|Weekly News Digest
September 26, 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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Status Report On Obama Administrationís Commitment to Open Government
On Sept. 16, the White House released "The Obama Administration’s Commitment to Open Government: A Status Report "(PDF). This status report highlights the breadth of the administration’s commitment to open government, documents the substantial progress made on many of the administration’s open government initiatives (www.whitehouse.gov/open), and anticipates continued progress. Although not an exhaustive compilation of its open government efforts, this report provides a picture of how far the administration has already come toward forging a more open government.
President Obama has made open government a high priority. The administration has taken many substantial steps to promote increased participation and collaboration in government, and to make government more transparent. For example, federal agencies have increased transparency through redoubled efforts to disclose more information under the Freedom of Information Act. They have implemented ambitious Open Government Plans, and made voluminous data newly available to the public. The administration has also made spending information more transparent, and taken steps to disclose previously sensitive government information. Finally, agencies have used technology in many innovative ways that make information useful to citizens in their everyday lives.
On Sept. 20, the U.S. National Action Plan on Open Government was formally launched at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. The plan is an ambitious effort to promote accountability, empower people with information they “can readily find and use,” and ensure public officials tap into the expertise and wisdom of the American people when setting policy.
Source: The White House
Summon Expands Content From Oxford University Press
Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest LLC, announced that the Summon service has greatly increased the amount of content from Oxford University Press (OUP). It is now indexing both the metadata and full text of Grove Art Online (available via Oxford Art Online), Grove Music Online (available via Oxford Music Online), American Dictionary of National Biography Online, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online, and Oxford Reference Online.
With this arrangement, OUP expands the content available from the ever-growing list of content providers in the Summon service, underscoring Serials Solutions’ ongoing commitment to make the most comprehensive discovery service for researchers around the world. With full-text search for most content in its single unified index, the Summon service provides a superior discovery experience by allowing researchers to search its more than 750 million records optimized for discovery using the Summon service’s exclusive match and merge process.
Source: Serials Solutions
Gale Introduces Gale Business Insights: Global
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and a publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools, and businesses, released Gale Business Insights: Global, a new international online business resource designed to empower students to progress quickly from basic research to higher levels of understanding. The resource is designed for undergraduate and graduate business school students, as well as academic faculty, librarians, and professional researchers.
“We live and work within a growing global economy and business schools today are under a new and increased pressure to develop and integrate global business information into the curriculum,” said David Forman, vice president and publisher, Gale. “Gale Business Insights: Global helps schools do this by teaching students how to research international business topics and compare global economies, companies, and industries by providing the data they need with the resources to analyze it. It also helps educators better teach international business topics by enabling them to organize our content around countries, data sets, and topics—taking the resource from the research environment to the learning environment.”
The most common assignments in business courses involve reading and analyzing case studies and completing news-related assignments—activities that go beyond the textbook and require students to access different types of information from disparate sources. However, a majority of students and professors say it is not easy to find sources that are credible, relevant, and current.
Gale Business Insights: Global is designed to relieve these pain points and give MBA and business students an edge in the international marketplace. Gale Business Insights: Global integrates case studies, analytical tools, and in-depth statistical data with narrative content in a way that will help students succeed with their coursework and in the global business world. Researchers have the ability to download and analyze global data, industry and company profiles, and market share information for a complete interactive experience that fosters understanding.
EBSCO Publishing Releases New Ebook Subject Sets
EBSCO Publishing announced the release of 64 new ebook subject sets bringing the total number of subject sets to nearly 200. These additional subject sets reflect the rapid growth of EBSCO’s ebook collection offered to libraries in convenient collections grouped by subject matter.
Subject sets allow for quick and easy purchases in particular high-interest subject areas. Customer feedback played a large role in the development of some of the latest subject sets. Requests for particular subject areas prompted EBSCO to create many of the subject sets available in this September release. All of the subject sets were developed by a team of librarian collection development specialists.
Nine key collection areas were increased including: Arts & Humanities, Business, Information Technology, Medical, Personal Growth & General Education, Science & Technology, Social & Cultural Issues, Social Sciences, and Vocational Education. The new subject sets provide an extensive array of subject matter including American History, leadership & management, LGBT, social networking, nursing, and teacher resources. A full list of the latest subject sets are available at: www.ebscohost.com/ebooks/subject-sets.
Ebooks on EBSCOhost offers nearly 300,000 eBooks and audiobooks. EBSCO is proactively soliciting new content in key areas and about 5,000 new titles are expected to be added each month. Find more information about the eBooks on the EBSCO Support Site.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
National Archives Now Available on iTunes U
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced that it is now available on iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store giving users public access to thousands of free lectures, videos, books, and podcasts from learning institutions all over the world.
National Archives on iTunes U is giving teachers, students, and lifelong seekers of knowledge access to archival documents, lesson plans, Presidential Libraries’ podcasts, and more, all available as free downloads to enjoy on a Mac or PC, iPad, iPhone or iPod. National Archives on iTunes U is launching with a selection of World War II films, Presidential historical documents and podcasts, and several “Inside the Vaults” videos featuring behind-the-scenes at the archives, and lesson plan materials, exhibit materials, and videos of public lectures will continue to be added to iTunes U.
NARA is an independent federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people.
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Etextbook Provider CourseSmart Adds Nine New Publishers
CourseSmart, a provider of etextbooks and digital course materials, announced that it has expanded its higher education digital offerings by partnering with nine new publishing partners: Oxford University Press (USA); Oxford University Press, Canada; W.W. Norton; American Technical Publishers (ATP); BarCharts; ASM Press; Paradigm Publishing; Vista Higher Learning; and University Readers. With these latest additions, CourseSmart’s publishing partners now total 31, including the largest in the higher education space: Pearson; Cengage Learning; McGraw-Hill Education; John Wiley & Sons; and the Bedford, Freeman, Worth Publishing Group.
CourseSmart offers more than 20,000 etextbooks in its catalog, which represents 90% of all core higher education textbooks in use today. These digital textbooks may be rented for up to 60% less than the cost of its new print counterparts. Features like note taking, highlighting, and maintaining print page numbers replicate the important functionality of a print textbook while other features like search, copy/paste, and emailing passages, leverage the digital format to efficiently improve teaching and learning.
CourseSmart connects education publishers to consumers by providing an efficient distribution platform for their best-selling content in digital form. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company provides services to four business segments: online direct retail for students; indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; online faculty textbook evaluation services; and institutional solutions for faculty and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems.
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