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Weekly News Digest

August 2, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Vook Launches New Features on Ebook Publishing Platform

Vook, a cloud-based ebook publishing platform, announced new features: a new Vook Store, personalized eBook Webpages, and the ability for authors to sell ebooks via a browser reader and keep 85% of their royalties. Vook also announced new pricing. To automatically distribute to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and get the final files, it’s a one-time only fee of $99. For that $99, Vook will give you your files, sell your title through its eTailer accounts, provide a sales tracking dashboard, and pay authors 100% of their net royalties from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

Here’s an overview of the three new platform features offered to authors:

  • The Vook Store: Vook.com now features a new storefront. When you publish your ebook into the Vook store, it will automatically appear as a new release—and in the category you choose for it. Vook will feature the best new titles published to Vook, merchandizing best sellers and offering special promotions through its storefront.
  • Personalized Webpages: Creating an ebook in the Vook platform also now generates a personalized eBook Webpage. This webpage includes a description of the book, the cover image, other books by the same author, and a detailed author bio and headshot. It’s fully SEO optimized. You get your webpage free when you publish through Vook. You can update your page at any time.
  • Browser Reader: Your webpage isn’t just for promotion—it also allows you to sell your ebook and keep 85% of your royalties via Vook’s HTML5 browser reader. An HTML5 browser reader is an elegant way for your audience to read your ebook on a desktop or mobile device.

Source: Vook

NEH Announces Award to Build Digital 'Library of the Future'

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced a $1 million award to support the incorporation and launch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), a groundbreaking project that seeks to digitize and bring together the contents of our nation’s libraries and archives, and make them freely available to all online.

To be created through a coalition of libraries, archives, museums, and other nonprofit and academic entities in coordination with the Open Knowledge Commons, the DPLA will ultimately serve as a single portal for diverse, interdisciplinary digital archives from a range of institutions. It would allow scholars, students, and lifelong learners to simultaneously access multiple collections. 

The NEH award will specifically support the creation of the infrastructure for a national open access (OA) digital library. The DPLA will partner with statewide digital library projects to establish a pilot group of “service hubs” responsible for coordinating the creation and dissemination of content within designated geographic areas. The project will also entail the designation of a number of large existing digital collections as “content hubs” that will make their data available through DPLA. It is expected that project participants will work together to develop agreements to protect of the rights of the many parties involved. One outcome will be the development of the common technological platform necessary for integration of collections from disparate sources.

The project is designed to demonstrate how local and national collections can be linked to one skyway with global access ramps. For example, it will work with the European Union to promote interoperability with its Europeana collection, a comparable digital library effort currently underway.

The revolutionary potential of the DPLA initiative is akin to that of other NEH-supported endeavors such as the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), which in the 1980s and 1990s established a fundamental set of methods and practices that now underpin most digital humanities scholarship. Similarly, NEH grants supported work on the Universal Scripts Project at the University of California-Berkeley, a project that expanded the scope of Unicode, the standard for digitally representing every character from the world’s languages on the World Wide Web and many text-processing systems.

Source: National Endowment for the Humanities

Census Bureau API Lets Developers Create Custom Apps

The U.S. Census Bureau launched a new online service that makes key demographic, socioeconomic, and housing statistics more accessible than ever before. The Census Bureau’s first-ever public Application Programming Interface (API) allows developers to design web and mobile apps to explore or learn more about America’s changing population and economy.

The new API lets developers customize Census Bureau statistics into web or mobile apps that provide users quick and easy access from two popular sets of statistics:

  • 2010 Census (Summary File 1), which includes detailed statistics on population, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship, and owner/renter status, for a variety of geographic areas down to the level of census tracts and blocks.
  • 2006-2010 American Community Survey (5-year estimates), which includes detailed statistics on a rich assortment of topics (education, income, employment, commuting, occupation, housing characteristics and more) down to the level of census tracts and block groups.

The 2010 Census and the American Community Survey statistics provide key information on the nation, neighborhoods, and areas in between. By providing annual updates on population changes, the survey helps communities plan for schools, social and emergency services, highway improvements, and economic developments.

The Census Bureau also launched a website for developers to provide feedback and ideas on the API. The website includes an “app gallery” where the public can view and download Web apps that have already been created:

  • Age Finder—Users have the flexibility to get a count of the population for a single year of age or for a customized age range by sex, race, and Hispanic origin for states, counties, and places.
  • Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months by Sex by Age—Users can get the poverty rate for counties in New York by sex and multiple age groups in an app developed by the Program on Applied Demographics at Cornell University.

Developers can access the API online and share ideas through the Census Bureau’s Developers Forum.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 

New Home for Nature Network Blogs

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) announced the launch of SciLogs.com, a new English-language blogging network for scientists and science communicators. Nature Network bloggers will be among the first to take up their new home on the WordPress-based site.

SciLogs.com is hosted by Spektrum der Wissenschaft, part of NPG. The English-language site joins the popular German-language blogging network, SciLogs.de, and Dutch (SciLogs.be), and Spanish (SciLogs.es) sites, which together have more than 100 active bloggers.

“SciLogs combine the strengths of both science culture and the blogging medium,” said Carsten Könneker, editor-in-chief, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, and founder of SciLogs.de. “They provide scientists and lay people with the opportunity to interact in interdisciplinary discussions about science in all its facets: research, applications, ethics, values, politics and so on.” Richard Zinken, who as publishing director of Spektrum der Wissenschaft is responsible for SciLogs, adds, “Our partnership with nature.com is an important step towards creating an international network of high quality scientific blogging.”

More than 25 Nature Network blogs are making a new home on SciLogs.com. They have transferred their full archive with them, so that previous conversations are preserved for posterity. Redirects are in place so that links and search indexing continues to work seamlessly.

SciLogs.de, which has been hosting blogs since October 2007, currently has about 350,000 page views per month. Blogs are written by active scientists and science communicators and include researchers at the Universities of Heidelberg, Bremen, and the Max Planck Institute.

Spektrum der Wissenschaft is an international edition of Scientific American, which became part of NPG in 2009. Launched in July 2011, the Scientific American Blog Network brings together 15 blogs by Scientific American staff with 38 blogs from more than 40 independent bloggers.

Blogs written by Nature-branded journal editors and other NPG staff are now hosted at http://blogs.nature.com/.

Source: Nature Publishing Group

Thomson Reuters to Acquire MarkMonitor

The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters announced that it signed a definitive agreement to purchase MarkMonitor, a leader in online brand protection. The completion of the acquisition is subject to standard regulatory approvals. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition of MarkMonitor, headquartered in San Francisco, will strengthen the broad portfolio of intellectual property solutions from Thomson Reuters. The addition of MarkMonitor, with its innovative online brand protection technology, to Thomson Reuters best-in-class intellectual property solutions, will result in a suite of efficient and effective end-to-end brand protection solutions to assist customers in securing revenue and reputation. With more than 400 employees in five countries, MarkMonitor is a market leader in online brand protection and currently safeguards more than half of the Fortune 100 brands.

The MarkMonitor team, led by president and CEO Irfan Salim, will join Thomson Reuters. “With the continued explosive growth of Internet, ecommerce and social network usage, the digital world provides an anonymous haven for criminals who harm brands' revenue and reputation, often at the expense of consumers,” said Salim. “Brands that take action to protect themselves by managing their domain name portfolios see real return on investment, including lower online advertising costs and higher revenue, along with greater customer satisfaction. Together, MarkMonitor and Thomson Reuters will provide best-in-class solutions for online brand protection.”

Source: Thomson Reuters

Chinese Ebooks From Apabi Coming to EBSCO Discovery Service

EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) and Apabi signed an agreement allowing metadata from Apabi’s ebook collection to be added to the Base Index of EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). The ebooks from Apabi are designed to offer a vast collection in a variety of subject areas to researchers in higher education, public libraries, corporations, and government.

Apabi’s extensive and growing collection includes more than 700,000 Simplified Chinese ebooks, with coverage beginning as early as 1949. More than 120,000 ebooks are being added to the collection each year. The majority of Apabi’s ebooks, more than 400,000, are published from 2004 to the present. Subject matter within the ebook collection represents an expansive range of subject areas including humanities, literature, science & technology, and economics.

EBSCO Publishing has continually worked to increase global content in EBSCO Discovery Service and the addition of Apabi’s metadata to the EDS Base Index significantly expands the global reach and will serve as a unique and valuable resource for EDS users.

The EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) Base Index represents content from about 20,000 providers (and growing), which accounts for more than 350,000 publications from the world’s top publishers and information providers. However, because EDS is a custom solution, the complete index to materials for any given customer may be expanded greatly beyond the coverage referenced for the Base Index. EBSCO Discovery Service creates a unified, customized index of an institution’s information resources, and an easy, yet powerful means of accessing all of that content from a single search box.

Source: EBSCO Publishing



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