|Weekly News Digest
October 31, 2013 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
CLICK HERE to view all of this week's Weekly News Digest items.
LPC Debuts Library Publishing Directory
The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) published the first edition of its Library Publishing Directory, which provides an overview of the publishing activities of 115 academic and research libraries.
These libraries, located mostly in North America, provide the amount and types of the publications they produce, services for authors, staff and funding resources, and their plans for the future. The directory explores the value of library publishing, explaining its significance as a growing practice in the library community.
LPC aims to raise library publishing’s visibility to administrators, funding agencies, and scholarly publishers. It encourages collaboration between library publishers and other publishing entities.
Library Publishing Directory is a result of LPC’s library-led initiative to serve scholarly communication needs through sustainable library publishing solutions. More than 50 college and university libraries currently participate in the initiative.
Anyone interested in reading the directory can download the open access version as a PDF or EPUB or order the print copy.
Source: Library Publishing Coalition
KuroBase Helps Manage Data Stores
KuroBase launched a fully managed, cloud-based data store, its new database as a service for small and midsize enterprises. Now web, game, and mobile app developers can manage data stores on a scalable platform.
“KuroBase is a cloud data platform that provides a high speed, low latency, cloud-based scalable and elastic platform for NoSQL databases” where customers can store data that will always be available when needed, according to the website. It adjusts database parameters to encompass new data stored in real time, constantly maintaining and monitoring content.
“Most web and mobile application developers would rather invest their resources into developing products, not setting up and managing databases,” says Mohamed Hamedi, KuroBase’s CEO and co-founder. “We created KuroBase to deliver the Database-as-a-Service, doing all the heavy lifting to get developers up and running in minutes.”
KuroBase hosts the Couchbase NoSQL database and the Couchbase Sync Gateway for developers in the cloud. The companies agreed to a partnership that will explore the markets created by KuroBase’s new products.
“Through our partnership, KuroBase will make the Couchbase Server available to small and medium-sized businesses and will extend our offerings from the Fortune 500 to the Fortune 50,000,” says Bob Wiederhold, Couchbase’s president and CEO.
Elsevier Rolls Out New Legacy Collection Content
Elsevier is adding new titles to its Legacy Collection, which will offer more than 9,500 digitized books on the ScienceDirect full-text database by the end of the year.
The new books feature work by 100-plus Nobel Laureates and cover topics in 15 subject areas including the sciences, engineering, and psychology; eight subject areas are new for 2013. The Legacy Collection digitizes classic historical scholarly books that can be difficult to find in print, providing foundational knowledge and accessibility to users. ScienceDirect makes the books fully searchable and allows for deep reference linking.
“Much of the content in our Legacy Collection provides the foundation for science as we know it and researchers often refer back to important, original texts to get a better understanding of the research they are doing today,” according to Suzanne BeDell, managing director of Elsevier’s science and technology books.
EF Launches Android App for Learning English
EF (Education First) introduced a version of its app specifically for Android tablets. EF provides online English-language training to business, government, and educational institutions through EF Efekta Corporate, its cloud-based app for computers and the iPad. Now Android tablet users can download the app from Google Play.
EF Efekta Corporate has 1,500-plus hours of interactive content, including 16 levels for learning English, 500 exclusive movie clips, speech recognition software, and business and industry course modules. The app downloads students’ current and upcoming units so they can study offline. It also adjusts students’ sessions to their skill levels.
EF’s decision to add an Android version comes from a study concluding that 60% of all tablet shipments are for Android devices, according to Andy Bailey, CMO of EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions.
ACS Completes Digitization Project
The publications division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced the completed digitization of supporting information for its ACS Legacy Archives journals.
ACS created files for 40,000 of its original research articles (adding up to 800,000 pages of supporting information data) in order to broaden its journals’ online accessibility. ACS Legacy Archives offer almost 500,000 articles published between 1879 and 1995.
Examples of supporting information include tabular data, illustrations, diagrams, experimental procedures, software programming code, and mathematical derivations.
These materials are openly available on the ACS publications website; researchers can download supporting information from the abstract page of any ACS Legacy Archive journal article that contains the digitized data. They can also access indexed metadata and do full-text searches of the files associated with the articles.
This digitization project “preserves and makes broadly accessible a significant amount of the 20th century’s primary research data for the global community of chemists,” says Brandon Nordin, vice president of sales, marketing, and digital strategy for ACS publications.
Source: American Chemical Society
AQ Cloud Authoring Enters Beta Phase
AQ Cloud Authoring, a cloud-based digital publishing platform from Aquafadas, entered the beta testing phase and will debut by the end of 2013. This automated program allows publishers to create ebook files in large quantities.
The new platform converts PDF files into digital formats for distribution across tablets, smartphones, and the web. Production tools include the ability to re-order and crop pages and to add enrichments such as Guided Reading, where readers can glide through text with one touch. Anyone looking to create ebooks can use the platform to make EPUB files, AVE files for publishing apps, and WebReader files. Aquafadas has the capability to create magazines, books, marketing materials, and other digital products that are near-exact replicas of the print versions.
“With AQ Cloud Authoring, our goal was to close the gap between what customers did manually versus what could be automated, simplifying the overall digital publishing workflow while greatly accelerating production time,” says Thomas Ribreau, technical director at Aquafadas. “And AQ Cloud Authoring does exactly this, fulfilling just about any publishing need” from corporations to beginners.
AQ Cloud Authoring has an intuitive workflow that is designed for nontechnical users, available on the Aquafadas website. Users can upload their files, fill out metadata, add enrichments, make adjustments, and then preview 30% of the finished product for free before purchasing it.
Learn It Online Offers Tablets to Students
The partnership between Barcoding, Inc. and Learn It Systems will continue for a second year as the companies team up for Learn It Online, Learn It Systems’ program of blended online-offline learning solutions for struggling learners across the U.S.
Barcoding, Inc. provides automated data capture solutions (such as its web-based, asset-tracking application Barcoding Online Services) that will help deploy and manage the tablet technology for students using Learn It Online. So far, Learn It Systems has provided more than 7,000 tablets to students, with expectations for similar numbers during the 2013–2014 school year.
“Working with Learn It Systems has given Barcoding a unique opportunity for using our expertise in asset management … while making sure that children have the tools needed to improve their academic performance,” says Martin Jack, CTO of Barcoding, Inc.
Students using Learn It Online will receive personalized tutoring designed to improve their core reading and math skills.
“Putting tablets into the hands of students across the country in a timely manner presents many logistical challenges,” according to Russell Lum, vice president of technology at Learn It Systems. “Barcoding has been instrumental in helping us solve those challenges and implement a large-scale, one-to-one computing program in a relatively short period of time.”
Learn It Systems works with public, private, and charter schools on academic, enrichment, and specialized learning programs that reach more than 100,000 students in 200-plus school districts.
Source: Barcoding, Inc.
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