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Weekly News Digest

December 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.

Urban Libraries Council Releases Survey Results Comparing Pre- and Post-Pandemic Library Services

The Urban Libraries Council announced the following:

The COVID-19 pandemic immensely changed how public libraries operate and serve their communities. A new collection of data gathered by the Urban Libraries Council [ULC] establishes a better understanding of pre- and post-pandemic library services and operations. …

City and county library systems from across the U.S. and Canada participated in the first-ever ULC Library Insights Survey. ULC members from 98 libraries provided data around the topics of Attraction and Attendance, Location Experience and Use of Space, Programs and Services and Staffing and Budget. Respondents shared data for the years 2019 and 2022, establishing benchmarks of before the pandemic and during recovery. ULC has also collected preliminary data for the first six months of 2023.

For more information and key findings, read the press release.

Stephen Abram Shares 'Holiday Season Behaviour Tips'

Stephen Abram posted a guide to family gatherings on his blog, Stephen’s Lighthouse, sharing 12 tips. He writes, “I’ve found that a few simple rules apply to having a good time. Remember that you can only control your own behaviours—not other’s.”

For more information, read the blog post.

Wolters Kluwer Introduces Generative AI-Created Summaries for Court Rulings

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory has added Generative Pre-training Transformer (GPT)-generated summaries of court rulings as a new feature (in beta) for its customers. These summaries are built using generative AI so legal research can be streamlined. They provide a quick understanding of court decisions, they are easily categorized to see what’s relevant, and they reduce the need for in-depth review of a large number of documents. The feature is now available for users of the Wolters Kluwer Online research platform in Germany and will be added to other products in the future.  

For more information, read the press release.

Wiley to Integrate Hindawi Journals Into Its Portfolio After Multiple Flagged Errors

Retraction Watch reports that “Wiley will cease using the beleaguered Hindawi brand name … [and] plans to integrate Hindawi’s approximately 200 journals into the rest of its portfolio by the middle of next year.” Among the issues this past year: Clarivate removed 19 Hindawi journals from its Web of Science for editorial quality deficiencies, Wiley shut down four Hindawi journals compromised by paper mills, and Retraction Watch logged 3,400 retractions from Hindawi journals, although it is aware of 7,000-plus retractions.

Retraction Watch continues, “In the current fiscal year, Wiley expects $35-40 million in lost revenue from Hindawi as it works to turn around journals with issues and retract articles, Matthew Kissner, Wiley’s interim president and CEO, said on the [Dec. 6] earnings call. The company expects revenue to begin to recover in its next fiscal year, he said.”

For more information, read the news item.

ZDNET Publishes Tech News Roundup for 2023

Jason Hiner writes the following in “ZDNET Looks Back on Tech in 2023, and Looks Ahead to 2024” for ZDNET:

Generative AI may have dominated most of the headlines in tech during 2023, but there were plenty of other stories, trends, and products worth calling out. At least one of them—Apple Vision Pro and the resurgence of AR and VR—caused nearly AI-level buzz when it dropped in June. …

Of course, no one could hide the fact that ChatGPT—and the generative AI that powers it—was the biggest story of the year. In fact, there’s an excellent chance that it could be the biggest story of the decade. 

For more information, read the article.

Clarivate Integrates ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Citations With the Web of Science

Clarivate updated the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Citation Index with the integration of more than 172 million cited references from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global into the Web of Science platform. This enhancement helps researchers “explore the development of a topic across varied, multidisciplinary research outputs or to look back at the research foundation of post-graduate works … [and] deepens the connection between published and unpublished scholarship, enriching the entire research experience.”

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Citation Index “enables discovery of more than 5.7 million post-graduate works from over 4,100 institutions across 60+ countries/regions, alongside journal articles, conference papers, preprints and other scholarly sources, all within a single platform. It also offers access to more than 3 million full text documents found on the ProQuest platform.”

For more information, read the press release.

Free Sage Policy Profiles Tool Helps Researchers See When They're Cited in Policy Docs

Sage rolled out Sage Policy Profiles, a free-to-use, browser-based “tool to empower researchers to discover the real-world impact of their work on policy.” With its personalized dashboard, “researchers [can] easily see specific citations of their work in policy documents and then illustrate and share that work’s impact graphically. The tool is powered by Overton, which hosts an extensive repository of global policy documents, guidelines, think-tank publications, and working papers.” Users can identify “second-order citations where policies citing their work have continued to influence subsequent discussions and decisions,” get alerts for when they’re cited or mentioned in new policy documents, create a shareable link to their dashboard, and more.

For more information, read the press release.

The Scholarly Kitchen: 'Food for Thought: What Are We Feeding LLMs, and How Will This Impact Humanity?'

Stuart Leitch, CTO of Silverchair, wrote a guest post for The Scholarly Kitchen blog. He shares the following:

Smart people disagree about generative AI. Some people see this as the latest … fad with a peak of inflated expectations in the hype cycle. Others see something far more profound coming. Likewise, there are a range of views on how good or bad AI will be for humanity.

In my view, we’re experiencing an unprecedented era where AI has transitioned from highly specialized models with complex architectures operating in narrow domains, to general models with simple architectures with very broad domain applicability. AI models have outgrown mere classification and pattern recognition and are now creative.

What’s important to understand is that Large Language Models powering generative AI are fundamentally different from traditional software.

For more information, read the blog post.

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