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Weekly News Digest

May 18, 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.

OverDrive Offers News About American Rescue Plan Act Funding

OverDrive provided the following update about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) prorated content model:

As reported, OverDrive’s Publisher Account Services team has been actively negotiating with top publishers for ARPA-specific library permissions and terms. On April 20, 2021, we announced an ARPA pro-rata model as a new option for collections that are time or circulation-based Metered Access. Penguin Random House was the first publisher to agree to this APRA prorated sales model. This option enables U.S. libraries to acquire digital materials specifically for the 16-month period of June 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 or portions of this term.

Today we are announcing that other top publishers will be joining Penguin Random House to support this ARPA prorated sales model. When these additional catalogs and titles are live in Marketplace, we will provide details of availability. Titles available from each publishers’ catalogs may vary. We are focused on publishers that rely on time-based Metered Access models and will share updates as they occur.

For more information, read the blog post.

DPLA and Amazon Publishing to Provide Ebooks and Audiobooks to U.S. Libraries

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) signed an agreement with Amazon Publishing to make the publisher’s 10,000-plus ebooks and audiobooks available to U.S. libraries through the DPLA Exchange marketplace by the end of 2021. This is the first agreement Amazon Publishing has entered into to make its content available to libraries. Patrons, whose data will not be provided to the publisher, can get the titles via the SimplyE app. Four licensing models will be on offer:
  • Unlimited, one user at a time access, two-year license
  • Bundles of 40 lends, available with a maximum of 10 simultaneously, with no time limit to use the lends
  • Bundles of five lends, available simultaneously, with no time limit to use the lends
  • 26 lends, one user at a time access, the lesser of two years or 26 lends license

For more information, read the news item.

Denodo's New Survey Shows Increased Usage of Cloud Computing

Denodo, a data virtualization company, issued its fourth annual cloud usage survey, which shows that “organizations are accelerating their cloud journey to take advantage of its flexibility, control costs, speed time-to-market, and simplify data management.” There were 150 survey respondents, who are global business and IT professionals from a variety of sectors. Findings include the following:
  • [H]ybrid-cloud deployment remains the dominant choice, as more than a third of these organizations (35 percent) use this model.
  • Private cloud has shown some vibrant usage, accounting for almost a quarter of all workloads (24 percent), followed by public cloud, which remained almost flat at 16 percent.
  • Multi-cloud remains a popular choice for almost one in ten organizations (9 percent) who opt to procure best of breed applications, data repositories, and infrastructure orchestration technologies among different cloud service providers to avoid a single vendor lock-in.
  • Even though the number of organizations with some level of cloud adoption remained steady year-over-year, the percentage of organizations that are moving advanced workloads to the cloud has increased by 25 percent (19.59 percent in 2021 vs. 15.48 percent in 2020).
  • In terms of cloud providers, AWS and Azure still hold the lion’s share of the cloud market (65 percent combined), while others like Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are slowly catching up.

For more information, read the press release.

Access Partnership Shares Details of Biden Administration Order on Cybersecurity

Access Partnership rolled out an Access Alert, “President Biden Issues Executive Order of Cybersecurity,” stating the following:

On 12 May 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity aimed at strengthening U.S. federal cyber protections. The EO, which has undergone development for months, lands amid mounting public concern due to a wave of recent high-profile cyberattacks. …

Indeed, the EO follows multiple lawmaker calls for tighter federal rules and guidance to secure ICT supply chains and critical infrastructure. [Recently], both the House and Senate held hearings on the state of federal cybersecurity and increasing digital attacks.

Part of a promised ‘whole of government response’ by the Biden Administration, the EO requests an overhaul of the federal government’s approach to cybersecurity, in addition to a re-evaluation of agency software acquisitions and existing measures to block cyber threats. Importantly, it targets federal networks, rather than critical infrastructure operated by private entities. … As such, there will most certainly be additional federal and congressional activity to close domestic infrastructure vulnerabilities. …

The EO represents the most significant attempt yet by the Biden Administration to close large cybersecurity gaps that have been exploited in the last year. The order includes both new requirements for agencies and higher standards for vendors. Importantly, it sets the stage for requiring federal contracts to report data breaches and meet new software security requirements. The directive also emphasizes the need for public-private cooperation in developing new cybersecurity standards and processes, as well as mitigating and resolving future attacks.

For more information, read the Access Alert.

ProQuest Unveils a New DEI Ebook Subscription; Gets Acquired by Clarivate

The big news from ProQuest is that Clarivate is set to acquire the company from Cambridge Information Group for $5.3 billion, including the refinancing of ProQuest’s debt. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2021. According to the press release, “The acquisition will establish Clarivate as a premier provider of end-to-end research intelligence solutions and significantly expand its content and data offerings as the addition of ProQuest will materially complement the Clarivate Research Intelligence Cloud.”

In other news, ProQuest showcased its new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Ebook Subscription, which “is designed to help libraries address the challenge of building collections across topics of gender, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, and political and religious beliefs.” It has thousands of titles from global publishers—covering a variety of disciplines—and offers unlimited, multiuser access via ProQuest Ebook Central.

“Teaching, learning and research is evolving to better address the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice—but finding curated and comprehensive ebook content in these areas has been historically difficult for libraries,” says Audrey Marcus, ProQuest’sVP of product management. “The new DEI Ebook Subscription makes it easier and more affordable. We’ve aimed to bring together a wide selection of publishers, authors and titles that ensure representation of voices and help libraries support the growing need for inclusive ebook collections.”

For more information, read the press release.

Wisetail and Intertek NTA Join Forces for Cybersecurity Awareness Training

Learning engagement and management software company Wisetail partnered with Intertek NTA, an information security solutions provider, to offer a Cybersecurity Awareness Training program that provides “the knowledge and ability to better protect organizational assets and their own information from cyber criminals with course content rooted in stories and anecdotes from Intertek NTA’s more than 25 years in the industry.” The program is designed for elearning and “can be delivered over a number of remote working/collaboration platforms, including the Wisetail LMS/LXP software. It can also be purchased via the Wisetail Shopify Library or can be delivered via SCORM to a learning portal.”

Modules, which can be customized for individual organizations, include the following:

  • Why is Cybersecurity Important?
  • How Organizations are Hacked
  • Password Best Practices
  • Social Engineering
  • Internet and Email Usage
  • Social Media
  • Using Public Wi-Fi

For more information, read the press release.

IReL Consortium Signs OA Agreements With ACS and OUP

The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) signed a “read and publish” transformative agreement with the IReL e-resource licensing consortium that will last through 2025. IReL represents nine institutions in Ireland. “The read and publish model means that overnight, open access becomes the default option offered to hundreds of Irish researchers publishing with ACS, and its author workflows will make this as easy and frictionless as possible for them,” says Jack Hyland, IReL’s manager.

IReL also signed a transformative read and publish deal with Oxford University Press (OUP). The deal runs for 3 years and allows researchers to access the full OUP journals collection and “enables authors at the institutions to publish their research open access in OUP’s fully open access and hybrid journals without paying individual fees.”                                                   

For more information, read the ACS press release and the OUP press release.

eLife and Coko Continue to Work on Open Source Publishing Solutions

eLife extended its partnership with Coko, stating the following:

eLife is pleased to announce … its ongoing support for Coko to develop open-source software solutions for publishing, including Kotahi—a new journal platform that can also help facilitate the publication and review of preprints. … The organisations first partnered in 2017 to develop a system for the submission and peer review of manuscripts, which was built on the Coko PubSweet framework. …

For eLife, Kotahi is a solution for streamlining the publication of reviews to preprints posted to bioRxiv and medRxiv, as part of the journal’s review process. It also provides peer-review management capabilities for other organisations, such as the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC), that are interested in peer-reviewing preprints and having their evaluations appear on Sciety.

For more information, read the news item.

PLOS Teams With TCC Africa to Advance Open Science

Roheena Anand, director of global publishing development for PLOS, writes the following:

Over the course of this year we will be expanding our presence into different continents, embedding ourselves into local communities to work alongside them, listening and learning, so that we can understand and reflect their needs and values.  

[A]s our first major step, we’re sharing the wonderful news that we are formally partnering with the Training Centre in Communication, based in the University of Nairobi, Kenya, commonly known as TCC Africa. TCC Africa is a nonprofit trust that has been doing valuable work across the continent since 2006. They’re committed to improving African researchers’ visibility (and therefore impact) through training in scholarly communication. Like us, they are heavily invested in an Open future and work with stakeholders across the scholarly communication ecosystem to promote and increase uptake of open access and open science more broadly.

Working with TCC Africa will help us to ensure that the interests and values of African research communities are represented in PLOS publications, policies, and services and to ensure that Open Science practices work for local stakeholders. We believe that all Open Science and Open Research activities should be informed and co-created by local communities at a global scale, helping us all to rebuild the system better.

For more information, read the blog post.

Taylor & Francis Uses F1000 to Pilot a New Book Publishing Concept

Taylor & Francis implemented a pilot of a new book publishing concept called Open Plus Books, which “fuses the traditional print and Open Access books model with F1000’s Open Research publishing model.” The press release continues, “United by their shared goals of amplifying and democratizing research, this first joint initiative following the acquisition of F1000 by Taylor & Francis Group in 2020 is an important further step in strengthening and broadening Taylor & Francis’ capabilities in open research and open access book publishing, as well as enabling F1000 to extend its trailblazing open research publishing offering into books.”

With Open Plus Books, authors or editors can publish an OA book on the open research platform right after submission, with each chapter functioning like a research article and including underlying data and interactive figures. Chapters can be published right after submission and updated as needed. The press release notes, “This reduces barriers to collaborative research and supports authors getting credit for their contributions to research. Publications on the platform benefit from support for code syntax highlighting, so code is fully readable in the body of the chapter.”

Books can then be published in both print and OA formats, with authors continuing to add chapters or information, creating new versions of the work. Then the updates can be used in subsequent editions of the print and OA book.

For more information, read the press release.

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