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Weekly News Digest

June 30, 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.

Clarivate Unveils 2020 Journal Citation Reports

Clarivate rolled out the 2020 update to its annual Web of Science Journal Citation Reports (JCR), which “enables the research community to evaluate the world’s high-quality academic journals using a range of indicators, descriptive data and visualizations. The [JCR is] used by academic publishers across the globe to evaluate the impact of their journals relative to their field and promote them to the research community.” Highlights of this edition include the following:
  • The journals selected for inclusion: This year’s edition includes more than 12,000 journals from 83 countries across five continents and 236 research categories in the sciences and social sciences. More than 1,600 journals are fully open access. …
  • New descriptive data on open access models: New data show each journal’s articles by access model. This provides the research community with transparent, publisher-neutral information about the relative contribution of articles published free to read and re-use under Creative Commons licenses (‘gold open access’) to a journal’s overall volume of content and citations. …
  • Objectivity in journal selection: Clarivate has suppressed 33 journals from the JCR this year to support the integrity of the reports, representing 0.27% of the journals listed. The JCR monitors and excludes journals that demonstrate anomalous citation behavior including where there is evidence of excessive journal self-citation and citation stacking. In 2020, the methodology and parameters for the effect of journal self-citation on JCR metrics has been updated to better account for discipline norms.

For more information, read the press release.

Remarks on Justice From ALA's Executive Director

ALA summarized the talk (transcript here) given by its executive director, Tracie D. Hall, to help open ALA Virtual, held June 24–26. Hall “issued a strong challenge for our nation’s librarians, library professionals and library supporters, calling for support of a workforce that reflects a diverse client base, universal digital access, and a deeper financial commitment to libraries.” ALA notes the following:

Hall outlined a three-pronged platform of priorities for library advocates, including universal broadband, rapid diversification of the library and information services field, and a commitment from local and federal governments and public and private funders to broaden the philanthropic infrastructure of libraries.

Underlying these three priorities, she said, is the guiding principle of justice.

‘Let our legacy be justice,’ said Hall, who, in January, was named ALA’s first female African American executive director in ALA’s history. ‘When I say let our legacy be justice, I am inviting us to explore the construct of the library as both the vehicle and driver of justice, as both a means to justice and an arbiter.’ …

‘It is clear that the work of dismantling racism is overdue in our society and in library and information services. Racism, bigotry, and bias threaten the reach and impact of our field and the full promise and potential of an equitably informed public. It cannot abide,’ said Hall. 

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'The MIT Press and UC Berkeley Launch Rapid Reviews: COVID-19'

The MIT Press is releasing Rapid Reviews: COVID-19, an OA, rapid-review overlay journal that aims to accelerate peer review in COVID-19-related research and combat misinformation about the illness. With traditional peer review taking 4 or more weeks to complete, this journal promises expert reviews completed in days. Its editor-in-chief is Stefano M. Bertozzi, professor of health policy and management and dean emeritus of the School of Public Health at the University of California–Berkeley.

MIT notes, “Using artificial intelligence tools, a global team will identify promising scholarship in preprint repositories, commission expert peer reviews, and publish the results on an open access platform in a completely transparent process. The journal will strive for disciplinary and geographic breadth, sourcing manuscripts from all regions and across a wide variety of fields, including medicine; public health; the physical, biological, and chemical sciences; the social sciences; and the humanities.”

Its first reviews are scheduled to be published in July 2020.

For more information, read the press release.

University Students Create a Good-News Website

Clarkson University announced the following:

A pair of Clarkson University students have launched a website they hope will combat a constant flow of bad news for its audience, while also helping readers stay informed.

Maximus Powers and Selorm Bruce have started, a website with the mission to deliver positive, clear, factual, and relevant stories to its audience while prioritizing their emotions. …

The pair work daily to personally curate news stories from a variety of news sources that allows its readers to stay informed about what is happening in the world while offering that news in a positive light. Readers can also submit news stories to the site for consideration. …

[According to Powers,] ‘It’s so easy to look at these changes from a bad perspective, especially when that’s how news sites present it. Now is the time when people need things framed positively for once. All Good Things has a big responsibility, to leave visitors feeling like “today is a good day,” which won’t be going away anytime soon. …

[Bruce adds,] ‘I want people to understand that there will be “not so good news” at times because more often than not, it is important. A simple way to put it is that I want people to be aware of the bad things happening, but to not get caught up in it so that they forget all the good happening as well.’

For more information, read the news item.


COVID-19 NEWS: 'How COVID-19 Has Changed Americans' Comfort Levels, Behaviors and Outlooks'

Rachel Barber, senior research strategist at Mower, writes the following about its report, “From Day One to Day 60 and Beyond: How COVID-19 Has Changed Americans’ Comfort Levels, Behaviors and Outlooks”:

Across the country, COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to ease—even as cases continue to rise. But do Americans feel ready? Mower polled 1,000 U.S. adults to learn how long will it take for a majority to feel safe resuming a number of ‘normal’ activities, from taking a road trip to sending the kids back to school to sitting in the stands at a sports event. Among the other questions we asked: Who are the experts they trust most to say it’s okay to start reopening? How does their political affiliation affect that trust? And how has COVID-19 changed their views on spending, telemedicine and social media?

Read the report summary and download the report here.

GOBI Library Solutions Joins With JSTOR for DDA Service

GOBI Library Solutions (from EBSCO Information Services) expanded its demand-driven acquisition (DDA) services to include Books at JSTOR. “This arrangement offers libraries more options to acquire and manage their DDA program via their preferred workflow solution,” EBSCO notes. “JSTOR’s e-book program offers nearly 90,000 DRM-free, unlimited-access titles that are easy to discover and use alongside journals on its highly-used platform. The program’s generous DDA purchase trigger and tiered savings ensure an outstanding value for library participants.”

When GOBI’s JSTOR DDA service launches in August 2020, libraries can choose among options to use an approval plan, all profiled content, or all available JSTOR content for their DDA program.

For more information, read the press release.

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education Looks at Equality and Diversity

SAGE Publishing introduced The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education, “a four-volume set exploring higher education practices and their impact on global economies and global equity. Through over 600 signed entries, scholars analyze higher education curriculum, impact, organization, and policy, and whether changes are transforming or reinforcing traditional power structures.” The encyclopedia’s 12 sections cover issues including “the burden of higher tuition fees, the pressure for departments to produce more courses, and the need for research that has a clear, demonstrable social impact. It highlights key concepts, debates, approaches, and schools of thought on higher education and the roles of universities.”

Editors Miriam E. David and Marilyn J. Amey say, “This text is our attempt to codify and collect together the diversity of systems of higher education and/or universities. … We document changing forms of teaching and learning in a digitized world and consider the implications for future generations around notions of equality and diversity.”

For more information, read the press release.

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