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Weekly News Digest

November 5, 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.

Clarivate Updates the EndNote Reference Manager

Clarivate rolled out EndNote 20, the newest version of its reference management solution. It helps researchers streamline their workflows and simplify time-consuming tasks such as collecting and curating materials. More than 7,000 bibliographic styles and a variety of reference types are supported. EndNote 20 also integrates citation reports from the Web of Science so researchers can more easily find journals that match their papers. (This functionality was introduced in EndNote X9.) New features from EndNote 20 include the following:
  • Improved search—find what you are looking for more easily, whether the content is in an online database or already in your library.
  • Expanded de-duplicating options—save time de-duplicating the content in your library with expanded search options, searching with Digital Object Identifier (DOI), PubMed Central Identifier (PMCID) or both.
  • Improved PDF reading and editing—read and annotate with ease inside full size PDFs.
  • EndNote Click integration—export your references and full-text PDFs automatically into EndNote.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'How to Teach Online' by Tom Ogletree

Tom Ogletree writes the following for the General Assembly Blog:

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to transform daily life around the world, we at General Assembly have been paying close attention to how the virus is upending education: 

  • Over 1,000 colleges have been impacted, representing more than 13 million students.
  • Teachers serving students in elementary, middle, and high schools are doing their best to adapt, with varied levels of training and support. 
  • Community colleges and nonprofit training providers, already struggling to stay afloat, are facing existential threats.

And this is only the beginning—we are entering a new world of work that will look radically different as the pandemic progresses. …

At General Assembly, we are grappling with this challenge as well: We recently made the decision to bring all of our in-person Immersive courses online to support more than 5,500 students globally. …

That’s why we’re offering free access to How To Teach Online to anyone [click here to register].This short-form course—led by one of our resident experts in online instruction, Maria Weaver—is specifically designed for instructors transitioning to a remote format. Whether you’re a seasoned online instructor or a first-time Zoom user, sign up to access new tools, discover essential resources, and gain best practices for impactful online instruction. …

For more information, read the blog post.

'ALA Decries Latest FCC Failure on Net Neutrality'

ALA announced the following:

On Tuesday, October 27, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) majority approved an order responding to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s remand in Mozilla v. FCC. The court ordered the FCC to address the impact of its Restoring Internet Freedom Order, particularly the Order’s reclassification of broadband Internet access service on three key issues: 1) public safety; 2) competitive access to pole attachments; and 3) support for the agency’s Lifeline program, which provides broadband subsidies for low-income Americans.

The FCC’s Order on Remand affirms the 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order concluding that any harm to consumers is outweighed by the benefits for the broadband industry of deregulation. The American Library Association (ALA) stands firm in its support for net neutrality. …

ALA president Julius C. Jefferson Jr. says that this “vote is the latest example of the FCC shirking its responsibility to ensure broadband equity and Open Internet protections for all. ALA and library workers nationwide will continue our advocacy with Congress, the FCC, and the courts to preserve net neutrality. This fight is not over—not by a long shot.”   

For more information, read the press release.

ProQuest Launches Free Resource for Studying Black History

ProQuest introduced the Black Freedom Struggle website, “a curated selection of primary sources for teaching and learning about the struggles and triumphs of Black Americans. Developed with input from Black history scholars and advisors, this resource is freely available on the web and to libraries for anyone studying U.S. Black history.”

Via its collection of more than 2,000 documents, the site covers the following eras:

  • Resistance to slavery by enslaved persons and the abolitionist movement of the 19th century
  • The end of slavery during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era
  • The fight against Jim Crow segregation
  • The New Deal and World War II
  • The Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement [1946–1975]
  • [A]nd the contemporary Black experience since 1976.

For more information, read the press release.

Kudos Gives the Intellect Publishing Program New Ways to Track Impact

Kudos joined forces with Intellect—an independent academic publisher serving the creative practice and popular culture fields—allowing Intellect to improve its reach and impact. “Intellect authors will benefit from metadata integrations, streamlined processes for summarizing their work, additional features and guidance for sharing their work, and publisher support for and amplification of their efforts,” Kudos notes. “Through the Kudos dashboard, Intellect gains access to deeper knowledge about its authors and their publishing activities and networks, together with a rich behavioural dataset to help track trends in researcher sharing and communication activities.”

For more information, read the blog post.

SirsiDynix Releases Content From Its Connections Summit

SirsiDynix’s Connections Summit 2020 is now available for on-demand viewing (registration required). “Easily browse and select presentations you missed or want to re-watch. Sessions are fast-paced and concise with most being 20 minutes or less,” SirsiDynix notes. They include the following:
  • Keynote Panel Discussion: Libraries in Times of Instability
  • Advocating for your Library: How to Effectively Defend your Budget
  • Taking Care of Yourself and Staying Mentally Strong in a Time of Uncertainty
  • How Open Access is Changing the Content Landscape

For more information, read the news item.

OverDrive Education Studies the Use of Ebooks in Schools

OverDrive Education unveiled the results of a new U.S. school survey finding that “80% of administrators [think] ebooks are very or somewhat valuable in the ability to offer remote learning.”

The press release continues, “It’s clear there is a connection between COVID-19’s disruption to the classroom and the adoption of ebooks. 98% of administrators report that full or partial remote learning is in place. 85% of administrators report using ebooks in their districts, and of teachers using ebooks, two-thirds say they’re using more this year than last year.”

Additional findings include the following:

  • 59% of teachers say they use ebooks in their classroom to support curriculum, including digital textbooks as well as electronic versions of popular fiction and nonfiction books
  • 40% of administrators say their district has ebooks as a school library resource
  • 33% of administrators say ebooks are a great resource for those who struggle with reading

For more information, read the press release.

Frontiers Checks In on the Scientific Research Community

Frontiers shared “The Academic Response to COVID-19,” the results of its survey of “more than 25,000 members of its scientific research community from 152 countries,” which was conducted “between May and June this year to assess the initial impact of the virus on them and their work.” Researchers responded to topics such as “mitigating future disasters” and “keeping the science going.”

Frontiers notes, “Concerns about future pandemics (28%) and climate change (21%), topped the list of future disasters that can be mitigated with the help of science, according the respondents.” In addition, 47% of respondents “believe less funding will be available in the future as a result of COVID-19, signaling a potentially lasting impact to the scientific research landscape.”

For more information, read the news item.

MLconf Online Talk Explores Bias in Natural Language Processing

Lexalytics’ chief scientist, Paul Barba, is presenting “Debiasing Contextualized Word Embeddings in NLP” at MLconf Online 2020, which will be held Nov. 6. Barba will speak from 4:35 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. He will cover “the efforts of Lexalytics and a team of master’s students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Data Science to reduce gender bias with contextualized word embeddings and the effects on accuracy in downstream NLP [natural language processing] tasks, challenges in working with names, and future work and applicability to other forms of latent bias.”

Lexalytics notes, “Contextualized word embeddings are state of the art in NLP, learning from large corpora of everyday language usage in order to more quickly understand how to perform new tasks. Unsurprisingly, along with general understanding of language, these embeddings pick up the biases common in society. Using the embeddings in a number of important tasks (semantic search, sentiment recognition, predictive modelling, etc.) is thus problematic, as the risk of perpetuating bias is high.”

For more information, read the press release.

ProQuest's Acquisition of Innovative Is Approved

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission closed its review of Ex Libris’ acquisition of Innovative, making Innovative part of the ProQuest stable of companies. According to ProQuest, “Operationally, Innovative will run independently as a ProQuest entity and peer company to Ex Libris.” Innovative’s general manager, Yariv Kursh, will stay in place, and Innovative products will continue to be developed, sold, and supported. Customer interaction with the company will not change.

“Over the past year, we have worked in close and transparent collaboration with Innovative customers, both public and academic, and communicated and delivered on our roadmaps, across Sierra, Polaris Leap, Vega, and Mobile,” says Matti Shem Tov, ProQuest’s CEO. “We look forward to combining our strengths, accelerating innovation, and developing solutions for libraries to enhance their connections with patrons in these challenging times. Our ongoing commitment to our customers, user groups, and to the betterment of libraries is unwavering.”

For more information, read the press release.

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