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Weekly News Digest

May 9, 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. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Springer Nature Asks for Input on New OA Publishing Approach

Springer Nature shared a blog post in which it “sets out a new approach to research publishing with the goal of increasing the demand from authors to immediately publish their research open access (OA) and growing the supply of journals able to publish OA, potentially enabling even highly selective journals such as Nature to transition to OA.” Publishers would become active drivers of the OA movement.

The company is asking for opinions on its new publishing standard, called Transformative Publishing. “Ultimately, transformative publishers would move to being at the forefront of measuring, reporting on, and promoting the benefits of OA and be required to commit to continuously increase the average level of OA take-up across its whole journal portfolio, at least at the rate of funding from research funding bodies, institutions and consortia.”

For more information, read the press release.

'Yes, the Internet Is Destroying Our Collective Attention Span' by Brian Resnick

Brian Resnick writes the following for Vox:

Sune Lehmann is a professor of applied mathematics and computer science at the Technical University of Denmark, where he’s been [conducting] research for the past several years. He, like a lot of us, was wondering, ‘Am I becoming a grumpy old man, or are things moving more quickly?’

Recently, he and colleagues published a paper in Nature Communications that suggests the latter is true—the length of time our ‘collective attention’ is on any given event has grown shorter, and topics become popular and then drop out of public view at an accelerating rate. The result: It’s no surprise if it feels harder and harder to dwell deeply on any topic.

It’s hard to know from this research how our collective attention impacts our individual ability to pay attention. But it outlines a broader problem with media and entertainment, and our online environments. The amount of coverage a topic gets—or doesn’t get—influences the public’s perception of what’s important.

For more information, read the article.

Ranking States by Their Support for Net Neutrality

Paul Bischoff writes for Comparitech, “Although the vast majority of Americans are in favor of net neutrality, political support for net neutrality in the US varies from state to state.” Comparitech researchers rated each state’s support for Net Neutrality in areas such as legislation, senator support, and town support. They found that Massachusetts is ranked first in support, and Arkansas is ranked last.

For more information and to see the rest of the rankings, read the article.

CASE Act Comes Up in Congress

Porter Anderson writes in Publishing Perspectives, “Intended to make it easier for rights holders to defend copyrighted work, the CASE Act is getting backing from US publishing’s trade and advocacy organizations,” including the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild.

On May 1, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2019 was introduced in the House of Representatives (HR 2426) and in the Senate (S 1273). The Copyright Alliance notes that it would create “a voluntary small claims board within the US Copyright Office that will provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing copyright claims, including infringement and misrepresentation under 512(f) [of Title 17 in the U.S. Code], in federal court.”

For more information, read the article.

'5G Is Coming!' by David Lee King

The latest post in David Lee King’s blog series on emerging technology trends and libraries covers 5G networks. He writes, “It’s short for 5th Generation, and is the newest mobile, cellular network. And it’s apparently going to be here really soon. In fact, in a few communities, it’s being rolled out now.”

King details three ways 5G improves on older networks—speed, latency, and connectivity—and has predictions for ways society will change because of it in the next 5 years. Last but not least, he ponders what 5G means for libraries.

For more information, read the blog post.

The Information Advisor's Guide Digs Into Google Bias in a Free Report

Information Today, Inc.’s publication The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, a monthly journal for research information professionals, announced a special two-part investigation of whether Google is biased: “Over the last several months, various parties have accused Google’s search engine of bias. The allegation is that Google returns primarily sites with liberal points of view, thereby supporting Democrats and unfair to the President. Are these allegations accurate?”

The investigation is published in the March and April 2019 issues and is available for free as a PDF report. Contact editor Robert Berkman at to get your copy.

For more information, read the press release.

Mayo Clinic Establishes Its Own Publishing Arm

Claire Kirch writes for Publishers Weekly, “The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., which is already renowned for its world-class medical care, is launching a publishing imprint, Mayo Clinic Press, which will publish health-related books for consumers.”

Although Mayo Clinic has published books before, this is the first time it will offer titles “for consumers as a full-service press.” Previous books include Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, in its fifth edition since 1990, and The Mayo Clinic Diet, in its second edition. “In the future, any new editions of these titles with updated medical research will be released under the Mayo Clinic Press imprint.”

Daniel Harke, Mayo Clinic’s press manager, says that the organization wanted to publish its own books to ensure the highest standards of health information and to allow booksellers and librarians to order books from a single place, not multiple publishers.

For more information, read the article.

Credo Adds Content to Help Students Understand Current Events

Credo added AllSides’ Red Blue Dictionary (300-plus entries on timely topics from multiple perspectives) and Facts On File’s Issues & Controversies (50-plus entries sharing the history, current state, and future of controversial topics) to the Real-time Reference category of its research platform to help librarians provide credible and up-to-date background information on current political topics.  

“In the current climate of polarization, it can be hard for students to understand an issue when opposing sides argue using their own vocabulary,” says Ian Singer, Credo’s general manager. “Resources like the Red Blue Dictionary and Issues & Controversies reinforce strong critical thinking habits by illuminating multiple perspectives from various vantage points; empowering students to develop bias detection and argument development skills and, perhaps most importantly, to reach their own conclusions.”

For more information, read the press release.

Findaway Introduces a New Read-Along Device for Libraries and Schools

Findaway released Wonderbook, “a new read-along format designed for circulation. Wonderbook combines an audiobook experience with a print book, creating an engaging and powerful literacy tool for library and school patrons ages 3-13.”

Part of the Playaway product portfolio, Wonderbook “features a Playaway-inspired pre-loaded audiobook player permanently attached to the inside of a hardcover book.” It is “self-contained and shelf-ready, requiring no additional packaging or parts to manage.” The content catalog features titles from major children’s book publishers and offers “picture books, leveled readers, early chapter books, Spanish, and non-fiction titles” as well as “exclusive audiobook productions, available only in the Wonderbook format.”

Each read-along has a Learning Mode with open-ended questions from the narrators that are designed to increase reading comprehension.

For more information, read the press release.

OverDrive Now Offers Marvel Graphic Novels

Marvel Comics’ digital graphic novels are now available via OverDrive to public libraries and schools around the world. There are 600 graphic novel and comic collection titles in digital versions, including the series Avengers, Black Panther, Amazing Spider-Man, and X-Men.

“As the Marvel Universe celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, we are excited to introduce more libraries and schools to some of our most iconic characters and stories over the years,” says Mark Annunziato, Marvel’s executive director of strategy and business development.

OverDrive already provides access to graphic novels from DC Comics, Image Comics, and others.

For more information, read the press release.

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