|Weekly News Digest
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The British Library and the Qatar Foundation Digitize Collections
The British Library (BL) announced that it recently signed a 3-year digitization project with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development to preserve a collection of treasured content. The £8.7 million (about $13.5 million) project will convert maps, photographs, manuscripts, and letters into freely available digital formats in English and Arabic to trace the history of Great Britain’s involvement in the Middle East.
The India Office Records will provide the project’s content: more than 500,000 pages from the East India Company’s archives and 25,000 pages of medieval Arabic manuscripts on the topics of science, medicine, mathematics, and geometry, which date from the mid-18th century to about 1947. Also included will be previously classified documents such as reports and gazetteers (geographic information).
“The India Office Records held by the British Library are an extraordinarily rich source of historical material … absolutely anyone with an online connection will be able to have access to this unique treasure trove of material, illuminating subjects as diverse as tribal and global politics, international commerce and family history,” according to Lynne Brindley, The British Library’s chief executive.
The Qatar National Library, which will be open to the public in 2014, is preparing for its role in digitizing and translating its own documents, and Claudia Lux, library director, reports that this project marks the Gulf region’s “first digitised local history archive.”
Once the project is complete, website users can search the digital repository using names, places, and keywords, and upload their own Middle East–related stories and photographs so that centuries-old content will be added alongside living history.
Source: The British Library
The Getty Offers Open Access Options
The J. Paul Getty Trust is making its digital images available to the masses. One of the aims of the Getty institution is to promote the visual arts to the public so they are easily understood and accessible. Now anyone who is interested in featuring Getty images in his or her work can use this designated online collection free of restrictions.
“[T]he Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds all the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose,” Jim Cuno, Getty president and CEO, wrote on The Iris. This includes 4,600 high-resolution images from the J. Paul Getty Museum that show paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, sculptures, and other decorative arts.
Previously, users were required to submit an official request and payment to use the images. Under these new provisions, users are asked to fill out a questionnaire from the site so the Getty knows how its images are being used. But use of the images is free.
The Getty will eventually offer more images as open access (OA), according to Cuno, who wants to make the rest of the institution’s collections freely accessible. “The Getty’s collections are greatly in demand for publications, research and a variety of personal uses, and … they will be readily available on a global basis to anyone with Internet access,” says Timothy Potts, Getty museum director.
The Getty Research Institute is currently sifting through its collections to determine which should become the next OA option.
Source: The J. Paul Getty Trust
MPLC Grants License for Spanish-Language Films From EGEDA
The Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) signed an agreement with EGEDA (Entidad de Gestión de Derechos de los Productores Audiovisuales), making movies created by EGEDA producers available in the U.S. via the MPLC Umbrella License. With this annual license for unlimited exhibitions of copyrighted content, MPLC licensees can offer Spanish-speakers more than 50,000 Spanish-language films backed by the EGEDA rights management organization.
The agreement “gives establishments such as libraries, churches, and community centers the opportunity to have the Spanish speaking communities come together to watch culturally important films from their native countries for movie nights and other such gatherings,” according to Miguel Angel Benzal, EGEDA managing director.
The MPLC is an independent copyright licensing agency that provides public access to movies from more than 500 studios (both Hollywood and independent companies) and producers (of studio, independent, and foreign movies) in more than 25 countries. P.J. Kuyper, president and CEO, notes that the MPLC is committed to offering its licensees a wealth of content choices.
EGEDA, a nonprofit organization for the Spanish-speaking audiovisual industry, represents the industry’s interests, defends against piracy, and manages intellectual property rights. EGEDA, which operates in the U.S., Spain, and eight Latin American countries, offers a catalog that includes Spanish-language classic movies, movies directed by Pedro Almodovar, and an assortment of television shows such as telenovelas.
Source: Motion Picture Licensing Corporation
The American Chemical Society Debuts New Journal
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is launching ACS Photonics, a new online-only journal. This monthly, interdisciplinary publication focuses on high-impact research in photonics, which the ACS defines as the study of the interactions of light with matter. The first issue will roll off the digital presses in January 2014.
Harry A. Atwater, who is director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute for Science, Energy and Sustainability at the California Institute of Technology and director of the Energy Frontier Research Centers on Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion, is the editor-in-chief. Atwater, who is also the author/co-author of more than 400 publications, specializes in nano-photonics and plasmonics (the study of the interaction between electromagnetic fields and electrons in metals).
“Many of the most important challenges facing science and technology are fundamentally optical in nature, spanning primary scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry and engineering. ACS Photonics aims to promote cross-fertilization between these fields and bridge the gaps between different approaches to photonics,” according to Atwater. He plans to get articles published quickly and give authors timely peer review on journal submissions, which he hopes will arrive from all corners of the globe: “Sourcing and publishing papers from all over the world best serves researchers, giving a comprehensive picture of photonic science and technology advances everywhere.”
Authors can discuss topics ranging from molecular and nano-photonic processes to biophotonics (the study of the interaction of light with biological materials). The journal will be distributed to more than 5,000 global institutions and include open access (OA) options.
Source: The American Chemical Society
Elsevier Acquires Woodhead Publishing Titles
Elsevier added Woodhead Publishing Limited to its publications group on Aug. 13. Woodhead’s book program is designed to enhance Elsevier’s publications portfolio, offering quality content to researchers to improve productivity.
The U.K.-based publisher offers a range of topics, from food science and engineering to textile technology and mathematics; its Chandos Publishing imprint specializes in library and information science titles, which will be added to Elsevier’s STM titles totaling about 20,000 books.
“After 24 years of building Woodhead Publishing into the successful business it is today, the time has come for me to pass it on to a larger publisher who can capitalize on over 1,500 published titles, a strong forward program, and our electronic presence,” says Martin Woodhead, managing director.
Both companies have existing ebook programs: Woodhead Publishing Online has about 1,000 ebooks and Chandos Publishing Online offers 330-plus titles, all of which join Elsevier’s online store with more than 20,000 ebooks.
F1000 Partners With PLoS to Study Open Access Journal Metrics
Faculty of 1000 (F1000), a publisher of services for life scientists and clinicians, joined forces with the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a nonprofit publisher and open access (OA) advocacy organization. F1000’s F1000Prime directory of biology and medicine journal articles is now accessible to PLoS researchers who need more information on the impact of their articles. According to terms of the agreement, the two publishers will work together to discover associations between F1000 recommendations and other impact measures.
More than 3,000 PLoS journal articles now carry “F1000Prime recommended” badges and are scored by F1000 scientists and clinicians for addition in PLoS’s article-level metrics (ALMs). ALMs recognize authors in the scientific community by using traditional citation data, article download numbers, science blog discussions, social media usage, and online bookmarking service usage to demonstrate the impact of the authors’ journal articles. PLoS ALMs received new classifications that are designed to separate scholarly metrics from social media discussions, since they are not always indicators of expert opinions.
“ALMs are becoming increasingly important for researchers and their funding agencies,” says Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, F1000 outreach director. “F1000Prime recommendations are a well-established way of identifying important research in a way which merely looking at citations might miss. PLOS are leaders in ALMs and are an ideal partner to make innovative uses of F1000Prime data.”
Source: Faculty of 1000
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