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Weekly News Digest

May 23, 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 Archives Awards Grants for Improving Public Access to Historical Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) unveiled new grants awarded by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero: more than $3 million for 35 projects in 21 states. For example:
  • Grants went to 13 documentary editing projects to publish the papers of key American figures, including Jane Addams, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass.
  • The Institute for Editing Historical Documents, which began in 1972, received a grant to continue its work in providing training to documentary editors.  
  • Two grants went to projects to increase public engagement with historical records: the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will run a week-long summer institute for K-12 educators to train them in archival research and provide them with strategies to use primary source materials in their curricula, and the History Center in Tompkins County, New York, will use U.S. Census records, Sanborn maps, and other records to develop a web application for educators to illustrate how local communities looked in the past and evolved over time.

For more information, read the press release.

DPLA Makes the Mueller Report Available as a Free Ebook

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) released the Mueller report as a free ebook for phones and tablets. Readers can access it from DPLA’s website or from the Open Bookshelf collection. According to DPLA, “The Mueller report was released to the public by the Department of Justice as a PDF last month, initially in a format that was not text-searchable. By making the report available as an ebook in our Open Bookshelf collection, anyone can download and read it for free, all in the SimplyE app—no library card or sign in required.” Learn about SimplyE here.

For more information, read the news.

Credder Opens Its Beta Site to the Public

Earlier this year, Credder, the news review site designed to fight fake news, launched a beta site for journalists. As of May 27, 2019, that beta site will be open for the public to critically engage with the news using Credder’s five-category review system.

Adjacent to each article is an option to rate it, indicating whether the article is to be trusted or contains a mistake (for example, a misused term, a misused image or video, or a factual error)  or why it might be considered illogical (due to, for example, speculation, generalization, or emotional appeal), biased (due to, for example, gender bias, political agenda, or financial incentive), or not credible (due to, for example, use of satire, a lack of reliable sources, or the author or website not being credible). A text box is available for comments.

The ratings by journalists (and now the rest of us) will feed into credibility scores for journalists and publications on a leaderboard. The goal of the three co-founders (Chase Palmieri, Austin Walter, and Jared Fesler) is to celebrate good journalism and build trust in news sources. For more about Credder, listen to an interview with Palmieri at

—Barbie Keiser

The Transforming Research Conference Puts Out a Call for Presentations

The Institute for International Science and Technology Policy (IISTP) at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is hosting Transforming Research 2019 from Sept. 26 to 27. The conference, now in its third year, has issued a call for presentations through June 14, 2019. International stakeholders across the research ecosystem are invited to participate—government and private funding organizations, research institutes, nonprofits, and more. 

Themes that will be covered at the conference include data governance and open data; entrepreneurialism, collaborations, and economic impact; and managing the cycle of research planning, portfolio management, and evaluation.

For more information, read the press release.

Infobase Rolls Out Upgrades to Streaming Video Collections

Infobase updated its Access Video on Demand and Just for Kids Streaming Collection streaming video products for public libraries.

Access Video on Demand has enhanced navigation and taxonomy; a responsive, user-friendly interface; more patron-friendly categories; better search results; and a larger video player on title detail pages; among other features.

Just for Kids Streaming Collection is now its own resource, separate from Access Video on Demand, allowing for a kid-safe environment for viewing educational videos, songs, games, and more. It also has a more user-friendly interface, with new content from sources such as PBS Kids.

For more information, read the press release.

Gale Readies New Resource for Educators

Gale announced that it is working on a new product to help school districts “work smarter and not harder,” Gale In Context: For Educators. It will launch in fall 2019.

According to Gale, “This new resource makes it easy for educators to curate classroom curriculum aligned to state and national standards using instructional materials and essential content from their Gale In Context databases. We know educators are the number one influencer of what gets used in the classroom, so having For Educators means that students will be more exposed to that rich, engaging content that will help support their academic success.”

For more information, read the blog post.

Cengage Studies the Economic and Social Environments of Graduates

Cengage released the first annual Cengage Student Opportunity Index, a study of the opportunity environment for graduates across 17 indicators, based on a survey of 2,500 recent and upcoming college graduates as well as existing public data. Scores were calculated on a national and a regional level, and the categories of opportunity are employment, economic, social, and personal well-being.

The key findings are separated by category:

  • The employment category shows that 93% of upcoming graduates think they’ll get a job in their educational field within 6 months, but only 60% do.
  • The economic category shows that 51% of graduates have student loan debt (the average amount is nearly $23,000), and 65% of them will have to move from their current area in order to afford housing.
  • The social category shows that 61% of respondents think they’ll be better off than their parents, but 48% believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
  • The personal well-being category shows that 62% of respondents have had problems with paying for a healthcare expense.

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

UNESCO Publication Explores Gender Inequality and Gender Biases in Digital Tech

UNESCO partnered with Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the EQUALS Skills Coalition to produce I’d Blush If I Could, a publication that features recommendations for improving gender equality in digital skills, especially with regard to gender prejudice coded into AI applications such as digital voice assistants.

According to UNESCO, “The publication locates this prejudice in the gender imbalance of technical teams leading the development of frontier technologies and identifies policy solutions to help women and girls cultivate strong digital skills.” Additionally, “The gendered submissiveness and servility expressed by so many other ‘female’ digital assistants illustrate the gender biases coded into AI products. As the publication explains, these biases are rooted in stark gender-imbalances in skills education and in the technology sector.”

UNESCO also notes, “Bridging these gender gaps requires gender-responsive digital skills education. The publication features numerous recommendations on how to make technology studies more inclusive of women and girls and describes examples of good practice from around the world.”

For more information, read the news.

EBSCO Information Services Makes Its Products More Accessible for Blind and Visually Impaired Users

EBSCO Information Services joined forces with the Carroll Center for the Blind to work toward improving the experience across EBSCO products for users who are blind and visually impaired. According to the press release, “The Carroll Center will work with EBSCO to support the company’s existing design and user research processes, while facilitating user testing and providing support for best practices in accessibility.”

“Whenever The Carroll Center brings its accessibility expertise and knowledge of blindness and vision impairment to an innovative, industry-leading company like EBSCO, we know we will be ensuring greater access to information and research materials for a wider body of current and potential product users,” says Bruce Howell, accessibility services manager at the Carroll Center. “Collaborating on projects like this supports both of our missions to provide equal access to important digital learning tools and resources.”

For more information, read the press release.

ACS Publications Gets Redesigned Platform

The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) unveiled a fully redesigned global web delivery platform for all of ACS’s journals and books, as well as C&EN Global Enterprise. It now has enhanced features and functionality for authors and researchers, such as a more intuitive interface, easily visible article metrics, browsing updates, and responsive design that is mobile-friendly.

“We made it our goal to ensure the redesigned website continues to deliver the same key functionalities our global communities rely upon,” says James Milne, SVP of the Journals Publishing Group at ACS Publications. “Our aim is to lead the way in effectively delivering the most trusted scientific information to the global research community. Based on the significant amount of user testing undertaken and positive feedback received, we are confident this revamped experience will be highly appreciated by authors and readers alike.”

For more information, read the press release.

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