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Weekly News Digest

May 7, 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. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Patron Point Enhances Its Event Promotion Feature via Communico

Patron Point announced that it “integrated the events feed from Communico into [its] marketing automation platform, making it easier for Patron Point libraries to promote their events and integrate them into their day-to-day marketing and transactional messages.” Communico offers an “integrated suite of cloud-based applications” for libraries.

For more information, download the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Mendeley Group Offers Studies on the Sex and Gender Dimensions of the Virus

Mendeley has a public group called Gender and COVID-19, which bills itself as a “collection of research, studies and other references covering the sex and gender dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.” Documents include “Gender and Age Effects on the Rates of Infection and Deaths in Individuals With Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Six European Countries,” “Gender Differences in Determinants and Consequences of Health and Illness,” and “Sex Bias in Infectious Disease Epidemiology: Patterns and Processes.”

Cengage and McGraw-Hill Will Not Complete Merger

Cengage and McGraw-Hill have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement “due to a prolonged regulatory review process and the inability to agree to a divestitures package with the U.S. Department of Justice.” Cengage issued a statement reaffirming “its commitment to student affordability and the company’s ongoing transformation to digital.”

“On a standalone basis, Cengage is very well-positioned to continue to support the transition to digital and help students save significant money,” says Michael E. Hansen, Cengage’s CEO. “Looking ahead, faculty and administrators everywhere will be moving their classes online—and we are now singularly focused on ensuring the Cengage Unlimited subscription and our leading digital courseware platforms continue to deliver value for students and faculty.”

Neither company will be responsible for making payments to the other due to the cancellation of their agreement. Paul Gazzolo, SVP and general manager of Gale, a Cengage company, issued the following statement:

Although we believed the merger could have helped libraries reach more learners, the future for Gale has never been stronger. As distance learning becomes a new reality, Gale remains committed to providing libraries, educators and students with digital resources and educational technology to support their online learning needs. Our customers are our top priority and we will continue to deliver the high-quality content and service they have come to expect. We continue to operate as part of the Cengage portfolio and our customers will not see any disruption in the services we provide to them.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Megaputer Launches Geo-Map for Tracking Cases

Megaputer released a publicly available, interactive geo-map that forecasts peak dates for COVID-19 in the U.S. Users can look up individual counties and see the number of active cases and cumulative deaths at the peak, as well as those numbers, plus recoveries, predicted daily. The data is sourced from organizations such as Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times, the U.S. census, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The provided forecast is based on the results of modeling the evolution of COVID-19 with machine learning algorithms, while taking into account the potential mutual influence of different US counties. We combined the results of county-level modeling by artificial intelligence engines incorporated in the PolyAnalyst data mining system with the statistical analysis of the evolution of COVID-19 observed in other countries,” says Sergei Ananyan, Megaputer’s CEO. “In the situation when the underlying epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 are not precisely known yet, the selected AI-based approach to the problem might provide more reliable practical results. We are offering the results of our research as a free service to the general public.”

Megaputer cautions, “The results represent a forecast derived from historical data, which should be considered only after careful cross-examination with information obtained from other sources.”

For more information, read the press release.

Academic Video Online Adds Hundreds of Documentaries

ProQuest’s Academic Video Online, in partnership with FILM PLATFORM, added 500-plus documentaries that cover issues related to bioethics, health policy, politics, history, and more. Current Academic Video Online or ProQuest One Academic subscribers get the new content automatically.

“At FILM PLATFORM, we strive to promote the important discussions that surround our films and make these documentaries central to the current academic conversation,” says Elinor Kowarsky, FILM PLATFORM’s founder and CEO. “Especially in these times, students, academics and filmmakers from far-flung corners of the world are using film to connect, provoke debate, and inspire change. We’re honored to work with ProQuest to make these films available to those who need them most.”

Titles include the following:

For more information, read the press release.

NISO's Reproducibility Draft Recommended Practice Is Open for Comments

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) is asking for comments on its draft recommended practice, Reproducibility Badging and Definitions, through June 18, 2020. “Following on the landmark U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report, Reproducibility in Science, this Recommended Practice, developed by the NISO Taxonomy, Definitions, and Recognition Badging Scheme Working Group, provides a set of recognition standards to be universally deployed across the scholarly publishing output.” The draft “proposes common recognition practices, vocabulary, and iconography to be used to reward the sharing of data and methods.”

Librarians, publishers, service providers, funding agencies, researchers, and anyone else interested in increasing transparency around research reproducibility are encouraged to comment.

For more information, read the press release.

Apple Sets the Date for Its Virtual Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple will host its 31st annual Worldwide Developers Conference online starting on June 22, 2020. Developers can attend for free by using the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website. Apple is also rolling out the Swift Student Challenge, which will allow student developers to create their own Swift Playground. Submissions (consisting of a 3-minute-or-less interactive scene) are due May 17.

“WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms,” says Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Kudos Pro Offers Complimentary Access for 60 Days

Kudos is making its research communications platform, Kudos Pro, free to the global academic community for 60 days. Anyone wishing to gain access should sign up for Kudos Pro during the month of May. “With campuses closed and conferences cancelled, Kudos Pro provides the tools needed for academics in all fields to ensure continued communication of critical research insights. For researchers whose work is relevant to COVID-19 and its implications—from diagnosis and treatment to online education—Kudos Pro makes it quick and easy to rapidly communicate research results and recommendations.”

In addition, “Coronavirus-related research will also be promoted in Kudos’ newly launched COVID-19 Research Showcase, a ‘research hub’ of simple explanations and trustworthy interpretations of the facts, designed to counter fake news around diagnosis, treatment and related topics.”

For more information, read the blog post.

New OA Journal Options From OUP and Frontiers

Oxford University Press (OUP) rolled out the first two titles in its new flagship OA journal series, Oxford Open. They are Oxford Open Immunology (“research and reviews across all aspects of the immune system in health and disease”) and Oxford Open Materials Science (“Covering the entire breadth of materials science, the journal will bring together research from functional materials and biomaterials, to quantum materials and nanomaterials, encompassing theoretical and computational modelling, characteristic studies, synthesis, design, and application.”). Both journals are now open for submissions, with publication planned for later this year.

The International Journal of Public Health will transition to gold OA in January 2021. “The journal, which celebrates its 100th anniversary soon, will also be transferring from its current publisher Springer Nature to Frontiers, a leading Gold Open Access publisher offering tailored services and a highly technologically advanced platform.”

The Swiss School of Public health (SSPH+) owns the journal, and SSPH+ director and journal co-editor-in-chief, Nino Künzli, says, “I’m very much looking forward to opening the second century of our journal with Open Access—Life is changing!”

Frontiers states, “This is the first society title to transfer to Frontiers as part of Frontiers’ Publishing Partnerships program, and we look forward to collaborating with the SSPH+ on the International Journal of Public Health.”

For more information, read the OUP press release and the Frontiers blog post.

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