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Weekly News Digest

July 25, 2011 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.

CLICK HERE to view all of this week's Weekly News Digest items.

Serials Solutions Releases Coverage Analysis of Summon Discovery Service

Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest LLC, released a new list of key databases and packages, as well as updated comprehensive lists of the serials titles and publishers available in the Summon index, providing librarians with even greater visibility into the quality content indexed in the Summon service. By making these lists available now and in the future, Serials Solutions aims to provide unprecedented transparency to the breadth of the full-text searchable content in its discovery service.

With new content sources added every week, and content updated daily, the comprehensive serials titles list includes details such as coverage dates and full-text indexing. The publishers list provides a guide to the more than 750 million records and 80 different content types from more than 7,000 publishers discoverable from the Summon service. In addition, Serials Solutions has developed a new list of key databases and packages to provide librarians with insight into the percentage of collections now full-text searchable through its service. Each of these lists will be maintained and published on a quarterly basis.

Through the Summon service, Serials Solutions also enables libraries to maintain their importance in the research process by exposing their digitized special collections to researchers around the world. Users can discover content from more than 39 open access archives and 257 institutional repositories from 73 different institutions representing more than 40 million records that have been ingested into the Summon service, most with full-text indexing. By making a concentrated collection of material discoverable from a multitude of disparate sources, the Summon service enables libraries to exponentially grow their collections to include these repositories at no additional cost, thus broadening their researchers’ experience to discover even more interesting and intriguing content.

Source: Serials Solutions

LoislawConnect to Take Legal Research to the Next Level

Wolters Kluwer Law & Business announced that it is releasing an enhanced version of its Loislaw legal research platform. The new platform, called LoislawConnect, will deliver a faster, more streamlined way to conduct research within the same flat fee structure that Loislaw users have come to depend upon. LoislawConnect was previewed at the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia July 23-26. The company also announced the release of LoislawMobile for iPhone or iPad—to be available as a free download from the iTunes app store.

LoislawConnect will offer users a host of benefits to improve efficiency so they can quickly get to the information they need, including a new, clean interface designed for easier navigation, federated and advanced search options, new content such as proposed state regulations, new treatises, and additional case law and tax law opinion and ruling. The already powerful GlobalCite citation tool now enables users to refine and filter their results with the full Bluebook case treatment list. A new, improved LawWatch will enable users to receive immediate updates to the topics of their choice.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

NetLibrary Ebooks Now Integrated on EBSCOhost Platform

EBSCO Publishing’s collection of more than 300,000 ebook and audiobook titles (formerly from NetLibrary) is now integrated on EBSCOhost. (EBSCO had released a preview to customers in March.) EBSCO is also paving the way for new models such as short-term leases, subscription models, and expanded Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA), which will be introduced within the next few months.

eBooks and Audiobooks on EBSCOhost include the same features as EBSCOhost databases along with specific features directly related to ebooks and audiobooks. Users can opt to select the library’s ebook and audiobook collections from among the Choose Database page and search the multiple content types together—merging results from EBSCOhost databases, ebooks, and audiobooks—and eliminating silos of information. EBSCOhost provides access to quality, trusted content from hundreds of the world’s leading publishers. The growing list of publishers provides content in more than 30 languages with thousands of titles added each month.

The ownership model allows library administrators to determine how many simultaneous users they want to offer for each ebook purchased and to decide which model works best: unlimited users, three users, or one user. The unlimited user model allows libraries to provide first-class service to patrons by purchasing ebooks with unlimited simultaneous access—so patrons will never experience turn-aways or holds for titles. The three-user model is an option for titles that are in high demand while the one-user model provides patrons access to ebooks one user at a time.

Later this year, EBSCO will introduce additional options including short-term lease and subscription models. For a percentage of the cost of a one-user model, libraries can provide access to an ebook title through a short-term lease—available for one day, seven days, 14 days, or 28 days. In addition to lease options, ebook anthologies that contain high-interest titles in several different subject areas will be available to libraries on a subscription basis. eBooks on EBSCOhost will also allow a library to select titles based on the library’s collection development initiatives and purchase only the titles that patrons use through Patron Driven Acquisition options.

Patron Driven Acquisition will enable libraries to build a collection with guaranteed usage. EBSCO’s PDA program helps libraries preserve their budgets while maintaining control over the collection development process. With Patron Driven Acquisition, librarians can create a list of titles using their own specific criteria, and then expose the bibliographic records to end users without purchasing the titles. As titles are accessed by the user, the titles are purchased—guaranteeing that only ebook titles with usage are acquired. Titles are only triggered for purchase when “meaningful use” occurs including:

  • Viewing an ebook for more than 10 minutes
  • Viewing more than 10 pages of an ebook
  • Printing, emailing, or copying and pasting a portion of an ebook page
  • Downloading an ebook

Source: EBSCO Publishing

CourseSmart Launches HTML5-Based Reader for Etextbooks

CourseSmart announced the beta launch of its newest reader platform providing users with online, offline, anything, anywhere access to their eTextbooks. The first in the industry to utilize HTML5 technology for etextbooks and coupled with the latest version of Mozilla Firefox 5.0, this cloud-based offering now provides the same productivity features whether users are online or offline.

Students who have active online etextbook digital rental access will immediately enjoy the benefits of the new offline capabilities. Additionally, instructor textbook evaluation services will also be available on the new reader platform, allowing instructors free access to evaluate more than 90% of all core higher education etextbooks whether online or offline. The new reader experience also extends to CourseSmart’s productivity tools allowing users to highlight, search, copy, paste, take notes, share and print while offline. The platform synchronizes user notes across all devices, whether it is from their desktop computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android-based device, or any web-enabled device.

A full list of features for the new reader is available here. And, just in time for back-to-school, try the new reader with a book you need for the coming semester at http://www.coursesmart.com/go/freetrial.

CourseSmart is a venture supported by leading publishers, including Pearson, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill Education, Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing Group (Macmillan), and John Wiley & Sons.

Source: CourseSmart

New SciVerse App: iSpeech Audio Reader

Elsevier announced the availability of an audio reader application from iSpeech, provider of cloud-based speech technology and mobile apps, on SciVerse Applications beta. The iSpeech Audio Reader is the latest in a growing list of applications enhancing the use of SciVerse ScienceDirect content to improve researchers’ workflows.

The iSpeech Audio Reader text-to-speech application instantly converts any full-text article within SciVerse ScienceDirect, a source of peer-reviewed scientific content containing more than 10 million articles, into a natural sounding voice file. It enables researchers to easily convert articles into MP3 audio files and listen to them on any MP3-friendly device.

The iSpeech Audio Reader application stems from a collaborative relationship between iSpeech and Elsevier developed following a 24-hour hackathon hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Elsevier. Jesse Campbell, a graduate student at NJIT and software developer at iSpeech, and fellow NJIT graduate student Metin Yorulmaz won first place for the SV Social application that allows users to mark a favorite article, share articles on social networks, and convert text to speech.

SciVerse Applications and the Developer Network provide opportunities for researchers and librarians to collaborate with developers in creating and promoting new applications that improve research workflows. The Developer Network features a growing community of application developers that gain potential recognition, prestige, and revenue through their contributions to SciVerse Applications.

Source: Elsevier

Wellcome Library Partners With ProQuest to Digitize Early European Books

The Wellcome Library has announced a partnership with ProQuest, U.K. to digitize more than 15,000 volumes from the library’s rare book collection as part of the Wellcome Digital Library pilot project. The collection will be made available through ProQuest’s new Early European Books (EEB) database, a sister project to the Early English Books Online.

EEB will trace the history of printing in continental Europe from its origins up to 1700. A number of other libraries have already contributed to the project, including the Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. The Library will contribute its entire collection of pre-1700 non-English printed books. This includes many rare texts on subjects ranging from alchemy to zoology.

Unlike other parts of the pilot project, which are being fully funded by the Wellcome Library, this partnership will involve a significant investment from ProQuest. In return for access to the collection, ProQuest will make the entire collection freely available to all U.K.-based users, and to users in the HINARI group of developing countries. Wellcome Library members will have free access to the collection from anywhere in the world. In addition, 10% of the collection will be selected by the Wellcome Library to be made freely available to any user worldwide via the Wellcome Digital Library portal. As part of the project, previously uncatalogued (and hence unavailable) material is also being included, giving the new database complete coverage of the library’s pre-1700 European holdings.

By partnering with ProQuest, the Wellcome Library hopes that users of its collection will benefit from the ability to see works in a broader historical context, and from the development of tools such as text recognition that are adapted to the challenges of early European printing—benefits that it is unlikely to be able to replicate, at least in the short term, within its own digital library.

Source: Wellcome Library



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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