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Weekly News Digest

January 31, 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.

cOAlition S Ends Financial Support for Transformative OA Publishing After 2024

cOAlition S shared the following:

Transformative arrangements—including Transformative Agreements and Transformative Journals—were developed to encourage subscription journals to transition to full and immediate open access within a defined timeframe (31st December 2024, as specified in the Plan S Implementation Guidance). After careful consideration of the outcomes of transformative arrangements, the leadership of cOAlition S reaffirms that, as a principle, its members will no longer financially support these arrangements after 2024.

Exceptionally, individual cOAlition S funders may still choose to financially participate in Transformative Agreements beyond 2024 as part of their respective national strategies. …

Plan S was launched in 2018. At that time, cOAlition S recognised that transformative arrangements would provide a useful means to repurpose funds for journal subscriptions to publication fees, thus supporting legacy publishers in transforming paywalled to Open Access publication models. … We believe that the strategy of providing financial support for these arrangements—endorsed by many cOAlition S members—beyond 2024 would significantly increase the risk that these arrangements will become permanent and perpetuate hybrid Open Access, which cOAlition S has always firmly opposed. …

cOAlition S members will direct their efforts to more innovative and community-led Open Access publishing initiatives that aim to deliver full and immediate Open Access in a shorter timeframe.

For more information, read the news item.

OverDrive Introduces New Features to Enhance Book Discovery

OverDrive is adding deep search and Notify Me tags in the Libby app to “help readers discover titles beyond the library’s collection and indicate titles of interest. When a reader searches for a book in Libby by name, author or subject, the new deep search feature presents additional titles from OverDrive’s complete catalog of over 5 million titles, even if the books are not in the library’s digital collection. By tapping ‘Notify Me’ on a title that is not in the library’s collection, the reader alerts their library of their interest and Libby notifies the reader if the title is purchased and made available to borrow.”

These new features are currently being tested in 60-plus library communities and “have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers and librarians.” OverDrive notes, “It’s an effective way to reach readers with new or backlist authors or books and provide opportunities for libraries to meet additional demand.”

For more information, read the press release.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab Fosters Easier Collaboration With New Groups Feature

Gale Digital Scholar Lab for humanities education added a new feature, Gale Digital Scholar Lab: Groups, whichenables researchers, instructors and students at the same institution to collaborate on digital humanities projects within the platform and explore Gale Primary Sources in new and exciting ways.” The feature is designed to help students create visuals, data, and content sets spanning entire projects while learning important career-readiness skills.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab: Groups has two features: Workspaces and Notebook. Workspaces is a virtual shared workspace that allows students to create groups of collaborators, view each group member’s project resources, add or remove content both synchronously and asynchronously, and more. Notebook is a foundation for good research methodology, allowing students to create notes within their project workflow, add images and links to support group members’ analyses, filter and search notes to find specific information, and more.

For more information, read the press release.

IFLA Publishes an Update to Its Latest Trends Report

IFLA issued an update to its 2022 Trend Report, stating, “Since the original version almost ten years ago, the IFLA Trend Report has become a platform for sharing key ideas and insights from exciting thinkers inside and outside of our field. Across this all, the key theme has been that of looking to the future, identifying emerging issues and how we can respond.”

The update “looks to provide a response to the emerging issues identified in the last report by suggesting how it is that the global library field—and IFLA as the body bringing it together globally—can act. … It has been co-drafted, on the basis of the ideas that twelve people from five world regions shared during emerging leaders sessions at our last World Library and Information Congress in Dublin, Ireland, in July 2022.”

For more information, read the news item.

Mellon Foundation Offers Grants to 26 U.S. Higher Education Institutions Studying Social Justice

The Mellon Foundation is providing more than $12 million in funding to support 26 colleges and universities in the U.S. that are “mounting social justice-related research or curricular projects” related to three topical categories: Civic Engagement and Voting Rights, Race and Racialization in the United States, and Social Justice and the Literary Imagination.

Grantees include the following:

  • Ohio State University—Native Americans and African Americans in and out of the US Body Politic—This project is an intersectional historical research project that promises to reveal the hidden histories of Black and Native American political life within the oppressive context of the 19th century. Emphasis will be on Native American and Black activism around citizenship and voting and on the role of higher education in the struggle for Black and Indigenous rights before the modern Civil Rights Movement.
  • Vanderbilt University—Clearing the Ground In EDI: Philosophy, Race Theory, and the Diversity Industry—'Clearing the Ground in EDI,’ a philosophically informed study of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts, will help clarify the framing goals, foundations, and objectives of EDI interventions and provide a big-picture summary of the way concrete EDI interventions operationalize key concepts and principles in critical race theory and racial justice research.
  • The University of Texas at Austin—Pido la Palabra: A Texas Prison Literature Project for Social Justice and the Literary Imagination—Through a partnership between the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and the Texas Prison Education Initiative (TPEI), this project will create Spanish-language creative writing courses in prisons, with an associated course taught at UT that will train a new generation of college-in-prison educators through a seminar and practicum in the history and theory of prison literature by and about incarcerated people in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.

For more information and the full list of grantees, read the press release.

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