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Weekly News Digest

February 7, 2019 — 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.

Simba Information Studies Social Science and Humanities Publishing

Simba Information released a report, “Global Social Science and Humanities Publishing 2018-2022,” which serves as an overview and a financial outlook for the global social science and humanities publishing market. It shows that social science and humanities book sales grew in 2017 and 2018 (up 1.3% and a projected 1.5%, respectively), reversing course from previous trends. The U.S. university press sector grew 5.3% in 2017—that includes hardbacks, paperbacks, and ebooks. According to the press release, “Books are the largest social science publishing activity, but they are also the sector most dependent on non-U.S. dollar sales and are somewhat behind STM in the transition from print to digital.”

For more information, read the press release.

FlatWorld Homework Gets an Update

FlatWorld introduced new capabilities and an expanded course selection for its platform FlatWorld Homework, which is available at no additional cost with the purchase of certain FlatWorld textbooks. Mobile-friendly and able to integrate with learning management systems, it is now available for more textbooks, offers educators the option to configure randomized assignments, has sortable grade reports, and provides an upgraded user interface.

For more information, read the press release.

Celebrate Safer Internet Day on Feb. 5 is hosting Safer Internet Day on Feb. 5, 2019. “You can’t have privacy without security, and you can’t truly be safe if your data is at risk,” a post promoted by notes. “But even the most sophisticated technology can’t fully protect us. We also need to be aware of what we post, where we click, how we use our app and device privacy settings and how we treat ourselves and others online.” Safer Internet Day is also about celebrating how using technology can improve people’s lives.

There is an event on Feb. 5 at Google’s Seattle headquarters that will be livestreamed. It features March For Our Lives co-organizer Cameron Kasky in conversation with Brittan Heller, founder of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society; a panel of Seattle high school students and executives from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft; and a panel of executives from Oculus and Google and Eva Hoerth from the Virtual World Society, who will talk about the possibilities and challenges of virtual reality. There are also events going on at schools across the U.S.

For those who can’t attend an event, there are quick guides on internet safety that recently translated into Spanish, with more languages coming soon. Everyone can use the day to talk about how to be safer online. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about their use of technology and to think about how they model good online habits.

For more information, read the post.

'Trends to Watch 2019: GDPR Goes Global' by Logan Finucan

Logan Finucan, senior policy analyst at Access Partnership, writes, “The European Union’s globally applicable General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has set the global benchmark for data protection standards. In 2019, it will continue to reverberate far beyond Europe; more countries around the world will adopt GDPR-like standards, often creating headaches for global business in the process.”

He notes that the GDPR helps to establish the idea of data protection as a fundamental right. Countries can emulate the standard, such as Brazil’s new data protection framework and policy proposals in India.

“Companies have scrambled in the past year to achieve compliance amid an uncertain enforcement climate. The focus now is getting the right type of consent from citizens and proving good faith efforts upfront to regulators, absorbing substantial time and energy,” he writes. “In a twist that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago, we are now seeing the EU set the terms of the policy debate even in the US, which is in the early stages of developing a long-deferred comprehensive consumer data protection regime at the federal level.”

For more information, read the article.

IEEE Xplore Digital Library Adds SAE International Ebooks

IEEE has agreed to add SAE International ebooks to the IEEE Xplore Digital Library, which offers access to more than 4.5 million full-text documents in the fields of electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics. SAE International content covers areas such as aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicle technology. Users can find and download chapters in the ebooks, which are discoverable alongside related content in Xplore. Xplore subscribers can access the SAE International ebooks as an add-on, and the ebooks will also be available as a standalone product.

For more information, read the news.

SPARC and COAR Release Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories) issued Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services, a set of seven principles (which draw from existing principles) for users or clients so they can made informed decisions about which services they will contract with, as well as for service providers so they can improve their practices and governance. According to SPARC, “The aim is to ensure that services are transparent, open, and support the aims of scholarship.” 

For more information, view the principles.

DCL and NYPL Digitize U.S. Copyright Office Records

DCL and The New York Public Library (NYPL) finished the initial phase of their project to digitize and organize the historical records of the U.S. Copyright Office to make them more easily searchable and accessible. These particular records comprise hundreds of thousands of pages dating from 1923 to 1964. Later project phases will concentrate on making the data accessible on a web-based platform.

“By extracting and structuring over a hundred years of unstructured copyright records into an accurate unified database, NYPL will unlock previously buried information to create an important resource for researchers and the public, world-wide, to further facilitate NYPL’s mission,” says Mark Gross, DCL’s president.

For more information, read the press release.

Kudos and UKSG Team Up to Make Scholarly Works More Discoverable

Kudos partnered with UKSG to help librarians, authors, and publishers share their work, broaden their audiences, and accelerate their works’ impacts.

“UKSG has a long history of publishing content that is right at the forefront of the field of scholarly communications research,” says Lorraine Estelle, co-editor of Insights: the UKSG Journal. “One challenge we’ve identified is that this content is not always widely discovered by other researchers or practitioners in the field. Working with Kudos will help ensure that a wider range of readers are able to find, understand and build on the content we publish, both by introducing plain language metadata, and by helping authors make best use of their own networks in increasing the visibility of their work.”

For more information, read the blog post.

ACS Lays Out Its Policy Recommendations for Lawmakers

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced its policy priorities for 2019. It states, “ACS is committed to advancing policies designed to ensure a robust U.S. innovation ecosystem that sustainably grows our economy and creates jobs, while also promoting scientific advancement globally.” The following are the five categories comprising its policy recommendations to Congress and the presidential administration:
  • Ensure a Robust Scientific Enterprise—“ACS urges policymakers to invest in long-term economic growth by supporting scientific research and development critical to our nation’s global competitiveness, defense, public health, energy security and environmental progress.”
  • Support Higher Education Research Opportunities—“Sustained investment in high-quality teacher training programs both strengthen a diverse teacher pipeline and prepare students for STEM education and career pathways across all backgrounds.”
  • Protect Freedom of International Scientific Exchange—“ACS strongly supports the ability of scientists to operate without barriers, impediments, or restrictions to travel in the pursuit of scientific collaboration and meaningful discourse.”
  • Promote Sustainability across the Global Chemical Enterprise and Environment—“ACS strongly urges policymakers to take action to address the changing climate. The physical and atmospheric chemistry underlying anthropogenic global warming is robust and well-established, and action is necessary to mitigate and adapt to greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • Ensure the Integrity of Science in Policy and Regulatory Decision Making—“Policymakers need access to the best available science to ensure the widest area of choices and outcomes. ACS strongly believes science works best when free of political interference. The Society encourages the development of scientific integrity policies to ensure science is comprehensive, transparent and unbiased.”

For more information, read the press release.

Spreading a Love of Reading in Italy

On Jan. 28, the BBC reported on the Bibliomotocarro, a traveling library in a three-wheeled van that was started by retired teacher Antonio La Cava. He offers books to underserved children in the remote villages of the Basilicata region of Italy. One village, San Paolo Albanese, has only two school-age children in it.

The venture has two main benefits for the children in the region, says La Cava: Books keep children from being lonely, and he didn’t want to see his home become “a country of non-readers.” He tells the BBC that operating the Bibliomotocarro “has a value, not only social, not only cultural, but has a great ethical meaning.”

For more information, read the article (and watch the video).

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