|Weekly News Digest
March 5, 2012 — 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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MIT OpenCourseWare and Flat World Knowledge Team Up
MIT OpenCourseWare and textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge have teamed up to provide free, high-quality textbooks to learners accessing OCW’s OCW Scholar courses. This is among the first collaborations between an OpenCourseWare publisher and an open textbook publisher.
Initially, three OCW Scholar courses will be paired with Flat World texts: 14.01SC Principles of Microeconomics (2012), 9.00SC Introduction to Psychology (2012), and 3.091SC Solid State Chemistry (2011). OCW Scholar courses follow OCW’s original model of openly published course content—such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—but are created specifically for independent learners, who typically have few additional resources available to them. The expert-authored, peer-reviewed texts from Flat World are also openly available, and provide an ideal resource for this audience.
“The combination of free access to world-class textbooks and the flexibility to modify the material exactly to our needs makes Flat World Knowledge ideal for pairing with the OCW Scholar courses,” remarked MIT OpenCourseWare executive director Cecilia d’Oliveira.
Flat World Knowledge, a commercial open textbook publisher and pioneer in the open education resources movement, makes its catalog freely available online, and charges modest fees for a variety of digital and print formats. Faculty are supported with supplements, including desk copies, test banks, instructor manuals, lecture slides, and video clips.
“Our collaboration represents a new phase in the evolution of open education,” said Eric Frank, president of Flat World Knowledge. “Through this innovative, financially sustainable model, learners will benefit from a complete package of premium quality material, without the barriers of cost and access.”
Flat World Knowledge also supports the sustainability of MIT OpenCourseWare. A portion of sales of digital or print versions of these texts or ancillary resources goes to support OCW, and Flat World is also providing underwriting support for MIT OpenCourseWare.
Source: MIT OpenCourseWare
Baker & Taylor Agreement With Smashwords to Bring Ebooks to Blio
Baker & Taylor, Inc., a distributor of digital and physical books, together with K-NFB Reading Technology, developer of the Blio e-reading application, announced a distribution agreement with Smashwords that will bring nearly 100,000 independently published ebooks to the Blio store. Blio is the feature-rich ereading application that allows readers to experience ereading in a new way, and use their digital library across multiple devices. Smashwords is a distributor of indie (self-published) ebooks, offering a catalog of more than 100,000 original titles representing 37,000 indie authors and small presses around the world.
The agreement will also bring Smashwords ebooks to public libraries that subscribe to Baker & Taylor’s new Axis360 digital media platform. Axis360, which was launched last year, has been deployed by several top public library systems in the U.S. Dozens more libraries are converting to the platform as well.
Using Blio, readers can sample and purchase Smashwords books, create digital libraries for purchased and sampled titles, publish text or YouTube video book reviews, and “favorite” their chosen authors, publishers, and titles.
Source: Baker & Taylor, Inc.
EBSCO Releases First Subscription Ebook Collection
EBSCO Publishing released its first subscription ebook collection. eBook Academic Subscription Collection supplies full-text ebooks covering a broad spectrum of academic subjects from business to science and engineering to the humanities. Nearly 70,000 titles are included.
eBook Academic Subscription Collection is offered on an annual subscription basis with unlimited access to the content. Each title is offered with unlimited users allowing more users access to each title in the collection. As with all ebooks available from EBSCO, eBook Academic Subscription Collection will integrate seamlessly with all EBSCOhost content. Users will be able to search the collection on its own or side-by-side with other EBSCOhost databases.
EBSCO Publishing’s senior director of ebook products, Ken Breen, says libraries can use eBook Academic Subscription Collection as the foundation of a comprehensive ebook offering. “Users gravitate towards online resources more and more each day. By introducing a large subscription offering, EBSCO’s goal is to provide librarians with a foundation on which to build out their collections.” Libraries can build upon that foundation by selecting Subject Sets, Featured Collections, Custom Collections, and unique title-by-title purchases from eBooks on EBSCOhost to tailor their library’s overall ebook collection.
Annual subscription is the latest way EBSCO enables libraries to add ebooks to their collection. Libraries are able to purchase titles to add to their permanent collection. Forthcoming options include the ability to make titles available via Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA), to be purchased only if/when users need them and to lease titles libraries only need for a short time.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
Wiley-Blackwell Adds 44 Titles to Journal Publishing Program in 2012
In 2012 Wiley-Blackwell, the Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., will begin publishing 44 titles new to its journal program, including 16 new launches and 40 journals published in collaboration with societies or other organizations. Of the 44 titles, 28 are moving to Wiley-Blackwell from other publishers or from self-publication.
Brand new titles publishing on Wiley Online Library over the course of 2012 include Advanced Healthcare Materials, PsyCH Journal (published with the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Clinical Liver Disease (published with The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases), Food and Energy Security (a Wiley Open Access title in partnership with the Association of Applied Biologists) and the open access title Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease.
Eight of the new launches this year will be open access titles, joining six journals already in the Wiley Open Access program. Wiley Open Access is a new program of fully open access journals publishing primary research across a variety disciplines. A full list of journals is available at http://www.wileyopenaccess.com. Wiley also publishes more than 700 hybrid journals that offer OnlineOpen for authors who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article.
Relais International Partners With OCLC to Share Data and Services
Relais International, which provides systems to support interlibrary loan and document delivery services, has signed an agreement with OCLC that will allow mutual subscribers access to WorldCat data and OCLC services through the OCLC WorldShare Platform.
Under this new partnership, Relais will use the WorldCat Search API so that library staff can search WorldCat from within Relais to retrieve holdings information. Relais will also use the WorldCat Resource Sharing API so that requests and updates can be sent to and received from the OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing service.
These options for access to OCLC will be available to Relais users whose institutional holdings are visible on WorldCat.org and who subscribe to the WorldCat Resource Sharing service. Libraries that qualify for keys to the APIs will be able to activate the services within Relais.
This partnership is facilitated through the new OCLC WorldShare Platform, which enables OCLC and library partners to configure and share a wide range of applications that deliver new functionality and value for libraries and their users.
As an OCLC partner, Relais is considering using other APIs to gain access to the OCLC Policies Directory and the newly deployed Article Exchange document-sharing site.
Relais International, Inc. is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and has been selling systems to support interlibrary loan and document delivery services since 1996. Relais International assists libraries in implementing intelligent and automated methods to support the delivery of documents. Relais products range from scanning stations to fully integrated request management, scanning and delivery software suitable for single libraries and consortia.
Latest Version of Thomson Reuters ProView E-Reader Platform Launches Globally
Thomson Reuters announced the global launch of the latest version of Thomson Reuters ProView, its professional eReader platform. Currently available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia, and soon to launch in other regions, the new version of Thomson Reuters ProView adds power and functionality to the first e-reader platform specifically built from the ground up for professionals, allowing users to interact with ebooks in entirely new ways.
Thomson Reuters ProView is a first-of-its-kind, professional-grade platform for the delivery and use anywhere, anytime of specialized Thomson Reuters content and productivity tools, including popular legal reference books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw, Sweet & Maxwell, Carswell, and Thomson Reuters Legal, Tax & Accounting ANZ. Its advanced features, such as full-text search, secured notes and annotations, and content updating, are said to be unique in the marketplace. Live links allow U.S. users to view citations through their WestlawNext accounts. Information on ProView and its numerous legal reference and professional development titles can be found at http://thomsonreuters.com/proview.
In addition to the ProView iPad app, which is downloadable from the Apple App Store, Thomson Reuters ProView is now accessible, in certain countries, through internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Now those users can have the full ProView experience wherever they are working with their laptop, desktop, or iPad.
Source: Thomson Reuters
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