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Weekly News Digest

September 21, 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.

New Study Underlines the Importance of Human Involvement With AI

Joe McKendrick writes the following in “Artificial Intelligence Success Is Tied to Ability to Augment, Not Just Automate” for ZDNet:

Artificial intelligence is only a tool, but what a tool it is. It may be elevating our world into an era of enlightenment and productivity, or plunging us into a dark pit. To help achieve the former, and not the latter, it must be handled with a great deal of care and forethought. This is where technology leaders and practitioners need to step up and help pave the way, encouraging the use of AI to augment and amplify human capabilities.

Those are some of the observations drawn from Stanford University's recently released report, the next installment out of its One-Hundred-Year Study on Artificial Intelligence, an extremely long-term effort to track and monitor AI as it progresses over the coming century. The report, first launched in 2016, was prepared by a standing committee that includes a panel of 17 experts. …

The report examines key areas where AI is developing and making a difference in work and lives. …

These include decision making, language processing, robotics, and mobility.

For more information, read the article.

Kudos and Impact Science Develop the Climate Change Knowledge Cooperative

Kudos and Impact Science have created the Climate Change Knowledge Cooperative, “a curated content collection” that “goes beyond other publisher showcases by providing a single entry point to climate change articles from multiple publishersand subject areas, and by being uniquely focused on providing a plain-language entry point to the climate literature. The approach is designed to make sure that climate knowledge is comprehensible to and acted on by the broadest possible audience.”

Publisher partners so far include AIP Publishing and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Kudos is inviting other publishers to sign up by contacting its co-founder, Charlie Rapple. As partners, publishers can curate their own list of climate-related content to put into the Climate Change Knowledge Cooperative, and the content will be displayed alongside plain-language summaries, and sometimes videos and infographics, from the Impact Science team. Authors can include their own explanations of their pieces, and publishers can add links to full-text and related materials.

For more information, read the blog post.

ALA's LibLearnX Conference Goes Virtual

ALA’s executive board announced that its first reimagined midwinter conference, LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, to be held Jan. 21–24, 2022, will move from in-person to virtual. “Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and surge of its variants coupled with the size, scope and location of LibLearnX, it is necessary to cancel the in-person portion of the event,” says ALA president Patty Wong. Registration will open on Oct. 15, 2021.

For more information, read the press release.

GPO Publishes Digital Archive of U.S. Government Docs Dating Back to 1895

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) completed the digitization of the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, a list of documents produced by the federal government from 1895 to 2004. GPO has also digitized other historic government publication indexes—featuring content from Congress, executive branch agencies, and others—that anyone can use to find government publications. They’re available for free on govinfo. Users can access the title, author, and publish date of various documents, such as World War II rationing posters, publications on UFOs, and the Warren Commission Report on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

For more information, read the press release.

PREreview Makes Manuscript Review Guides Available for Free

PREreview introduced the Open Reviewer Toolkit, which consists of three openly available, downloadable guides that “help with the unbiased composition and assessment of research manuscripts’ review.” They are the Bias Reflection Guide (“a tool meant to help a reviewer assess their own biases and assumptions while reviewing a research manuscript, guiding them through a non-judgmental and self-reflective process”), the Reviewer Guide (“a comprehensive, step-by-step framework to guide a reviewer, particularly one with little experience, in the process of reading and evaluating a research manuscript, and writing a peer review report”), and the Review Assessment Rubric (“a tool meant for anyone who is evaluating a research manuscript’s review”).

For more information, read the press release.

Clarivate Announces the 2021 Citation Laureates

Clarivate shared its 2021 Citation Laureates, “16 world-class researchers from six countries”—the U.S., Japan, France, Italy, Korea, and Singapore—“whose work is deemed to be ‘of Nobel class’, as demonstrated by analysis carried out by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).” This means that their “research publications are highly cited and [their] contributions to science have been extremely influential, even transformative.” They may not necessarily win a Nobel Prize this year, but Clarivate has a good track record: 59 of its Citation Laureates have gone on to win. The research areas recognized by the Nobel Prize are physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, and economics.

For more information and the list of Citation Laureates, read the press release.

South Korea Passes 'Anti-Google Law'

Minjoo Jang and Crispian Wong of Access Partnership write the following in “First ‘Anti-Google Law’ Passed in South Korea—Who Regulates the Digital Gatekeepers?”:

On 14 September, 2021, the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Business Act (TBA)—more affectionately termed the ‘Anti-Google Law’—were enforced in South Korea. The proposal to amend the TBA was introduced in July 2020, following Google’s decision to impose its own in-app payment system (beyond that used by other mobile game apps) to all digital content on its Play Store, effective October 2021. Despite delays in the legislative process due to a lack of support for the amendments from the opposition party, the ruling party pushed through with the proposed amendments, citing the promotion of fair competition among participants in the app marketplace and acknowledging the request of digital content creators and app developers. The passage of the ‘Anti-Google Law’ is expected to be a global benchmark, as other nations pursue similar moves.

For more information, read the Access Alert.

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Offers Free Econtent to Transit Riders

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (LVCCLD) and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) are providing transit riders with free access to digital content—movies, ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines—via OverDrive’s Libby app. Those riding buses in the RTC’s Southern Nevada service area can download the app to get library content at any time during their commute by using RTC Wi-Fi. All they need to do is enter their mobile number, and the library verifies and it and grants them access. They can also get the app by scanning one of the QR codes placed at RTC transit centers, buses, and bus shelters.

“Our mission is to connect with the public, wherever they are, and enable them to enjoy the library's digital collection,” says Kelvin Watson, LVCCLD’s executive director. “Our partnership with the RTC introduces new audiences to the educational, entertaining, and life-changing resources that the library offers every day. This opportunity makes it easy for riders to learn more about our programs and offerings, then visit one of our branches in person for an upgrade to a free all-access library card, and enter our wonderful world of discovery!”

Conversely, M.J. Maynard, RTC’s CEO, notes, “We are excited about this meaningful collaboration with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District to bring the library straight to our transit riders who may not have the ability to access a library location.”

For more information, read the press release.

NISO Convenes Working Group on Controlled Digital Lending

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) received a grant of $125,000 from the Mellon Foundation so it can develop “a consensus framework for implementing controlled digital lending (CDL) of book content by libraries, which has been approved by NISO members as a new initiative.” It will be applicable to all types of libraries. A NISO Working Group will develop the relevant Recommended Practice, Interoperable System of Controlled Digital Lending. 

CDL serves as an extension of ILL services, but is designed to be more efficient, with a lower cost, a faster response time, a lower environmental impact, and improved collection development and management. It “enables libraries to loan digital versions of their print books while using technical controls to ensure a consistent ‘owned-to-loaned’ ratio. This allows a library to lend the exact number of copies of a specific title it owns—regardless of format—with controls to prevent users from redistributing or copying the digitized version. … Through CDL, libraries can make out-of-print books available and also provide access to readers with disabilities. Fragile collections—which would not otherwise be able to circulate—can be made available via CDL, enabling access to rare or unique materials by a wider range of researchers.”

For more information, read the press release.

ALA Shares Events That Are Planned for Banned Books Week

ALA provided details about Banned Books Week, to be held Sept. 26–Oct. 2, 2021. This year’s theme is Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. There are free resources, such as infographics, printable activities, and social media shareables at

Author Jason Reynolds is the Banned Books Week 2021 honorary chairperson. He will participate in a live-streamed conversation on Sept. 28 at noon CDT that will be available on the Banned Books Week Facebook page.

On Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. CDT, a free virtual event (registration required) called Ideas & Action—hosted by Random House imprint One World—will feature authors such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, and Bryan Stevenson. They will discuss the question, “What do you wish you had learned in school?”

For more information and an expanded list of events and resources, read the press release.

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