|Weekly News Digest
November 8, 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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ProQuest Participates in Early Modern OCR Project
ProQuest is participating in a project that will vastly accelerate research of 15th through 17th century cultural history. The company will provide access to page images from the veritable Early English Books Online and newcomer Early European Books to the Early Modern OCR Project (eMOP) at Texas A&M. EMOP will use the content to create a database of typefaces used in the early modern era, train OCR software to read them and then apply crowdsourcing for editing. The project will turn the rich corpus of works from this pivotal historical period into fully searchable digital documents.
eMop is led by Texas A&M professors Laura Mandell, director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC), Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna of Computer Science, and Richard Furuta, director of the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries (CSDL), along with Anton DuPlessis and Todd Samuelson, book historians from Cushing Rare Books Library. The scholars earned a 2-year, $734,000 development grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the work. ProQuest is one of a variety of participating publishers and software organizations that are collaborating on the project.
“Digitization of the historical archives of the early modern era made this literature far more accessible. Page images provide scholars with unprecedented access to books that previously could have only been viewed in their source library. However, precision search—the ability to use technology to zero in on very specific text—has been hampered by the fact that OCR technology can’t read the peculiarities of early printing,” said Mary Sauer-Games, ProQuest vice-president, publishing. “We’re thrilled to participate in an effort that we feel will drive new levels of historical discovery. We love the application of modern ingenuity to turn these very old archives into works that are as searchable as text that was born digital.”
Sources: ProQuest and eMOP
Research Solutions Transitions Document Delivery Customers to Reprints Desk
Reprints Desk, Inc., the creator of the Article Galaxy software service for document delivery, medical reprints, and literature management, announced that Research Solutions, Inc. agreed to transition its entire base of customers to Reprints Desk. Research Solutions co-founders Chris Atwood and Shane Hunt will join Reprints Desk in strategic customer-facing roles, where they will remain actively engaged with customers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Fellow co-founder Chris Atwood and I hand-picked Reprints Desk as the document delivery supplier most capable of serving our hundreds of loyal Research Solutions customers,” said Shane Hunt, Reprints Desk customer engagement manager and former co-founder of Research Solutions. “By joining up with Reprints Desk, the industry’s top-rated document delivery supplier, we’ll continue to fulfill our promise of delivering customers with the highest quality service along with many new advantages.”
Reprints Desk’s Article Galaxy system improves scientific, technical, and medical (STM) literature spending and processes, from monitoring and acquisition to management, re-use, and medical writing. Reprints Desk earned the top ranking in the most recent “Document Delivery—Best Practices and Vendor Scorecard” report from independent analyst and advisory firm Outsell, Inc. Reprints Desk was founded by Peter Derycz, a pioneer in the document delivery business since 1987 when he originally founded Infotrieve, Inc.
Source: Reprints Desk, Inc.
Ex Libris Releases Voyager 8.2
Ex Libris Group, a provider of library automation solutions, announced the release of the Voyager 8.2 integrated library system (ILS). This version contains numerous enhancements in all areas of Voyager functionality.
Highlights of version 8.2 include the following:
- Tighter integration with the Primo discovery and delivery solution, rendering collections more “discoverable.” Library users can now browse by title, author, subject, and call number in Primo without switching to the library’s OPAC interface.
- Additional search indexes. Reflecting changes in the MARC 21 standard, almost 100 search indexes have been added or updated in Voyager. This enhancement paves the way for libraries to implement the newly published Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules.
- New capabilities for the exchange of patron information with other systems across the institution. Based on an XML framework, this new functionality enables libraries to increase the information that can be stored and shared in Voyager.
- Enhancements that enable libraries to customize the security requirements for staff users. Along with the options that were available up to now, Voyager offers account lockout policies and audit trails to control authorized access.
- A wide range of customer-requested enhancements, including improvements to streamline workflow activities related to circulation, cataloging, acquisitions, and serials
The new version of Voyager was tested by numerous user institutions, including the United States Library of Congress; the Colorado School of Mines; UCLA; and the National Library of Australia. Their feedback contributed to refining the released software.
Source: Ex Libris Group
EBSCO Publishing Introduces Humanities Source
EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) released Humanities Source. The bibliographic and full-text database was developed from a merger of databases from EBSCO and H.W. Wilson, and includes many unique sources that were never previously available. Humanities Source is the first time the entire H.W. Wilson indexing collection of Humanities research literature is available within a single database.
Humanities Source offers an invaluable collection for students, researchers, and educators interested in all aspects of the humanities, with worldwide content pertaining to literary, scholarly and creative thought. The extensive collection features full-text for more than 1,480 journals, high-quality indexing and in-depth abstracts for thousands of journals, and indexing for hundreds of thousands of articles, including book reviews.
The millions of records cover subject areas such as archaeology, art, communications, dance, film, folklore, history, journalism, linguistics, literary and social criticism. Coverage also includes classical studies, area studies and gender studies. Humanities Source includes feature articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of ballets, dance programs, motion pictures, musicals, operas, plays, radio and television programs and much more. Additionally, there is a unique subject thesaurus.
Humanities Source is a combination of the A&I and full-text records from the H.W. Wilson databases Humanities Retrospective: 1907-1984 and Humanities Full Text. In addition, all of the unique A&I and full-text content from the EBSCO database Humanities International Complete is included, plus an additional 140 full-text titles not available in other EBSCOhost databases.
EBSCO and H.W. Wilson merged in 2011 in what was viewed by the companies as an ideal match. The acquisition led directly to heightening the value and quality of EBSCO and Wilson resources, as well as the creation of a line of source products, including Humanities Source. EBSCO plans to release additional source products focusing on specific subject matter over the next few months
Source: EBSCO Publishing
iPublishCentral Powers New Bowker 'Book as an Android App'
Impelsys, a provider of electronic content delivery solutions, is powering the new Bowker “Book as an Android App,” with its iPublishCentral software platform. “Book as an Android App” allows authors and small publishers to use Bowker’s www.myidentifiers.com to create Android-compatible ebook apps from any PDF or EPUB document, opening new sales channels such as Google Play and the Amazon App Store.
“At Bowker, we are delighted to take another important step forward in our continuous effort to make it easier for publishers to connect with buyers in a shifting marketplace,” said Beat Barblan, director of Identifier Services at Bowker. “Simplifying the path to the creation of eBooks is an absolutely essential need among small and self-publishers. Impelsys played a critical role in helping us address this need.”
Bowker Identifier Services provides authors and small publishers with the resources that enable customers to find and purchase their books. After an author has written a book, www.myidentifiers.com provides the path to publish—through the assignment of ISBNs and bar codes—and sell the title through enhanced discovery.
iPublishCentral is a comprehensive platform that allows publishers to warehouse, deliver, distribute, market, and sell their ebooks without making significant capital or engineering resource investments on their own. For more information, visit www.ipublishcentral.com.
Source: Impelsys and Bowker
CourseSmart Launches CourseSmart Subscription Pack
CourseSmart, in partnership with Internet2 and EDUCAUSE, announced a research project to test a simple, convenient, and affordable approach to digital course materials. Up to 20 institutions will be invited to participate in a trial of the CourseSmart Subscription Pack, a one-stop shopping experience where students can buy all of their etextbooks from one website for one subscription price over a fixed access period.
Institutions participating in the research project will have a choice between two flat fee options, which allow a select number of students at the institution immediate access to any etextbook in CourseSmart's catalog of more than 30,000 titles from 40 publishers. Participating institutions will choose license access from two levels:
- 100 students = $27,500 per semester
- 200 students = $44,000 per semester
- Additional students can be added at $200 each after 200 student minimum
- An added benefit to institutions taking part in the research project is that faculty will receive free, unlimited access to CourseSmart's entire catalog through the Faculty Instant Access (FIA) program
CourseSmart's Subscription Pack offers students the ability to place up to 12 titles on their bookshelves at any point during the semester, which should more than adequately cover the typical student's needs with room to spare. Students will pay $275 or less for all of their digital materials, which is a significant savings over print retail textbook prices.
CourseSmart titles will be integrated within participating institutions' learning management systems, providing students and faculty with immediate access to course content within the environments they use daily. CourseSmart’s etextbooks can be accessed online or offline anytime through any device or through dedicated apps on the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Students participating in the research project will be able to take advantage of the many features of CourseSmart etextbooks, including the ability to search, copy and paste, and take notes, highlight, and bookmark passages, which are synced across devices.
For more information or for institutions interested in participating in this research project, visit www.coursesmart.com/go/sp2013research.
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