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Weekly News Digest

February 20, 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.

ALA Grants Give Libraries in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Access to Health Resources

ALA received “two $15,000 technology improvement grants by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine-Southeastern/Atlantic region to provide computers and other technology to enhance access to health resources in libraries in Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands who are recovering from recent natural disasters”—earthquakes and the 2017 hurricanes. The grants will allow ALA to “organize training for librarians on important online resources such as MedlinePlus, Health Reach, and PubMed from the National Library of Medicine.”

For more information, read the press release.

Reuters and Facebook Join Forces for a New Fact-Checking Mission

Reuters, in partnership with Facebook’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program, launched a fact-checking initiative to help find misinformation on social media. It creates a new unit at Reuters that is responsible for verifying content posted on Facebook and Instagram and identifying false or misleading media, including user-generated photos, videos, and headlines. (The initiative will cover the upcoming U.S. presidential election and exist beyond that as well.) Verifications will be completed in English and Spanish, and findings will be available at

For more information, read the article.

Accessible Archives Shares Additional Historical Newspapers in Its Women's Suffrage Collection

Accessible Archives, Inc. rolled out Part VII, The 19th Amendment Victory: A Newspaper History, 1762-1922, of its Women’s Suffrage collection. It covers the revolutionary period; women’s participation in pioneer life, reform movements, and running businesses in the early 19th century; the issues leading up to the 1848 Seneca Falls convention; World War I; and more. This new part features more than 18,000 articles that were not previously included in the Women’s Suffrage collection.     

For more information, read the press release.

Wiley Signs an OA/Subscription Agreement With Institutions in Finland

Wiley and FinELib, a Finnish consortium of higher education and research institutions, signed a combined OA and subscription agreement for a 3-year license beginning this month. The agreement “provide[s] 22 Finnish institutions with continued access to Wiley’s subscription journals and enables their affiliated authors to publish open access articles in Wiley’s fully gold and hybrid journals.” These institutions can use an OA account dashboard that facilitates account administration, article approval, and reporting.

In addition, “eligible researchers and students will be automatically identified and notified of the opportunity to publish open access through their institutional connection, at no additional charge.”

For more information, read the press release.

'Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet' by Richard Cooke

Richard Cooke writes the following for WIRED:

In its first decade of life, [Wikipedia] appeared in as many punch lines as headlines. The Office’s Michael Scott called it ‘the best thing ever,’ because ‘anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject—so you know you are getting the best possible information.’ Praising Wikipedia, by restating its mission, meant self-identifying as an idiot.

That was in 2007. Today, Wikipedia is the eighth-most-visited site in the world. The English-language version recently surpassed 6 million articles and 3.5 billion words; edits materialize at a rate of 1.8 per second. But perhaps more remarkable than Wikipedia’s success is how little its reputation has changed. It was criticized as it rose, and now makes its final ascent to … muted criticism. To confess that you’ve just repeated a fact you learned on Wikipedia is still to admit something mildly shameful. …

Of course, muted criticism is far better than what the other giants at the top of the internet are getting these days. …

Yet in an era when Silicon Valley’s promises look less gilded than before, Wikipedia shines by comparison. It is the only not-for-profit site in the top 10, and one of only a handful in the top 100. It does not plaster itself with advertising, intrude on privacy, or provide a breeding ground for neo-Nazi trolling. Like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it broadcasts user-generated content. Unlike them, it makes its product de-personified, collaborative, and for the general good. More than an encyclopedia, Wikipedia has become a community, a library, a constitution, an experiment, a political manifesto—the closest thing there is to an online public square. It is one of the few remaining places that retains the faintly utopian glow of the early World Wide Web.

For more information, read the article.

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