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Weekly News Digest

April 7, 2022 — 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.

Florida International University and the University at Albany Create Virtual Cybersecurity Institute

Elizabeth Calzadilla, director of marketing and communications at Florida International University (FIU), writes the following:

An interdisciplinary group of Florida International University and University at Albany researchers are teaming up to co-lead a new $1.5 million virtual institute that will help train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals for future military and civilian leadership positions.

The Virtual Institute of Cyber Operation and Research (VICOR) aims to advance a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) VICEROY initiative to establish cyber institutes through higher education partners across the country. It is supported by the Griffiss Institute, a nonprofit talent and technology accelerator for DoD and an international network of academic, government and industry partners. 

For more information, read the news item.

ALA Celebrates National Library Week

ALA announced that it is kicking off “National Library Week with the release of its State of America’s Libraries Report, highlighting the challenges U.S. libraries faced in the second year of the pandemic—as well as the ways they innovated to meet the needs of their communities.” For example, “Library staff in every state faced an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.”

This is the highest number of challenges since ALA started making these lists 20 years ago, notes ALA president Patty Wong. “We support individual parents’ choices concerning their child’s reading and believe that parents should not have those choices dictated by others,” Wong states. “Young people need to have access to a variety of books from which they can learn about different perspectives. So, despite this organized effort to ban books, libraries remain ready to do what we always have: make knowledge and ideas available so people are free to choose what to read.”

ALA shares, “In response to the uptick in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, ALA will launch Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative focused on empowering readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.” Visit

For more information and a list of the year’s most challenged books, read ALA’s press release.

Kudos Partners With PLOS to Enhance Scholarly Communications

Kudos announced a new partnership with PLOS, stating, “PLOS authors will benefit from additional audience growth via Kudos’ research showcases; PLOS editorial and marketing teams will gain additional insights into authors’ communication activities and networks, enabling them to better support and amplify these.”

“Making open access more accessible has been a goal for PLOS for some time now,” says Clare Dean, director of journals marketing and outreach at PLOS. “That has many implications for us but among those is our desire to help broader audiences find, understand and make use of PLOS content. Partnering with Kudos is part of our strategy to achieve that, and we are pleased to be helping our authors tap into Kudos’ experience and networks.”

For more information, read the blog post.

Annual Reviews Is Moving All of Its Journals to OA

Annual Reviews, a nonprofit publisher, will spend the next 18 months making its entire portfolio of 51 academic journals freely available. This model, called Subscribe to Open, “offers immediate, transparent, and equitable conversion to open access for readers and authors in all disciplines. Under the model, existing institutional customers continue to subscribe to the journals. If support remains sufficient, every new volume will be published open access under a Creative Commons license. If support proves insufficient, the paywall will be retained.”

“Annual Reviews pioneered the Subscribe to Open model several years ago, and the use and impact of the review articles in those publications has increased manyfold as more people around the globe have been able to use them. Their announcement today of the launch of Subscribe to Open for all Annual Reviews is a major step forward,” says Virginia Steel, a member of the Annual Reviews Business Affairs Committee.

For more information, read the press release.

ACS Publications Issues Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced the following:

The Publications Division of [ACS] joined over a dozen publishers today in signing a letter condemning the war in Ukraine and announcing the suspension of sales and marketing of products and services to research organizations in Russia and Belarus. …

The full letter with signatories is available here.

ACS Publications has presently ceased all commercial sales of products and services to Russian research organizations. In addition, article publishing charge payments from Russian organizations for open access articles in any of ACS’ more than 75 journals will no longer be accepted. …

In related actions, ACS Publications will continue to provide free access to ACS journals to Ukrainian researchers throughout 2022 via Research4Life.

For the rest of the statement, read the press release.

The Mellon Foundation Unveils New Branding

The Mellon Foundation’s president, Elizabeth Alexander, issued a statement on the organization’s new visual identity. She writes:

Creating a new visual identity, core vocabulary, and messaging platform is the work of many months and many minds. When we at the Mellon Foundation began undertaking this work, we had just announced our new strategic direction—one that articulated a new approach in our institutional thinking, and a new assessment of both our grantmaking and our operations through the lens of social justice. What needed to come next, we knew, was a transformation of how we communicate to the world who we are and what we do, and how the world comes to understand our values and our work. Our identity—the identity of the Mellon Foundation—needed pristine clarity on what we stand for, what work we support, and what we seek to achieve: justice in the arts, culture, and humanities today; and justice in our collective future. We wanted to communicate the metaphorical exclamation points of these extraordinary efforts, and celebrate the successes they signify.  

The new brand identity you see now—on our website, in our communications, and everywhere that bears the Mellon Foundation imprimatur—reflects an intensive and at times even provocative creative collaboration. … At every stage, we were asking ourselves this question: how do we integrate who we have been into who we have become—and who we hope to be?    

For more information, read the statement.

Adam Matthew Digital Has the Scoop on the Real-Life Lady Whistledown

Lauren Clinch, assistant editor at Adam Matthew Digital, writes the following in “A Lady That Knows Everything: Bridgerton’s Lady Whistledown and Eighteenth Century Journals”:

Bridgerton has returned! Here at Adam Matthew, this is all the excuse we need to go on the hunt for scandal—and what better place to find it than in Eighteenth Century Journals, where a real-life precursor to the infamous Lady Whistledown lays society’s secrets bare. Prepare to meet Mrs. Crackenthorpe, a Lady that knows everything. …

Fortunes and fates were made and broken on the wheel of society, and having one’s indiscretions aired in a scandal sheet like Lady Whistledown’s could spell disaster for young debutantes and established gentlemen alike—as several members of ‘the ton’ discovered in season 1 of Bridgerton. Our Mrs. Crackenthorpe first appeared to English society over a century ahead of Lady Whistledown, however, with the first issue of her society journal The Female Tatler going to press in July 1709. …

Although she followed the custom of hiding her subjects’ identities behind witty pseudonyms—a luxury certainly never provided by Lady Whistledown—Crackenthorpe seldom held back once she had a piece of gossip between her teeth. In between sly asides about Lady Coupler’s wind or Mrs. Slip-shoe’s flirting lie the meatier, more damning tidbits regarding a certain Lady’s attempted shoplifting of a gilded teapot from the nearby India House from which to drink her Bohee; or, worse still, the hoyden daughter of a Well-bred Lady proclaiming a preference for the footman in front of a great deal of company.

If these slivers of gossip have whet your appetite for more, the rest of Mrs. Crackenthorpe’s stories (and her true identity) all lie within Eighteenth Century Journals.

For more information, read the blog post.

GPO Will Help Libraries Make Government Information Collections More Discoverable

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) started “a Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) Pilot Projects Initiative to help Federal Depository Library Initiative (FDLP) libraries make Government information more discoverable for the American public. Through the pilot initiative, GPO teammates will visit libraries across the Nation to assess the condition of tangible documents, conduct item-level inventories, catalog, and digitize Government collections. GPO selected Utah State University’s Merrill Cazier Library as the first LSCM pilot initiative participant.”

GPO continues, “In the first Pilot Projects Initiative, GPO will catalog and digitize 200–300 documents, pamphlets and other materials from the U.S. Department of War from World War II (1941–1945). In future projects, GPO will digitize publications in the areas of voting, civil rights, women’s suffrage, tribal rights, the environment, the establishment of national parks, and more. GPO will announce selections for the second project in late spring or early summer of 2022.”

For more information, read the press release.

PLOS Tests Accessible Data Feature to Propel Open Science Forward

PLOS “is testing a new experimental open science feature intended to promote data sharing and reuse across the PLOS journal portfolio. A subset of PLOS articles that link to shared research data in a repository will now display a prominent visual cue designed to help researchers find accessible data.”

Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, director of open research solutions at PLOS, says the Wellcome Trust is providing support to help the organization experiment “with solutions designed to increase sharing and discovery of research data that also save researchers time.”

The first solution is an Accessible Data feature that is “deployed on articles that link to research data in one of several repositories. The feature will appear on more than 3,000 PLOS articles. … It will also appear on newly published articles that qualify for the feature during the experiment, which is expected to run until the end of 2022.” If this experiment is successful, the feature will be added to more repositories.

For more information, read the press release.

CCC and OA Switchboard Facilitate Automated Exchange of OA Info

CCC and the OA Switchboard joined forces “to automate the exchange of OA transactional information between publishers and their customers through the OA Switchboard.”

CCC explains, “By connecting CCC’s RightsLink for Scientific Communications (RLSC) with the OA Switchboard, more than 30 leading publishers representing thousands of scholarly journals will soon be able to create more granular, informative reports to help guide them, their institutional customers and research funders through the transition to OA. With rich metadata from over 1,000 institutions and funders, RLSC supports a comprehensive range of transformative deals, pure OA agreements, membership discounts, APCs, and other financial arrangements between publishers and institutions, providing real-time transaction data for all stakeholders that now can be automatically integrated into OA Switchboard reporting.”

For more information, read the press release.

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