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Weekly News Digest

December 5, 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.

Humble Bundle Offers Data Science Titles From No Starch Press

Humble Bundle announced a new tech book bundle from No Starch Press that includes ebooks such as Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide, Practical SQL: A Beginner’s Guide to Storytelling With Data, and Data Visualization With JavaScript. Purchases support the No Starch Press Foundation and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). The promotion runs until Dec. 23.

For more information, read the blog post.

W3C and UNESCO IITE Launch an Intro to Web Accessibility MOOC

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) joined forces with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) to create a MOOC “built on the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) open curricula with international expert trainers from W3C Member organizations.” Introduction to Web Accessibility is a course that “introduces digital accessibility, and provides a strong foundation for making websites and apps work well for people with disabilities, meet international standards, and enhance the user experience for all web users.”

Enrollment is now open. The course begins on Jan. 28, 2020.

For more information, read the press release.

Anythink Podcast Series Focuses on Food and Family

Anythink libraries in Colorado introduced a five-episode podcast series, The Kitchen Table, which grew out of the multisensory experience it hosted at its Anythink Wright Farms location in late 2018. “With prompts, games and conversation pieces, people were encouraged to create connections through meaningful dialogue and activities. As part of this project, Anythink recorded several of these conversations, now available as a podcast series.” The conversation participants shared “stories about the food, family and traditions that have impacted their lives.”

Episodes are available via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Anythink’s website.

For more information, read the news.

Tim Berners-Lee Reflects on the World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee, co-founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, writes the following for The New York Times:

I had hoped that 30 years from its creation, we would be using the web foremost for the purpose of serving humanity. Projects like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and the world of open source software are the kinds of constructive tools that I hoped would flow from the web.

However, the reality is much more complex. Communities are being ripped apart as prejudice, hate and disinformation are peddled online. Scammers use the web to steal identities, stalkers use it to harass and intimidate their victims, and bad actors subvert democracy using clever digital tactics. The use of targeted political ads in the United States’ 2020 presidential campaign and in elections elsewhere threatens once again to undermine voters’ understanding and choices.

We’re at a tipping point. How we respond to this abuse will determine whether the web lives up to its potential as a global force for good or leads us into a digital dystopia.

The web needs radical intervention from all those who have power over its future: governments that can legislate and regulate; companies that design products; civil society groups and activists who hold the powerful to account; and every single web user who interacts with others online.

Berners-Lee’s approach is the Contract for the Web, “a global plan of action created over the past year by activists, academics, companies, governments and citizens from across the world to make sure our online world is safe, empowering and genuinely for everyone.”

For more information, read the article.

The New York State Library Studies School Librarians

School Library Journal reports the following:

The New York State Library has released Roles of the School Librarian: Empowering Student Learning and Success (2019), an informational brief that is a compilation of research studies on the roles and value of school librarians. An executive summary of the document is also available.

‘The school librarians’ contributions, whether direct or indirect, are consistently shown to be of positive value to not only students and teachers, but the wider school community,’ the summary said. ‘It is important to consider the sustainability of school libraries for the success of all students in New York as well as across the country for generations to come, because school libraries and the role of school librarians have and will continue to evolve to meet the conditions of the world and time in which they exist.’

For more information, read the article.

DPLA Plans New Collection on Black Women Activists

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) aims to highlight the role of black women suffragists with a new collection that “will help surface this history for patrons across the country and seal it into the national consciousness where it belongs.”

Investment and incubation company Pivotal Ventures will support the building of this collection, which will “be launched in conjunction with the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment in 2020. … [It] will focus on Black women’s activism from [the] 1850s to 1960s, including, but not limited to, their role in the women’s suffrage movement, civil rights movement and women’s [rights] movement. Cultural artifacts included in the collection will have a clear and compelling relevance to contemporary issues like voting rights and intersectionality, as well as contemporary movements like Black Lives Matter and MeToo.”

For more information, read the news.

Clarivate Analytics Announces This Year's Research Fronts

Clarivate Analytics teamed with the Chinese Academy of Sciences for its annual joint report on the new and emerging specialty areas in scientific research. “Research Fronts 2019,” which covers 2013–2018, is the sixth annual report. It identifies 137 Research Fronts, which “are formed when clusters of highly cited papers are frequently cited together, reflecting a specific commonality in the research—sometimes experimental data, a method, a concept or a hypothesis. The ability to identify these Research Fronts and to track emerging specialty areas of research provides a distinct advantage for governments, policy makers, publishers, research administrators and others who monitor, support and advance the conduct of research, often in the face of finite resources.”

For more information and to view the top 20 Research Fronts, read the press release.

Kudos Announces Sponsors for Its Bridging the Divide Project

Kudos shared the foundation partners for its research project, Bridging the Divide, which aims to “identify critical areas in which researchers need better support for engaging with collaborators and audiences beyond academia.”

The first headline sponsor for the project is the International Center for the Study of Research (ICSR), “a new initiative launched by Elsevier to facilitate progress in operationalizing definitions of, and metrics for, societal impact. … Contributing and participating sponsors include the American Society of MicrobiologyBrill and Royal Society of Chemistry.”

“Our headline sponsors not only get top billing when we publish and present results—they also have an opportunity to help define the scope and direction of the research,” says Charlie Rapple, Kudos’ chief customer officer. “Therefore we’re particularly excited to be tapping into the ICSR’s expertise in relation to research funding, processes, audiences and evaluation—all key areas for this project to explore.”

For more information, read the blog post. Looks at Governmental Requests for Google's User Data

Justinas Baltrusaitis writes the following for

The number of user data requests to Google from governments around the world shows data consumed by individuals is becoming increasingly important. The top three countries requesting data from Google include the United States, Germany, and India.

Governments and other agencies are heavily relying on the information provided by Google in order to get specific data about what users were doing while surfing the internet. Moreover, the number of accounts requested could be larger than the total requests made by the governments, meaning that a single request could contain several accounts. …

According to data gathered by, governments’ requests for Google user data nearly reached 165,000 during the first half of 2019. This comes at a moment in which privacy is very important for users and individuals around the world.

For more information, read the article.

Frontiers and Jisc Sign a Multiyear OA Publishing Agreement

Jisc Collections agreed to a national OA deal with Frontiers, giving researchers from 180 U.K. universities access to Frontiers’ OA publishing system. They’ll receive discounts on article-processing charges (APCs), flexible invoicing, payment options, and dedicated support for library staffers who manage APCs. The deal is in effect from Dec. 1, 2019, to November 2022.

“This national deal shows the strong commitment from the UK to make publicly funded research openly available,” says Kamila Markram, Frontiers’ co-founder and CEO. “This is our third national deal in Europe, following deals in Austria and Sweden, and we hope other countries will follow in this visionary transition to open science.”

For more information, read the press release.

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