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Weekly News Digest

August 16, 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.

Alexander Street Press Expands Its Film Collections

Alexander Street Press expanded its visual arts offerings with the release of two streaming video collections, Silent Film Online and New World Cinema: Independent Features and Shorts, 1990-Present. Both collections are currently for sale in North America.

Silent Film Online is carefully curated by Alexander Street’s editors and Video Advisory Board to include high-quality silent feature films, serials, and shorts from the 1890s to the 1930s. These films, which come from many of the industry’s most notable pioneers, provide primary source documentation of foundational techniques in filmmaking and serve as a powerful resource for the study of late 19th- and early 20th-century history, culture, and attitudes.

The globally minded collection includes examples of the silent film movement from Germany, Britain, the Soviet Union, and France, and complements its feature films with a selection of related documentaries. Launching with300 streaming online titles, Silent Film Online will more than double in size before completion.

Nearly 200 full-length feature films and 50 shorts were hand-selected to comprise New World Cinema: Independent Features and Shorts, 1990-Present. The films, all of which appeared at major film festivals, have collectively won more than 1,000 awards and come from leading industry distributors such as Kino Lorber, First Run Features, Film Movement, MK2, and the Global Films Initiative. Featured works include Oscar nominees such as Yôji Yamada’s Twilight Samurai, Tran Anh Hung’s The Scent of Green Papaya, and Yorgos Lanthimos’s Dogtooth, as well as Cannes Grand Prize-winner The Piano Teacher, directed by Michael Haneke.

The titles represent 60 countries and 40 languages, providing a window into a wide range of cultures and sociological issues across the globe. The collection highlights a variety of cinematographic techniques and features works by many of the world’s leading contemporary directors, including Andrei Zvyagintsev, Koji Wakamatsu, Wong Kar-Wai, and Jean-Luc Godard.

Source: Alexander Street Press

Amazon Forces Unglue.it to Suspend Crowdfunding for Ebooks

“Amazon Payments has informed us that they will no longer process pledge payments for Unglue.it, forcing us to suspend all active ungluing campaigns,” announced Eric Hellman, president of Gluejar, Inc., the company behind crowdfunding site Unglue.it. The Unglue.it website launched on May 17, 2012, with the goal of “giving ebooks to the world.” It has unglued one title so far.

Unglue.it allows rightsholders of already published books to present “ungluing campaigns.” Site members can then pledge toward making the book available as Creative Commons licensed ebooks. If the campaign meets its goal, the ebook becomes freely available to everyone. Unglue.it’s first success was to raise $7,578 to unglue Ruth Finnegan's 1970 classic, Oral Literature in Africa. That book is unaffected by the suspension and will soon be available for download.

Amazon is requiring Unglue.it to void all pending pledges. The Unglue.it team is already hard at work to implement a new payment method for Unglue.it, which will be announced as soon as it’s available. Until then, the best way to express support for Unglue.it is to register on the site, urge friends to do the same, and let the world know which books should be unglued by making a wishlist.

Eric Hellman added, “We’re very disappointed that this has happened. We’ll relaunch very soon and unglue many many books. Maybe some day billions of people will read unglued books and recall with amazement the span of years when Amazon dominated the world of ebooks.”

Source: Gluejar, Inc.

Serials Solutions Announces Agreement With National Research Council of Canada

Serials Solutions, a ProQuest business, announced an agreement with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to index the NRC Publications Archive in the Summon service to expand access to valuable scientific research information. This web-based archive provides open and seamless access to the NRC’s record of science and serves as a comprehensive gateway to all NRC-authored publications, including a wide range of peer-reviewed publications (articles, proceedings, books, book chapters) and technical reports from all NRC Institutes, Branches, Programs, and Centres. The NRC Publications Archive is an online repository containing more than 50,000 publication citations and provides access to more than 12,000 full-text publications.

The NRC is the government of Canada’s premier organization for research and development. The NRC comprises more than 20 institutes and national programs, spanning a variety of disciplines organized into five key areas, including life sciences, frontier sciences, engineering, technology and industry support, and corporate management. Each year, NRC scientists, engineers, and business experts work closely with thousands of Canadian firms to stimulate community-based innovation and help bring new technologies to market.

Source: Serials Solutions

Elsevier Adds Ebooks to ebraryís Academic Complete

ebrary, a ProQuest business, announced that Elsevier Science & Technology Books is adding more than 1,000 titles to Academic Complete, the scholarly subscription database of more than 78,000 ebooks with unlimited, multiuser access. This marks the first time that these Elsevier titles covering subjects such as mechanical engineering, chemical and process engineering, and civil engineering, as well as environmental energy and alternative energy, have ever been available under a subscription model. The titles include classics of science publishing, including some of Elsevier’s most respected backlist titles.

Elsevier Science & Technology Books now distributes more than 12,500 ebooks under all of ebrary’s acquisition models including subscription, patron-driven acquisition, short-term loan, and perpetual archive, supporting ebrary’s new strategic approach to ebook acquisition.

Many ebrary customers use Academic Complete as an affordable base collection with coverage in all academic subject areas, then examine their usage statistics to determine where to apply additional budget. For example, high-use subject areas can be expanded with additional ebooks acquired through patron-driven acquisition where titles are only purchased if used. Lower use subjects can be supplemented with short-term loans, where there is no commitment to purchase. Essential titles can be purchased outright through ebrary’s perpetual archive model.

Source: ebrary

ALA Releases Report on Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries

Based on conversations with publishers and deliberations on the ebook market, the American Library Association (ALA) released “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries,” a report that describes general features and attributes of the current ebook environment and outlines constraints and restrictions of current business models. The report, which was created by the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (DCWG), suggests opportunities for publishers to showcase content through public libraries.

“Ebook publishing is expanding and evolving rapidly, and the terms under which ebooks are made available to libraries show wide variation and frequent change,” said DCWG co-chair Robert Wolven. “In this volatile period, no single business model will offer the best terms for all libraries or be adopted by all publishers or distributors. This report describes model terms libraries should look for in their dealings with ebook publishers and distributors, as well as conditions libraries should avoid.”

The DCWG recommends three basic attributes that should be found in any business model for ebooks:

  • Inclusion of all titles: All ebook titles available for sale to the public should also be available to libraries
  • Enduring rights: Libraries should have the option to effectively own the ebooks they purchase, including the right to transfer them to another delivery platform and to continue to lend them indefinitely
  • Integration: Libraries need access to metadata and management tools provided by publishers to enhance the discovery of ebooks

“ALA appreciates that realizing all of these attributes immediately may not be feasible, and a library may elect to do without one or more in return for more favorable terms in other areas, at least temporarily, but these features are ultimately essential to the library’s public role,” said ALA President Maureen Sullivan.

The DCWG has developed a number of other resources about ebooks, such as its first “Tip Sheet,” which is on digital rights management, and an E-Content Supplement to American Libraries magazine. Check the American Libraries E-Content blog for new developments from the DCWG.

Source: ALA

LexisNexis Offers Cloud-Based E-Discovery Option

LexisNexis Legal & Professional announced the release of Hosted Concordance Evolution, which will give firms the option of moving client’s e-discovery data to a hosted environment instead of storing on its own servers. The advancement will offer greater speed, flexibility, and easier access to client information on an on-demand basis.

Key features of Hosted Concordance Evolution include the following:

  • Scalable Microsoft SQL backend—keeps all data in one place; accelerates document searching; improves data integrity and supports large-scale, multiparty document review
  • Updated user interface—enhances speed from document to document and improves screen performance for reviewers
  • Advanced review and redaction—quickly performs native and near native review; redacts without having to TIFF or PDF documents first; uses “find & redact” to quickly and consistently apply redactions throughout; allows for quick review of applied redactions with transparent redactions
  • Advanced Searching—searches images, multiple terms, tags, file types or mark-up and redactions, reducing to one step what had taken three steps
  • Concept Searching—enters conceptual terms instead of exact words, which helps identify similarities and delivers comprehensive results
  • Family Groupings feature—groups together related emails and attachments to show associations in a “tree view” and encourages more consistent review, coding, and annotation
  • “Near-Duplicates” by Equivio—unique capability for detection of near duplicate documents, grouping of them together and assignment to a single reviewer for consistent review

Additionally, this product offers speed and the ability to view, search, and “bulk tag” electronic files without a large up-front capital investment. For example, during final testing, Hosted Concordance Evolution allowed users to view documents within less than 2 seconds, obtain search results across 50,000 documents in an average of 3.5 seconds, and apply bulk tags to 50 documents simultaneously in just 2 seconds. Concordance Evolution was built from the ground up by LexisNexis on an entirely new technology platform, leveraging Microsoft’s latest .NET software framework.

Source: LexisNexis



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