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Weekly News Digest

September 14, 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.

Crossref Buys Retraction Watch Database and Opens It to the Public

Crossref shared the following:

The Center for Scientific Integrity, the organisation behind the Retraction Watch blog and database, and Crossref, the global infrastructure underpinning research communications, both not-for-profits, announced today that the Retraction Watch database has been acquired by Crossref and made a public resource. An agreement between the two organisations will allow Retraction Watch to keep the data populated on an ongoing basis and always open, alongside publishers registering their retraction notices directly with Crossref. …

Combining efforts to create the largest single open-source database of retractions reduces duplication, making it more efficient, transparent, and accessible for all. …

The Center for Scientific Integrity and the Retraction Watch blog will remain separate from Crossref and will continue their journalistic work investigating retractions and related issues; the agreement with Crossref is confined to the database only and Crossref itself remains a neutral facilitator in efforts to assess the quality of scientific works. Both organisations consider publishers to be the primary stewards of the scholarly record and they are encouraged to continue to add retractions to their Crossref metadata as a priority.

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

Frontiers Adopts CCC's Ringgold Identify Database as Its Persistent Identifier Solution

Frontiers is now using the Ringgold Identify Database from CCC “as its Persistent Identifier (PID) solution to help power its OA models by normalizing and disambiguating organization data.” The Ringgold Identify Database has more than 600,000 Ringgold PIDs and metadata records. It helps “stakeholders improve data quality, drive strategic decision-making, and support data interoperability across the scholarly communications ecosystem. Used by intermediaries, funders, institutions, and a growing list of leading publishers, the Ringgold Identify Database is the only solution to offer structured organizational hierarchies and consortia connections to help stakeholders quickly understand complex relationships. The Ringgold Identify Database includes rich metadata and additional identifiers, including the ISNI ID, an open ISO standard to support wider interoperability.”

For more information, read the press release.

Presidential Foundations Join Together to Urge Civil Political Discourse

Phil Morehart reports the following in “Presidential Libraries Issue Statement on Fragile State of U.S. Democracy” for ALA’s I Love Libraries site:

Thirteen presidential [foundations] released a statement on September 7 over concerns for U.S. democracy amid deep national polarization.

The [organizations], ranging from those celebrating the presidencies of Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama, have called for a recommitment to our bedrock principles, including the rule of law and respecting a diversity of beliefs. …

The [organizations] wrote that Americans have a strong interest in supporting democratic movements and human rights around the world because ‘free societies elsewhere contribute to our own security and prosperity here at home.’ However, domestic strife and disarray threatens the country’s status on the global stage and its ability to lead, the libraries wrote.

For more information, read the article.

Lyrasis and DOAJ Partner to Encourage Libraries to Invest in OA Infrastructure

Lyrasis shared the following:

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and Lyrasis, two prominent players in the global scholarly communications landscape, are pleased to announce a new partnership that enables libraries to provide crucial financial support to DOAJ. …

This partnership opens up the possibility for US libraries, without existing opportunities to support DOAJ via a consortial arrangement, to directly contribute to DOAJ's sustainability and its mission of enhancing the visibility and accessibility of Open Access research.

For more information, read the press release.

Public.Resource.Org and EFF Win Case on the Right to Post Public Laws Online

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) shared the following:

Technical standards like fire and electrical codes developed by private organizations but incorporated into public law can be freely disseminated without any liability for copyright infringement, a federal appeals court ruled [Sept. 12]. …

[The ruling] upholds the idea that our laws belong to all of us, and we should be able to find, read, and share them free of registration requirements, fees, and other roadblocks. It’s a long-awaited victory for, a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 by open records advocate Carl Malamud of Healdsburg, Calif., and represented in this case by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) with co-counsel Fenwick & West and David Halperin. 

‘In a nation governed by the rule of law, private parties have no business controlling who can read, share, and speak the rules to which we are all subject,’ EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry said. ‘We are pleased that the Court of Appeals upheld what other U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, have said for almost 200 years: No one should control access to the law.’ 

For more information, read the press release.

GPO Completes Digitization of Congressional Directories

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) announced that all of the Congressional Directories—the official handbook of Congress—are now digitized on GovInfo, giving anyone “free and easy access to nearly 130 years of additional directories [complementing the first release]. … [They] can explore directories from the 41st Congress (1869–1870) through the 117th Congress (2021–2022). Future Congressional Directories will continue to be released on GovInfo as they are completed.”

The directories offer “short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, as well as terms of service and contact information for members of Congress[, along with] descriptions of various Executive branch departments and Judiciary information.”

For more information, read the press release.

ACS Buys the ChronosHub OA Management Platform

The American Chemical Society (ACS) acquired ChronosHub “as an independent subsidiary working alongside ACS Publications to enhance the publication experience for researchers.” ACS calls it “a natural fit for ACS to invest in ChronosHub—an innovative open access (OA) management platform that streamlines publishing workflows and ensures effective collaboration between all stakeholders. Together, ACS and ChronosHub will develop a new state-of-the-art, OA-friendly publishing experience that will simplify the complexities of today’s scientific publishing environment.” All ChronosHub customer data will remain confidential and protected.

For more information, read the press release.

Recent Job News in the Info Industry

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced on Sept. 11 that it has added two new board of directors members: Erica Astrella (head of technology at Parkwood Entertainment) and Tadayoshi “Yoshi” Kohno (a professor in the University of Washington’s computer science and engineering department). EFF notes that Astrella “has challenged inequity in hiring and compensation in the tech industry and is a prominent and influential advocate for women and people of color in Silicon Valley.” And Kohno “raised awareness about security and privacy threats facing refugees in the U.S., activists in the Sudanese revolution, and medical device patients, among other understudied groups.”

eLife shared on Sept. 7 that Yamini Dalal is its new deputy editor. Dalal was formerly a reviewing editor, and she will now work alongside other deputy editors and with the editor-in-chief to oversee submissions in cell and molecular biology. eLife states, “She will also champion and support eLife’s new publication model that ends the accept/reject decision after peer review. Under this new model, all preprints that are invited for peer review are published on the eLife website as Reviewed Preprints, accompanied by an eLife assessment and the public reviews. The eLife assessments use a common vocabulary to convey the significance of the findings and the strength of the evidence in a clear and consistent manner.”

Iris L. Hanney, president of Unlimited Priorities, published a letter on Aug. 31 saying that she is retiring in October 2023 after more than 50 years in the information industry. She writes, in part, “Over these decades I have witnessed and hopefully influenced many of the changes that we are all part of today. Did I ever think I would find myself ‘tweeting’ or being a social media maven or learning more about the inner workings of a COVID world—certainly not. I hope over these challenging times I have made your careers a little easier and provided help to you with your day-to-day environments.”

The Latest Awards From the Library of Congress

On Sept. 8, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the recipients of the 2023 Library of Congress Literacy Awards: the News Literacy Project, Downtown Boxing Gym, and Worldreader. The Literacy Awards honor “organizations that provide exemplary, innovative and replicable strategies to combat illiteracy. For more than 10 years, the Library of Congress has recognized the urgent need to achieve universal literacy through the program.”

On Sept. 7, the Library of Congress shared the following:

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress … recognized two of its cooperating libraries in New Jersey and Michigan for their outstanding service to readers with visual, physical or print disabilities.

The New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center in Trenton, New Jersey, received the 2023 Regional Library of the Year Award, while the Library for the Visually and Physically Disabled Branch of Muskegon Area District Library in Muskegon, Michigan, received the Sub-regional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award.

On Aug. 31, the Library of Congress named its next class of fellows for the National Stereoscopic Association Research Fellowship: Rachel Lee Hutcheson (a Ph.D. candidate in art history and archaeology at Columbia University), Isabelle Lynch (a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art at the University of Pennsylvania), and Lynn Marie Mitchell (an independent researcher and former archivist for the National Park Service and Western Archeological and Conservation Center). “Established in 2022 with a generous monetary donation from the National Stereoscopic Association, the fellowship supports research on stereoscopy and the history of photography within the Prints and Photographs Division holdings and the unparalleled photographic history collections at the Library of Congress—including over 15 million photographs, rare publications, manuscript materials and historic newspapers,” the Library of Congress notes. “Stereographs are paired photographs that provide an illusion of three-dimensionality when placed in a special viewer called a stereoscope. They were among the first photographic entertainment formats. …”

Artefacto Helps Libraries Opt Out of GPTBot

Artefacto published “How to Opt Out of GPTBot: A Guide for Libraries,” which states the following:

OpenAI recently announced the launch of GPTBot, a web crawler that will collect text data from the public web to improve the accuracy and safety of its large language models.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to retroactively remove content previously scraped from a site from ChatGPT’s training data. But now there are some steps you can take to manage this going forward.

For more information, read the guide.

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