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Weekly News Digest

June 25, 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.

ProQuest Debuts First Immersive Experiences for Academic Streaming Video

ProQuest launched virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree viewing functionality for certain videos on its search platform, in ProQuest One Academic, and on the Alexander Street video interface. The VR and 360-degree films are shot with omnidirectional cameras so that they appear panoramic on a laptop. On a smartphone, users can view them while wearing VR goggles to get a fully immersive experience.

For more information, read the press release.

Apple News Provides a Guide to the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Apple News introduced a guide to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates that features their biographies and experience, notable moments and quotes, positions on key issues, and recent news coverage. This comprehensive look at the 20 people who are participating in the first round of debates draws from sources such as ABC News, Axios, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Politico, The Hill, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

The guide—which will be continuously updated throughout the primary campaign—is available in the Apple News app for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Users can click on any of the candidates to follow breaking news and ongoing coverage pertaining to the candidate.

For more information, read the news.

Cengage Shows How Graduates' Feelings About the Future Have Partisan Differences

Cengage shared more data from its Cengage Student Opportunity Index, showing that “there is a vast difference of opinion about the direction of the country among recent and upcoming college graduates, with those identifying as Democrats not nearly as optimistic about the future as Republicans.” The stats show that 70% of Democrats say the country is headed in the wrong direction, versus 21% of Republicans.

The index is 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.

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

SAGE Unveils Social Science Thesaurus

SAGE created a Terminology Service—featuring 61,000-plus concepts—to help researchers understand and explore key ideas. The SAGE Social Science Thesaurus is available at launch, offering a multidisciplinary vocabulary of social sciences-related concepts, relationships, and definitions. The vocabulary was created with semantic text mining that puts structure around SAGE-published text content.

For more information, read the press release.

Web of Science Highlights Journal Citation Reports Data

The Web of Science Group, part of Clarivate Analytics, rolled out the 2019 update to its annual Journal Citation Reports (JCR). It aggregates all citations created by researchers through the delivery of publisher-independent data, metrics, and analysis of academic journals. Key information includes the following:
  • This year 283 journals have been added, 108 of which are fully open access. The JCR report reflects cover-to-cover indexing of 2.3 million articles, reviews and other source items. The 11,877 journals hail from 81 countries across five continents.
  • The report covers 236 disciplines, including the introduction of three new ones: Quantum Science & Technology (SCIE), Development Studies (SSCI) and Regional & Urban Planning (SSCI).
  • Seventeen journals have been suppressed from the JCR this year to ensure the integrity of the reports, representing 0.14% of the journals[.] The JCR is the only citation index which monitors and excludes journals that demonstrate anomalous citation behavior including where there is evidence of excessive journal self-citation and citation stacking.

For more information, read the press release.

W3C Debuts First Public Working Draft for Audiobook Standardization

The Publishing Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the first public working draft of Audiobook Profile for Web Publications, which was “developed to address a major gap in the publishing ecosystem. Unlike the ebooks industry which predominantly uses the EPUB standard, Audiobooks never developed a common specification. This has created a distribution model where content creators create many different files for their distributors or retailers, leaving users behind.”

The draft aims to establish a common manifest format that offers a simple way for content creators to provide identifying metadata, a reading order (a single source for the presentation order of audio files), and additional resources—cover image, table of contents, synchronized media files, etc.

For more information, read the news.

The Global Innovation Policy Center Studies Digital Video Piracy

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center published a report, “Impacts of Digital Video Piracy on the U.S. Economy,” which “takes a close look at how piracy stifles the economic growth and progress generated by streaming. The study shows that all of the benefits that streaming brings to our economy have been artificially capped by digital piracy. Using macroeconomic modeling of digital piracy, the study estimates that global online piracy costs the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year.”

For more information, read the news.

New Gale Archive Looks at Public Health in 20th-Century America

Gale announced Public Health in Modern America, 1890-1970, the first installment of its Public Health Archives series. It offers thousands of rare and unique resources—correspondence, reports, pamphlets, surveys, policy statements, and more—that track the evolution of healthcare in the U.S., including medical legislation, advocacy, and the effects urbanization and industrialization had on public health. It covers healthcare for people of various ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, and classes, providing important information on public health policies for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, immigrants, people with disabilities, and people of color.

For more information, read the press release.

Springer Nature Video Introduces Its Collections

Beginning in July, Springer Nature Video will offer collections of educational, standalone, peer-reviewed videos on SpringerLink covering medicine and professional and applied computing. They will feature demonstrations of surgical techniques, tailored lectures, interviews with researchers, and more. Subject experts from both inside and outside the company will review the videos for accuracy and quality.

Metadata and full transcripts will be available at the video and the clip level, and the content will meet international web accessibility criteria. Each collection currently has 40 videos, with more scheduled to be added by the end of the year. Additional video collections in the business and management and engineering fields are planned for 2020.

For more information, read the press release.

Pellucent Highlights Google Actions and Alexa Skills for Public Libraries

Pellucent Technologies, LLC, which helps libraries implement voice assistants and chatbots, launched a Google Action for Delaware County District Library in Ohio. It “was the first Library system in the country to subscribe to the Conversational A.I. services developed by Pellucent in July 2017. Worthington Libraries subscribed to these services in December 2017 and was the first library to have a Google Action developed by Pellucent. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County added these services in May 2018.”

The Conversational A.I. services consist of the following:

  • A custom Alexa Skill to allow patrons to have interactive conversations.
  • A Flash Briefing Alexa Skill to allow curated content to be shared with the patrons.
  • A Google Action to allow patrons to have interactive conversations as well as chatbot style interactions.

“The services have come a long way since the initial release,” says Avneet Sarang, the company’s CEO and CTO. “Pellucent continues to focus on bringing new features soon, in the areas of Account Activity, Catalog Search, Interactive Engagement, Reference, Integration with other systems, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.”

For more information, read the press release.

BiblioCommons Rolls Out a New Email Marketing Service and Product Updates

BiblioCommons unveiled BiblioEmail, a new automated email marketing service for public libraries that “intelligently pulls all of the library’s content into email campaigns or newsletter templates tailored to the preferred location, age, and interests of patrons, at scale.”

BiblioCommons also updated BiblioWeb and BiblioApps. BiblioWeb 3.0 has a new page builder for designing custom pages and enhanced taxonomies structuring the website content. BiblioApps was completely rebuilt to offer libraries ways to create more personalized, engaging library experiences—for promoting events, collections, staff recommendations, and more on mobile. It is available in beta for iOS devices, with the Android version in the works.

For more information, read the press release.

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