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Weekly News Digest

July 9, 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.

ScienceOpen Adds Content From the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) partnered with ScienceOpen to bring aerospace-related research from four AIAA journals to the ScienceOpen platform: AIAA Journal (the organization’s flagship publication), Journal of Aerospace Information Systems (advances in aerospace computing and communication systems), Journal of Propulsion and Power (advances in propulsion and vehicles, among other initiatives), and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (advances in spacecraft and tactical and strategic missile systems). The AIAA Space Collection comprises current issues as well as content dating back 3–5 years.

According to the press release, “These journals comprise broad and specialized research pertaining to space science and technology research which makes the AIAA Space collection on ScienceOpen a comprehensive and extensive source of space travel science and technology research. We are happy that this partnership will help further and increase the reach and impact of AIAA’s novel research through the promotion of the collection to ScienceOpen’s diverse base of users and contribute to AIAA’s mission of helping aerospace professionals and their organizations succeed.”

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'The Black Lives Matter Protests Have Taught Us More About the Coronavirus'

BuzzFeed News reporters Peter Aldhous, Stephanie M. Lee, and Dan Vergano share that although “hundreds of thousands of protesters and police crowded onto the streets, overall social distancing actually strengthened in big cities with major protests.” They write the following:

More than three weeks after hundreds of thousands of Americans started taking to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, anticipated surges in COVID-19 cases have not shown up in the cities with the biggest protests.

Some commentators are already speculating that the lack of protest-related spikes in coronavirus cases means that social distancing rules are not so important if people are outside and wear masks—as many protesters did. Slate went so far as to suggest that ‘a much wider range of outdoor activities—sports events, beaches, swimming pools, playgrounds, and so forth—could be safely permitted much sooner than currently scheduled.’

But some experts say that leaping to this conclusion could be a serious mistake. ‘I do think it’s good news that we haven’t seen enormous outbreaks at this time,’ Kate Grabowski, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told BuzzFeed News. ‘But everything that we’ve learned from the epidemiology of this virus tells us that people who are in close proximity with people who are infected are at risk.’

What’s more, a new analysis based on cellphone tracking data suggests a surprising reason for the lack of protest-related spikes in COVID-19: In the cities with large protests, the wider population actually spent more time at home during the demonstrations—suggesting that any surge caused by virus transmission at the protests themselves would have been countered by an increase in social distancing among the rest of the cities’ populations.

For more information, read the article.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'ALA Summons Support for Library Stabilization Fund Act'

ALA issued a statement praising the introduction of the Library Stabilization Fund Act (read the summary here) in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which aims to “establish a $2 billion fund, administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to address financial losses and bolster library services, with priority to the hardest-hit communities. …” The fund would support libraries in maintaining their core services, purchasing cleaning and PPE supplies, expanding technology to ensure internet access for patrons, and more.

Julius C. Jefferson Jr., ALA’s president, says, “The spread of COVID-19 has caused significant financial losses for America’s libraries, resulting in disruption to core library services, thousands of furloughs and layoffs. The Library Stabilization Fund Act is the comprehensive federal response needed to keep our nation’s libraries safely in operation, and ALA is throwing the full weight of our advocacy network into supporting this bill.”

For more information and the list of organizations that have endorsed the bill, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Wiley's COVID-19 Research Update

Wiley produced a COVID-19 research roundup, noting that “over the coming weeks we will be issuing regular COVID-19 Updates, highlighting recently published research, commentary and viewpoints relating to COVID-19, published by Wiley. Wiley is making all current and future research content and data freely available now.” Visit Wiley Online Library’s COVID-19 site to learn more. The updates featured in the roundup include the following:

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'COVID-19 to Accelerate Transition to Open Access Publishing'

Simba Information notes that according to its recent report, “Open Access Journal Publishing 2020-2024,” the COVID-19 pandemic “has demonstrated the value of open access (OA) to research articles, but also the need for a larger open infrastructure to share methodology, data and results more broadly. … [The report] found that revenue from open access journals [accounts] for approximately 6% of the global scholarly journal market and is growing at double-digit rates year over year. Titles and articles added to the Directory of Open Access Journals are growing even faster.” In addition, “Publishers will be facing the concurrent trends of having to review more submissions (some noted monthly article submissions grew more than 20% in February through April 2020), but fight for every dollar in what will likely be a depressed funding environment.”

“This crisis has reinforced the benefits of open scientific communication. Publishers immediately removed barriers to accessing COVID-19 related research and researchers say they have benefited from an unparalleled level of data sharing about the novel virus,” says Dan Strempel, senior analyst with Simba Information’s business and professional group. “The nature of this crisis—and others we face like climate change—will accelerate the transition to an open system and will lead all constituencies to examine their role in bringing that about.”

For more information, read the press release.

Gale Analytics' Interactive Dashboards Provide Data for Public Libraries

Gale created new interactive dashboards for Gale Analytics that help public libraries “analyze data more efficiently to better serve their patrons and communities.” Library staffers can use them to “better understand the lifestyles and behaviors of households in their communities to design and market customized library services and resources to fit their needs.” The dashboards include the following:
  • Gale Analytics: Community Insights: Segments households in a library’s service area (patrons and non-patrons) based on interest, income, [and] presence of children and allows libraries to build custom marketing lists with a household address or email. …
  • Gale Analytics: Digital Collections: Blends eBook and audiobook vendor data with segmentation and lifestyle data to provide demographic insight into who the library is serving and how to better inform collection development. …
  • Gale Analytics: Physical Collections: Combines checkout data from … libraries’ ILS with segmentation and lifestyle data to assess how their community is using print resources. …
  • Gale Analytics: Patron Insights: Segments patrons (at the household level) based on interest, income, technology use, presence of children and more. As change happens over time, your library can uncover the types of patrons your library attracts, as well as the types of users that need better outreach.
  • Gale Analytics: Branches: Tracks cardholder activity across various branches in a single library system. This dashboard provides insight into where and how individual consumer types are engaging with the library system. …

For more information, read the press release.

Infobase Buys Hoonuit's Professional Development and Training Program

Infobase acquired Hoonuit’s Professional Development and Training Program, a solution that helps educators improve student learning and meet district, state, and department objectives. According to the press release, “With this purchase, Infobase empowers educators with the professional development and training resources they need to create college- and career-ready students. … [The company] is now positioned to connect educators with the solutions they need to fill learning gaps, provide social-emotional learning support, and successfully utilize distance learning technology through the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.”

Hoonuit offers 1,600-plus courses, including 100,000 videos in topics such as digital literacy and citizenship, college and career readiness, and instructional strategies. The Hoonuit platform allows instructors to upload pre-existing courses in order to meet district initiatives, such as custom assessments.

For more information, read the press release.

bibliotheca to Add Audiobooks from RBmedia

bibliotheca will introduce “the entire audiobook collection from RBmedia’s top publishing brands to the 1.5 million titles already available to cloudLibrary content customers” starting in mid-July under the one book/one user model (once titles are older than 1 year, they will switch to the pay-per-use model). The collection features more than 10,000 titles from Recorded Books and W.F. Howes, along with 1,300-plus Graphic Audio titles.

Tom Mercer, bibliotheca’s SVP of digital products, says, “These additions will be added to our existing catalogs of HighBridge, Tantor, and Gildan that we’ve sold for some time. All titles are compatible with SimplyE and offer libraries an excellent opportunity to refresh their collection during this time when so many are depending on digital media.”

For more information, read the press release.

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