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Weekly News Digest

March 10, 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.

'Is Macmillan Reconsidering Its Library E-Book Embargo?' by Andrew Albanese

Andrew Albanese writes the following for Publishers Weekly (PW):

At the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Macmillan CEO John Sargent told librarians that he would come back in March with potential alternatives to the publisher’s controversial library e-book embargo. And this week, Macmillan made good on Sargent’s statement, with an email to a select group of librarians seeking feedback on three proposals that could inform new e-book license terms for public libraries.

In all three proposals, Macmillan’s eight-week embargo on new release e-books to libraries is abandoned. Gone, too, however is the single, half-price perpetual access copy. And, as Sargent suggested would be the case during his talk at ALA Midwinter, all three proposals include price hikes for new titles in the first weeks of publication, with reduced prices later in a title’s publication cycle.

Librarians PW spoke to agreed that the proposals are at least a step toward resolving the most contentious issue in play here: basic access. If Macmillan replaced the current eight-week embargo on new titles with an eight-week, $20 premium, as one proposal does, the basic access issue undeniably goes away. Librarians would still not be happy about the price hike during a book’s peak demand, which of course would limit access. But at least the discussion would be a price discussion (which is common in the library e-book market) rather than an explicit infringement on basic access, which librarians maintain is fundamentally unacceptable.

For more information, read the article.

CCC Is Holding Digital-Only Programs in the Wake of London Book Fair Cancellation

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is instituting alternate digital programming in place of attendance at the canceled London Book Fair. Topics include transformative agreements, OA, and metadata and the European Union’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

“We recognize the difficulty in making the decision not to go ahead with this year’s London Book Fair given global health concerns,” says Tracey Armstrong, CCC’s CEO. “CCC is now scheduling virtual broadcasts, webinars, podcasts and blog posts based on planned sessions for the London Book Fair. We believe in the strength of the content and the importance of the message for the publishing community.”

For more information and details about the online presentations, read the press release.

The Scismic Automated Recruiting Platform Joins Digital Science

Digital Science added Scismic, which builds technology platforms that help life science workers enhance their career outcomes, to its portfolio of companies. The Scismic Job Seeker automated recruiting platform for the biopharmaceutical industry “matches scientists to jobs based on expertise and removes sources of bias with its gender and race-blind matching algorithms, helping increase diversity in scientific hiring.” It shortens the recruiting process to 1 month or faster.

“We wanted to build a way for fellow researchers to find workplaces in academia and industry that would empower them to do their best science, and drive more research into the market,” says Scismic co-founder Elizabeth Wu.

“Improving on a slow and expensive hiring process alone would have made their service attractive, but offering built-in ways to create fairer hiring processes really does set them apart,” says Steve Scott, Digital Science’s director of portfolio development.

For more information, read the press release.

Australian Associated Press Will Cease Operations in June

The Australian Associated Press (AAP) announced that it is shutting down after 85 years in business due to “a decline in subscribers and free distribution of news content on digital platforms.” Its 170-plus journalists from bureaus across Australia will end operations by June 26, 2020. AAP was founded in 1935 by Keith Murdoch, a newspaper publisher and father of News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch.

An AAP statement says, “The unprecedented impact of the digital platforms that take other people’s content and distribute it for free has led to too many companies choosing to no longer use AAP’s professional service.”

Rod McGuirk, who wrote the announcement, notes, “The agency is renowned for its fair and impartial reporting and its extraordinary reach across rural and urban Australia. The surprise decision by its owners to close the agency comes amid a brutal consolidation in the industry and raised an outcry both from its staff and from many Australians who view it as a pillar of a free and fair press.”

For more information, read the press release.

ACM Introduces Multidisciplinary Internet of Things Publication

ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) unveiled the inaugural issue of ACM Transactions on Internet of Things (TIOT), which “features novel research contributions and experience reports in several research domains whose synergy and interrelations enable the Internet of Things vision. TIOT focuses on system designs, end-to-end architectures, and enabling technologies, and publishes results and insights corroborated by a strong experimental component. … The first issue includes articles on kinetic-powered wearables, smart lights, authentication, gait recognition technology and research on IoT architecture.”

“The reason there has not been a single publication that can serve as a standard for the community is because the IoT is a synergy among several research domains and incorporates a broad range of multidisciplinary topics,” says Schahram Dustdar, TIOT’s co-editor-in-chief. “ACM has taken the leadership in developing this new journal as a way to bring together professionals working in disparate fields related to the Internet of Things. TIOT is envisioned as one publication that will cover the entire spectrum of IoT technologies, from hardware devices up the application layer.”

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: CDC's 'Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary'

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) writes the following: “This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.” It states:

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concernexternal icon” (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.

For updates, visit the website.

COVID-19 NEWS: FDA's 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update'

The commissioner of food and drugs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Stephen M. Hahn, states:

[T]he FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak would likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S. …

Since January 24, the FDA has been in touch with more than 180 manufacturers of human drugs, not only to remind them of applicable legal requirements for notifying the FDA of any anticipated supply disruptions, but also asking them to evaluate their entire supply chain, including active pharmaceutical ingredients (the main ingredient in the drug and [the] part that produces the intended effects, e.g., acetaminophen) and other components manufactured in China. …

We have been in contact with those firms to assess whether they face any drug shortage risks due to the outbreak. None of these firms have reported any shortage to date. Also, these drugs are considered non-critical drugs.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: EveryLibrary's 'Libraries and Accurate Information About the Coronavirus'

EveryLibrary’s Libraries 2020 campaign issued a call to action to visit libraries when looking for accurate information about COVID-19. It states: “As designated essential disaster services, libraries are poised to serve a role in the national response to the Coronavirus and COVID-19. Some changes to libraries as a public gathering place may be temporarily required, but our mission of sharing information will likely continue unchanged. They will remain great resources to access credible medical information and connect to resources to help you and your community.”

For more information, visit the website.


COVID-19 NEWS: HBR's 'How Coronavirus Could Impact the Global Supply Chain by Mid-March'

Harvard Business Review (HBR) shares, “Reports on how the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting supply chains and disrupting manufacturing operations around the world are increasing daily. But the worst is yet to come. We predict that the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe. The most vulnerable companies are those which rely heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials. The activity of Chinese manufacturing plants has fallen in the past month and is expected to remain depressed for months.”

For more information, read the article.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'CDC Warns Against Long Plane Trips and Cruises as Coronavirus Cases Mount'

A Politico article states the following:

New guidance from the CDC urges travelers, especially the elderly and those with compromised health, to avoid long plane trips ‘and especially’ cruises—a stark shift in rhetoric from an administration that had previously appeared reluctant to discourage Americans from moving around the globe.

The CDC now recommends that travelers ‘defer all cruise ship travel worldwide’ and notes that ‘cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.’ The State Department on Sunday also recommended against cruise travel, citing an increased risk of coronavirus infection, and issued a warning that citizens should not rely on repatriation flights ‘as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.’

For more information, read the article.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'APA Applauds Congress for Funding Efforts to Fight Coronavirus'

The American Psychological Association (APA) states the following:

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act extends $8.3 billion toward comprehensive, government-wide efforts to fight the coronavirus, including allocating funds for research, development of vaccines, prevention and treatment services. The legislation also temporarily waives Medicare telehealth restrictions, allowing more older adults to continue to receive essential health and mental health treatment, including at their home, during this public health emergency period—potentially helping to minimize exposing others to the virus. …

‘APA urges the public to remain calm since the likelihood of most people becoming sick from the coronavirus is low,’ [APA president Sandra L.] Shullman said. ‘The fact that there is a great deal of news coverage on this issue does not necessarily mean that it presents any threat to most of us. We should all follow the advice of the medical experts who are cautioning us all to wash our hands and stay home from work or school if we feel sick.’

APA also warned against blaming marginalized groups for the spread of COVID-19, noting that such discrimination could increase stress levels within these communities [and] deter some people from seeking needed testing or treatment. An increasing number of news reports document numerous instances of stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at people perceived to be of Asian descent following the coronavirus outbreak. …

APA urged the public to seek information from reputable sources to reduce the risk of further transmission of the virus, and to quell fears.

APA has posted helpful information about the coronavirus on its website.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: PW's 'As the New Coronavirus Spreads, Conferences Suffer'

Publishers Weekly (PW) posted an update about the status of various information industry conferences. For example, “The French government had said that it is banning gatherings of more than 5,000 people in any enclosed space for the foreseeable future. … Germany’s primary consumer-facing book fair, the Leipzig Book Fair, was also canceled. … And the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, originally set for the end of March, has been moved to May 4–7, a date that fair was still holding to at press time.”

For more information, read the article.

COVID-19 NEWS: PR Daily's 'How Brand Managers Should Address COVID-19'

PR Daily ran an article stating the following:

With the news changing by the hour (or even the minute) the COVID-19 virus outbreak has companies scrambling to prepare communications strategies.

Regardless of whether the outbreak becomes a full-blown pandemic, taking appropriate operational and communications steps now will help organizational strength and stability.

Here are five tips to proactively communicate and respond to requests for information related to COVID-19:

  1. Communicate early, often and consistently.
  2. Sound the alarm, but don’t be an alarmist.
  3. Find and use credible sources.
  4. Revisit your business continuity plan.
  5. Develop a pandemic scenario.

For more information about each tip, read the article.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'Cancellation of ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo'

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced, “Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society, and as such the health and well-being of our members, community and staff are paramount. As a result, we are cancelling (terminating) the ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo scheduled for March 22-26, 2020, in Philadelphia.”

For more information, visit the website.

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