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Weekly News Digest

January 10, 2005 — 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

PLoS Announces New Community OA Journals

The Public Library of Science ( announced plans for its next suite of open access journals—PLoS Community Journals. The three new journals (PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, and PLoS Pathogens) are modeled after successful discipline-based journals published by scientific societies. All papers appearing in these journals are freely available immediately upon publication for anyone to read, download, redistribute, and reuse. Authors of articles in PLoS Community Journals are asked to pay a $1,500 open access publication charge, which is normally covered by their research grants, funding agencies, or employing institutions. The fee is waived for those who can't afford it. PLoS said it is seeking additional partnerships and collaborations within different scientific communities and professional societies to facilitate the launch of other open access initiatives.

PLoS Computational Biology (, scheduled to launch in June, will be published in partnership with the International Society for Computational Biology ( PLoS Genetics is accepting submissions ( and will launch in July. The PLoS Pathogens Web site will go live in March to accept submissions; it will begin publishing in the fall.

Source: The Public Library of Science

Info Pros Join Tsunami Relief Effort

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) announced it has created a new initiative to energize its global membership in response to the devastating tsunami that hit southern Asia and caused an overwhelming loss of life and property on Dec. 26, 2004. The initiative seeks donations for the relief effort and material support for libraries. More information is available online at

Staff members at SLA headquarters are working to develop an information clearinghouse for the global community represented by SLA. With more than 12,000 members in 83 countries—including those nations affected by the tsunami—the potential impact of SLA support is enormous. The effort will focus on two critical areas of need:

  • Providing direction to members and SLA chapter/division leaders who seek options for immediate financial support for the disaster-relief effort. A collection of contacts for government-approved relief agencies and charities that are committed to the relief effort is now available online. SLA information services staff selected lists from the governments of the top 5 nations most populated by SLA members, plus the nations affected by this awful natural disaster.
  • Serving as a conduit for a) educating members of our community on the needs of libraries in the affected region for the purpose of rebuilding or restoration; and b) directing information, resources, and expertise to persons in the affected region who will guide library rebuilding or restoration. This will be developed over the first several months of 2005 so that an effective collection of resources can be made available.

Source: Special Libraries Association (SLA)

Tsunami Lecture Available Through Supercourse

Experts from the U.S., Russia, and Iran have prepared a free lecture on tsunamis ( as part of the Supercourse lectures from the Global Health Disaster Network. This global network of 18,000 academic faculty members from 151 countries ( offers 2,032 free lectures from leading scientists, including six Nobel Prize winners. The mission is to provide the best possible educational materials on health at no cost, in an effort to reduce fear and save lives; here it is applied to the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami disaster.

The concept of a library of lectures for all to use is in many ways similar to that of freeware or open source software. It is designed to be a teaching support system. An open peer-review and ratings system ensures quality. The lectures are in a Web-based, icon-driven format mainly with graphic presentation and text, plus hyperlinks for more information. Other Supercourse lectures cover mad cow disease, monkeypox, acute asthma, HIV/AIDS, the earthquake in Iran, and so on.

Source: Ronald E. LaPorte, contact for the Supercourse,

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