|Weekly News Digest
April 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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Android Etextbook App Available From Ingramís Vital Source
As students look for more ways to interact with digital textbooks, they are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets powered by the Android operating system. To meet this demand, VitalSource, the etextbook platform from Ingram, expanded its mobile footprint with the addition of an etextbook app for Android.
“We are significantly expanding our mobile capabilities with our new Android app,” said Kent Freeman, chief operating officer, Vital Source Technologies, Inc. “Every student has a device and/or operating system preference, and we know that Android smart phones and tablets are becoming an important option.”
VitalSource Bookshelf is the only etextbook platform available in online and offline environments with dedicated download apps for a full range of devices including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and desktops. The platform supports Mac and Windows operating systems and Apple’s iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and now Android smartphones and tablets.
The new VitalSource Bookshelf app for Android is a true reader app, not a web-only tool. Unlike web-only based applications, the VitalSource app can be used both online and offline, giving busy students and professors anytime, anywhere access to content that syncs highlights and notes regardless of which app is used—online, mobile, or desktop.
VitalSource, with more than 2 million users, has a presence on more than 6,000 campuses in more than 180 countries. Educators and students have access to tens of thousands of titles in multiple formats from the world’s leading textbook publishers, including Elsevier B.V.; Pearson, PLC; Cengage Learning; Macmillan; John Wiley and Sons, Inc.; The McGraw-Hill Cos.; Wolters Kluwer; Oxford University Press; and the Taylor & Francis Group.
The VitalSource Bookshelf Android app is available for free from Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market.
Source: Ingram Content Group, Inc.
Complete 1000 Human Genomes Data Free on the Web
Amazon Web Services, LLC (AWS) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the largest catalog of human genetics to the cloud. Researchers worldwide now have instant access to the complete 1000 Genomes Project on AWS, enabling scientists to accelerate disease research. The 1000 Genomes Project is an international research effort coordinated by a consortium of 75 companies and organizations to establish the most detailed catalog of human genetic variation. The project has grown to 200 terabytes of genomic data including DNA sequenced from more than 1,700 individuals. The 1000 Genomes Project aims to include the genomes of more than 2,600 individuals from 26 populations around the world, and the NIH will continue to add the remaining genome samples to the public data set this year. To access the 1000 Genomes Project Data, visit http://aws.amazon.com/1000genomes.
“Previously, researchers wanting access to public data sets such as the 1000 Genomes Project had to download them from government data centers to their own systems, or have the data physically shipped to them on discs. This process took a long time, and that’s assuming a lab had the bandwidth to download the data and sufficient storage and compute infrastructure to hold and analyze the data once they had it,” said Lisa D. Brooks, Ph.D., program director for the Genetic Variation Program, National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of NIH. “We are happy that the 1000 Genomes Project data are on AWS to give researchers anywhere in the world a simple way to access the data so they can put the data to work in their research.”
Public Data Sets on AWS provide a centralized repository of public data stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). The data can be directly accessed from AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR). AWS’s highly scalable compute resources are being used to power big data and high performance computing applications such as those found in science and research. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Langone Medical Center at New York University, Unilever, Numerate, Sage Bionetworks and Ion Flux are among the organizations leveraging AWS for scientific discovery and research. AWS is storing the public data sets at no charge to the community. Researchers pay only for the additional AWS resources they need for further processing or analysis of the data. To learn more about Public Data Sets on AWS, visit http://aws.amazon.com/publicdatasets.
Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services began exposing key infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services—now widely known as cloud computing. The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. AWS provides a reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government, and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world. AWS offers more than 28 different services. AWS services are available to customers from data center locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan, and Singapore.
Source: Amazon.com, Inc.
Ex Librisí Primo Central Adds 78 A&I Sources
Ex Libris Ltd., provider of library automation solutions, announced that RMIT Publishing has made additional scholarly content from its diverse collections searchable in the Primo Central Index. Under the agreement, Ex Libris will index a further 78 abstract and indexing (A&I) databases that cover agriculture, the arts, Asian studies, business, education, engineering, health, history, law, media, the sciences, the social sciences, and technology.
Offered as a cloud-based discovery service to hundreds of libraries around the globe, the Primo Central Index is an integral part of the Ex Libris Primo discovery and delivery solution. As a one-stop service, Primo enables users to explore their libraries’ locally managed collections along with global and regional resources indexed in Primo Central and to obtain one blended, relevance-ranked result list.
Heather Crosbie, director of RMIT Publishing, commented, “As the largest provider of scholarly material in Australia, we are keen for the widest possible community of global researchers to discover new perspectives on world issues. We believe that enabling the Primo Central Index to search Informit facilitates users’ research and significantly increases the visibility of Informit’s scholarly resources worldwide.” Holley Dumble, Ex Libris director of sales for Australia and New Zealand, remarked, “Expanding the agreement with RMIT Publishing is an important development for the Primo community in Australia and New Zealand. … The convergence of global and regional resources in Primo Central enables us to provide a truly global service to users.”
RMIT Publishing provides online research content from Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific region, offered through the company’s Informit search platform and online databases. RMIT Publishing was first established in 1989 within the library at RMIT University, with the mission to improve the accessibility, visibility, and preservation of regional content.
Source: Ex Libris Ltd.
Consumer Surveying Conducted Via Google
Google Consumer Surveys is a new business-facing product that makes custom market research easy. It enables companies to ask questions and retrieve quantitative results quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively. Companies have already been using the service to research everything from online shopping behavior (Lucky Brand Jeans) to gluten-free baking mixes (King Arthur Flour) and to assess brand awareness (Timbuk2) and inform product development (479 Popcorn). Google shares the money these companies spend with publisher partners. Publishers get paid for hosting surveys. A number of publishers, such as The Texas Tribune, the Star Tribune, and Adweek have already started running these microsurveys on their sites.
The microsurvey service is implemented on publisher websites. Users see a prompt that offers a choice between answering a market research question or completing another action specified by the publisher (such as signing up for an account or purchasing access). All responses are completely anonymous—they aren’t tied to your identity or later used to target ads.
Prices start at 10 cents per response. Surveys can target the entire U.S. internet population or custom audiences. Surveyors can specify how many responses they want.
Bowkerís Global eBook Monitor Generates Usage Statistics
Bowker Market Research’s Global eBook Monitor studies the rate of adoption and buyer demographics of ebooks in 10 major markets. The first wave of results has now become available. Among the results, Australia, India, the U.K., and the U.S. lead the world in adoption, while France and Japan are the slowest to embrace the new format. The study tracks consumer attitudes toward and purchasing of ebooks in major world markets. Bowker Market Research is a service of Bowker, LLC, an affiliated business of ProQuest.
Research for Bowker’s Global eBook Monitor (GeM) was conducted among the online population in 10 countries—Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.—in early 2012. While purchase behavior varies by country, awareness is relatively consistent: More than 80% of respondents in each country know it is possible to digitally download a book.
Age and gender are consistent predictors of purchase behavior globally. For example, in most countries surveyed, men are more likely than women to buy an ebook. In almost all markets, the older the respondents, the less likely they are to have recently purchased an ebook. Purchase rates in India, Brazil, the U.K., the U.S., and France are highest in the 25–34 age group, with Australia, Spain, Germany, South Korea, and Japan highest among 18- to 24-year-olds.
The numbers of ebooks downloaded in the past 6 months within genres indicates significant differences between countries. In the U.K. and Australia, the concentration is on adult fiction, while in India and South Korea, the concentration is on both professional/business and academic/textbooks.
An annual study, over time GeM will create a view of market shifts in response to new digital formats. GeM currently operates in partnership with Pearson, Tata Consultancy Services, AT Kearney, and Book Industry Study Group. It employs online surveys hosted by Lightspeed Research or their affiliates in nine countries and by MTi in the U.S. The minimum number of respondents in each country was 1,000; samples were designed and weighted to be representative of the adult (18 and older) population in terms of age, sex, and region, but they were, by definition, drawn from the online population only. Individual country reports will be available for purchase at the end of April.
Source: Bowker, LLC
Springer for R&D Platform Launched for Corporate Sector
Springer Science+Business Media launched a new corporate platform, Springer for R&D, which provides access to more than 5.6 million research documents, all optimized for specific corporate markets. The primary focus is corporate and medical customers. All articles in Springer for R&D are taken from Springer’s online platform SpringerLink, which will remain in its existing form serving the academic community.
Featuring new content navigation by industry sectors, Springer for R&D provides access to pertinent materials to groups of customers in industry sectors from automotive to oil, gas and geosciences, and from IT to biotechnology. The platform uses agile software development methodologies, enabling Springer to quickly develop and deploy new features.
Industry sectors on Springer for R&D include Automotive; Aerospace; Biotechnology; Chemical Manufacturing; Consumer Packaged Goods; Electronics; Energy Utilities & Environment; Engineering; Finance, Business & Banking; Health and Hospitals; IT and Software; Law; Materials & Steel; Oil, Gas & Geosciences; Pharma; and Telecommunications.
Springer Science+Business Media is a leading global scientific publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions, and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a local-language publisher in Europe—especially in Germany and the Netherlands—primarily for physicians and professionals working in the automotive, transport, and healthcare sectors. Roughly 2,000 journals and more than 7,000 new books are published by Springer each year, with a major STM ebook collection, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. Springer employs nearly 6,000 individuals across the globe and, in 2011, generated sales of approximately €890 million.
Source: Springer Science+Business Media
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