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Weekly News Digest

March 31, 2016 — 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

New Tool Exposes Government Information

FOIA Mapper, a winner of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Data, had its official launch. Journalists, researchers, businesses, and individuals can use this site to search government records that were not previously online. “Government agencies store an enormous amount of information in offline databases, far more than what is available online as open data. And in theory, anyone has the right to access it through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. However, the catch is that most government databases are not documented online, so there is no practical way of knowing what to ask for,” the press release states.

FOIA Mapper collects information about these offline databases and organizes it into a searchable catalog. Searches on any topic return a list of government agencies with the information, its format, and how to request it under FOIA. Users can also search a database of past FOIA requests by others.

For more information, read the press release.

Springer Nature Broadens Article-Sharing Initiative

Springer Nature extended its content-sharing trial past the original 1-year timeline. Authors, subscribers, and global media partners will be able to share articles for free. The company will give Nature’s and Nature research journals’ authors shareable links to read-only version of their articles, with the initiative rolling out to authors of the Springer Nature-owned primary research journals after that. They can post the links to social media channels, institutional repositories, and their own websites, among other places.

For more information, read the press release.

Simon Inger Consulting Shares Results of Scholarly Content Survey

Simon Inger Consulting and Tracy Gardner released the results of their study, “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications.” This open access (OA) report compares readers’ behaviors between 2005 and 2015, which come from a survey of more than 40,000 researchers, students, teachers, librarians, government officials, and other stakeholders that was conducted from September to December 2015.

Key findings include, “More than half of all journal content delivery appears to be from free incarnations of articles,” “Publisher web sites have become more popular as a search resource,” and “Access to scholarly content by mobile phone accounts for only about 10% of the use.”

For more information, read the press release.

VitalSource Announces Conformance With Accessibility Standards

VitalSource has achieved 100% compliance with’s industrywide tests for accessibility for its Windows and iOS Bookshelf clients. This includes 100% on visual adjustments for ebooks. The company is the first in its industry to reach this level of compliance with’s reading system evaluation.

“We will continue our commitment in 2016 by upgrading all clients to reach the 100 percent rating, as well as enabling new solutions, from authoring to personalized learning, to support the needs of this community,” says Rick Johnson, VitalSource’s VP of product strategy.

For more information, read the press release.

Jisc and ProQuest Expand Their Partnership

Jisc bought a second collection from ProQuest’s Periodicals Archive Online. These 50 journals will be added to the 80 already available to Jisc members—U.K.-based universities, colleges, and research councils—at no additional cost. The second collection features topics in the humanities and social sciences, with primary and secondary sources dating back to the 1800s.

For more information, read the press release.

figshare Facilitates Collection-Building on Platform

figshare introduced Collections, a tool similar to Pinterest that allows users (researchers, publishers, and funders, etc.) to group academic research outputs. They can gather any data types from within figshare, including video, poster, and code, to create private or public Pinterest-like boards that can be updated at any time with new content.

For example, publishers can use Collections to group the supplementary data for an article, funders can group all of the research outputs that are linked to a certain grant code, and institutions can group the outputs from presentations at conferences they’ve hosted.

For more information, read the press release.

NFAIS Welcomes New Member

NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services) announced that Florida’s Council of State University Libraries (CSUL) became its newest member. The council represents 11 university libraries in the state, including current NFAIS member the University of Florida, Florida A&M University, and the University of Central Florida. CSUL’s libraries “provide access to collections and services that support the teaching, research and service missions of Florida’s state universities and the communities they serve.”

For more information, read the press release.

EDP Sciences Creates Writing Tool for Astronomy and Astrophysics Journal

EDP Sciences’ Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) journal launched Writing Studio, a collaborative writing solution for A&A researchers. It uses the LaTeX system, allowing co-authors of a paper to work together on a single version of their manuscript (for example, they can chat in real time). They log in with their ORCID ID and can access a variety of writing tools; when the article is finished they can automatically upload it to A&A’s submission system with a single click.

For more information, read the press release.

Denodo Updates Its Data Virtualization Platform

Denodo released the latest version, 6.0, of its data virtualization platform, which delivers “breakthrough performance in big data implementations, logical data warehouses, and operational scenarios. The solution also fast-tracks adoption by offering data virtualization in the cloud and expedites the use of data by business users with self-service data discovery and search,” according to the press release. This enables organizations to make quick decisions about real-time performance, achieve a short time-to-data and on-demand product availability, and improve business-user productivity.

Enhanced features in version 6.0 include advanced optimization techniques for Big Data, special support for and connectivity to a variety of Big Data sources, and redesigned user and administrative interfaces.

For more information, read the press release.

Netflix Raises Concerns About Its Net Neutrality Stance

According to InsideSources, supporters of Net Neutrality have yet to respond to the news that Netflix “throttles its video traffic to mobile users on AT&T and Verizon,” meaning that they cannot stream video in high-definition or in the maximum quality allowed. Netflix, which has been an advocate for Net Neutrality regulations, posted on its blog that “it slows download speeds and reduces quality to protect consumers from exceeding their data caps on mobile networks, and said it does not throttle downloads on T-Mobile and Sprint due to their more ‘consumer-friendly policies.’”

For more information, read the article.

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