead remain in their current libraries. But the opportunity to preserve more than 10 million items is possible, so it has designed a system that will expand to this level. Ten million books is approximately the size of a world-class university library or public library, so it sees this as a worthwhile goal. If this is successful, then this set of cultural materials will last for centuries and could be beneficial in ways that it cannot predict.
To start this project, the Internet Archive solicited donations of several hundred thousand books in dozens of languages in subjects such as history, literature, science, and engineering. The books are digitized in IA scanning centers as funding allows.
To link the digital version of a book to the physical version, care is taken to catalog each book and note their physical locations so that future access could be enabled. Most books are cataloged by finding a record in existing library catalogs for the same edition. If no such catalog record can be found, then it is cataloged briefly in the Open Library. Links are made from the paper version to the digital version by printing identifying and catalog data on a slip of acid free paper that is inserted in the book. Linking from the digital version to the paper version is done through encoding the location into the database records and identifiers into the resulting digital book versions. The digital versions have been replicated and the catalog data has been shared.
The Internet Archive is now soliciting further donations of published materials from libraries, collectors, and individuals.
Source: Internet Archive
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