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Weekly News Digest

October 12, 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.

UNESCO and Others Launch Redesigned Global Open Access Portal

UNESCO shares the following information about the new Global Open Access Portal (GOAP): allows users to browse dynamic Open Access contents via both a text-based search and a map-enabled country search option. Building on an earlier version, the new Portal includes Open Access profiles of 166 countries and highlights existing key Open Access initiatives, mandates, events and publications.

Additionally, incorporates dynamic content sourced from publicly available information and provides workflows to facilitate the publishing of non-commercial journals. gathers important resources such as open journals, repositories, articles and FAQs for trending subject domains such as Covid-19, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Another feature included is the incorporation of Open Educational Resources on Open Access, which provides learning resources for researchers and librarians responsible for facilitating and benefiting from the use of Open Access resources. … is a collaborative effort of UNESCO, Redalyc, Indian Statistical Institute and AmeliCA. It was redeveloped under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder advisory committee. While Redalyc and AmeliCA curated the user interface and integrated a non-commercial open access publishing workflow in the portal, the Indian Statistical Institute developed the backend architecture and updated country-level information. …

The portal is intended to be evolutive and the steering committee will convene at regular [intervals] to discuss collected feedbacks and define new targets and priorities. In addition, the machine harvesting and collating functions coded into the current version of the portal will be replicated and scaled up.

For more information, read the article.

New York City Public Library Systems Go Fine-Free

The New York Public Library announced the following:

New York City’s three public library systems will no longer charge late fines on books and other circulating materials, eliminating a barrier to access and ensuring that all New Yorkers have free and open access to knowledge and opportunity.

Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library (which serves the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island), and Queens Public Library have become the latest and largest public library systems to close the book on late fines, joining other major cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami-Dade, Seattle, and Dallas to go fine-free. Combined, New York City’s systems represent the largest municipality to eliminate fines.

New York City’s three systems have also cleared all prior late fines from patron accounts, allowing New Yorkers to enter a new chapter of recovery and renewal with clean slates. 

For more information, read the press release.

Bibliotheca Unveils the biblio+ Streaming Service

Bibliotheca announced the following:

[On Oct. 12], Bibliotheca unveiled biblio+, a new streaming service for libraries and their patrons. … biblio+ is turning the library streaming model on its head by offering unlimited, ad-free streaming for one affordable subscription price. …

The biblio+ service was built from the ground up to deliver a top-notch, modern streaming experience on any device. biblio+ is now available from all major app stores, including Apple iOS and Apple TV, Android and Google Play, Amazon FireTV, and Roku. The catalogue includes a diverse range of groundbreaking film and captivating television, including critically-acclaimed documentaries, book-adjacent films and adaptations, popular and cult favorites, and more. New titles are being added regularly.

‘Whether libraries are starting from scratch, or looking to add to their current streaming offerings, biblio+ is an exciting new option,’ says Stephane [Richard, biblio+’s SVP of movie and streaming products]. ‘The unlimited viewing model opens up all kinds of possibilities for community outreach including curated watchlists, Library Movie Clubs, and Book to Movie discussion groups.’

For more information, read the news item.

Lean Library Joins With TDNet to Streamline Library Searching Wherever Patrons Are

SAGE announced the following:

Lean Library, a browser extension from SAGE Publishing that delivers library services into the patron’s workflow, is partnering with TDNet, provider of TDNet Discover, a unified library discovery and content management solution. Together, Lean Library and TDNet will provide libraries with the ability to deliver their library search results to patrons ‘in their workflow’ on academic resources and websites such as Google and Wikipedia.

The partnership will include a direct integration with TDNet Discover to make library search available to users through the Lean Library browser extension, showing relevant search returns from their library wherever they start their search. For example, when a patron is using Google, Google Scholar, publisher sites, or Wikipedia, the extension will also surface relevant results from their library. …

Nir Karmi, VP Sales & Business Development at TDNet, added, ‘This integration represents an important step towards delivering efficient discovery directly to patrons, wherever they may be searching. … Coming next is another integration with the Lean Library browser extension to enable libraries to deploy relevant content from their TDNet library portal wherever their patrons may need it.’

For more information, read the press release.

OverDrive Buys the Educational Resources Company TeachingBooks

OverDrive announced its acquisition of TeachingBooks, saying:

TeachingBooks creates and maintains the leading source of supplemental materials that perpetuates informed, joyful reading across the curriculum while furthering successful literacy outcomes.

The acquisition of TeachingBooks significantly enhances OverDrive Education’s Sora reading app and platform to serve K-12 schools around the world. TeachingBooks provides K-12 schools with more than 265,000 curated materials from trusted educational sources, as well as their own proprietary content, to enrich how a book is taught in the classroom. For educators, these resources include literacy and standards connections, booklists and collection analysis, teaching ideas, diverse books toolkit, readers’ advisory, vocabulary lists, interactive games and more. is currently licensed and available to over 55,000 schools and libraries worldwide, serving more than 24 million students.

For more information, read the blog post.

'The Great Book Shortage of 2021, Explained' by Constance Grady

Constance Grady writes the following for Vox:

If there’s a particular book you’ve got your eye on for the holidays, it’s best to order it now. The problems with the supply chain are coming for books, too.

‘Think of the inputs that go into a book,’ says Matt Baehr, executive director of the Book Manufacturers’ Institute. ‘There’s paper, there’s ink, and there’s getting the book from point A to point B. All of those things are affected.’

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been exacerbating existing problems in the global supply chain for nearly two years now. Add to that pressure a global labor shortage, a paper shortage, the consolidation of the American printing industry, and an increased demand for books from bored stay-at-homers across the US, and you’re faced with what Baehr says is a ‘perfect storm’ of factors to create what some observers are calling a book shortage. …

Most of this fall’s major releases have already been printed or have their printing runs scheduled, and any delays to those scheduled print runs are expected to be minimal. Still, some titles have seen their publication dates bumped by weeks or even months. Of those, some now won’t reach shelves until next year.

The place where readers are most likely to find themselves in a crunch, though, is with surprise bestsellers. … So if there’s a book you’ve got your heart set on reading in print this fall, now is the time to preorder. Otherwise, you might find your heart broken in December.

For more information, read the article.

Ex Libris Rolls Out Survey Results on the State of Academic Research

Ex Libris shared the results of its annual study on academic researchers’ challenges, research office leaders’ priorities, and opportunities libraries and research offices can leverage to advance their institution’s scholarship output. Respondents to the study’s survey were 400-plus researchers and research office leaders in a variety of disciplines and were located in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.

Key findings include the following:

  • Funding remains a key challenge for researchers. Finding relevant funding opportunities (a task rated difficult or very difficult by 61% of the surveyed researchers) and applying for grants (rated difficult or very difficult by 80% of the researchers) continue to be the most demanding elements of the research life cycle. On a positive note, campus research offices have been supporting researchers’ search for funding more in 2021 than in 2020.
  • Research office members and researchers differ in the way in which they measure research impact. Citation-based metrics are at the top of the list, used by 94% of the surveyed researchers and 68% of research office staff. Measuring social impact has been significantly more important in 2021, according to 57% of research offices, than it was in 2020, according to 43% of research offices. In 2021, measuring social impact has been significantly more important for 28% of researchers.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration is high on researchers’ agenda, with 37% of researchers saying that most or all of their work involves interdisciplinary collaboration. This figure aligns somewhat with research office priorities; 25% of research office leaders stated that promoting interdisciplinary collaboration is a priority.
  • Researchers expect more from their library than in 2020. Although 61% of researchers expressed satisfaction with the support they receive from their institution’s library, they expect more assistance than in 2020, especially with data-related services and services such as publication depositing.
  • Collaboration between research offices and libraries has risen in 2021. Research office leaders report that their collaboration with the library increased by 6% on average from 2020. Open-access compliance is the main area of collaboration, primarily for UK respondents.

For more information, read the press release.

CCC Updates RightFind Navigate and RightFind Enterprise

CCC made Semantic Search available “within RightFind Navigate through a partnership with SciBite, an award-winning semantic technology organization and Elsevier company. CCC also announces several powerful features to RightFind Enterprise.” The press release continues:

Through semantic enrichment in RightFind Enterprise, now extended to RightFind Navigate, users can locate relevant data beyond just the specific words used, letting them find even more relevant data associated with similar words and phrases. Established controlled vocabularies, such as SciBite’s VOCabs, which apply an explicit, unique meaning and description to scientific terms, provide comprehensive coverage of relevant terminology and the robust foundation necessary for an effective and impactful literature monitoring strategy. …

RightFind Navigate with Semantic Search helps researchers identify relevant concepts faster through an expanded search that incorporates over 20 million synonyms from SciBite’s biomedical vocabularies and semantically enriches search results from indexed and API-based data sources in real-time. …

CCC is also introducing a range of powerful features to RightFind Enterprise, including the ability for researchers to:

  • See available reuse rights in personal and shared libraries to minimize infringement risk without interrupting workflows
  • Order multiple articles in personal or shared libraries with one click
  • View the average rating from colleagues for an article in shared libraries, including the number of reviews
  • More easily view a large number of supplemental material files in one convenient list

For more information, read the press release.

Florida State University Libraries Introduces the CreateFSU Web-Hosting Service

Meagan Bonnell writes the following for Florida State University News:

Florida State University Libraries announces the launch of CreateFSU, a new web-hosting service for digital research projects.

CreateFSU allows faculty, students and staff to host and publish websites related to their digital research and pedagogy projects using cutting-edge and industry-standard web publishing tools. Created to supplement [Florida State University]’s existing web-hosting services for faculty, students and departments, CreateFSU provides researchers and instructors with the ability to build a digital presence for projects spanning from interactive maps and visualizations to collaborative course blogs and digital museum exhibits. …

Each user is provided with a unique domain name and given access to a dashboard with several different applications, including WordPress, MediaWiki, Scalar, Omeka (digital library) and Drupal. Once installed, these applications give users the freedom to create blogs, publish videos, author books and share research data.

For more information, read the article.

IOP Publishing Rolls Out New OA Titles

IOP Publishing is unveiling three fully OA journals in the Environmental Research series. The company states the following:

Environmental Research: Health (ERH) and Environmental Research: Climate (ERCL) will both open submissions from [Oct. 7]. The third new journal, Environmental Research: Ecology (ERE) will open for submissions later in 2021. 

The three new journals reflect the surge in published research that covers one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities and climate action. The growth in this scientific field is expected to accelerate further in the coming years.

The new journals offer a suite of interdisciplinary OA publishing options with rigorous peer review standards based on editorial excellence and a commitment to data transparency. Like the first and most recently launched journal of the series, Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, research published in the three new titles will be universally accessible, ensuring maximum visibility and reach. …

[IOP Publishing] will waive all OA article publication charges for articles that are submitted to the three new launches before 2024. After the initial waiver period for all, authors from low- and middle-income countries who publish in [IOP Publishing’s] new journals don’t have to pay any article processing costs. 

For more information, read the news item.

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