|Weekly News Digest
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Christian Science Monitor Launches New Election Site
The Christian Science Monitor announced the launch of Patchwork Nation (www.csmonitor.com/patchworknation) , a new election 2008 site that says it offers a fresh approach to covering politics. Funded by the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization, the new website replaces the conventional red-state/blue-state maps with one that examines the election through the lens of 11 different types of communities around the country. Bloggers from the 11 designated locales are writing about key issues in their communities, how the issues affect residents’ votes, and how the candidates tailor their messages to a particular audience.
Former Christian Science Monitor political columnist Dante Chinni is project director and lead correspondent for Patchwork Nation. He says the election 2008 site offers a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the electorate. "The red-state blue-state breakdown of political opinion is inherently flawed because it doesn’t explain what underpins voters’ decisions," says Chinni. "That’s what this new website will explore in real time during the presidential campaign."
Chinni and The Christian Science Monitor, with the help of University of Maryland government professor James Gimpel, have identified 11 U.S. towns and cities that represent the 11 distinct types of voter communities: Monied ’Burbs, Minority Central, Evangelical Epicenters, Tractor Country, Campus & Careers, Immigration Nation, Industrial Metropolis, Boom Towns, Service Worker Centers, Emptying Nests, and Military Bastions. They’ve found a real community to represent each type. So Los Alamos, N.M., will be watched to see what’s happening in Monied ’Burbs, while Hopkinsville, Ky., will be studied to gauge the presidential campaign in Military Bastions. The data used to identify these community types can be found on the Patchwork Nation site and are available for news organizations, groups, and individuals to conduct
their own analyses.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor
Chronicling America Site Adds Content and Features
More than 79,000 newly digitized newspaper pages, along with several new site features, have recently been added to the Chronicling America website at www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica. With this update, the site now provides access to more than 500,000 digitized newspaper pages, dating primarily from 1900 to 1910 and representing 61 newspapers from California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, and Virginia. New features include a list of all newspapers with pages available on site and a subscription update service using either RSS or email delivery. Chronicling America is a project of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), which is a partnership between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The NDNP is a long-term effort to develop an internet-based, searchable database of public-domain U.S. newspapers with select digitization of historic pages, as well as information about newspapers dating from 1690 to the present. Supported by NEH’s We the People program, this rich digital resource will continue to be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.
Ultimately, during the next 20 years, NDNP will create a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 from all the states and U.S. territories. Also on the website, an accompanying national newspaper directory of bibliographic and holdings information directs users to newspaper titles in all types of formats. The information in the directory was created through an earlier NEH initiative: the United States Newspaper Program. The Library of Congress is also digitizing and contributing to the NDNP database a significant number of newspaper pages drawn from its own collections during the course of this partnership.
Source: National Digital Newspaper Program
ProQuest to Add Oral History Videos to Black Studies Center
ProQuest (www.proquest.com), part of the Cambridge Information Group (www.cambridgeinformationgroup.com), will be adding a collection of 100 oral history videos from The HistoryMakers (www.thehistorymakers.com), the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive to its Black Studies Center. Each video is 2 to 3 hours in length and accompanied by complete, searchable transcripts. Black Studies Center, from ProQuest’s Chadwyck-Healey brand, is designed to create a framework for undergraduate and graduate level Black Studies courses and provide information that cannot be found elsewhere.
The video interviews present full accounts of the person’s early life, family history, education, and professional work. The interviews are of contemporary African Americans, many of whom were the first to break various barriers in business, science, medicine, education, and government. Black Studies Center’s The HistoryMakers collection includes interviews of Barack Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton, Gordon Parks, John Lewis, John H. Johnson, Julian Bond, Nikki Giovanni, John Hope Franklin, Terry MacMillan, Isaac Hayes, Alvin Poussaint, and many more. Each oral history video will include a transcript that is subject-indexed. Videos will also be browsable by name of interviewee, occupation, subject, and theme.
Founded in July 1999 as a national 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, The HistoryMakers represents the single largest African American archival collection in the world. The purpose of this collection is to educate and show the breadth and depth of the African American experience through first person narratives of both well-known and unsung African Americans.
RefWorks Announces RefAware Service
RefWorks (www.refworks.com), a provider of web-based research management, writing, and collaboration tools for researchers, has announced the release of RefAware (www.refaware.com), a new online personal research assistant and monitoring service that enables academics and other researchers to stay abreast of the latest publications and research in their fields.
This simple-to-use service allows researchers to be alerted when new articles are available—most within hours of publication and many even prepublication. RefAware covers more than 8,000 peer-reviewed journals and other nonreferred sources of information in six specific areas of coverage: Life Science, Biology, and Medicine; Physical Sciences; Engineering; Social Sciences; Arts & Humanities; and Business. With the ability to create up to ten separate search queries, researchers can now use RefAware to keep them informed of "up-to-the-minute" information based on their unique interests, offering comprehensive, real-time pictures of global research.
RefWorks was founded in 2001 by a team of experts in the field of bibliographic database management and is dedicated to providing high quality web-based research discovery, management, and collaboration tools for the academic, government, and corporate research communities. RefWorks is used daily by more than a million researchers in more than 900 organizations globally. RefWorks is a business unit of ProQuest, LLC (www.proquest.com).
Wetpaint Wiki Service Adds Social Networking Features
Wetpaint, a social publishing platform with a network of more than 750,000 social sites, unveiled a complete set of social networking features designed to supercharge creation of content on its wiki service. With the addition of such new features as a Friends Network, Custom Member Profiles, a What’s New site activity dashboard, and Friends Feeds, Wetpaint has created an integrated social publishing platform, empowering anyone to easily create a completely social and collaborative website. In Q2 the site will add a photo gallery feature.
To see the new social features in action, visit www.wetpaint.com and create your own free public or private social website, or explore any of the sites already populating the Wetpaint network.
Wetpaint launched its social publishing platform in June 2006. The Seattle startup also partners with enterprise brands such as Dell, the Discovery Channel, Fox, HP, HTC Corp., and T-Mobile. These companies have implemented custom Wetpaint sites to engage their most active and knowledgeable users. Wetpaint is backed by Accel Partners, Frazier Technology Ventures, and Trinity Ventures.
WilsonWeb Adds Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective
H.W. Wilson (www.hwwilson.com) announced Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective: 1913–1983, a new reference database that brings together decades of content from Applied Science & Technology Index and Business Periodicals Index. The database can be used by students, educators, journalists, and others for tracking down milestone studies, exploring historical controversies, finding papers by innovators, researching the development of particular technologies, and answering the many questions from business and industry that only historical journalism can shed light on.
Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective lets users search more than 4.5 million articles published in more than 2,000 periodicals, 1913 to 1983. The database includes the complete content of Industrial Arts Index (published 1913 to 1958), precursor to both Applied Science & Technology Index and Business Periodicals Index. Content dating from 1958 forward comes from Applied Science & Technology Index and Business Periodicals Index, published separately (with distinct coverage) starting that year. Updated subject headings make finding information easy using contemporary terms, though historical subject headings are also searchable. Personal and corporate names used as subject headings are standardized to ensure retrieval of all records about an individual or company.
Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective can be searched seamlessly with Applied Science & Technology Full Text and Business Periodicals Full Text, providing access to nearly a century of data when combined with these contemporary databases. The database also makes an excellent complement to contemporary resources from other vendors, searching the journalistic record far beyond the typical retrospective coverage. Almost 50 of the journals in JSTOR, for example, are also covered by Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective.
Source: H.W. Wilson
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