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Weekly News Digest

March 18, 2014 — 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.

ALA Awards Presidential Review Group

The American Library Association (ALA) honored the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, established by President Obama, with the 2014 James Madison Award during the 16th annual Freedom of Information Day held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. ALA chose the Review Group for its advocacy of reforms to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service’s (NSA/CSS) surveillance programs.

The Review Group released a report that served as a blueprint for how the U.S. government can remain committed to privacy and civil liberties without compromising national security. It called for transparency, effective oversight, national security protection, and foreign policy advancement.

“The Review Group’s recommendations are aligned with the American Library Association’s commitment to maintaining public access to government information,” says Barbara Stripling, ALA’s president. “Thanks to the steadfast commitment of this group, impractical reforms to the government’s unconstitutional surveillance practices may soon be on the horizon.”

ALA gives the James Madison Award to individuals or groups who champion, protect, and promote public access to government information.

Source: American Library Association

Cambridge University Press Plans New Database

Cambridge University Press partnered with East View Information Services to build a fully searchable online platform for selling Cambridge Archive Editions, an imprint of Cambridge University Press that publishes primary source research collections about regions in Asia. The Cambridge Archive Editions Database has a planned launch for this summer.

East View agreed to use its Universal Database ebook platform to create and host online versions of the Cambridge Archive Editions titles, which include print volumes and the accompanying maps, and also to provide customer service support. Both East View and Cambridge University Press will market and sell the new database to libraries and scholars.

“Our partnership with East View is a great opportunity to make Cambridge Archive Editions accessible online to educational institutions worldwide,” says Chris Bennett, global sales director for academic publishing at Cambridge University Press. “By coupling this bespoke digital platform with our global reach, we will be able to offer today’s researchers instant access to the trusted source material that they need, all in one searchable database.”

Source: Cambridge University Press 

Altarama Launches RefTracker Express

Altarama Information Systems announced the release of RefTracker Express, a low-cost, cloud-based, SaaS product and service bundle designed to help small libraries, museums, and archives manage their information-request answering services more efficiently. It supports up to three concurrent staff operators at a single location as they accept general reference requests, comments, and suggestions.

This streamlined version of RefTracker requires minimal setup and training, and no information technology (IT) department involvement. Request service staff members can insert the full suite of client interface features into their institution’s webpage and customize it as needed. RefTracker Express also comes with all of the features of the RefTracker system, which organizations can implement as their request service grows larger.

“With this new packaging we can now deliver a flying start for smaller organizations that need a fast implementation with minimal training overhead, yet still need more than the basic functionality delivered by any other way of managing requests,” says Arthur Brady, CEO of Altarama’s American operations.

RefTracker Express is compatible with RefChatter, an online reference product with a full suite of options for request management.

Source: Altarama Information Systems

Court Approves Cengage's Plan of Reorganization

Cengage Learning received confirmation that the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York approved the company’s Plan of Reorganization. Cengage intends to emerge from its court-supervised financial restructuring within the next few weeks.

The court’s decision stems from a February 2014 agreement with all of Cengage’s major financial stakeholders and creditors to create a Plan of Reorganization that included a global settlement among Cengage, its debt holders, its primary equity holder, and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. The settlement allows Cengage to eliminate more than $4 billion of its $5.8 billion debt and secure $1.75 billion in new financing, which frees the company from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy it declared in July 2013.

Source: Cengage Learning

ResearchGate Creates Open Review Feature

ResearchGate launched Open Review, a feature that allows its members to publish open and transparent reviews of any papers they have worked with, cited, or read; request reviews of research; and discuss publications with authors and experts. ResearchGate’s goal is to evaluate research in a new way to discover whether it is reproducible.

Kenneth Ka-Ho Lee from The Chinese University of Hong Kong published the first Open Review on a Nature article about stem cells that has received negative feedback. Lee used Open Review to publish proof that the findings in the article were impossible to reproduce. “This is what ResearchGate was made for,” Lee noted in the press release.

Source: ResearchGate

EBSCO and ER&L Provide Research Fellowship

The ER&L/EBSCO Library Research Fellowship supporting research on issues related to the management of electronic resources in the information industry will provide the recipient or team of recipients with up to $4,000 from ER&L (Electronic Resources and Libraries) and EBSCO Information Services.

EBSCO and ER&L started the fellowship, previously known as the Information to Inspiration Fellowship, to encourage discussions about important issues in the library and information professional fields. Researchers interested in applying can submit a 250-word essay explaining their proposed research project and how it will benefit information professionals. This year’s topic is measuring and evaluating use, users, and usage.

Source: ER&L

Beauty Company Investigates Security Breach

Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc., a professional beauty products distributor and retailer, announced the results of an investigation into a security incident that occurred on March 5 when its systems detected an unauthorized attempted intrusion into its network. The company hired the Verizon forensics firm to investigate the incident; the results show that fewer than 25,000 records containing card-present (track 2) payment card data were illegally accessed and possibly removed.

Sally Beauty Holdings does not yet know the full scope of the security breach, but it reassures affected customers that it will keep them informed on the company website and with notifications.

“We continue to work diligently with Verizon on this investigation and are taking necessary actions and precautions to mitigate and remediate the issues caused by this security incident,” according to the March 17 statement on the Sally Beauty Holdings website. The United States Secret Service has launched its own preliminary investigation.

Source: Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc.



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