|Weekly News Digest
July 1, 2010 — 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.
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LibreDigital Acquires Symtio Ecommerce Platform
LibreDigital, Inc., a provider of digital marketing and distribution technology for publishers, announced that it has acquired the Symtio ecommerce platform from Zondervan, a HarperCollins company. Launched as a division of Zondervan in 2008, Symtio is a multichannel digital media platform that enables customers to purchase and access digital media-including ebooks, audiobooks, music, and video-online or through an in-store retail card program.
As part of the acquisition, LibreDigital is adding the Symtio ecommerce technology, existing ecommerce contracts and applications, and key ecommerce staff. LibreDigital is not acquiring Symtio's retail card business, which Zondervan is in negotiations to sell separately. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
For the past 10 years, LibreDigital has helped publishers power the marketing and delivery of millions of ebooks to digital devices and marketplaces. With its acquisition of Symtio, the company will offer a complete end-to-end solution for publishers looking to accelerate their sales of ebooks and digital content. LibreDigital will now also be able to provide marketplace services to other partners looking to add a cross-publisher bookstore to their online community.
Source: LibreDigital, Inc.
ACRL Releases Report on Libraries and Higher Education in 2025
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a new report, "Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025," to prompt academic librarians to consider what trends may impact the future of higher education in order to take strategic action now. The report is available at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/value/futures.cfm.
Authored by David J. Staley, director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching in the History Department of Ohio State University, and Kara J. Malenfant, ACRL scholarly communications and government relations specialist, the report presents 26 possible scenarios for the future which may have an impact on all types of academic libraries over the next 15 years. The scenarios are based on implications assessment of current trends and reflect a variety of potential futures for higher education.
The scenarios represent a variety of themes relating to academic culture, demographics, distance education, funding, globalization, infrastructure/facilities, libraries, political climate, publishing industry, societal values, students/learning, and technology. They are organized in a "scenario space" visualization tool, reflecting the expert judgment of ACRL members as to their expectations and perceptions about the probability, impact, speed of change and threat/opportunity potential of each scenario. The study focuses on implications of these futures for academic libraries and includes a step-by-step activity for academic librarians to undertake scenario thinking in their libraries.
For more information on the report and futures research, listen to a podcast conversation with the authors on the ACRL Insider blog (http://www.acrl.ala.org/acrlinsider/2010/06/21/futures-thinking-for-academic-librarians/).
Gale Announces Next Generation of Online Resources
Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, announced In Context, a new portfolio of online products that evolved from and will replace select Gale Resource Center databases. When the product is released in the fall, existing Resource Center subscribers will receive these new products as an upgrade at no additional cost. For more information, a product preview, or to request a trial, visit www.gale.com/newrcs.
Designed as an online learning environment, the resources will deliver accurate, authoritative content that builds collaboration from the library to the classroom. Covering science, biography, history, social issues, and more, this new way of delivering content-in context, through comprehensive weblike portal pages-supports the development of critical thinking and information literacy skills while providing the intuitive experience today's users have come to expect from online research.
The new In Context products will offer the following:
- User tools such as topic overviews, quick-fact boxes, and expert-selected content highlights
- Search assist and "Did you mean?" functionality consistent with searching on the open web
- Dynamic images, audio, video, maps, and interactive components
- ReadSpeaker text-to-speech technology and on-demand language translation
- More than 1,800 cross-searchable portal pages
- Web 2.0 share tools including links to social networking sites
- Customization options for specific user and reading levels
Source: Gale, a part of Cengage Learning
Reference Universe now links to CQ Researcher and to CREDO Reference
Paratext announces that comprehensive links to CQ Researcher and complete links to titles in CREDO Reference are now online and accessible through the Reference Universe service. These are among the most heavily requested additions to the service.
Links to over 800 issues of CQ Researcher are now online in Reference Universe, offering in-depth coverage of key political and social issues, including health, international affairs, education, public policy, the environment, technology, and the United States.
In addition, over 2 million citations to 389 titles found in CREDO Reference are now also up-to-date within the Reference Universe service.
Finally, additional titles from Gale's Virtual Reference Library from 2008-2009 are also being loaded into the system this month.
Reference Universe is an information service designed specifically to unlock a library's reference collection. Reference Universe brings together links to all major and minor electronic reference works, as well as the complete indexes to your library's printed subject encyclopedias, compendia, and handbooks. Reference Universe contains more than 25 million citations to nearly 40,000 electronic and print reference works. Reference Universe is the way to query print and e-reference simultaneously, and realize a return on the sizable investment you've made in your library's reference collection.
Paratext, established in 1993, publishes Reference Universe as well as online search products in government documents and history, serving the needs of scholars and librarians. Paratext is based in Austin, Texas.
ProQuest Unveils New Technologies for its Upcoming Platform
At the American Library Association (ALA) conference in Washington, D.C., attendees got a preview of the latest developments for ProQuest's all-new platform, which promises to unify all ProQuest content in a single framework. The new platform will now include ProQuest Extended Search, a Serials Solutions technology that will enable libraries to connect to other non-ProQuest databases as well. Users will not only discover a broader set of content, but will use the platform to gather, share, and create it as well. The ProQuest platform is the highlight of a wave of new technology being released by the company throughout 2010 and beyond. ProQuest will begin migrating customers to the new platform in late summer.
"We've built this platform purposefully to set an entirely new standard for what users can get from their libraries," said Marty Kahn, ProQuest CEO. "That means we're aiming at a moving target. We're uncovering both needs and new technologies we can use to address them every day. The new platform is a living service and there's much more to come. In fact, we're doing some very interesting things with visualization technology that we'll announce yet this summer."
The platform's all-new technology architecture is built from scratch and designed "for purpose"-each feature addresses specific needs-and avoids added bells and whistles that don't add value to the user's research process. The agile development process was informed by "personas"-a dozen highly detailed user profiles-and regular testing with live subjects from every user group. The platform is a blend of new technologies and user-favorites from other legacy ProQuest and its brand family platforms.
ProQuest Extended Search will enable libraries to enrich results by building connections to databases from other providers, using Serials Solution's clustering technology. Libraries will simply choose the databases they want to add from thousands of options and Serials Solutions will manage the connections for them. The new platform's sophisticated technology tools will enable users to save, organize, and manipulate all the content-whether from ProQuest or not-in personal accounts.
Thomson Reuters Unveils New Version of InCites
Thomson Reuters announced that the newest release of InCites is now available. For citation-based research evaluation, the additional features in this new release provide a comprehensive and definitive view of research performance at the author and department levels.
InCites now creates institution and author profile reports that provide top-level snapshots of performance and gives users the ability to dive into core data for deep analysis. It also supports customization of the data and flexible tools to manage, refine, share, and save reports. Now, InCites users can easily create a picture of their research output and impact at the author and department level, as well as the institution level available in previous versions.
Via one convenient, web-based platform, InCites delivers objective measures of institutional research performance, allowing professionals to make strategic choices to effectively further their research, budgetary, hiring, and market positioning goals.
Source: Thomson Reuters
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