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Weekly News Digest

April 4, 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.

National Geographic Learning Integrates New Content Into Its U.S. History Program

National Geographic Learning joined forces with Britannica Digital Learning “to incorporate primary source and multimedia content into National Geographic Learning’s middle school U.S History program, National Geographic U.S. History American Stories.” This will give students and teachers access to Britannica LaunchPacks—collections ofgrade-appropriate video, audio, articles, and primary-source social studies documents. … The alignment of LaunchPacks to each chapter of the American Stories helps teachers spend less time searching for supplemental materials to support learning and unit objectives.”

Beginning in fall 2019, existing and new MindTap customers will get access to the Britannica content in American Stories at no additional cost.

For more information, read the press release.

The Copyright Alliance Applauds New Register of Copyrights

The Copyright Alliance is praising the appointment of Karyn A. Temple as Register of Copyrights. Its CEO, Keith Kupferschmid, says, “On behalf of the Copyright Alliance and the rest of the copyright community, we commend Dr. [Carla] Hayden’s elevation of Karyn Temple to Register of Copyrights, acknowledging her outstanding work over the last two and a half years as Acting Register, as well as her overall service to the U.S. Copyright Office since 2011.”

Temple previously served as the U.S. Copyright Office’s director of policy and international affairs and Associate Register of Copyrights before being named Acting Register. Kupferschmid notes that “there is no doubt that Register Temple is the right person to bring the Office into the 21st century.”

For more information, read the press release.

Wiley Studies Graduate Student Motivations, Behaviors, and Expectations

Wiley Education Services released a report, “Survey of Graduate Students: Their Motivations, Behaviors, and Expectations,” which looks at “the needs and concerns of potential graduate students as they research and apply to programs” and gives higher education administrators “insights into this diverse group to support their marketing, recruiting, enrollment, and retention efforts.”

The results are based on a survey of individuals, Wiley’s customer relationship management (CRM) data, and “information from an external list of potential students who were in the process of researching online programs, currently enrolled in an online program, or recently completed an online program.”

For more information, read the press release.

FlatWorld Studies Student Attitudes Toward College Textbook Costs

FlatWorld published a new study on college textbook costs and students’ purchasing habits. It is based on a survey of 368 undergraduate students who are enrolled in college for the spring 2019 semester and “reveals persistent negative attitudes towards textbook prices, a preference for used print over digital formats, and Amazon’s dominance of the market.”

“[O]ur study’s findings paint a picture of students … turning to used print books instead of purchasing digital copies,” says Alastair Adam, FlatWorld’s CEO. “When you see just how many students are deciding against buying their assigned readings, as well as how many students are forced to pay extra to complete assigned homework, it’s clear that textbook publishers are still falling short when it comes to affordability.”

For more information and some key findings, read the press release.

W3C Plans Workshop on Web Games

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced an open-to-the-public Workshop on Web Games, which will be hosted by Microsoft and held June 27­−28, 2019, in Redmond, Wash. Browser vendors, game developers, game distributors, device manufacturers, and others will gather to discuss topics that include the following:
  • WebAssembly: additional features to make the Web a better build target for game engines, debugging, bindings to new and existing Web APIs defined in Web IDL
  • Cloud gaming: improvements to Web streaming technologies
  • Game input APIs: detection of keys’ physical locations on a game controller, support for advanced controller features, support for game-specific controllers
  • Game accessibility and internationalization: APIs, semantics, techniques for rendering, processing, personalization, customization, interoperability, etc. to ensure accessibility of games and address possible internationalization issues

For more information, read the press release.

The Crowley Co. Launches Portable Microfilm Scanner

The Crowley Co. unveiled the MACH Mini microfilm scanner, the smallest production-level microfilm scanner available. Able to be packed in a portable case and used with a laptop, it can scan up to 350 images per minute. And it comes with 10TB of data storage.

Patrick Crowley, president of the Crowley Co., says, “As we take on an increasing number of off-site digitization projects in our conversion services division, we’ve seen the critical need to pair portability with production efficiency. The MACH Mini does exactly that. Whether we’re scanning in-house in a condensed space or moving from place to place, the MACH Mini captures the best features of our stationary Mekel Technology MACH-Series scanners in a compact, simple to transport system.”

For more information, read the press release.

Clarivate Analytics Report Looks at Progress on UN Sustainable Development Goals

Clarivate Analytics’ Institute for Scientific Information rolled out a report, “Narrating the Structure of Research on Sustainable Development Goals,” which shows the progress global research activity is making toward addressing the 17 global sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations (UN).

David Pendlebury, the institute’s head of research, says, “The UN Sustainable Development Goals represent some of the biggest challenges humanity faces, from ending poverty to dealing with the effects of climate change. … We have used the data in the Web of Science to confirm that research is being redirected towards these shared goals and identified key themes in global research and discovery. Our analysis will be of interest to policymakers and funders alike in supporting evidence-based decision making.”

For more information, read the blog post.

Scribd Originals Offers Additional Content for Scribd's Subscription Service

Scribd announced Scribd Originals, “an original content program that will publish new and experimental works from top authors, including Roxane Gay, Hilton Als, Peter Heller, Mark Seal, Paul Theroux, and Garrett Graff.” The original works will be available exclusively on Scribd as ebooks and audiobooks, and the first one is Graff’s nonfiction Mueller’s War.

“Working with authors and giving them the freedom to tell stories in new and interesting ways is a natural next step for Scribd. We want to help authors [and publishers] engage with more readers by producing binge-worthy Originals that fit readers’ interests and can often be read in one sitting,” says Trip Adler, Scribd’s CEO.

For more information, read the blog post.

Microsoft Shuts Down Its Ebookstore

Stefan Etienne reports for The Verge that “Microsoft is ending all ebook sales in its Microsoft Store for Windows PCs. Previously purchased ebooks will be removed from users’ libraries in early July. Even free ones will be deleted. The company will offer full refunds to users for any books they’ve purchased or preordered.”

Microsoft claims “that this move is part of a strategy to help streamline the focus of the Microsoft Store. It seems that the company no longer has an interest in trying to compete with Amazon, Apple Books, and Google Play Books. It’s a bit hard to imagine why anyone would go with Microsoft over those options anyway.”

For more information, read the article.

Humble Bundle Promotion of No Starch Press Ebooks Benefits the Freedom to Read Foundation

No Starch Press and Humble Bundle joined forces to create a Coder’s Bookshelf promotion benefiting the Freedom to Read Foundation. Ebooks in the promotion, which will run until April 8, 2019, include The Rust Programming Language and The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript. With Humble Bundle, customers can decide how much of their purchase goes toward the content creators, Humble Bundle, and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

For more information, read the press release.

Google Plus Says Goodbye

Frederic Lardinois writes for TechCrunch, “That’s it for Google+, Google’s failed social network that once tried to take on Facebook and Twitter. As scheduled, the company has now started deleting user accounts and their data.” He compiled a chronological list of some of TechCrunch’s coverage of the service over the years for anyone looking to reminisce.

For more information, read the article.

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