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Weekly News Digest

January 24, 2023 — 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

The Effectiveness of Using AI Engines to Write Articles

Jon Christian writes the following in “CNET’s Article-Writing AI Is Already Publishing Very Dumb Errors” for Futurism:

Last week, we reported that the prominent technology news site CNET had been quietly publishing articles generated by an unspecified ‘AI engine.’

The news sparked outrage. Critics pointed out that the experiment felt like an attempt to eliminate work for entry-level writers, and that the accuracy of current-generation AI text generators is notoriously poor. …

After the outcry, CNET editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo acknowledged the AI-written articles in a post that celebrated CNET's reputation for ‘being transparent.’ …

[W]e couldn’t help but notice that one of the very same AI-generated articles that Guglielmo highlighted in her post makes a series of boneheaded errors that drag the concept of replacing human writers with AI down to earth.

For more information, read the article.

American Society for Microbiology Is Now Using CCC's RightsLink for Scientific Communications

CCC announced that “the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), has adopted RightsLink for Scientific Communications (RLSC) to manage its growing OA program. … ASM is one of the largest life science societies, composed of more than 30,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM’s mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities, and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources and provides a network for scientists in academia, industry, and clinical settings.”

“Given the rapid growth of our OA publishing business, ASM needs a robust, scalable solution,” says Melissa Junior, ASM’s senior director of journals. “RLSC is the market leader and a trusted partner to a growing number of society publishers. The tight integration with CCC Ringgold Solutions further enriches OA workflows with reliable, granular hierarchies and affiliation data, giving us a powerful solution to meet evolving customer needs.”

For more information, read the press release.

Digital Science Adds metaphacts to Its Portfolio of Companies

Digital Science acquired Germany-based metaphacts, “a knowledge graph and decision intelligence software company.” Its main product, the metaphactory platform, “supports customers in accelerating their adoption of knowledge graphs and driving knowledge democratization.” This acquisition marks the addition of Digital Science’s 12th portfolio brand. metaphacts will work most closely with Digital Science’s Dimensions database.

“metaphacts is a very strong strategic fit for Digital Science,” says Mario Diwersy, CTO of Digital Science. “The acquisition will help metaphacts and its existing customers to draw on Digital Science’s infrastructure and enable us to create synergies by adding Dimensions data into metaphacts’ solutions. This will provide our existing customers with another option to utilise Digital Science data—in addition to combining their own internal knowledge with what we can deliver externally.”

For more information, read the news item.

IFLA Seeks New Secretary General

Barbara Lison, IFLA’s president, posted the following on IFLA’s website:

The IFLA Governing Board is pleased to announce the opening of the search for a new Secretary General. The internationally experienced, executive search company Society has been engaged to assist with this process. …

The Secretary General is the Chief Executive Officer and the Head of IFLA’s Headquarters, and reports to the President of the Governing Board. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, with regular travel, this position offers an exciting leadership opportunity within an international and collaborative organisation. We are seeking a strategic, global development leader with robust change management skills and a successful track record in driving strategic clarity and building international partnerships. Diversifying funding and developing IFLA’s global profile will be core focuses of the role, as will building a cohesive working culture at the IFLA Headquarters as well as across IFLA’s working groups that comprise more than 1,200 volunteers.

For more information, read the news item.

RBmedia Looks Back on Its 2022 Acquisitions, Partnerships, and Publishing Program

RBmedia shared its accomplishments from the past year: “The company entered new strategic partnerships, expanded into key international markets, published more titles than ever before, and produced audiobooks for numerous New York Times bestsellers and literary award winners.” It “remained the undisputed leader in the spoken audio market with a catalog surpassing 60,000 titles in 2022—the largest offering in the industry. The company produced a record number of new titles across its 12 publishing brands—topping bestseller lists and major industry awards.”

For more information, read the press release.

GPO Completes First Release of Digitized Congressional Directory

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is working on “digitizing historic volumes of the Congressional Directory from the 19th and 20th centuries. The first release includes Directories from 1869–1888, as well as 1993. … The Congressional Directory serves as the official handbook for Congress and is also widely used by Federal Agency officials and the general public.”

GPO notes, “The public can now access these historic Congressional Directories on GPO’s GovInfo, the one-stop site to authentic information published by the Federal Government, free of charge.” Here is the link:

For more information, read the press release.

Book Riot Shares List of 2023 State Legislation Targeting Libraries

Kelly Jensen writes the following in “Proposed Legislation in Several States to Eliminate LGBTQ+, ‘Obscene’ Books” for Book Riot:

Right-wing politicians got the new legislative year off to an impressive start with several new bills across the country directly targeting books, reading, and intellectual freedom. Of course, we know that these bills aren’t about the books at all, but instead are another avenue to chip away at the rights of marginalized populations: people of color, queer people, and young people.

Here are some of the bills of concern, and this is not comprehensive. If you live in these jurisdictions, it is crucial to begin calling and writing your representatives. If you live in these areas and are part of an anti-censorship group, it is time to begin mounting an information campaign and engaging your community to respond. This is tiring and exhausting work, but you cannot give up now. Consider creative ways to have your voice heard. …

It also never hurts to name and shame the bill creators and their supporters. Their jobs should always be on the line.

For more information, read the article.

EveryLibrary Institute Publishes Policy Brief on Opposing 2023 Legislation Targeting Libraries

The EveryLibrary Institute released a policy brief, Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Librarianship Through State Obscenity Laws (registration required). The announcement of its publication states the following:

In 2023-2024, we anticipate that many legislators whose bills failed the last session will reintroduce language in this session and anti-access activists will be inspired to sponsor their own regressive initiatives. … [The policy brief aims] to help state library associations anticipate this legislation and prepare properly to oppose unnecessary politicized changes to settled state law. …

[The policy brief] is designed to help state association leaders understand the potential scope and impact of changes to longstanding exemptions while providing guidance and assistance in forming broad-based policy-focused coalitions to maintain current laws and practices. We see that these obscenity-related legislative initiatives are … closely related to attempts to limit access to content like school library databases and ebook libraries.

For more information, read the policy brief.

PLOS Spearheads the Creation of a List of 19 Open Science Practices to Monitor

PLOS announced the following:

Eighty stakeholders from twenty major biomedical research institutions across the globe have agreed upon a list of 19 open science practices to be implemented and monitored. The study, led by Dr. Kelly Cobey, Scientist and Director of the Open Science and Meta Research Program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada, forms the basis for the future development of institutional digital dashboards that will display that institution’s compliance with open science practices. The study will publish in the open access journal PLOS Biology on January 24th. …

To transition to an “open” research ecosystem researchers require training and support. Despite a multitude of a calls and policies that aim to “open up” research, no system to monitor the state of practice at academic institutions currently exists. Monitoring is necessary to track progress over time, but also to identify areas where interventions are needed to change practice. The 19 core open science practices established in this article will help to standardize monitoring globally.

For more information, read the news release.

The New York Times Studies the College Application Process

Patrick Healy and Adrian J. Rivera write the following in “Harvard or Happiness? 11 High School Seniors Debate College Rankings.” for The New York Times:

What is college for? And what matters most in choosing the right college? With teenagers and parents across America finishing applications and bracing for admissions decisions, we recently posed those questions and more to a focus group of 11 high school seniors—some of them pretty stressed out (understandably), others at peace with their picks but worried about loans and several of them debating the admissions process and how it could be improved.

For more information, read the article.

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