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Weekly News Digest

April 3, 2018 — 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 Bill Allows for Sufficient Time to Review Legislation

Jesse Rifkin writes the following about a new U.S. House of Representatives bill, the Review Every Act Diligently In Total (READ IT) Resolution (HR 801), for GovTrack Insider:
How fast can you read? Can you read 2,232 pages in only 18 hours? That would be 124 pages per hour for 18 hours without a break and with complete comprehension.
If you can’t, then you’re like most members of Congress and nearly every other human being. A new piece of legislation would require members have enough time to actually fully look over the bills they vote on.

Rifkin provides the bill’s context (the “2,232-page omnibus bill to fund the government” that was introduced about 18 hours before the vote), what it does (“allow [House] members to fully review all legislation before votes”), what its supporters say (“the legislation prevents the near-darkness under which politicians must decide whether to approve or vote down what are often extremely consequential pieces of legislation”), and its odds of passage (uncertain).

For more information, read the article.

NFAIS Plans Blockchain for Scholarly Publishing Conference

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) is hosting Blockchain for Scholarly Publishing, a conference on how blockchain could affect researcher workflows, including data collection, peer review, and access to published works. Attendees will explore blockchain’s application, review case studies, and debate its challenges and opportunities for scholarly communication.

Christopher E. Wilmer (co-author of Bitcoin for the Befuddled) will give the opening keynote speech, “Scholars Keep Records: Blockchains as a Natural Step Towards Better Record Keeping.”

The conference will be held May 15–16, 2018, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Va. Early-bird registration is now open.

For more information, view the event page.

Society for Scholarly Publishing Previews Its Annual Conference

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) 40th Annual Meeting will be held May 30–June 1, 2018, at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. Its theme is Scholarly Publishing at the Crossroads: What’s Working, What’s Holding Us Back, Where Do We Go From Here? The presenters—publishers, service providers, librarians, and researchers—will come from around the world to participate in tracks such as Fueling Scholarship, New Challenges/New Innovations, Practical Skills/Publishing 101, and Reimagining Research.

Safiya Umoja Noble (University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism) will give the opening keynote address, “Toward an Ethic of Social Justice in Information.”

Early-bird registration pricing is available until April 19.

For more information, read the press release.

'Public Domain--Just Kidding!' by Barbara Fister

Barbara Fister writes the following on the Library Babel Fish blog:
I know that things in the public domain can be copied and sold by whoever wants to sell them. No rights are reserved, at least in the US, at least theoretically. … This is why having our government documents in the public domain is so valuable. People can build things out of them. Businesses use government information all the time. But the argument that public domain article[s] can’t be shared without payment to a middleman kind of messed with my head. …
[Publishers are] going to own open access, with the high costs transferred to authors and their funders, if we don’t change our ways.

For more information, read the blog post.

Yewno Discover Indexes Millions of Government Documents

Yewno added more than 72 million U.S. federal government documents to its Yewno Discover platform, allowing users to explore them in detail. Government information is publicly available, but it is fragmented and unstructured, Yewno notes. The company is using its knowledge graph to consolidate, preserve, and increase the discoverability of the data so that it can become actionable information. Available via Yewno now are voting records, position statements, financial disclosures, patents, and other information dating from the 1700s.

For more information, read the press release.

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