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Weekly News Digest

June 6, 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. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Publishers Weekly Looks at the Future of Book Publishing and AI

Thad McIlroy writes the following in “AI Is About to Turn Book Publishing Upside-Down” for Publishers Weekly:

The latest generation of AI is a game changer. Not incremental change—something gentle, something gradual: this AI changes everything, fast. Scary fast.

I believe that every function in trade book publishing today can be automated with the help of generative AI. And, if this is true, then the trade book publishing industry as we know it will soon be obsolete. We will need to move on.

For more information about how McIlroy believes artificial intelligence will change all aspects of the publishing process, read the article.

Thomson Reuters and Microsoft Join Forces for AI Integration

Thomson Reuters is rolling out a new plugin with Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) functionality for its product suite, to help transform legal research, drafting, and client collaboration. “Working with Microsoft, Thomson Reuters has developed a contract drafting solution, powered by its legal products and content, and Copilot for Word,” the press release states. “Delivering users with a draft working document and access to trusted content right where work happens—in Microsoft Word, professionals can use their expertise to edit, validate, and build the final document with integrated access to Thomson Reuters knowledge, content, and AI technology.”

In addition, Thomson Reuters is laying the foundation to incorporate generative AI across its product suite by announcing plans to update Westlaw Precision, Practical Law, Checkpoint Edge, and more.

For more information, read the press release.

'Putting ChatGPT to The Test: Will It Help Your Library With Promotions? Ö' by Angela Hursh

Angela Hursh writes the following for her blog, Super Library Marketing:

I must admit I am having some fun playing with ChatGPT. It can’t clean my house or weed my flower bed. But it does make the work of library promotion easier. …

ChatGPT isn’t going to do all the work for you. And it’s not perfect. But it can save you time. It can also help when you just aren’t feeling very creative.

Here are some basic tips that I gained from playing around with the tool.

For Hursh’s tips and more information, including access to a ChatGPT prompts spreadsheet, read the blog post.

GPO Expands Its Initiative to Make Government Documents More Discoverable

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is entering into a second Library Services & Content Management Pilot Project Initiative to help Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) libraries make government information more discoverable by the public. For the initiative, GPO staffers visit partner libraries across the U.S. to assess the condition of their documents, do item-level inventories, digitize government information collections, and more.

The first initiative, with Merrill Cazier Library in Utah, began in April 2022. This next partner is the University of North Texas Libraries, where GPO staffers will catalog and digitize 200–300 military technical manuals dating from World War II. GPO plans to make the documents available online in 2024.

For more information, read the press release.

CCC Explores Standards Development With a Panel of Experts

Andrew Robinson summarizes a recent CCC webcast in a blog post. He writes the following:

In early May, CCC hosted ‘Workflow of the Future: Sustainable Business Models,’ the fifth event in a series designed to help facilitate important conversations on critical topics related to standards, including sustainability.

Moderated by Jonathan Clark, the panel featured highly experienced leaders in the standards development organization (SDO) community. … With a wide set of perspectives on what constitutes business models and standards, these experts shared their individual views on how to best support new user demands for more efficient and effective ways of working with standards while providing insight into innovative, sustainable solutions that work for everyone. The conversation was timely, especially as the standards sector undergoes massive digital transformation and new business models continue to emerge.

For more information, read the blog post.

Digital Science Contributes to Research on the SDGs and Developing Nations

“Developing nations need greater visibility, acknowledgement and support for their research into the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the authors of a major analysis of the past 15 years of worldwide research into SDGs,” writes David Ellis, Digital Science’s press, PR, and social manager. “The analysis—the most comprehensive of its kind to date—has formed the basis of a new White Paper, which calls for equity for developing nations within the world’s research ecosystem, particularly as those nations are often hardest hit by the issues the UN’s Global Goals are aimed at addressing.”

The paper is co-authored by data experts from Digital Science and uses data from Dimensions, a Digital Science product.

For more information, read the news item.

Springshare Plans Updates to the A-Z Database List for LibGuides

Springshare is launching “the revitalized A-Z Database List for LibGuides. The new A-Z module brings all LibGuides subscribers a more powerful and flexible A-Z resource management tool complete with a fully refreshed look-and-feel and exciting features to help patrons access their library’s online resources.”

The updates, which will go live later in June, include the following:

  • Dedicated database landing pages to share documentation and tutorials tailored to that resource (and it’s great for SEO!).
  • Expanded field support with full rich text editing capabilities.
  • Ability to customize the display order for librarian-curated ‘Best Bets.’
  • Custom flags, in addition to the standard ‘New’, ‘Trial’, and ‘Popular.’
  • A card-style layout for a clean and efficient look that works great on mobile.
  • ‘Access issue alert’ feature to inform patrons of any access issues for a particular database.

For more information, read the press release/blog post.

The Scholarly Kitchen Blog Weighs In on How Publishers Should Respond to Book Bans

Todd A. Carpenter, executive director of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), writes the following in “The Publishing Community Should More Actively Oppose Book Bans” for The Scholarly Kitchen:

[I]n a court filing against a school district in Florida, a brave band of authors, parents, PEN America, and a single publisher, Penguin Random House (PRH) have entered the fray. Many [others] in the publishing community should stand up behind them. …

The plaintiffs describe what by all accounts appears to be a coordinated campaign across dozens of states, generally targeting a small subset of the few millions of books published each year. … One might dismiss those few hundred books as ‘fringe titles, full of obscene or problematic materials unfit for children’ that might be best kept from schools. Without acquiescing on that point, the problem is that these processes are increasingly being directed at an ever wider range of content.

For more information, read the blog post.

American Folklife Center and StoryCorps Begin Project to Document Life During the Pandemic

The Library of Congress started a new initiative to document Americans’ experiences during the pandemic. The library’s American Folklife Center will team up with StoryCorps for the congressionally funded COVID-19 American History Project, which is “a multiyear effort to collect, preserve and make available to the public the oral histories of frontline healthcare workers, survivors of loved ones who died, and others impacted by the pandemic.”

The American Folklife Center created an online research guide, as well as a guide to submitting stories via StoryCorps.

“Every American has a unique story about the COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that we document these stories so future generations will understand the trials, tribulations, and resilience of the American public during this tumultuous time,” says Nicole Saylor, director of the American Folklife Center.

For more information, read the press release.

HeinOnline Unveils New Database on Voting Rights and Election Law

HeinOnline, from William S. Hein & Co., announced its newest database, Voting Rights & Election Law. It “illustrates the nuances and complexities of elections and voting systems—the lifeblood of democracy—both in America and across the globe. It includes more than 3,000 titles across 1.4 million pages, and 16 brand-new subjects, including Election Integrity, Electoral College, Gerrymandering, Suffrage, Voting Rights, and more.” Historical and recent elections at both the federal and local levels are covered.

For more information, read the press release.



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