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Weekly News Digest

June 28, 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.

W3C Works Toward Interoperability Standards for the Metaverse

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced the following:

The Metaverse Standards Forum launched on June 21, 2022, of which the Web Consortium is a founding member, among other key actors whose focus is on leading platforms, hardware, tools, engines, users. The forum, whose membership is free, and open to any organization, brings together leading standards organizations and companies for industry-wide cooperation on interoperability standards needed to build an open and inclusive metaverse. …

The first meetings of the Metaverse Standards Forum will start in July 2022.

For more information, read the news item.

W3C Is Transitioning to Nonprofit Status

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced the following:

The World Wide Web Consortium is set to pursue 501(c)(3) non-profit status. The launch as a new legal entity in January 2023 preserves the core mission of the Consortium to shepherd the web by developing open standards with contributions from W3C Members, staff, and the international community. …

At the operational level, which is not changing, W3C Members are bound together for our technical work, united around the W3C’s mission to lead the web to its full potential by creating open standards that ensure that the web remains open, accessible, internationalized, secure, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. …

Our transition to launch the legal entity includes concrete stages—adoption of Bylaws: filing for 501(c)(3) non-profit status; election and seating of a Board of Directors—all to transfer staff, Member contracts, and operations to the new structure.

As W3C was created to address the needs of the early web, our evolution to a public-interest non-profit is not just to continue our community effort, but to mature and grow to meet the needs of the web of the future.

For more information, read the press release.

NISO's Todd Carpenter Writes About OCLC-Clarivate Lawsuit

Todd Carpenter, executive director of NISO (National Information Standards Organization), writes the following in “Let the Metadata Wars Begin” on The Scholarly Kitchen blog:

OCLC claims, reasonably, that it has invested millions of dollars in working with librarians and publishers to build and license as comprehensive a worldwide catalog as possible. It regularly enhances the quality of its records through a variety of approaches. This has benefited the vast majority of libraries and also OCLC’s bottom line. …

Earlier this year, Clarivate quietly announced a new product, MetaDoor, which is described as an open platform for sharing cataloging records. … In trying to recruit members to use the new service and be early adopters, Clarivate has caught the attention of OCLC, who views this new product as an obvious competitor to its flagship WorldCat service. Challenging both the source of the data in MetaDoor and its efforts to recruit participants in this data-sharing ecosystem—in breach of their agreements with OCLC—last week OCLC filed a lawsuit in Ohio courts against Clarivate and its operating units claiming predatory market behavior and tortious interference in OCLC’s contracts with its member organizations. …

To the core claim of OCLC, it would strike me as odd if Clarivate wouldn’t be scrupulous in where it would be gathering data from, since much of the core of this data is freely available as linked data, or from publisher’s feeds, or other resources. However, in an environment of machine crawling, haphazard sharing, and a world of many billions of records, errors are bound to happen. Clarivate certainly would have the burden of ensuring it is not inappropriately republishing licensed data, in much the same way it shouldn’t be republishing text content from other publishers in its products, i.e., that they know where they were gathering data from and what rights are associated with it. Of course, if there is proof to the contrary, then OCLC most certainly has a case in the United States.  

For more information, read the blog post.

EFF Makes a Statement on the Supreme Court's Abortion Ruling

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

[This] decision … underscores the importance of fair and meaningful protections for data privacy. Everyone deserves to have strong controls over the collection and use of information they necessarily leave behind as they go about their normal activities, like using apps, search engine queries, posting on social media, texting friends, and so on. But those seeking, offering, or facilitating abortion access must now assume that any data they provide online or offline could be sought by law enforcement.

People should carefully review privacy settings on the services they use, turn off location services on apps that don’t need them, and use encrypted messaging services.

For more information, read the statement.

Clarivate Rolls Out 2022 Journal Citation Reports Update

Clarivate published the 2022 update to its annual Journal Citation Reports (JCR). The company states:

The annual JCR release enables the research community to evaluate the world’s high-quality academic journals using a range of indicators, descriptive data and visualizations. The reports are used extensively by academic publishers across the globe to understand the scholarly impact of their journals relative to their field and promote them to the research community. …

This year’s release sees continued notable increases in citation impact for journals in the fields of general medicine, critical care, public health, infectious diseases, immunology and basic biomedical sciences.

The news coming out of the release includes the following:

  • Of the 10 articles with the highest citation count in 2021, three appeared in The Lancet. All three are directly related to the characterization and treatment of COVID-19.
  • This year Nature earns the distinction of being the first ever journal to accumulate more than one million total citations in one year.
  • Seven journals had JIFs of more than 100 for the first time, all of which published high quantities of COVID-19 related research. These are the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Nature Reviews Immunology, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology and the New England Journal of Medicine

For more information, read the press release.

ALA Panel 'Raises Questions Over Approach to Holocaust Denial'

Gabby Deutch writes the following for Jewish Insider (JI):

[T]he nationwide book-banning debate has come for the Holocaust, but with a twist. A Saturday afternoon panel at last weekend’s conference of the American Library Association in Washington, D.C., sparked controversy over the panelists’ approach to Holocaust denial. …

[There was] an exchange between Nancy Pearl, a writer and librarian, and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds, in which the two literary figures appeared to argue that opposing book bans means that no book—even one that promotes false claims about the Holocaust—can be banned. The panel was addressing a national campaign against book banning as battles rage in school districts around the country over educational approaches to American history and literature. …

On social media and in conversations with JI, writers and librarians sharply criticized the idea that opponents of book-banning must necessarily also allow books that deny the realities of the Holocaust. 

For more information, read the article.

APA Makes a Statement on the Supreme Court's Abortion Ruling

The American Psychological Association (APA) issued a statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

‘This ruling ignores not only precedent but science, and will exacerbate the mental health crisis America is already experiencing,’ said APA President Frank C. Worrell, PhD. ‘We are alarmed that the justices would nullify Roe despite decades of scientific research demonstrating that people who are denied abortions are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety, lower life satisfaction and lower self-esteem compared with those who are able to obtain abortions.’ …

Research also demonstrates a strong relationship between unwanted pregnancy and interpersonal violence. Specifically, psychological science suggests that the inability to obtain an abortion increases the risk for domestic abuse among those who are forced to stay in contact with violent partners, putting them and their children at risk.

Finally, Worrell noted that by eliminating the constitutional right to privacy, the Supreme Court is opening the door to curtailing other rights, including the right to obtain contraception legally and same-sex marriage—both of which APA supports based on the scientific research showing their denial can have negative mental health impacts. 

For more information, read the press release.


NISO Is Seeking Public Comment on Its Video and Audio Metadata Recommended Practice Draft

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) announced the following:

[The] draft Video and Audio Metadata Recommended Practice is now available for public comment through August 5, 2022. This new Recommended Practice establishes guidelines for metadata for video and audio assets including administrative metadata, semantic metadata, technical metadata, rights metadata, and accessibility metadata. …

The NISO Video and Audio Metadata Recommended Practice aims to improve the dissemination, discoverability, and indexability of video and audio content, including helping to ensure that media assets comply with web accessibility standards, which require specific tagging that is rarely applied at present due to a lack of clear metadata crosswalks and best practice recommendations between text and non-text formats.

For more information, read the press release.

Anythink Libraries to Build a Nature Library

Anythink Libraries in Colorado announced the following:

Anythink Libraries and the City of Thornton have entered an agreement to build a nature library. … After years of planning, Thornton City Council and the Anythink Board of Trustees have signed an intergovernmental agreement that would lease 15 acres to the district, with plans to build a 35,000-square-foot nature library. The other 140 acres of open lands will be programmed by the Anythink team and reserved for nature learning and exploration.

The Anythink Nature Library will be designed to support the wellbeing of the Thornton community through spaces, experiences and collections. The library will … encourage people of all ages to spend time outdoors learning about stars, water, wildlife and seasonal changes to help build a culture of environmental stewardship. This natural experience is intended to spark imagination and creativity, while providing a place to practice being human.

Design phase of the library project is currently underway, with five main areas of focus: creating a space that is boundless, where nature education is seamlessly provided within the library and throughout the surrounding land; wellbeing, focusing on the health and wellness of the community; environmental stewardship, expanding individual responsibility to the earth; heritage, celebrating the history and culture of the people, animals, flora and fauna of the West; and beauty, creating a space that is designed to inspire.

For more information, read the news item.

ALA Core Members Get Free Access to OCLC's WorldShare Management Services Test Environment

OCLC announced the following:

OCLC and ALA Core, the newest division of the American Library Association, are partnering to provide free access to OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services sandbox, the test environment for the platform, that will allow Core members seeking professional development opportunities a chance to work hands-on with a cloud-based library management system. …

‘I am delighted to initiate this strategic partnership with OCLC. Access to library systems is a barrier, particularly for early career library workers. Together, Core and OCLC will address that barrier by providing not just access but also training. I believe this will be a powerful and meaningful benefit not only to Core members but to the profession broadly,’ said Lindsay Cronk, Core’s 2021-2022 President.

For more information, read the press release.

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