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Weekly News Digest

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

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

ProQuest Issues Statement Against Racism and in Solidarity With Protesters

Matti Shem Tov, CEO of ProQuest, issued the following statement, saying, in part:

We are saddened and outraged by the senseless deaths of George Floyd and so many other people of color, and by the much longer history of racism both in the U.S. and around the world. These events are tragic and reprehensible. As demonstrations for justice continue across the U.S. and around the world, we wish to state—unequivocally—that ProQuest stands for equality, justice, and the right to be able to live free of fear and oppression.

ProQuest fully supports the right of individuals to protest peacefully to enact much-needed change. Today and every day, we continue to stand in solidarity in the fight against racism and social injustice and affirm that Black Lives Matter.

While words are important, actions are needed to make change happen. … We are making a $25,000 donation to support the important work of the Legal Defense and Education Fund at the NAACP … [and] continuing our long-standing alliance with the American Library Association’s Spectrum Scholarship program, making another three-year commitment totaling $173,000 to support the education of librarians who represent the under-represented in the library community.

For more information, read the blog post.

ALA Organizations Collaborate on a Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List

ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table (GNCRT) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) teamed up to create a Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List to help draw attention to black experiences in the past and present that will lead to the demand for a better future. They intend to continue to grow the list and provide it as a resource for educators, parents, and readers of all ages. Suggest titles by emailing GNCRT at with the subject line, “Black Lives Matter Reading List,” or use the following hashtags on social media: #bcala, #libcomix, and #BlackLivesMatter.

The press release states, “Comic books have always been political. They are both a reflection and a barometer of our times. From the first appearance of Captain America in March 1941 punching the face of Hitler, to recent titles like I am Alfonso Jones and MARCH—titles tackling police brutality and the life story of Congressman John Lewis—comic books have been and continue to be vitally important avenues to visually tell our stories, to share our histories, and to show experiences and multiple perspectives while engaging both sides of our brain.”

For more information, read the press release.

Librarians Push Back Against Library of the Year Winner for Hosting Transphobic Group

Librarians on Twitter are sharing an open letter to Library Journal (LJ) asking the publication to take back its 2020 Gale/LJ Library of the Year award from Seattle Public Library, which came under fire for hosting a group that “denies the rights of transgender, nonbinary, and gender variant people to have autonomy over their gender identity.” The letter’s “signatories demand that the 2020 Gale/LJ Library of the Year award be revoked, and the $10,000 prize be donated to Gender Justice League, a Seattle-based organization working to support civil and human rights for trans and gender diverse people.”

Read a thread explaining more about the letter here.

LJ released a statement in response here, and reactions are here and here.

'Why the Small Protests in Small Towns Across America Matter' by Anne Helen Petersen

Anne Helen Petersen writes the following for BuzzFeed News:

All over the country, people are showing up—often for the first time in their lives—to protest police brutality and injustice. In tiny ag towns like Havre and Hermiston, Oregon, but also in midsize cities [like] Topeka, Kansas, and Waco, Texas; on island hamlets (Friday Harbor, San Juan Island; Nantucket, Massachusetts; Bar Harbor, Maine); and in well-to-do suburbs (Lake Forest Park, Washington; Darien, Connecticut; Chagrin Falls, Ohio). They are showing up at the courthouse. They are kneeling and observing eight minutes of silence. … They are marching down interstates and waving signs on street corners. Sometimes, like in the town of Alton, New Hampshire (population 5,335), where one woman organized a protest just two months after being hospitalized with COVID-19, only seven people come. Sometimes, like in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, there are thousands.

These protests are covered by local news outlets, but amid the deluge of national news—major protests in major cities, guard tanks and helicopters, tear gas and rubber bullets, looting and destruction in select cities, the president’s reaction, massive economic anxiety and unemployment, all against the backdrop of the continued spread of COVID-19—it’s hard for these stories of smaller, even silent, protests to break through.

For more information, read the article.

SAGE Offers Free Structural Racism and Police Violence Journal Collection

SAGE Journals introduced a free-to-access social and behavioral science research collection, Structural Racism and Police Violence, which “aims to support researchers in their future work and amplify Black scholars’ critical scholarship; educators in discussions on systemic racism; and policymakers and community organizers in their efforts to create an equal society.” Examples of articles in the collection include the following:

For more information, read the press release.

Pew Research Center Studies Gen Z

Pew Research Center published “On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know About Gen Z So Far,” by Kim Parker and Ruth Igielnik, which states the following:

One-in-ten eligible voters in the 2020 electorate will be part of a new generation of Americans—Generation Z. Born after 1996, most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote, but as the oldest among them turn 23 this year, roughly 24 million will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in November. And their political clout will continue to grow steadily in the coming years, as more and more of them reach voting age.

Unlike the Millennials—who came of age during the Great Recession—this new generation was in line to inherit a strong economy with record-low unemployment. That has all changed now, as COVID-19 has reshaped the country’s social, political and economic landscape. Instead of looking ahead to a world of opportunities, Gen Z now peers into an uncertain future.

Parker and Igielnik go on to explore areas such as ethnic diversity, education, and viewpoints on major issues with regard to Gen Z.

For more information, read the essay.

W3C Announces Virtual Workshop on Web and Machine Learning

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) transitioned its Workshop on Web and Machine Learning to a virtual event that is now scheduled for September 2020. It states, “The primary goal of the workshop is to bring together providers of Machine Learning tools and frameworks with Web platform practitioners to enrich the Open Web Platform with better foundations for machine learning.” It will be organized under four themes: Opportunities and Challenges of Browser Based Machine Learning, Web Platform Foundations for Machine Learning, Machine Learning Experiences on the Web: A Developer’s Perspective, and Machine Learning Experiences on the Web: A User’s Perspective.

Registration is free and open to anyone with a relevant connection to the topic (register by Aug. 14, 2020). The workshop will consist of prerecorded talks and a series of live sessions. The deadline to submit a proposal is July 3.

For more information, read the news item.

CCC Plans Virtual Town Hall on OA Innovations

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is hosting a virtual town hall, Transformative Agreements: How Innovation Is Answering the Open Access Challenge, on June 18, 2020, at 10 a.m. EDT. The goal is to “review the latest developments in Transformative Agreements and foster a discussion on how innovation is answering the Open Access challenge.”

“Publishers, funders and institutions are implementing Transformative Agreements in order to build sustainable, scalable business models for disseminating knowledge,” says Tracey Armstrong, CCC’s president and CEO. “These deals are the result of creative and innovative business models powered by technology. The Town Hall forum invites voices from around the scholarly publishing ecosystem to share their experiences.”

For more information, read the press release.

LYRASIS Rolls Out Updates to CollectionSpace

LYRASIS released CollectionSpace 6.0. This “community-supported collections management (CMS) solution for museums and other collecting institutions [provides] standards-based collections management workflows, robust tools to store and describe a wide variety of digital assets, unlimited user licenses, and a public browser for sharing collections information online.”

New and updated features in version 6.0 include the following:

  • Public Browser: Share collections online with our new public browser. Our plugin works with your existing content management system to provide seamless access to your materials.
  • CSV Import Tool: Powerful tool for importing spreadsheet data directly into CollectionSpace.
  • Configurable Advanced Search: Craft the perfect search with our improved advanced search, which allows users to add any field to the search form, use an extensive list of operators, and build sophisticated Boolean queries.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Digital Science Studies 'How COVID-19 Is Changing Research Culture'

Digital Science published a report, “How COVID-19 Is Changing Research Culture,” which highlights “the global research landscape trends and cultural changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” It analyzes “publication trends, regional focal points of research, collaboration patterns, and top institutional producers of research in COVID-19.” Key findings include the following:
  • As of 1 June 2020, there have been upwards of 42,700 scholarly articles on COVID-19 published, 3,100 clinical trials, 420 datasets, 270 patents, 750 policy documents, and 150 grants.
  • Preprints have rapidly [been] established as a mainstream research output and a key part of COVID-19 research efforts. They started at relatively low levels in early January 2020 and accounted for around one quarter of research output by the beginning of May 2020.
  • To date, more than 8,300 organisations have been involved in supporting COVID-19 research, with over 71,800 individual researchers identified as working on COVID-19 research.
  • A density map of global COVID-19 paper production shows there are three to four major centres of research: an extended area in China composed of several cities—Wuhan, where the virus is alleged to have started, Beijing and Shanghai; Europe, specifically Italy and the UK, two of the harder hit countries; the US’s east coast research corridor including Boston and New York; and finally, a lighter focus from the Californian institutions on the West coast.

For more information, read the press release.

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