|Weekly News Digest
August 20, 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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Elsevier Acquires Atira, a Provider of Research Management Solutions
Elsevier announced the acquisition of Atira, a provider of software and tools that help academic institutions and researchers manage and improve their research outcomes. Atira complements Elsevier's SciVal by expanding the scope of data to report on research activities across an academic institution and by broadening the range of tools and dashboards to analyze those data.
Atira’s main product, Pure, is a flexible research information system that enables the planning, evaluation, and reporting of research activities. Pure accesses, extracts, incorporates, and normalizes data from internal data sources such as human resources, finance and grant awards systems, from research projects’ progress reports, from subscribed datasets such as Scopus, and from other proprietary and public datasets, to enable a complete picture of the research enterprise. Pure makes it easy to aggregate, process, and visualize these disparate data sources into dashboards and tools, enabling research leaders to monitor and manage their institutions’ research activities and to identify opportunities for improvement, e.g., to win more grants, retain strong performers, and demonstrate impact to attract funding and talent. Funding bodies and government departments also have an increasing thirst to collect, evaluate, and analyze data. Pure’s tools help support this purpose by helping universities submit data, for example, to national assessment exercises such as the U.K.’s Research Excellence Framework.
Atira is a Danish company founded in 2002 and operating in Northern Europe. Its technical domain is computer science and software engineering with a focus on server-side software architecture and systems integration. Financial details of the acquisition are not being disclosed.
Access Innovations Teams With AIP for Semantic Enrichment
Access Innovations, Inc. is working with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to semantically enrich AIP’s online full-text collection comprising more than 800,000 scholarly articles published in its academic journals since the 1930s. The enriched database allows users to easily search the extensive electronic collection of published articles with greater specificity and discoverability across physics.
The database is driven by AIP’s thesaurus created by Access Innovations. The thesaurus allows researchers to browse scientific articles spanning eight decades using both concept and keyword searches, with the search interface pointing to related articles based on cross-referenced research areas.
Access Innovations will also be indexing and providing metadata tags using terms from the AIP Thesaurus as new content is added. This will allow physical scientists to enjoy unprecedented pinpoint access to up-to-date information from current articles in their fields of interest.
Marjorie M.K. Hlava, president of Access Innovations, explained that standard keyword searches (such as Google) are of limited use for disciplines with rich, detailed vocabularies. “At a certain point, traditional keyword searches can’t provide the depth and accuracy of retrieval achievable with a field-specific thesaurus. A custom rule base teaches the search engine to provide results for terms and concepts even when the words don’t literally match one another. This is especially important in the sciences, as the topic of an article in a specialized journal is often understood by the community although not expressed directly in the title or abstract,” she added.
The semantic enrichment is expected to be completed by the end of August 2012. AIP plans to introduce the new database in conjunction with the launch of its new platform in fall 2012.
Source: Access Innovations, Inc.
New Reference QuickView From the American Chemical Society
ACS Publications and Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), the information divisions of the American Chemical Society (ACS), announced jointly the introduction of Reference QuickView, a dynamic new feature powered by CAS’ SciFinder that enables readers of web content to view directly the text of abstracts linked to bibliographic citations within an ACS Publications journal article or book chapter.
Reference QuickView enables readers viewing the full-text HTML version of an ACS article to scan abstracts from the broader literature, across millions of citations drawn from a broad array of scientific disciplines covered by CAS. Navigational features facilitate quick review of an article’s references and corresponding abstracts. Links to the Reference QuickView display are placed conveniently in-line within footnotes found in the article text.
Abstract content is drawn from across the chemical literature from publications before 1907 to the present, as indexed by scientists at CAS.Reference QuickView is available for research articles and book chapters published since 2010, across the ACS portfolio of 41 high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarly journals and ACS Symposium Series books.
Researchers using Reference QuickView can dig deeper into the research literature by selecting “View Full Text Options” to access the full text of the cited reference, or they can choose “More from SciFinder” for a pathway to the corresponding CAS Reference Detail page, where they can discover more about substances, reactions, related structures, patents, and other specifics. A video highlighting the key benefits and functionality of Reference QuickView can be found on ACS Publications’ YouTube channel.
Source: American Chemical Society
Reproducibility Initiative to Increase the Value of Biomedical Research
Science Exchange, in partnership with open access publisher PLOS and open data repository figshare, announced the launch of the Reproducibility Initiative. The new program aims to encourage independent replication of valuable research and thereby help scientists, institutions and funding agencies validate their critical research findings. The Reproducibility Initiative will potentially provide a mechanism for industry to identify robust drug targets for developing effective new therapies. The Reproducibility Initiative is initially accepting 40-50 studies for validation. Validations are conducted blind, on a fee-for-service basis.
“In the last year, problems in reproducing academic research have drawn a lot of public attention, particularly in the context of translating research into medical advances. Recent studies indicate that up to 70% of research from academic labs cannot be reproduced, representing an enormous waste of money and effort,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Science Exchange’s co-founder and CEO. “In my experience as a researcher, I found that the problem lay primarily in the lack of incentives and opportunities for validation—the Reproducibility Initiative directly tackles these missing pieces.”
The Reproducibility Initiative provides both a mechanism for scientists to independently replicate their findings and a reward for doing so. Scientists who apply to have their studies replicated are matched with experimental service providers based on the expertise required. The Initiative leverages Science Exchange’s existing marketplace for scientific services, which contains a network of more than 1,000 expert providers at core facilities and contract research organizations (CROs).
Scientists will receive the results of their validation studies and have the opportunity to publish them in the journal PLOS ONE as part of a Special Collection highlighting the importance of reproducibility in scientific research. They can also upload their primary data to the open access repository figshare. Replications published in PLOS ONE will link back to the original publications upon which they are based. Prominent publishers, including Nature Publishing Group and Rockefeller University Press, have expressed their support for this acknowledgment of reproducibility.
Source: Science Exchange
OCLC and Europeana Work to Improve ‘Similar Object’ Browsing
OCLC and Europeana are collaborating to investigate ways of creating semantic links among the millions of digital objects that are accessible online through Europeana.eu in order to improve “similar object” browsing.
Europeana is Europe’s digital library, archive, and museum. The Europeana platform and network of experts facilitate research and knowledge exchange between librarians, curators, and archivists, and link them with digital innovators and the creative industries. Europeana currently gives people access to more than 24 million books, paintings, films, recordings, photographs, and archival records from 2,200 partner organizations, through an interface in 29 languages.
Because aggregating metadata from these heterogeneous collections leads to quality issues such as duplication, uneven granularity of the object descriptions, ambiguity between original and derivative versions of the same object, etc., Europeana and OCLC Research are working together on innovation pilots to identify and create semantic links between objects that are connected. Examples of this include translated copies of the same publication; a painting and a photograph of that painting; different editions of one book; or a collection of letters that belong to the same archive.
OCLC Research has extensive experience and expertise in metadata quality improvement techniques and methods, such as duplicate detection and clustering of similar metadata records around FRBR-entity-relationships, reproductions and originals, and different cataloguing languages. In addition, OCLC Research is currently experimenting with the automated enhancement of records with links to the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) and other Linked Data elements. The data quality improvement and enrichment efforts of OCLC are part of its philosophy to “make the metadata work harder for libraries” and to enhance the end-user experience.
The collaboration between Europeana and OCLC Research will benefit both organizations and their partners, offering new opportunities for data enrichment. The outcomes of the research project will feed into the implementation of the Europeana Data Model (EDM), which is designed to improve the browsing experience of the visitors of Europeana.eu. In addition, the piloting of OCLC Research data clustering and enrichment methods and techniques will inform follow-up activities in more innovative directions and opportunities to develop new data services for third parties.
The team members working on the research project are all based in the Netherlands. Europeana team members include Antoine Isaac, scientific coordinator; Valentine Charles, ingestion specialist; and Nuno Freire, interoperability architect. OCLC Research team members include Titia van der Werf, senior program officer; Shenghui Wang, research scientist; and Rob Koopman, Innovation Lab architect.
OCLC Research and Europeana Innovation Pilots Activity Page
Europeana Data Model
Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)
BIA Announces Free Legal Hold on TotalDiscovery.com
Business Intelligence Associates, Inc. (BIA) announced that it is making the Legal Hold feature of its TotalDiscovery.com online e-discovery solution completely free to all users. Now, anyone can sign up for a free account at TotalDiscovery.com, and start issuing legal hold notices in minutes to relevant custodians, such as to employees and third-parties required to preserve documents for legal reasons. TotalDiscovery.com offers full functioning legal hold features including automatic reminders, on-the-fly legal hold scope adjustment, escalations, custom memos and robust reporting.
Users can also take advantage of the free TotalDiscovery.com Data Profiler feature, which allows users to create comprehensive early data assessment reports for use in litigation budgeting, meet and confer meetings and legal strategy planning. The two features combine seamlessly to provide users with a simple and effective way to fulfill their legal obligations and get an early jump on the e-discovery process—all before incurring any costs.
TotalDiscovery.com powered by BIA, was launched in early 2011 as the first cloud-based e-discovery legal hold, data collection, and ECA tool available to corporations and law firms. For nearly a decade, BIA has been developing and implementing defensible, technology-driven solutions that reduce the costs and risks related to litigation, regulatory compliance, and internal audits. BIA offers software complemented by mature professional services in the areas of litigation, digital investigations, and electronic policy consulting. In addition to TotalDiscovery.com, which includes Legal Hold and Data Profiler, BIA's products include the DiscoveryBOT ESI Collection Engine, and Discovery CQ Web-based Custodian Questionnaire.
Source: Business Intelligence Associates
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