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Weekly News Digest

January 19, 2021 — 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.

'How Teamwork Busts the Three Biggest Myths About Library Advocacy' by Stephen Wyber

Stephen Wyber, manager of policy and advocacy at IFLA, writes the following for OCLC’s Next blog:

Many people associate advocacy with lobbying—a full-time job in which one cultivates personal relationships with lawmakers and officials to make or defend key lines in laws, regulations, budgets, and other decisions.

To many who work in libraries, this can seem daunting. However, as is usually the case with stereotypes, this one is far from accurate. I’d like to make the case that there are three ‘big myths’ about library advocacy that you need to jettison right now.

This matters, because in reality, budget increases and policy changes are usually the end product of a long process of changing minds and attitudes that starts well away from national legislatures, county councils, or town halls. These earlier steps require teamwork, and can rely on efforts made by all types of library workers with a variety of skills and interests to contribute. By understanding how you can contribute, you can start advocating for your library—and all libraries—today and every day.

For more information and the three myths, read the blog post.

ProQuest and Patron Point Debut a Reading Recommendation Service for Public Libraries

ProQuest and Patron Point introduced Patron Point Recommends, a new reading recommendation service to help public libraries market their content to increase engagement and usage. It “automatically creates eye-catching branded monthly newsletters for new titles from a library’s catalog enriched with LibraryThing recommendations, as well as and summaries and covers from the Syndetics Unbound service. The newsletters deliver patrons straight to the library catalog to place a hold on the titles or search for other content. They can also automatically promote events and other library news.” Because the newsletters are automatic, they don’t take up staff time to create, and there are flexible design templates that match the library’s other digital communications sent from Patron Point.

Libraries can get Patron Point Recommends as an add-on to their Patron Point subscription.

For more information, read the press release.

'Amazon Sued Over Its Dominance of the eBook Market (Finally)' by Nate Hoffelder

Nate Hoffelder writes the following for The Digital Reader:

News broke this week that Amazon is being sued for colluding with five major publishers to inflate prices. The case was filed by the same law firm that lead the lawsuit against the Price Fix Six back in 2011.

The law firm of Hagens Berman is accusing the world’s largest retailer of colluding to artificially inflate the retail price of e-books through anticompetitive agreements with the nation’s five largest book publishers. …

I agree that consumers were harmed by these contracts, yes, but this lawsuit makes a big deal about a conspiracy without presenting any evidence that Amazon conspired.

Sure, that information could come out later, but it probably does not exist. Amazon is well-known for keeping its negotiations so secret that parties are not even allowed to talk about the process, much less the terms agreed to or the information exchanged. …

In any case, we are in for a very entertaining 6 to 8 months.

For more information, read the blog post.

EDUCAUSE Webinar Looks at Chief Privacy Officers in Higher Ed

EDUCAUSE is hosting a webinar, The Rise of the Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) in Higher Ed, on Jan. 28 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. It “will focus on the evolving role of the Chief Privacy Officer [and] explore recent research findings and hear first hand from current Chief Privacy Officers on challenges and successes.” Speakers include Sean Burns (corporate researcher at EDUCAUSE), Micki Jernigan (enterprise privacy officer at Augusta University), and Pegah Parsi (campus privacy officer at the University of California–San Diego).

Registration is free, but attendees must have an EDUCAUSE profile.

For more information, read the event page.

PLOS Brings Canadian Universities Into Its New Publishing Model

PLOS and CRKN (Canadian Research Knowledge Network) signed an agreement that allows CRKN members to participate in PLOS’ Community Action Publishing (CAP) program. This “new collective action publishing model” enables 19 participating CRKN institutions—including Ontario Tech University and the universities of Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Toronto—“to publish fee-free in PLOS Medicine and PLOS Biology. [It] shifts publishing costs from authors to research institutions based on prior publishing history as affiliated with corresponding and contributing authors. The group collectively contributes to the shared cost recovery target and any surplus revenue collected by PLOS is redistributed to members.”

Institutions can join the agreement at any time during its initial 3-year period.

For more information, read the blog post.

ACS Endorses the New White House Science Team

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced the following:

ACS supports the move by President-elect Joe Biden to elevate the role of the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), who also serves as the presidential science advisor, to a Cabinet-level position for the first time in history. …

ACS is also pleased to see that Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., will continue to lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Society looks forward to working with … Collins and the newly announced science team, as well as the Biden-Harris administration and the 117th Congress, to continue to advocate for the chemistry enterprise on key policy priorities that respond to and support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure a sustainable and diverse chemistry enterprise.

For more information, read the press release.

'Elsevier Flips 160 Journals to Open Access' by Jamie Durrani

Jamie Durrani, science correspondent for Chemistry World, reports the following:

Commercial publishing giant Elsevier is converting 160 subscription-based journals to fully open access models. The move comes as the European open access initiative Plan S enters a crucial new stage.

The Coalition S movement behind Plan S noted that it has registered 160 Elsevier publications as ‘transformative journals.’ … Transformative journals must increase the proportion of their research articles that are immediately free to read by at least 5% per year. They must also commit to remove subscription fees as soon as 75% of their papers are published open access. …

Elsevier states that of its 2600 journals, more than 500 are already open access.

For more information, read the article.

Gale Studies How This School Year Is Going

Gale published a blog post, “How Is the 2020–21 School Year Going? Educators Share How They’re Addressing the Gaps,” which reports the following:

Some of the most common words educators used to describe the current school year are innovative, disconnected, busy, calm, and chaotic. It’s clear that while the pandemic is still presenting challenges, teachers are remaining resilient and creative. …

While COVID-19 is impacting all of us in different ways, there are some common gaps that teachers are seeing this school year. Keeping students engaged, maintaining communication with families, having enough staff to teach, and adapting curriculum are just some of the challenges educators are experiencing this year.

For more information and direct responses from educators, read the blog post.

SAGE Articles Will Be Indexed on scite for Better Research Discoverability

scite and SAGE signed an agreement to index SAGE articles on scite, enabling the creation of Smart Citations, which “show how a scientific paper has been cited by providing the context of the citation and a classification describing whether it provides supporting or disputing evidence for the cited claim.” The partnership gives scite access to the full text of all of SAGE’s articles to make these citations and “will enable increased accessibility and engagement with SAGE-published research and support researchers to better evaluate their research impact.”

“We’re excited to be working with SAGE to help researchers better discover and evaluate research,” says Josh Nicholson, scite’s co-founder and CEO. “SAGE is a leading publisher in many areas where scite had limited citation coverage so this particular indexing agreement should help many researchers do better research.”

For more information, read the press release.

Brainfuse Wants to Teach People The Queen's Gambit

Brainfuse, an online tutoring provider in public libraries, is now offering live chess tutoring as part of its HelpNow program. “The Queen’s Gambit, castling, and countergambit are just a few of the maneuvers in chess. The game is not only a popular pastime, but scientific studies have shown that chess players have more cognitive skills.”

The chess tutors all “have certifiable qualifications such as high Elo ratings (2000+), chess coaching experience, and current or previous titles (e.g. expert/candidate master). … Via participating institutions, all Brainfuse HelpNow services are provided free to the public with their library card.”

For more information, read the blog post.

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