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Weekly News Digest

October 6, 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.

ACRL Conference Goes Virtual-Only

ACRL’s 2021 conference, originally scheduled for April 14–17, 2021, in Seattle, is becoming an all-virtual event. It will be held during the same dates, with more details forthcoming. The deadline for certain submissions—lightning talks, posters, roundtables, etc.—is extended to Nov. 9, 2020.

“While the Conference Committee is understandably disappointed that ACRL 2021 cannot happen in person, we are excited to channel our efforts into taking the conference virtual,” says Beth McNeil, ACRL 2021 conference chairperson. “We are grateful for your support and patience while we work through the details and look forward to welcoming everyone safely to the virtual event this spring.”

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Kudos Launches Research Project on COVID-19's Scholarly Communications Impact

Kudos introduced Brave New World, a research project designed “to provide publishers, societies and service providers with critical intelligence about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for research funding policy, university budgets and practices, and researchers’ capacity, processes and publishing choices.” In addition, it “will focus on identifying rapidly emerging needs and changes in attitudes and behaviors [and] enable publishers, societies and providers of related services to react quickly and plan effectively for 2021 and beyond.”

Once the findings are analyzed and interpreted, Kudos will share recommended actions to take now and in the future. Register your interest in becoming a project partner by Oct. 9 by emailing

For more information, read the blog post.

'House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech's "Monopoly Power" and Urge Their Breakups' by Cecilia Kang and David McCabe

Cecilia Kang and David McCabe report the following for The New York Times:

House lawmakers who spent the last 16 months investigating the practices of the world’s largest technology companies said on [Oct. 6] that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had exercised and abused their monopoly power and called for the most sweeping changes to antitrust laws in half a century.

In a 449-page report that was presented by the House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic leadership, lawmakers said the four companies had turned from ‘scrappy’ start-ups into ‘the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.’ The lawmakers said the companies had abused their dominant positions, setting and often dictating prices and rules for commerce, search, advertising, social networking and publishing.

To amend the inequities, the lawmakers recommended restoring competition by effectively breaking up the companies, emboldening the agencies that police market concentration and throwing up hurdles for the companies to acquire start-ups. …

The House report is the most significant government effort to check the world’s largest tech companies since the government sued Microsoft for antitrust violations in the 1990s. It offers lawmakers a deeply researched road map for turning criticism of Silicon Valley’s influence into concrete actions.

For more information, read the article.

Altmetric Unveils 'The State of Altmetrics' Report

Altmetric, part of Digital Science, rolled out “The State of Altmetrics” report to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the publication of “Altmetrics: A Manifesto.” Among other contributors, “Altmetric founder Euan Adie, esteemed scientometricians Lutz Bornmann, Zohreh Zahedi and Saeed Ul-Hassan, and the original Altmetrics Manifesto authors Jason Priem, Paul Groth and Cameron Neylon reflect on a decade of altmetrics innovation and growth.”

Topics the report covers include “the ethics and responsible use of altmetrics, using machine learning to understand how communities coalesce around particular research topics online, and possibilities for leveraging altmetrics as ‘sensors’ to detect the spread of disease. The report also shares the results of a worldwide community survey, which surmises that altmetrics will continue to grow in their adoption and use.”

For more information, read the press release.

Simba Information Releases Study of Ebook Publishing Trends

Simba Information unveiled “Scholarly & Professional E-Book Publishing 2020-2024,” a report that “examines the scholarly and professional market including e-books in law, business, scientific and technical, medical, and social science and humanities. It found that scholarly and professional e-books sales increased slightly in 2019, but will decline in 2020 anywhere from 2% to 9% depending on the segment examined, with STM publishing being the most stable and law and business publishing seeing the worst declines.” The report also offers projections of the scholarly and professional markets through 2024.

“The consumer book market is separate and distinct from scholarly and professional books. Some of the post lockdown trends in trade publishing are very positive for e-books, with people spending more time at home reading and e-books being easier to acquire. But those trends don’t necessarily flow through to the professional market where the uncertainty at the university level and in boardrooms will impact budgets,” says Dan Strempel, senior editor/analyst of the Business and Professional Group at Simba Information.

For more information, read the press release.

U.S. Copyright Office Provides New DMCA Resource

The U.S. Copyright Office introduced a new webpage covering the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It “consolidates information and resources about various aspects of the DMCA, including section 512’s safe harbors and notice-and-takedown system, section 1201’s anticircumvention provisions, and section 1202’s copyright management information protections.”

There is a new page on section 512, “including information about how section 512’s notice-and-takedown process works, sample takedown and counter-notices, and a link to the DMCA agents’ database. The DMCA webpage also links to the Office’s section 1201 page for more resources on the anticircumvention provisions, including a tutorial and the Register’s past recommendations on the triennial rulemaking process.”

For more information, read the news item.

ACS Publications Offers Course on Reducing Virus Spread

The American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Publications Division created Chemistry in Practice: Reduce the Spread of Viruses, a course (launching Oct. 15) to help professionals learn how to lessen the spread of viruses in the workplace and support institutions in returning to in-person work. The course has seven 15–20-minute modules—each designed and vetted by a panel of experts—on topics such as how viruses spread, how disinfectants and vaccines work, and how masks and PPE provide protection. It also offers a risk-assessment calculator, tip sheets, and a self-assessment capstone module.

For more information, read the press release.

IMLS Shares Data on Rural Libraries

IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) released Rural Libraries in America: An Infographic Overview, which draws from “new data on the many thousands of rural public libraries in the United States and how they function in American society.” It includes statistics such as the following:
  • About 30 million Americans are served by the nation’s approximately 4,000 rural library systems. Their sheer number and broad distribution across the country speaks volumes about the value local communities place on library services.
  • In 2017, rural libraries ran nearly 750,000 programs with 12.5 million attendees. The fact that the number of library programs continues to steadily increase is a further testament to their resilience and continued relevance to rural life.
  • Between 2008 and 2017, the number of eBooks and downloadable audio materials has more than doubled, expanding resources available for rural residents. This increase in available resources is important to many of the patrons who are unable to visit their community library.

For more information, read the press release.

EBSCO's 2020 Serials Price Projection Report Is Now Available

EBSCO Information Services rolled out the 2020 Serials Price Projection Report, which “projects that the overall effective publisher price increases for academic and academic medical libraries are expected to be (before any currency impact) in the range of five to six percent for individual titles and four to five percent for e-journal packages.”

The price projections are “based on surveys of a wide range of publishers and reviews of historical serials pricing data to assist information professionals as they make budgeting decisions for the renewals season.” Topics covered include library budget challenges, ejournal packages, OA, government mandates, and country economic conditions.

For more information, read the press release.

HHMI Goes OA Starting in 2022

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is adopting a new OA policy effective Jan. 1, 2022. It “will require all HHMI laboratory heads to publish in a manner that makes their research articles freely available on the publication date under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).” They have a number of options, which are outlined in the policy, to meet the OA mandate. The policy aligns with Plan S principles.

“Science is critically dependent on access to the information, data, and ideas contained in published primary research articles,” says Erin O’Shea, HHMI’s president. “We believe we can best advance HHMI’s mission, including the discovery and sharing of new scientific knowledge, by sharing new science freely and immediately. We want all scientists to be able to discuss, analyze, and build upon each other’s work.”

For more information, read the news item.

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