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Weekly News Digest

March 28, 2017 — 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.

Associated Press Promotes New Approaches to Gender in Reporting

The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook created new entries for the concept of gender and the usage of the words “they,” “them,” and “their.” The following are selections from these entries that reflect the progress society is making in being inclusive of people of all identities:
  • Gender refers to a person’s social identity while sex refers to biological characteristics. Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender, according to leading medical organizations, so avoid references to botheither or opposite sexes or genders as a way to encompass all people.
  • Newsrooms and organizations outside AP may need to make decisions, based on necessity and audience, on terms that differ from or are not covered by AP’s specific recommendations. For instance, the AP recommends the term sex reassignment for the medical procedures used for gender transition, while some groups use the term gender confirmation instead. The AP allows for LGBT and LGBTQ to be used on first reference without spelling out the acronyms; some other organizations use LGBTQIA and other variations on first reference or without explanation.
  • [The term] cisgender [m]ay be used if necessary to refer to people who are not transgender in stories about gender, as a means to distinguish people from one another. Use only with explanation. Do not use terms like normal to describe people who are not transgenderCisgender refers to gender and is not synonymous with heterosexual, which refers to sexuality.
  • They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and/or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. Clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers. We do not use other gender-neutral pronouns such as xe or ze.
  • In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun.

For more information, read the “gender” entry and the “they, them, their” entry (login required).

ACS Condemns Recent Climate Change Policies

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is expressing concern about the March 28, 2017, presidential executive order on climate change policies. The order is in conflict with ACS’s policy statement, “Global Climate Change,” which “specifically supports the importance of addressing Earth’s changing climate and calls for international cooperation to address the issue.” Anyone is free to use the ACS Climate Science Toolkit to get educated about climate change science.

For more information, read the press release.

Library Copyright Alliance Condemns Bill on Register of Copyrights

ACRL Insider published an article on the new legislation introduced by the House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary. This bill, the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017, “would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation” instead of appointment by the Librarian of Congress. The Library Copyright Alliance—composed of the American Library Association, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries—calls the act “mystifying.” Its statement continues, in part:

Why Congress would voluntarily cede its own confirmed Librarian’s authority to select and oversee a key Congressional advisor on copyright matters to the Executive Branch is hard to imagine.

It’s also difficult to understand how the public or Congress itself would benefit from politicization of the Register of Copyrights’ position by making it subject to presidential appointment and Senate confirmation, as this legislation proposes. Such politicization of the position necessarily would result in a Register more actively engaged in policy development than in competent management and modernization.

For more information, read the article.

Thomson Reuters Explores Brexit's Effect on U.K. Laws

The Legal business of Thomson Reuters reports that since 1990, the U.K. has introduced more than 52,000 laws as a result of European Union (EU) legislation. This “illustrate[s] the scale of the challenge lying ahead for the UK government” during the Brexit process, according to the press release. “The extent of the continued application of EU law in the UK will depend on the nature of the UK’s negotiations with the EU over its departure. …” The EU influences U.K. law in areas such as trade, agriculture, financial services, the environment, employment, and immigration.

For more information, read the press release.

Adam Matthew Rolls Out Film Collection on 20th-Century Socialism

Adam Matthew launched the first of three modules for Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda, a collection of videos from the BFI (British Film Institute). The collection features previously unseen documentary films, features, and newsreels from regions such as the USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, China, East Germany, and Eastern Europe. It allows scholars to learn about how socialist countries saw themselves and the world during the 20th century. Module I is titled Wars & Revolutions.

For more information, read the press release.

Innovative Knowledge Base Gets Updates

Release 1.1 of Innovative Knowledge Base, a consortium electronic resource management (ERM) solution, offers access to more title-level metadata and new features that allow consortia offices to view, manage, and update centrally subscribed content and entitlements metadata. Library staffers are now able to search for specific journals or ebooks in the Knowledge Base and retrieve all relevant packages without having to wade through all package details. They can also edit field data for packages, titles, and coverage, as well as protect data from imported overlays, ensuring that updates won’t overwrite it.

For more information, read the press release.

Pew Finds Most People Don't Know the Ins and Outs of Cybersecurity

Pew Research Center’s Internet, Science & Tech division published a report, “What the Public Knows About Cybersecurity,” which finds that most internet users have trouble accurately answering difficult cybersecurity questions (determined by its 13-question quiz). The report’s summary notes, “A majority of online adults can identify a strong password when they see one and recognize the dangers of using public Wi-Fi. However, many struggle with more technical cybersecurity concepts, such as how to identify true two-factor authentication or determine if a webpage they are using is encrypted.”

For more information, read the report’s summary.

Amazon Buys Middle Eastern Web Store

Amazon will acquire, a Middle Eastern ecommerce site. Amazon can use to increase its product offerings, and can grow its business. Closing conditions are expected to be worked out in 2017.

The companies “share the same DNA—we’re both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking,” says Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s SVP of international consumers.

“By becoming part of the Amazon family, we’ll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon’s great track record of empowering sellers,” says Ronaldo Mouchawar,’s CEO and co-founder.

For more information, read the press release.

CABI Launches Horticulture Reference Guide

CABI published the Horticulture Compendium, an online resource offering 200-plus authoritative data sheets on temperate, tropical, and subtropical food crops that are globally significant or of emerging importance. It also has 29 peer-reviewed Key Topic data sheets that provide advice on best practices for actions involving harvesting, post-harvest storage, seed production and handling, and food safety. Useful for students, teachers, lecturers, grower operations managers, and other horticulture stakeholders, it is designed to help with crop production and adaptions to agricultural threats, including climate change.

For more information, read the press release.

bioRxiv and eLife Allow for Simultaneous Preprint Uploading

eLife introduced the ability for authors to submit a preprint to bioRxiv when submitting to eLife—or vice versa. In January 2016, eLife became part of bioRxiv’s direct transfer initiative, which allows authors to submit preprints to the repository as well as directly to the journal. Now eLife authors can do the reverse, and they don’t need to log in to bioRxiv to post their work, re-enter submission data, or upload files more than once. The preprints are available at bioRxiv under the New Results category. Users can cite works before publication and provide feedback.

For more information, read the press release.

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