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Weekly News Digest

February 11, 2020 — 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.

Exploring 2020 Presidential Candidates' Email and Web Security

Eric Smith and Abby Clobridge write for FireOak Strategies, “With the DNC [Democratic National Committee] email hack in 2016, cybersecurity played a major role in the outcome of our last presidential election. Our team of researchers was curious: what’s changed since 2016? What’s the state of email and website security for the 2020 presidential candidates? In short, have stronger security protections been put in place since 2016 or has nothing changed?”

Smith and Clobridge attempted to answer these questions by examining publicly available data. They note, “We recognize that the five areas we examined don’t represent a complete assessment of the cybersecurity posture of the candidates’ campaigns. … However, we do think it sheds light on whether the candidates are taking full advantage of a set of freely-available security protocols that are designed to secure their websites and email platforms.”

For the results, read the article.

Socialbakers Releases Social Media Trends Report

Socialbakers shared its new report on social media trends for Q4 2019, which discusses “Instagram overtaking Facebook in audience size, the relative decline in engagement during the holiday season, the popularity of vertical videos, the dominance of women among fans and followers, growing ad spend, and the continuing explosion of influencer marketing.”

For more information, read the press release. Download the report for free here (registration required).

Five Library Associations Create the Public Library Data Alliance

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced that five library associations—ALA, the Public Library Association (PLA), the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Inc. (ARSL), COSLA (Chief Officers of State Library Agencies), and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC)—“have signed on to support a national data alliance for public libraries that will enhance opportunities for strategic action around data to reflect the role and impact of public libraries at the local, regional, state and national levels.” A component of the Measures That Matter initiative, the Public Library Data Alliance will have IMLS as a liaison and NISO as its first-year secretariat. An open call for participation is forthcoming, with work planned to commence in Q2 2020.

NISO notes, “In addition to representatives from the associations, the Alliance’s membership will include practitioners from local and state libraries and other stakeholders. … [T]he Alliance will be well positioned to propose comprehensive strategies for sharing library best-practices and large-scale efforts to improve library services through robust and intentional data collection.”

For more information, read the news item.

ARL and IMLS Speak Out Against Federal Budget Proposal for FY2021

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) issued a statement opposing the FY2021 budget cuts to federal library programs and the defunding of IMLS proposed by the current administration. It says, in part, “IMLS provides grants to research libraries that are pivotal in recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders. This is more urgent than ever given the central role of research libraries at a time of exponential change in scholarship and learning powered by data, machine learning, and other emerging technologies, and given dramatically changing demographics of student and faculty populations at higher education institutions.”

IMLS’ statement says, in part, “As the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, IMLS invests in communities of all sizes, from rural to urban, in every U.S. state and territory. IMLS ensures public library services for all Americans, helps preserve the heritage of our nation, and provides critical funding for literacy and workforce development programs.”

For more information, read the ARL statement and the IMLS statement.

Patron Point Launches an Address Verification Resource for Libraries

Patron Point introduced Patron Point Verify, its new address verification solution. This optional add-on for customers makes the library card sign-up and card renewal processes easier. Its website notes that it is a “simple, powerful, secure, real-time end-to-end solution integrated with your ILS—with flexible workflow and branded, customizable messaging.”

For more information, read the press release (download required).

Upcoming SSP Webinars Cover Issues Affecting the Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem

The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) shared details about its 2020 webinar series, which can be purchased as a package or by individual webinar, with discounts running through March 17. The series began on Feb. 5, with the free webinar Here Come the Data (available online in the near future). The rest of the webinars are as follows:

For more information, read the press release.

W3C Shares Details From Its Inclusive Design Workshop

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) issued a report from its Inclusive Design for Immersive Web Standards workshop, which was held Nov. 5–6, 2019, in Seattle. According to W3C, “This report contains a brief summary and collects highlights from the individual sessions, with links to the presentation slides. Workshop participants learned from existing approaches that have been taken in making XR [extended reality] experiences (on and off the Web) accessible before looking at what lessons could be derived from [the] existing research and experiments in the context of the Immersive Web architecture.” The lessons make clear the following four aspects of accessible XR experiences: visual interactions, motricity considerations, audio aspects, and assistive technologies adaptation.

For more information, read the news item.

Dimensions and PLOS Team to Track Trends in OA Publishing

PLOS entered into an agreement with Digital Science that provides Dimensions analytics and APIs to PLOS, which will use them to monitor OA trends and shape business development strategies for its OA publishing efforts. According to Digital Science, “PLOS joins a host of other OA publishers including Frontiers, Hindawi and eLife, who are using Dimensions in a number of creative ways. Dimensions will further be running workshops with PLOS staff later in the year.”

“With access to Dimensions, PLOS will be able to better gather a much more complete picture of the research landscape and the broader impact of research within a global context,” says Kristen Monahan, PLOS’ business analytics manager. “Their search, visualizations and reporting functionality will enable our staff to gather valuable insights to make more informed data-driven editorial decisions for our journals.”

For more information, read the press release.

EFF Goes to Court Over Keeping Glassdoor Commenters Anonymous

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is advocating for keeping a Glassdoor commenter’s identity anonymous to a California state court, basing its claim on First Amendment protections. According to the press release:

EFF filed a motion to quash a subpoena for identifying information of its client [J. Doe] after the cryptocurrency exchange company known as Kraken filed suit against several anonymous reviewers seeking to identify them based upon a claim that they breached their severance agreements. …

Doe took care writing the [Glassdoor] review, … promising not to disclose confidential information or disparage or defame the company. Kraken publicly responded to Doe’s review of the company on the Glassdoor site, thanking Doe for the feedback and wishing Doe the best.

However, in May of last year, Kraken changed course and began targeting Doe and other former employees. The company filed a lawsuit against ten Doe defendants, including our client, claiming they breached their severance contracts and seeking to identify them. …

In the motion filed … in Superior Court in Marin County, California, EFF explains that courts have long recognized that attempts to unmask anonymous speakers not only harm the speakers’ First Amendment rights, but can chill the speech of others who may want to do the same but fear being unmasked. The motion asks the court to adopt stronger legal protections for Doe and other anonymous speakers, which require more than a mere allegation of illegal activity before the anonymity is breached.

For more information, read the press release.

The Crowley Co. Turns 40

The Crowley Co. celebrated its 40th birthday by donating to 40 nonprofits for 40 days. The nonprofits were chosen based on employee suggestions. “It gave us the opportunity to honor both the interests and passions of our employees while at the same time giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” says Kevin Crowley, COO. “As we communicated the different non-profit support each day, it was yet another reminder to be grateful for what we have been able to create together.”

Pat Crowley, president, says, “I know that it’s common to also say we’re here because of our people, but it’s absolutely true for Crowley. We have several employees who have been here at least half of our 40 years. Their tenure, along with the new talent we’ve hired over the years, has created a fine balance that allows us to grow while being rooted.”

As another way to celebrate turning 40, a “website refresh” is set to launch soon.

For more information and to learn about the company’s history, read the press release.

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