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Weekly News Digest

June 29, 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.

Bibliotheca Partners With NoveList and Launches smartShelf Borrow

Bibliotheca entered into an exclusive partnership with NoveList “that makes the expertly curated recommendations from NoveList available at checkout only on Bibliotheca’s self-service solutions. … This integration will allow book recommendations to be displayed based on what is being checked out. Patrons can place recommendations on hold or print or email the list to use later.”

Additionally, Bibliotheca introduced smartShelf Borrow, “an integrated intelligent-shelving return and borrow solution for libraries of all sizes. smartShelf borrow combines intelligent return shelving with the power of selfCheck to allow instant recirculation of recently returned items. Library users simply place returns on the shelf and technology does the rest—identifying the items, removing them from the user’s account, enabling security, and making them immediately available for borrowing through the integrated selfCheck self-service checkout solution.”

PEN America Celebrates 70th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read Statement

PEN America announced the following:

PEN America, its president, Ayad Akhtar, and a group of past PEN America presidents … joined free expression and literary organizations and publishers in endorsing the Freedom to Read statement, adopted 70 years ago by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers and reissued now as the country faces a crisis of book bans and censorship.

In addition to Akhtar, the statement was endorsed by all living past PEN America presidents Kwame Anthony Appiah, Louis Begley, Ron Chernow, Joel Conarroe, Jennifer Egan, Frances FitzGerald, Peter Godwin, Francine Prose, Salman Rushdie, Michael Scammell, and Andrew Solomon.

For more information, read the press release.

U.S. Copyright Office Marks 1 Year of the Copyright Claims Board

Holland Gormley, a public affairs specialist in the Outreach and Education section of the U.S. Copyright Office, posted the following on the Library of Congress’ Copyright: Creativity at Work blog:

This month [i.e., June 2023,] marks a full year since the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) became available to the public, providing an efficient, streamlined way to resolve copyright claims involving damages of up to $30,000. Over the past twelve months, the CCB has delivered on the Copyright Office’s Copyright for All goal to expand access to justice and to make the copyright system as understandable and accessible to as many members of the public as possible. Let’s break down some of our milestones and review how we have created a truly accessible copyright tribunal.

For more information, read the blog post.

Thomson Reuters Set to Acquire Casetext

Thomson Reuters “signed a definitive agreement to acquire Casetext, a California-based provider of technology for legal professionals, for $650 million cash.” Casetext “uses advanced AI and machine learning to build technology for legal professionals, creating solutions that help them work more efficiently and provide higher-quality representation to more clients.” The closing of the sale—after regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions—is expected in the second half of 2023.

This acquisition complements Thomson Reuters’ “existing AI roadmap and builds on its recent initiatives, including a commitment to invest more than $100 million annually on AI capabilities, the development of new generative AI experiences across its product suite, as well as a new plugin with Microsoft and Microsoft 365 Copilot for legal professionals.”

For more information, read the press release.

OASPA and DOAJ Roll Out the Open Access Journals Toolkit

OASPA announced the following:

The Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) release[d] ... a new Open Access Journals Toolkit. The launch of the Toolkit marks a significant milestone in the efforts of OASPA and DOAJ to promote transparency, accessibility, and inclusivity in scholarly publishing. The Toolkit answers a need for an online resource to support new and established open access journals in navigating the rapidly changing landscape of open access publishing. …

Intended for anyone involved in journal publishing and with a strong focus on helping under-resourced journals globally, the Toolkit enables empowered and informed decision-making. It will contribute to the advancement of scholarly publishing standards and best practices.

For more information, read the blog post.

The Latest OverDrive Updates to Sora and Kanopy

OverDrive Education has launched “a new, free monthly service that supplies professional digital book selection to schools where staffing and time are in short supply. With the new ‘Sora Bookshelf Service,’ educators can create a customized service plan based on preferences and budget to efficiently add in-demand ebooks, audiobooks, read-alongs and more each month to their Sora student reading platform. The Sora app serves more than 60,000 schools worldwide with the industry’s best ebook and audiobook catalog and award-winning user experience.”

Kanopy showcased “new features and catalog additions at the 2023 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition. Highlights include new flexible program models designed for public libraries, an expanded catalog featuring exclusive titles and a Kanopy Kids subscription package. Kanopy provides 30,000 streaming video titles from over 800 suppliers to more than 8,000 public and academic libraries worldwide.”

AI News From OCLC, Clarivate, and Amazon

The following are some recent developments in the information industry that involve artificial intelligence (AI).

On June 21, OCLC announced that it “is beta testing book recommendations generated by [AI] in, the website that allows users to explore the collections of thousands of libraries through a single search. Searchers can now obtain AI-enabled book recommendations for print and e-books and then look for those items in libraries near them. The AI-generated book recommendations beta is now available in and WorldCat Find, the mobile app extension for”

On June 22, Clarivate shared that it has entered into “a strategic partnership with AI21 Labs, a pioneer in generative [AI]. The collaboration will integrate large language models into solutions from Clarivate, to enable intuitive academic conversational search and discovery, specifically designed to foster researcher excellence and drive success for researchers and students, while adhering to core academic principles and values. … It will provide students, faculty and researchers with rapid access to detailed and contextual information and answers along with more personalized services to offer benefits such as relevant recommendations.”

On June 22, Amazon Web Services introduced “the AWS Generative AI Innovation Center, a new program to help customers successfully build and deploy generative [AI] solutions. AWS is investing $100 million in the program, which will connect AWS AI and machine learning (ML) experts with customers around the globe to help them envision, design, and launch new generative AI products, services, and processes. … The AWS Generative AI Innovation Center team of strategists, data scientists, engineers, and solutions architects will work step-by-step with customers to build bespoke solutions that harness the power of generative AI. For example, healthcare and life sciences companies can pursue ways to accelerate drug research and discovery. Manufacturers can build solutions to reinvent industrial design and processes. And financial services companies can develop ways to provide customers with more personalized information and advice.”

Frontiers and the World Economic Forum Release Report on 2023 Emerging Technologies

Frontiers and the World Economic Forum issued the following announcement:

The Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2023 report co-published by open access publisher Frontiers and the World Economic Forum has been presented. ... The report identifies those technologies poised to have the biggest positive impact on society over the next three to five years. Curated by an international steering group of experts, the technologies were selected from nearly 100 contenders based on criteria including novelty, applicability, depth, and power. As this year’s knowledge partner, Frontiers collaborated with the Forum to identify experts from its far-reaching research community to provide further analysis of the technologies. 

For more information, read the news item.

Digital Science CEO Conducts AI-Generated Art Experiment

David Ellis, Digital Science’s press, PR, and social manager, writes the following in “The ‘Lone Banana Problem’ Exposes a Basic Failing of AI to Grasp the Real World”:

A child could draw a single banana on a plain background, but try asking an art-generating artificial intelligence (AI) to do it and the results might surprise you!

That’s what happened when Digital Science CEO Dr Daniel Hook undertook a simple test with AI art and asked for “A single banana casting a shadow on a grey background”. Instead, the AI responded with two bananas, every time.

He continued the experiment over a period of weeks, with the AI failing right until the final prompt.

Dr Hook has published the findings of his AI art experiment on Digital Science’s TL;DR blog site—in a piece called “The Lone Banana Problem”.

His post corresponds with Digital Science’s new #MindTheTrustGap campaign. … #MindTheTrustGap is aimed at raising awareness of global issues of trust and integrity in science, innovation and research.

For more information, read the article.

ITHAKA Unveils New Services for Collection Management, Sharing, and Preservation

ITHAKA is rolling out “a new set of services to help academic, research, and cultural institutions easily and affordably share, preserve, and manage their local digital collections. Using the same infrastructure that powers ITHAKA’s nonprofit services JSTOR and Portico, institutions can now increase the reach and usefulness of their local digital collections, secure access for generations to come, and further the mission they share with one another and ITHAKA to improve access to knowledge worldwide.”

The new services allow institutions to do the following: 

  • Share collections on JSTOR, making it possible for millions of users to discover and use content alongside a rich trove of journals, books, images, and other primary source collections while bringing greater visibility to institutions.
  • Preserve collections with Portico to safeguard the accessibility and usability of digital files in the long term, addressing the needs of tomorrow’s scholars.
  • Manage collections using JSTOR Forum, a web-based tool that makes it easy to catalog, edit metadata, and publish to JSTOR and other sites—all in one place.

For more information, read the news item.

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