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Weekly News Digest

November 29, 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.

BookTok Is Big for Book Discovery

Lauren Brown writes the following in “More Than Half of Young Readers Credit BookTok With Sparking Passion for Reading, PA Finds” for The Bookseller:

A poll conducted by the Publishers Association has found more than half of young readers credit BookTok, a subcommunity on the social media platform TikTok focused on books and literature, with helping them discover a passion for reading.

Of 2,001 16–25-year-olds surveyed by the organisation in October, 59% said that BookTok or book influencers had ‘helped them discover a passion for reading’, while more than half (55%) said they turn to BookTok for recommendations. Moreover, 68% said BookTok had inspired them to read a book that they would have never considered otherwise.

For more information, read the article.

Altmetric Adds Its Badges to Oxford University Press Books

Digital Science, which owns Altmetric, announced the following:

The distinctive Altmetric Badge is now being added to Oxford University Press (OUP) book content, updating in real-time to reflect attention given to OUP books and book chapters from sources including news media, social media, and policy documents.

The world’s largest university press, OUP already uses Altmetric Badges on all journals, and is now adding the Badges to books for the first time, following the migration of its books content to the Oxford Academic digital publishing platform. …

Featuring a variety of colors representing the different sources tracked, Altmetric Badges provide a unique and instantly recognizable at-a-glance summary of the attention for an individual OUP book. Every Altmetric Badge links through to an Altmetric details page, which provides a collated record of all of the original mentions of the book (and individual chapters where possible). In addition, the Altmetric Badge features the Altmetric Attention Score, a weighted count designed to help demonstrate the level of influence of a published work.

For more information, read the press release.

The Future of Simon & Schuster

Joe Pompeo writes the following in “With Penguin Random House Out of the Picture, What Happens to Simon & Schuster Now?” for Vanity Fair:

[Penguin Random House] argued at trial that if the sale [of Simon & Schuster (S&S)] didn’t go through, [S&S owner] Paramount might sell to a firm with little publishing knowledge, which would take on debt and ‘gut’ S&S. The judge was unmoved. … Who might such an acquirer be, in any case? The Wall Street Journal has reported there’s been interest from KKR, which, as one of my sources noted, could potentially find synergies between S&S and the audiobook business that KKR acquired in 2018, RBmedia.

As for so-called strategic buyers, those would be Hachette and HarperCollins, whose executives testified during the trial that they’d still like their companies to own S&S. … But there’s no guarantee that the DOJ wouldn’t also seek to prevent an S&S-Hachette or an S&S-HarperCollins mash-up. … All of which is to say that none of Simon & Schuster’s options seem particularly rosy or cut and dried.

For more information, read the article.

The Library of Congress Studies the Impact of Volunteer Transcriptions

Abby Shelton writes the following for the Library of Congress’ blog The Signal:

How do people use crowdsourced transcriptions? Do they drive increased traffic and engagement to our digital collections? What kinds of activity do transcriptions of handwritten documents facilitate?

These are some of the big questions that the By the People team is asking this year. We know our volunteers are motivated by making collections accessible and useful for all. Our volunteers have completed an incredible number of transcriptions, over 580,000 of them. We have integrated over 146,000 of those back into their source collections and are continuing to add as our volunteers complete campaigns. To better understand our program’s reach and communicate to our volunteers the real-world impact of their work, we have started looking into the impact of transcriptions from a few different angles.

For more information, read the blog post.

The Information Literacy Group Looks at Gen Z and TikTok

Elizabeth Brookbank writes the following for the Information Literacy Group’s blog:

TikTok … began, like most social media, as a platform popular with mainly young people, even though one can now find users of all ages. The way that young people are using it, however, is the topic of much recent discussion and of this blog post. Specifically, how they are using it to search for information. …

According to TechCrunch, Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said, ‘almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search … They go to TikTok or Instagram.’ TechCrunch went on to note that this awareness of the competition videos represent for search business has already begun to change how Google organizes and presents some results. This is something you may have noticed if you use Google searches in your library information literacy instruction sessions. …

More interesting from an information literacy perspective than what they search for using TikTok, however, is what they said about why they search using TikTok. …

Another particularly interesting aspect of this use of TikTok for those of us interested in information literacy is the way that young people think about the algorithm.

For more information, read the blog post.

What's Up With Hive Social?

Catherine Thorbecke writes the following in “Hive Is the Latest Twitter Alternative to Gain Steam—and to Show How Hard It Would Be to Replace Twitter” for CNN Business:

Amid the chaos [of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover], several Twitter alternatives have reported a surge in new users. The latest to gain mainstream momentum is Hive Social, an app that combines some of the familiar elements of Instagram, Twitter and even MySpace, and which was reportedly started by a college student who taught herself how to code. …

App analytics firm Sensor Tower confirmed to CNN Business … that Hive Social has seen approximately 871,000 worldwide installs—more than a third of which came in the last week [before Nov. 23] alone.

For more information, read the article.

Editor’s Note

I decided to give Hive Social a try: NewsBreaks is on Hive Social @itinewsbreaks. I find the interface really easy-to-use and uncluttered so far, but the search function needs a lot of work. Like BookTok and Bookstagram, people are trying to get a BookHive community going. If you’re thinking about joining Hive Social, I encourage you to check out Twitter user @tavernaut’s thread, which lays out some potential concerns: The comments there are mostly well-thought-out and relevant. If anyone is finding that another Twitter alternative, such as Mastodon, is working well for them, please let me know in the comments. NewsBreaks is also still on Twitter (for now): @ITINewsBreaks.

—Brandi Scardilli, NewsBreaks editor

Public Libraries as Community Havens

Alice Nuttall writes the following in “Libraries vs. the Cost of Living Crisis” for Book Riot:

Libraries are in a unique position to be able to help people who are struggling financially—they’re free to enter, often located in the centre of a town, and are deliberately set up to be welcoming to more vulnerable groups such as children and elderly people. My local library has a long-established programme where people can come to access computers, and receive help for any IT-related issues that they’re unsure about. Some libraries have teamed up with period poverty charities to provide free menstrual products for anyone who needs them, while others act as a base for local council programmes such as return-to-work schemes. Looking forward to the long, cold winter ahead of us, many libraries are coming up with additional programmes and initiatives to help ease the financial burden on as many people as possible—something they’re planning to tackle in a variety of different ways.

For more information, read the article.

IFLA and EIFL Roll Out Report on the Importance of Public Internet Access

IFLA announced the following:

The latest report from the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries, led by IFLA and EIFL, brings together key resources that explain the difference that public access in libraries can make, as well as offering hints and insights that can help drive evaluation of similar efforts. …

[The] report offers libraries and other stakeholders an easy-to-use overview of recent evidence, good practices, and methodologies for public access impact assessment. …

We hope that this report provides a key reference for libraries and library associations in advocating for support for their own work to guarantee public internet access in libraries for all.

For more information, read the news item and the report.

German Institutions Launch the Patents4Science Project to Create a Patent Knowledge Graph

FIZ Karlsruhe announced the following:

To investigate the need for patent knowledge and its potential use in research, FIZ Karlsruhe, in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology e.V. (INP) in Greifswald, conducted a needs analysis by utilizing online surveys at several Leibniz institutes. While the results indeed confirmed the need for patent knowledge in research, they helped to identify major obstacles and gaps.

Based on this, the ‘Patents4Science’ project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), will now create over the next three years a patent-centric knowledge graph based on Linked Open Data as well as a modern information infrastructure for linking patent knowledge with scientific literature and other domain-specific information. As an initial step the Patent Knowledge Graph integrates domain-specific knowledge from three areas, namely: plasma technology, additive manufacturing and battery materials. The Patents4Science infrastructure will allow scientists to easily access and make use of essential information in patents such as descriptions of technical processes and devices, properties of materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients, and details of specific biomedical processes. As a result, researchers will gain access to new approaches and solutions, experiments or technical specifications that haven’t been published elsewhere via dedicated (semantic) information services.

For more information, read the press release.

Meta Runs Into Trouble From the GDPR

Adam Satariano writes the following in “Meta Fined $275 Million for Breaking E.U. Data Privacy Law” for The New York Times:

In the latest penalty against Meta for violating European privacy rules, the tech giant was fined roughly $275 million on [Nov. 28] for a data leak discovered last year that led to the personal information of more than 500 million Facebook users being published online.

The penalty, imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, brings the total fines to more than $900 million that the regulator has imposed on Meta since last year. …

The accumulating penalties will be a welcome sign to privacy groups that want to see European Union regulators more aggressively enforce the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]. The law was hailed as a landmark moment in the regulation of technology companies when it took effect in 2018, but regulators have since faced criticism for not applying the rules strongly enough.

For more information, read the article.

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