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Weekly News Digest

July 2, 2013 — 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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Polaris Library Systems Upgrades Software With 100 Enhancements

Polaris Library Systems, a library automation software company, recently updated its software to Polaris 4.1 with about 100 enhancements that will help librarians and administrative staff increase their productivity and workflow efficiency.

Polaris 4.1 improves patron services, circulation, cataloging, and acquisitions. Staff and patrons can now display and calculate their fines based on when they expect to return an item. Cataloging is made easier with the introduction of a “do not overlay” checkbox on bibliographic records, and tags can now be deleted from MARC records.

New features were also introduced for Polaris’ services PowerPAC, Mobile PAC, Community Profiles, Fusion, and SimplyReports. “Many of these new features are the result of enhancement requests from the Polaris User Groups and our customers’ feedback,” according to vice president and board secretary Anita Wagner. Libraries can use a slide bar to weigh popularity or relevancy results, use a Map It feature in Mobile PAC, and view an upgraded version of the Staff Client Find Tool that has new search access points and new listserv column headings. Polaris Social with ChiliFresh Connections is available as an add-on for PowerPAC and Mobile PAC.

Patrons can log in to their library accounts and create PowerPAC-integrated Connections profiles as well as create shared lists, recommend books, and see other patrons’ activities.

Source: Polaris Library Systems 

Penguin Random House Merger Finalized

The leadership team for the new company Penguin Random House was announced this week as the merger between parent companies Bertelsmann, which owns 53% of the company, and Pearson, which owns 47%, was finalized. The merger was approved over the past few months by the governments of the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, the European Commission, Canada, South Africa, and China. Penguin Random House will have 10,000 employees worldwide for its 250 imprints and publishing houses, with annual publication of 15,000 titles.

Random House chairman and CEO Markus Dohle becomes CEO of Penguin Random House, and John Makinson, Penguin Group’s CEO, becomes chairman of Penguin Random House. Dohle notes that “Penguin and Random House officially unite to create the first truly global trade book publishing company. … Connecting authors and readers is, and will be, at the heart of all we strive to accomplish together.”

Other new appointments include Penguin Group’s former CFO Coram Williams as CFO of Penguin Random House and head of Author Solutions; David Shanks, former Penguin Group CEO, as senior executive advisor to Dohle; and former Random House COO Madeline McIntosh as president and COO of Penguin Random House.

Canada’s former Random House president and CEO Brad Martin will be CEO of Penguin Random House in Canada and Tom Weldon, former Penguin Group U.K. CEO, will be CEO of Penguin Random House in the U.K.

The Penguin Random House Global Executive Committee was formed to work with Dohle on company strategy, operations, and priorities.

The new company’s headquarters are in New York City.

Source: Random House

Thomson Reuters Offers Clinical Trial Intelligence Solutions

The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters introduced two clinical trial intelligence software solutions for R&D professionals: Cortellis Clinical Trials Intelligence and Cortellis Site Performance Advisor.

These solutions improve clinical trials, speed up product development and release, and help professionals strengthen portfolios and R&D strategy. Thomson Reuters released a white paper called “Four Ways to Accelerate Your Clinical Portfolio Strategy” that describes “ways to accelerate clinical trial design through analytic approaches that leverage advanced technology,” by looking at drug lifecycles to obtain curated data and discover competitive products and drug safety.

The Clinical Trials Intelligence solution offers access to more than 130,000 worldwide trials for biologics, diagnostics, biomarkers, medical devices, and drugs for rare diseases. Also available are thousands of press releases, literature articles, drug development articles, meeting abstracts, conference reports, and analyst and investor meeting transcripts. The solution features a trial timeline viewer that shows a constantly updated longitudinal view of a company or drug’s trial start date and expected, actual, or projected end date.

Users can access the solution on Thomson Reuters’ web portal or its application programming interface (API).

The Site Performance Advisor offers pharmaceutical and contract resource organization executives access to recruiting sites. It provides information on countries best suited for recruitment and that have relevant patient populations, as well as analytics that show countries that have had successful clinical trials.

Source: Thomson Reuters 

Academic Video Store From Alexander Street Press Opens Its Virtual Doors

Alexander Street Press unveiled its online Academic Video Store offering academic DVDs and streaming videos for librarians and educators. The store has more than 2,500 single-title films in more than 40 disciplines, selected by a team of editorial experts.

The Academic Video Store originally launched in 2011 as a hub for streaming videos, but recently reopened as an easily searchable streaming and DVD store with more titles and a more diverse selection from Alexander Street Press’ imprints Filmakers Library, Microtraining Associates, and Asia Pacific Films. Alexander Street Press partnered with California Newsreel, TVF International, and other film distributors for extra content.

Educators who visit the site can access their streaming purchases with permanent URLs that can be embedded in online teaching tools or viewed with a web browser. Streaming titles can be shared with an unlimited number of users at the purchasing institution. “We have incredible amounts of valuable content, but prior to this launch, it was in disparate places and not always easy to navigate. Now you can purchase a stream five minutes before class and show it to your students then and there,” says marketing director Jessica Kemp.

Alexander Street Press plans to add 2,000 titles to the store in the next month, with more additions as new films are produced.

Source: Alexander Street Press

Credo Partners With Publishers for Video and Training Content

Credo recently signed distribution agreements with publishers MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, QA International, and the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ interviews and mini-documentaries join QA International’s more than 400 titles to enhance Credo’s video collection, while ASTD Press contributes 27 leadership and management titles.

QA International will emphasize the interactive features of their collection, says publisher and vice president Caroline Fortin, and notes that “related resource linking helps give context to titles that could stand on their own but offer additional value as a part of the scholarly conversation.”

The content from these new partners is available from Literati and Credo Online Reference in the subscription and perpetual access models.

Source: Credo

Innovative Interfaces Updates Encore Product

Innovative Interfaces released Encore ES, a new version of its Encore Synergy discovery application. EBSCO Discovery Service’s full-text articles are now integrated into Encore ES along with ebooks from 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive. The company plans to update Encore ES with more vendors in the future.

EBSCO’s metadata offers Encore ES users access to thousands of journal publishers and information providers. OverDrive and 3M ebooks are searchable in Encore ES and 3M allows users to check out and place holds on its ebooks from within the application.  Encore ES already has relevance-ranked articles, e-resources, ebooks, and print content, as well as harvested digital repositories.

“We’ll be seeing even more features in the next release of Encore later in the year, but we wanted to bring out the new eBook and article functionality now to meet intense interest on the part of Encore users,” says Gene Shimshock, senior vice president of product and market management.

Innovative Interfaces also offers the Sierra Services Platform and the Millennium ILS, which integrate with Encore ES.

Source: Innovative Interfaces 

Axis 360 Offers API Integration With The Library Corporation

Baker & Taylor announced the first API integration with The Library Corporation (TLC) and its digital media platform Axis 360. TLC’s LS2 PAC catalog now contains Axis 360 titles, and subscribed librarians can use Baker & Taylor’s API suite to allow patrons to access these titles, view their availability, and check books out or place a hold from inside the library’s online catalog.

“Now patrons of TLC libraries can not only discover digital content in the library’s OPAC, but can also easily checkout or place a hold on a digital title without having to leave the library’s Web site,” according to Livia Bitner, Baker & Taylor’s vice president of technical services and product development. “One search, one login, one place to view availability,” adds Gar Sydnor, TLC’s senior vice president of sales.

Nineteen ILS customers are already signed up to use the API.

Source: The Library Corporation

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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