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Weekly News Digest

November 29, 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.

HighWire and Code Ocean Make Research More Transparent

HighWire teamed up with Code Ocean to help HighWire customers “publish and share code associated with their research”—they can “view and run code from within articles, increasing transparency within research,” according to HighWire. “Through integrating Code Ocean’s technology into their service offering, HighWire simplifies and encourages reproducibility across publishers, academics and university staff who regularly access manuscripts, research papers and other scholarly materials.”

For more information, read the news.

Clarivate Analytics Rolls Out 2018 Highly Cited Researchers List

Clarivate Analytics released its fifth annual Highly Cited Researchers list highlighting influential researchers (and their institutions) whose papers rank in the top 1% of citations for their field and year over the past decade. Sourced from the Web of Science, the list added a new cross-field category this year for “researchers with substantial influence in several fields but who do not have enough highly cited papers in any one field to be chosen,” according to David Pendlebury, senior citation analyst at Clarivate Analytics.

Key findings from the list include the following:

  • The United States is home to the highest number of HCRs [highly cited researchers], with 2,639 authors. The United Kingdom boasts 546. China (mainland) is gaining fast with 482. Harvard University keeps its pole position on the list.
  • [A]pproximately 2,000 additional researchers have also been identified as having exceptional performance based on high impact papers in several fields. Nations or regions with more than 40% of their Highly Cited Researchers selected in the cross-field category are Sweden (53%), Austria (53%), Singapore (47%), Denmark (47%), China (43%) and South Korea (42%).
  • Australian research institutes continue to impress; the number of researchers recognized as Highly Cited has more than doubled in four years, from 80 in 2014 to 170 in 2018, among those selected in one or more of the 21 fields. Australian research institutions appear to have recruited a significant number of HCRs since 2014 as well as increasing their number of homegrown HCRs.
  • Governmental research institutions also feature prominently with the US National Institutes of Health, the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research, appearing second in the list of Highly Cited Researchers. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society also both feature in the top 10.

For more information, read the blog post.

New Tool Makes Biomedical Data Analysis Easier

According to, “Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have developed a tool that speeds up the analysis and publication of biomedical data from many months or years to mere minutes, transforming the way researchers communicate results of their studies.” The tool, BioJupies, uses cloud technologies to analyze and visualize large datasets, especially from genome sequencing, and produces an open source, interactive report on the data.

“Until now, the primary method available to share biomedical research data has been through print publication in scientific journals,” the article continues. “BioJupies paves the way for researchers with no computational background to perform RNA sequencing analysis without the need to collaborate with bioinformaticians, enabling more medical and scientific advancements to flourish in our data rich world.”

For more information, read the article.

A Guide to Understanding Deepfakes

Francesco Marconi and Till Daldrup write for the Neiman Journalism Lab, “Artificial intelligence is fueling the next phase of misinformation. The new type of synthetic media known as deepfakes poses major challenges for newsrooms when it comes to verification.” The Wall Street Journal launched the WSJ Media Forensics Committee, an internal deepfakes task force that will host training seminars with reporters, create newsroom guides, and work with academic institutions to identify how to use technology to fight this misinformation. The authors provide an overview of what deepfakes are and how to identify them.

For more information, read the article.

Anythink Will Provide Feedback on OCLC Wise

Anythink libraries in Colorado became an early adopter of the OCLC Wise community engagement system for public libraries in the U.S. According to Anythink, “By implementing tools like Wise, Anythink is able to further its strategic initiative to connect people to ideas by helping customers more easily find the information they seek. Wise will help Anythink staff make informed and streamlined decisions about collection development, product distribution, library spaces, programming and, most importantly, customer needs.”

Allen County Public Library in Indiana is also using OCLC Wise. These organizations will help OCLC shape the development of the product.

“Our first group of early adopters need to be visionaries, leaders who strive to help transform library engagement. They have to be eager to help us fine-tune the tools needed to connect staff priorities with community needs, build stronger relationships in the community, and engage in new ways,” says Mary Sauer-Games, OCLC’s VP of global product management.

For more information, read the news.

ACS Supports Action on Climate Change

The American Chemical Society (ACS) “urges policymakers to work together to address humanity’s role in climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The [latest climate assessment] report is deeply concerning, and it should move the administration and Congress to take immediate steps to deal with this growing crisis.”

The press release continues: “The report focuses on the increasing seriousness and frequency of weather-related events and their devastating impacts. Its findings represent a comprehensive look at the state of both climate science research and the effects of uncontrolled GHG emissions.

“For nearly two decades, ACS has strongly supported the findings of the scientific community regarding anthropogenic climate change. … ACS looks forward to working with all parties to address our changing climate, which will continue to be a focus of the Society’s research, publishing and policy activities.”

For more information, read the press release.

First Vigil Puts White Supremacists on Notice

Jason Tashea writes for the ABA Journal, “A new online data project is tracking far-right extremism by collecting and aggregating federal and state criminal cases against extremists, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis.” The project, First Vigil, was created by data scientist Emily Gorcenski in response to protests at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. She and another counter-protester had been pepper-sprayed by a white supremacist, who then spent several months in jail. “It’s a very brutal process to be a victim in the criminal justice system,” she tells Tashea. “What we wanted was a shared resource where people could visualize what’s going on.”

Tashea continues, “First Vigil follows the lifecycle of state and federal criminal cases against those known for their affiliation with right-wing extremist groups. Already tracking 75 cases pertaining to 54 defendants dating back to early 2017, [Gorcenski] says it’s been a challenge to standardize the information she is pulling from federal, state and local data sources.

“However, she hopes that the new project can be a resource for journalists, researchers and victims assaulted by right-wing extremists.” She says that First Vigil “can be used to tell the story about white supremacy more accurately.”

For more information, read the article.

The Failures of FOIA

Tim Cushing writes for Techdirt, “Fifty years after the passage of the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA], the letter of the law lives on but its spirit has been crushed. While it’s definitely preferable to having no opportunity to demand government agencies hand over requested documents, it’s not the significant improvement it was promised to be. … [T]he government has pretty much adopted a presumption of opacity that necessitates the filing of lawsuits. … If you really want the government to turn over documents, you have two choices: lawyer up or add your pending FOIA requests to your will.” For example, in FY2017, it took the Department of State an average of 652 days to process a FOIA request. So far in 2018, 860 lawsuits have been filed.

Cushing continues, “While there have been some welcome introductions like online filing portals and release-to-all policies for documents with significant public interest, the rate of incoming requests continues to exceed the capacity to fulfill them. But no money will be thrown to FOIA response teams. This is a part of the government that the government tends to feel can remain underserved forever.”

For more information, read the article.

eLife Covers Meta-Research

eLife’s features editor, Peter Rodgers, writes on Inside eLife, “Meta-research is research that uses the methods of science to study science itself. Also known as meta-science or the science of science, it involves studying the processes and decisions that shape the evolution of scientific research.”

eLife has a new collection page for meta-research topics. “Bias is a theme that runs through a number of the articles,” Rodgers notes. Sci-Hub, faculty diversity, and the financial costs of research misconduct are other topics. eLife encourages submissions of more articles via its website.

For more information, read the article.

Jisc and Elsevier Support OA Compliance

Jisc expanded its partnership with Elsevier “to support institutions [working] to comply with UK open access policies, as part of their Open Science partnership, agreed [to] in 2016 as a component of the UK Elsevier ScienceDirect renewal,” according to the press release. They are integrating ScienceDirect APIs into the Jisc Publications Router so article metadata can be more effectively ingested and delivered.

The press release continues, “Both Jisc and Elsevier share the goal of making academic research and its contribution to scholarship, education, and social and economic development visible, and to support the successful and efficient, implementation of funder open access policies.”

For more information, read the press release.

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