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Weekly News Digest

July 31, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Springer Nature Hires a Research Integrity Director

Springer Nature created a new position, research integrity director, “to ensure [that] the growing volume of scientific content being published continues to be rigorously assessed, with robust processes in place to prevent and address research misconduct and breaches of publication ethics,” according to the press release.

Starting as research integrity director on Aug. 13, 2018, is Suzanne Farley, who will lead the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group. “Working with editorial teams across Springer Nature, the Research Integrity Group provides support and advice on best practice and ethical conduct in research, along with evaluating the publisher’s editorial practices and policies.” Farley was previously an editor in the Nature Reviews division and executive editor of Scientific Reports.

For more information, read the press release.

'Microfilm Lasts Half a Millennium' by Craig Saper

Craig Saper writes in The Atlantic that “the microfilm machine is still widely used. It has centuries of lasting power ahead of it, and new models are still being manufactured. It’s a shame that no intrigue will greet their arrival, because these machines continue to prove essential for preserving and accessing archival materials.”

He discusses the origins of microfilm and then its decline as optical character recognition (OCR) became popular. “By the 1980s and ’90s, OCR was fast replacing microfilm as the go-to search and retrieval mechanism for business and legal documents, but parallel to that decline, microfilm emerged in a recurring role in mystery and horror movies,” he writes. “Microfilm had become part of a campy joke about discovering dark, salacious secrets. … When Adobe introduced the portable document format (PDF) in the late 1990s, allowing facsimile-like scans to be available in electronic and, later, in searchable OCR forms, microfilm fell further out of favor as a storage and retrieval system.”

However, “Today’s digital searches allow a reader to jump directly to a desired page and story, eliminating one downside of microfilm. But there’s a trade-off: Digital documents usually omit the [historical] context. The surrounding pages in the morning paper or the rest of the issue of a magazine or journal vanish when a single, specific article can be retrieved directly.”

Microfilm “devices are still in widespread use, and their mechanical simplicity could help them last longer than any of the current electronic technologies … [such as websites that] often vanish, or CD-ROMs, for which most computers don’t have readers anymore.”

For more information, read the article.

'What I've Learned as a Woman in Tech With Gender Dysphoria' by Chloe Gilbert

Chloe Gilbert writes for Jisc that she “struggled initially to make progress working as a female in a technical role” after her transition from male to female. “Amongst all of this I came to appreciate the unique view that I had of the workplace, from both sides of the coin. I’ve been working in IT for over 27 years, but only in the last two [since my transition] have I been treated differently in the workplace in terms of my knowledge and skills.”

She noticed that she “was overlooked a lot more in meetings, something that genuinely surprised me. I’ve even noticed it happening to other women when they in fact, have not.” Additionally, “I’ve been really surprised how some people assumed that since transitioning, my technical knowledge has somehow been removed.”

Gilbert shares tips for working with transgender people who are transitioning and encouragement for those undergoing (or thinking about undergoing) the process.

For more information, read the blog post.

Elsevier and Impactstory Make OA Articles More Discoverable

Patrick Crisfulla writes for Elsevier, “With Elsevier’s new partnership with Impactstory, a nonprofit that creates online tools to make science more open and reusable, researchers will soon be able to find open access content on Scopus more efficiently. Meanwhile, for university research offices, the expansion of OA-identified content in Scopus will enable improved strategic analysis and benchmarking.” He continues, “The agreement will enable Elsevier to integrate document-level OA data from Impactstory’s Unpaywall database with Scopus content; identification and tagging of Scopus’ OA peer-reviewed articles will begin in August and roll out through November 2018.”

For more information, read the article.

Alexander Street Now Offers BBC Science Videos

The BBC Landmark Video Collection from BBC Studios is now available to academic and public libraries via Alexander Street’s video platform. Included are series such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet, as well as others that cover earth science, climate science, geography, and other topics. Libraries can access the collection by subscription or perpetual purchase.

For more information, read the press release.

Cengage Studies College Students' Views on Course Materials

Cengage released the results of a survey finding that “[c]ollege students consider buying course materials to be their top source of financial stress after tuition, and the lack of access and affordability of materials has a negative impact on their learning and performance,” according to the press release. “Today’s Learner: Student Views 2018” also finds “that students routinely sacrifice basic needs, such as food and spending time with their family, to afford their course materials.”

“The survey’s results should be a wake-up call for everybody involved in higher education. This is especially true for the publishing industry, including our own company, as we historically contributed to the problem of college affordability,” says Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage. “The data is clear: high textbook costs pose barriers to students’ ability to succeed in college.”

For more information, read the press release.

Hachette and Bowker Add Reader Reviews to Book Website

Hachette Book Group partnered “with Bowker to integrate tens of thousands of reader reviews of adult, youth and audio books featured on its website, making its visitors’ experiences more productive and engaging.” The reviews, which are continually updated, come from LibraryThing, “an online community of over two million passionate book lovers, professionally vetted for quality and interest. The reviews are integrated into HBG’s website using ProQuest's Syndetics Unbound service, technology that delivers high-quality data enrichments to hundreds of libraries and commercial websites around the world.”

For more information, read the news.

Society for Scholarly Publishing Seeks Mentors and Mentees for Fall Program

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Career Development Committee is looking for SSP members to be applicants for the next round of its Mentorship Program, which run from September 2018 through March 2019. “This program is ideal for professionals at all career levels to develop new relationships, share experiences, and learn from others outside their organizations by connecting with a mentor.”

Mentors are expected to meet with their mentees at least once a month in person, by phone, or online, and both will attend an online orientation and a virtual discussion group. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 13.

For more information, read the press release.

FlatWorld Announces New and Updated Textbooks

FlatWorld introduced its textbooks for the 2018–2019 academic year. Its catalog has more than 135 textbooks, most of which have been recently updated, across 20-plus subjects such as accounting, business law, chemistry, health and nutrition, marketing, political science, and psychology. New textbook editions include American Government and Politics in the Information Age, Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology, and Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach.

FlatWorld notes that the majority of its “textbooks cost between $24.95–$29.95 for digital access which includes access to online homework assignments and other online resources for no additional charge. Students also have the option of purchasing a full-color print copy for an additional $10–$25.”

For more information, read the news.

Reuters Debuts Customizable News App

Reuters launched a personalized news app for iOS devices that is designed to help businesspeople make better decisions. Topic-based feeds offer “fast, accurate and relevant information that will quickly inform business professionals’ judgement across industries, interests, markets and countries,” according to the press release. Users can curate personalized news services with customized alerts, market watch lists, and other features. Editor’s Highlights cards summarize major stories, and Reuters TV provides personalized news bulletins.

For more information, read the press release.

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