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Weekly News Digest

July 25, 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.

Amazon Literary Partnership Shares Funding Recipients for 2023

Amazon Literary Partnership, which provides “funding to local, regional, and national organizations across the country that empower writers to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive,” is giving nearly $1 million in grant and sponsorship funding to 93 U.S.-based literary nonprofits.

They include “14 first-time grant recipients, [such as] Bidoun, Sinister Wisdom, Beloit Poetry Journal, Contratiempo, InsideOut Literary Arts, and We Need Diverse Books. Previous recipients that are receiving grants this year include National Book Foundation, Lambda Literary, Asian American Writers Workshop, WriteGirl, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Center for Fiction, Graywolf Press, Words Without Borders, and Hurston Wright Foundation.”

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

Recent Job Moves in the Info Industry

On July 25, OverDrive named Jennifer Leitman as its first CMO. Leitman—who has worked in the media industry for 10-plus years in roles at organizations such as HGTV and The Family Coppola—will unify the company’s marketing efforts, raise brand awareness and engagement, and more.

Publishers’ Licensing Services (PLS) announced in July that Tom West will become its new chief executive on Nov. 1, 2023. West is currently PLS’s COO—since 2017—and will step in for the current chief executive when she retires at the end of October. He has been at PLS since 2001.

Bibliotheca appointed Jim Hopwood as managing director of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), effective July 3. Hopwood has held leadership roles at Bibliotheca before and at Hublet, and he has been an advisor to various technology businesses.

As of July 1, Digital Science has a new CFO, Fedor Zeyer. Zeyer has 18 years of experience in management and financial roles; he was CFO of Clarivate’s Science business and also worked at Springer Nature and Macmillan Science and Education, among other companies.

Also on July 1, Marty Tarle became BiblioCommons’ new general manager, overseeing all aspects of the company’s operations, strategy, and performance. As BiblioCommons’ co-founder, Tarle has held various leadership roles, including CTO and COO, since its launch in 2007.

DPLA Unveils The Banned Book Club to Support Targeted Communities

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) created The Banned Book Club, which “makes e-book versions of banned books available to readers in locations across the United States where titles have been banned. The e-books will be available to readers for free via the Palace e-reader app.”

The service uses GPS-based geo-targeting to identify “communities across the United States where books have been banned. When a reader is within a community served by a library that has been forced to ban a book, they can visit [The Banned Book Club] to see the exact books have been banned in their area” and download the books from The Palace Project by setting “Banned Book Club” as their library of choice.

For more information, read the announcement.

LIBER Responds to the IFLA WLIC 2024 Controversy

LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) made a statement in response to IFLA’s decision to hold its 2024 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It reads, in part:

After the recent debate and discussion generated in response to the decision to host WLIC 2024 in Dubai, IFLA informed its members that it is holding an Advisory Referendum. The referendum will seek the views of IFLA’s voting Members to inform the Governing Board on this decision. As a voting member of IFLA, LIBER … participated in the referendum.

LIBER understands the complexity of IFLA’s decision to select Dubai as the local host for WLIC 2024 and thanks IFLA for sharing its considerations. … Nevertheless, LIBER has decided to vote against hosting the IFLA conference in Dubai. …

LIBER defends and supports values that are core to universities and, more broadly, Higher Education and research. LIBER considers these values—including academic sovereignty, Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI), solidarity, integrity, transparency, and user rights—to be public goods.

For more information, read the statement.

eLife and PREreview Will Implement COAR Notify

eLife and PREreview announced that the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) is going to provide them with technical and funding support to implement the COAR Notify Initiative.

“With this support, the organisations will work to connect separate services within the ‘publish, review, curate’ ecosystem,” eLife notes. “The project will put in place the basic infrastructure and protocols needed for all-round and standardised connections between preprint repositories, community-led preprint review platforms, journals, and preprint review aggregation and curation platforms. The aim is to lower existing technological and cost barriers so that as many of these services as possible can more easily participate in the ‘publish, review, curate’ future for research.”

For more information, read the press release.

The Verge Explores the Context Behind Twitter's Logo Change

Wes Davis and Tom Warren report the following in “Twitter Is Now X as the Little Blue Bird Disappears” for The Verge:

Twitter is transforming into X, as the site’s former bird logo has now been replaced by an official new X logo. Elon Musk, who owns the transformed social media site, began signaling the change [on July 23] with a series of tweets, starting with one that said, ‘and soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.’ …

The X logo itself appears to be based on a glyph from Special Alphabets 4. Musk did note that the new X logo is an ‘interim’ one, so it could be replaced at a later stage.

For more information, read the article.

NISO Is Working on a Recommended Practice for OA Business Processes

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced that its voting members “approved the formation of a Working Group to develop a Recommended Practice for operationalizing open access (OA) business processes. NISO is seeking members from across the information community to join the Working Group, which will address the lack of infrastructure supporting OA content by helping stakeholders in scholarly communications to track, assess, and report on OA publications, authors, and funding more easily.”

For more information, read the press release.

Department of Energy Plan Encourages Free Access to Federally Funded Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) “released a plan to ensure the Department’s Federally funded research is more open and accessible to the public, researchers, and journalists as part of a broader effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to make government data more transparent. With 17 National Laboratories and scores of programs that fund university and private research, DOE directly supports thousands of research papers per year, and, when this plan goes into effect, those findings will be available immediately and at no cost.”

DOE states that elements of the plan “will include elimination of any ‘embargo’ period before the public gains free access to journal articles or final accepted manuscripts resulting from federal funding; immediate access to scientific data displayed in or underlying publications and expanded access to scientific data not displayed in publications; and broad adoption of persistent identifiers (PIDs) for research outputs, organizations, awards and contracts, and people.”

For more information, read the press release.

ACS Names Its 2023 Heroes of Chemistry

The American Chemical Society (ACS) named its latest annual crop of Heroes of Chemistry “for developing products that have led to significant advancements in improving health and the environment.” These scientific teams (researchers and companies) will be honored at a ceremony on Oct. 12, 2023.

“These awards recognize teams of chemists that have worked toward the betterment of humankind. The 2023 ACS Heroes of Chemistry demonstrate the unwavering dedication of chemists to propel us toward healthier lives and a greener tomorrow,” says Judith C. Giordan, ACS’s president. “I am honored to recognize AbbVie, Honeywell, Incyte, Merck, Vertex and ViiV Healthcare for forging a future where scientists, chemistry and innovation come together to uplift humanity.”

For more information and to learn about the honorees, read the press release.

Publishers Weekly Provides Updates on Penguin Random House

Jim Milliot writes the following in “The End of an Era at Penguin Random House” for Publishers Weekly:

News of companywide layoffs at Penguin Random House [PRH] and the disclosure of the names of a number of employees there who accepted buyout offers announced in the spring combined to make [the] week [of July 10] a difficult one for the giant trade publisher. …

The total number of people leaving PRH remains unclear. The New York Times said 60 people were laid off, but no hard figures for the buyouts have been disclosed. Media reports and industry insiders all cast the twin actions as marking a generational shift at PRH, a term some PRH executives have resisted. But given the leadership roles many of those leaving have had—combined with the prior departures of global CEO Markus Dohle, PRH US CEO Madeline McIntosh, and Gina Centrello, president and publisher of the Random House Publishing Group—it is tough to overlook the fact that a new generation is moving up into prominent positions.

For more information, read the article.



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