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Weekly News Digest

August 11, 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.

Wikipedia Editors Get Free Access to SAGE Journal Articles

SAGE partnered with The Wikipedia Library to give Wikipedia editors full-text access to SAGE’s journal portfolio. “The partnership will connect peer-reviewed research to those outside of academia for greater societal understanding and increase research connections,” the press release notes. “The agreement provides experienced Wikipedia editors free and unlimited access to SAGE’s nearly 2 million peer-reviewed journal articles on its SAGE Journals Platform. The peer-reviewed scientific research can then be used as source material to improve Wikipedia articles across a wide array of topics, including social sciences, medicine, behavioral research, and humanities.”

“Knowing that Wikipedia is a first stop of discovery for the public, students, and even researchers, this partnership will extend the visibility and impact for the work in our journals, including in the social and behavioral sciences which have been at the core of our publishing program since our founding,” says Bob Howard, SAGE’s EVP of research.

For more information, read the press release.

The Scholarly Kitchen: 'Reducing the Burden of Diversity Tax: The Tax No One Talks About'

Chhavi Chauhan from the American Society for Investigative Pathology, Shaina Lange from ACS Publications, and Tony Chen from Wiley write the following in the first in a series of guest posts on The Scholarly Kitchen blog:

Though tasks that we are passionate about and that align with our personal strengths make us undisputed contenders to support or even lead [planning and organizing] efforts, oftentimes they may come at a personal cost. Through this series of posts, we aim to shed light on a … phenomenon that affects all industries, including scholarly communications: diversity tax. We will highlight the impact of this ‘tax’ and make recommendations for how individuals as well as organizations can minimize the burden on individual contributors while furthering their personal career paths.

In this first post, we will explain what diversity tax is, why we need to be aware of it, and how it negatively impacts those in underrepresented communities. The remaining posts in this four-part series will focus on individual contributors, and offer recommendations to those individual contributors, as well as their organizations and allies, on how to balance diversity-related activities with traditional career goals and ensure that they are recognized as an important aspect of career development—minimizing the negative impact while maximizing the engagement (and benefits) for all stakeholders.

For more information, read the blog post.

The Passive Voice Takes on the Physical vs. Digital Debate

The Passive Voice blog shares “It’s Time to Embrace Physical Media Again,” an article from Lifehacker that extols the benefits of physical media (while also acknowledging some of its flaws). PG, who runs The Passive Voice, states, “PG doesn’t want to go back to printed books. On rare occasions (once per year or so), he’ll purchase a pbook, but he finds the percentage of those which are set aside after reading the first part is quite high.” As always, it is worth reading the comments on this blog to get a variety of reactions and viewpoints.

For more information, read the blog post.

National Library Board of Singapore Taps Clarivate and Innovative to Provide Library Software

The National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) chose Clarivate to use its library software solutions from Innovative (now part of Clarivate) to support NLB’s Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025 (LAB25). The press release states, “Under the contract, the Polaris Integrated Library System (ILS) and Vega Discover applications from Innovative will be used by NLB as automation solutions for its library staff and patrons across Singapore. These solutions will help to improve the library experience for staff and patrons, whether in the library or online.”

NLB “promotes reading, learning and history through its network of libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. LAB25 … is an NLB initiative to collaborate with partners and the community to reimagine libraries and archives in Singapore.”

For more information, read the press release.

'The Humanities' Scholarly Infrastructure Isn't in Disarray—It's Disappearing' by Emily Hamilton-Honey

Emily Hamilton-Honey, an associate professor of English and gender studies and co-chief diversity officer at the State University of New York–Canton, writes the following for Inside Higher Ed:

I was dismayed to read Steven Mintz’s Inside Higher Ed July 18 blog post, in which he argued that ‘[a] growing number of humanities scholars are drifting away from what were once considered professional obligations.’ Mintz, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, suggests that everything from book reviewing, to peer review for journal articles, to recommendation letters, to reviewing candidates for promotion and tenure is going undone because, supposedly, humanities faculty have given in to a culture of individualism and self-advancement in the face of low pay, poor reward structures, and siloed and fragmented disciplines.

While the problems of low pay and poor reward structure are certainly true, and pervasive, the idea that humanities scholars have turned into Bartlebys, that they have simply become indifferent to the broader field or do not care to engage in volunteer work that sustains the profession, is nonsense. The current struggle to fulfill obligations to the profession is not about lack of interest or will. It is about precarity, desperation, and exhaustion.

For more information, read the article.

Publishers Weekly: The Latest 'DOJ v. PRH' News

Publishers Weekly put out a compilation of its coverage to date of “U.S. v. Bertelsmann SE & CO. KGaA, et al., the U.S. Department of Justice’s bid to block Penguin Random House’s acquisition of rival Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster,” and its most recent coverage is listed first. So far, there is pretrial coverage, first week coverage, and a link to news editor John Maher’s tweets from during the trial.

For more information, visit the webpage.

'AI Systems Can't Patent Inventions, US Federal Circuit Court Confirms' by James Vincent

James Vincent writes the following for The Verge:

The US federal circuit court has confirmed that AI [artificial intelligence] systems cannot patent inventions because they are not human beings.

The ruling is the latest failure in a series of quixotic legal battles by computer scientist Stephen Thaler to copyright and patent the output of various AI software tools he’s created. …

Writing in the court’s opinion, judge Leonard P. Stark notes that, at first glance, one might think that resolving this case would require ‘an abstract inquiry into the nature of invention or the rights, if any, of AI systems.’ However, says Stark, such ‘metaphysical matters’ can be avoided by simply analyzing the language of the relevant statue: the Patent Act.

The Patent Act clearly states that only human beings can hold patents, says Stark. The Act refers to patent-holders as ‘individuals,’ a term which the Supreme Court has ruled ‘ordinarily means a human being, a person’ (following ‘how we use the word in everyday parlance’); and uses personal pronouns—‘herself’ and ‘himself’—throughout, rather than terms such as ‘itself,’ which Stark says ‘would permit non-human inventors’ in a reading.

For more information, read the article.

'Getting Girls Into STEM by Improving Education for Everyone' by Asia A. Eaton

Asia A. Eaton, associate professor of psychology at Florida International University, writes the following for Psychology Today:

Although women make up about half of the U.S. workforce, they have long been underrepresented in many STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). Given that boys and girls perform similarly in STEM, this means a lot of STEM talent is being left untapped. Until we are successful at including diverse women and girls in STEM, we will be unable to address STEM labor shortages or stay globally competitive in research and development. …

Various efforts have attempted to address these gender gaps in the last few decades, including the creation of STEM toys targeted at girls, large-scale research effortsgovernment funding, and afterschool programming. Despite this, the gaps haven’t narrowed as quickly as needed. …

Based on [my colleagues’ and my] review of macrosystem and microsystem factors that sustain gender-STEM inequities, we make several recommendations for K-12 STEM policy and practice to optimize success for all children.

For more information, read the article.

'Change These Default Settings and Be Happier With Your Tech' by Brian X. Chen

Brian X. Chen writes the following for The New York Times:

Many default settings buried deep inside our technology make us share superfluous amounts of data with tech companies. In my last column [“The Default Tech Settings You Should Turn Off Right Away”], I went over how to shut those off.

But not all default settings do sneaky things with our information. There are also some that need to be activated or disabled to make our devices more enjoyable to use. …

Our consumer electronics are among our most expensive household purchases, so it’s worthwhile to peruse and change the default settings to reap their maximum benefits. Here’s what I and other tech writers always change to make our phones, computers and televisions work better.

For more information, read the article.

APA Creates Action Plan to Work Toward Racial Equity

The American Psychological Association (APA) adopted a Racial Equity Action Plan to guide the organization and the psychology profession in prioritizing and operationalizing the commitments APA made after acknowledging its role in contributing to racism. The plan was passed by APA’s governing body with a vote of 149-8 and two abstentions.

The plan has five sections: Knowledge Production, Health, APA/Workforce, Training of Psychologists, and Education. The actions it recommends include the following:

  • Ensure equitable representation of scholars of color in scientific and scholarly leadership positions including, but not limited to, peer review panels and editorial boards.
  • Redesign traditional methodologies used to conduct, review, communicate, disseminate and report psychological research to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion, including expanding ways that the psychology community documents scientific, scholarly and social impact.
  • Disseminate and promote the use of race-conscious, trauma-informed mental health information with community stakeholders including, but not limited to, frontline workers, grassroots community organizations and advocates.
  • Improve the psychology workforce talent pool by advocating for inclusive recruitment, hiring, pay equity and promotion practices that attract, retain and advance racially and ethnically diverse people.
  • Encourage and endorse the teaching of the history of racism in the U.S. to prepare all preschool to higher education students to think critically about identity, community and civics.

For more information, read the press release.

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