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Weekly News Digest

December 2, 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.

'Four Psychological Mechanisms That Make Us Fall for Disinformation' by Megan McBride

Megan McBride writes the following for CNA:

As humans evolved, we developed certain psychological mechanisms to deal with the information surrounding us. But in the 21st century media environment, where we are exposed to an exponentially growing quantity of messages and information, some of these time-tested tools make us dangerously vulnerable to disinformation. …

In a recent CNA study, we examined how, in this disorienting information environment, normal information-processing and social psychological mechanisms can be exploited by disinformation campaigns. Our report, The Psychology of (Dis)Information: A Primer on Key Psychological Mechanisms, identifies four key psychological mechanisms that make people vulnerable to persuasion. …

Despite their impact on the spread of disinformation, these mechanisms can be generally healthy and useful to us in our daily lives. They allow us to filter through the onslaught of information and images we encounter on a regular basis. They’re also the same mechanisms that advertisers have been using for years to get us to buy their cookie, cereal or newspaper. The current information environment, however, is far more complex than it was even 10 years ago, and the number of malicious actors who seek to exploit it has grown. These normal thought patterns now represent a vulnerability we must address to protect our communities and our nation.

For more information and a summary of each of the four mechanisms, read the article.

Digital Science Unveils the 2021 'State of Open Data' Report

Digital Science announced the publication of the 2021 “State of Open Data report from Springer Nature, figshare, and Digital Science. It shows that there is “increasing concern among researchers about misuse of data as well as a lack of credit and acknowledgement for those who do openly share their data.” Now in its sixth year, the report draws on a survey of 4,200-plus researchers from around the world, looking at the “motivations, challenges, perceptions, and behaviors toward open data.”

Key findings include the following:

  • 55% [of respondents] feel they need support in regard to copyright and licenses when making research data openly available.
  • 73% [of respondents] strongly or somewhat support the idea of a national mandate for making research data openly available.
  • 65% of respondents have never received credit or acknowledgement for sharing data.

For more information, read the press release.

ALA Leadership Decries the Uptick in Attempted Censorship of Library Books

ALA’s executive board and the boards of directors for all of ALA’s divisions issued a joint statement about the “attempts to remove materials that focus on LGBTQIA+ issues and books by Black authors or that document the Black experience or the experiences of other BIPOC individuals.” It says, in part:

In recent months, a few organizations have advanced the proposition that the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves. To this end, they have launched campaigns demanding the censorship of books and resources. … Falsely claiming that these works are subversive, immoral, or worse, these groups induce elected and non-elected officials to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights to promote government censorship of library collections. Some of these groups even resort to intimidation and threats to achieve their ends, targeting the safety and livelihoods of library workers, educators, and board members who have dedicated themselves to public service, informing our communities, and educating our youth. 

ALA strongly condemns these acts of censorship and intimidation. … We stand opposed to censorship and any effort to coerce belief, suppress opinion, or punish those whose expression does not conform to what is deemed orthodox in history, politics, or belief. The unfettered exchange of ideas is essential to the preservation of a free and democratic society.

For more information and the rest of the statement, read the press release.

U.S. Copyright Office Provides Update on the CASE Act's Copyright Claims Board

The U.S. Copyright Office announced the following:

The Register of Copyrights is exercising her authority under the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2020 to extend the date by which the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) will commence operations. Enacted on December 27, 2020, the CASE Act directs the U.S. Copyright Office to establish the CCB as a voluntary alternative forum to resolve copyright disputes of low economic value. The statute provides for the CCB to begin operations within one year of the law’s enactment, but allows the Register to extend that date by up to 180 days for good cause.

Since the CASE Act was signed into law, the Copyright Office has been working toward setting up the CCB, and the needed hiring, facilities and IT development, and publication of regulations will be substantially completed by the end of this year. However, to ensure that members of the public have sufficient opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations, and to allow for full implementation and testing of the new technological systems, the Register has determined that there is good cause to extend the date for commencement of CCB operations.

For more information, read the news item.

Elsevier Adds New Learning Platform to Its Medical Education Portfolio

Elsevier acquired Osmosis, an online healthcare education platform. It uses “evidence-based learning science to create distinct microcontent that [turns] complex medical concepts into easy-to-follow learning modules. With a broad reach in 195 countries, Osmosis has more than two million subscribers on its YouTube channel, 150+ partnerships with institutions ranging from medical schools to digital health companies, and over a quarter-of-a-billion views of its content.”

Osmosis becomes part of Elsevier’s Global Medical Education portfolio, and Elsevier will use its capabilities to help support the learning needs of medical students, nursing students, and healthcare professionals, with patient support planned for the future.

For more information, read the press release.

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