|Weekly News Digest
July 21, 2011 — 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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Updates to Gale LegalForms Announced
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, announced new updates to Gale LegalForms, its online legal resource designed to help public library patrons, law students, and practicing lawyers create accurate and reliable legal documents. All LegalForms products now include the Law Digest module, which contains law summaries for each state as well as a detailed, yet easy-to-understand, legal question and answer (Q&A) section. Enhancements have also been made to the user interface, making the resource easier to navigate.
Gale LegalForms offers an easy-to-use, state-by-state and step-by-step approach to addressing basic legal matters, such as developing a will, conducting real estate transactions including rental or lease agreements, and more. Users have access to thousands of customizable online legal documents that are available anytime from any place. Many of the forms can be used across all 50 states, while the resource also includes forms unique to each particular state. Coupled with the straightforward interface, users avoid hours of research often required to develop legal documents. Users can simply locate the appropriate form that’s needed by using the homepage links, download the form and plug in their information. Gale LegalForms is a vastly different service than other online legal products—it offers a well-organized collection of forms actually used in legal practices, not just outlines or templates of forms, and allows users to edit the forms as they need.
Gale LegalForms now also includes a Law Digest module, which contains access to a collection of case law summaries for all 50 states that are ideal for research. Within each Law Digest entry, users can find additional resources, including government organizations and their contact information, a bibliography for further research, and links to related subjects. The Legal Q&A section houses a collection of real attorney-provided legal answers to questions from everyday people. In addition, updates have been made to the interface to create a clean, more-streamlined appearance, and allow for quick access to the most important content from the home page (without scrolling), and stronger search functions for overall easier site navigation.
These additional resources and enhancements have been given to current LegalForms customers at no additional cost.
Summon Adds Hooverís Company Records
Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest LLC, announced it has signed an agreement with Hoover’s, Inc. to enable the discovery of Hoover’s Company Records content from the Summon web-scale discovery service. Featuring profiles of more than 40,000 companies, 600 industries, and 225,000 key executives, Hoover’s Company Records is a leading electronic distributor of information about U.S. and global companies, industries, and the people who lead them. Many researchers rely on Hoover’s Company Records as a valuable resource for business intelligence surrounding a company’s history, products, operations, officers, board members, competitors, historical financials, and auditors, among other related industry information.
This arrangement with Hoover’s, Inc. underscores Serials Solutions’ ongoing commitment to make the Summon service the most comprehensive discovery tool for researchers around the world. Currently, the Summon service allows researchers to search the full text of content from more than 7,000 providers and contains more than 750 million records. First introduced to the industry in July 2009, the Summon web-scale discovery service provides proven value to more than 250 libraries worldwide, many of whom are seeing a substantial increase in the use of their library’s collections.
Source: Serials Solutions
Cambridge University Press to Launch Platform for Other Academic Publishers
Cambridge University Press announced that it will be launching a new integrated ebook and digital content platform for other academic publishers, called University Publishing Online. From October 2011, University Publishing Online will provide libraries with ebooks and related database products from a variety of academic publishers worldwide.
Boydell & Brewer, Liverpool University Press, the Mathematical Association of America, and Foundation Books, based in India, are the first publishers to join the new site. Announcements of further partners will be made in coming weeks.
The new platform means that customers will be able to access important academic works and research from various publishers, in one place; it is based on the ‘Cambridge Books Online’ eBook delivery platform. Cambridge Books Online offers access to thousands of front and backlist PDF titles in a fully searchable environment. The site includes dynamic content and features, with frequent addition of new titles. It also features comprehensive library support tools, including downloadable machine-readable cataloguing (MARC) records, usage reports, plus access and authentication methods.
Functionality on the site includes hyperlinked references and personalization features, as well as enhanced discoverability tools. Two functionality upgrades take place every year, ensuring the site is consistently developing according to its users’ needs. Libraries can acquire a wide range of subject-based collections or can choose to make an individually customized selection of titles from the 12,000 currently on offer.
The Cambridge Books Online platform already incorporates a powerful faceted-search tool across all scholarly books and journals issued by Cambridge; and as the lists of other leading publishers are added to these, University Publishing Online will become one of the largest and most significant repositories of digital academic material in the world.
Two purchasing plans for University Publishing Online will be available, each involving multi-user concurrent access and minimal digital rights management (DRM): customers will be able to buy content once and then own continuing access, or subscribe annually with a subscribe-to-buy facility.
Source: Cambridge University Press
Ex Libris Releases Version 8 of Voyager ILS
Ex Libris Group announced the release of version 8 of the Voyager integrated library system (ILS). Much of the new functionality in this version is the result of continued collaboration with the international Voyager community, which now consists of more than 1,300 sites.
Highlights of the new Voyager version include the following:
- Global Data-Change module: With Voyager 8, libraries can easily make mass data changes to bibliographic, holdings, and authority records. As a result, cataloging workflows are more flexible, the total cost of ownership is reduced, and the quality of the database is increased.
- Streamlined upgrade process: In a major enhancement to the Voyager Installation Kit, Voyager 8 introduces Client AutoUpdate, a new feature that enables libraries to upgrade Voyager clients to the latest release without requiring a complete reinstallation.
- Improved user experience: Among the enhancements to user experience are a more streamlined authentication process within WebVoyáge and automatic text messages to users’ mobile phones for notification about item availability, overdue items, and recall requests.
- Enhanced security: In Voyager 8, the security of an ILS is even greater through the ability to implement new policies for password management such as requirements for strong passwords, the frequency of password change, and expiration control.
- Increased staff productivity: The new release offers a range of enhancements that drive up staff efficiency and improve the quality of the database—as well as improving integration with Primo and other discovery systems.
The institutions that participated in the field testing for Voyager 8 were the Library of Congress, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the Colorado School of Mines, the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), three members of the Library Consortium of New Zealand (LCoNZ), Southern Methodist University, the TriUniversity Group of Libraries, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Strathclyde.
Source: Ex Libris Group
New OCLC Research Report on Virtual Reference
Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference, a new report from OCLC Research, in partnership with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and additionally funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), distills more than 5 years of virtual reference (VR) research into a readable summary featuring memorable quotes that vividly illustrate very specific and actionable suggestions. The report suggests that by transforming VR service encounters into relationship-building opportunities, librarians can better leverage the positive feelings people have for libraries. This is critically important in a crowded online space where the biggest players often don’t have the unique experience and specific strengths offered by librarians.
Taken from a multiphase research project that included focus group interviews, online surveys, transcript analysis, and phone interviews, with VR librarians, users and non-users, these findings are meant to help practitioners develop and sustain VR services and systems. The report asserts that the “R” in “VR” needs to emphasize virtual “Relationships” as well as “Reference.” Among the topics addressed are the following:
- How convenience is the “hook” that draws users into VR services
- The exaggerated death of ready reference
- The importance of query clarification in VR
- Ways to boost accuracy and build better interpersonal relationships in VR
- What can be learned from VR transcripts
- Generational differences in how people perceive reference interactions and determine success
- The need for more and better marketing of a suite of services—a “multi-asking” approach
The report’s two primary authors, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., OCLC senior research scientist, and Marie L. Radford, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Communication & Information, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, said that the goal of their work together, which began in 2005, has been to deliver research-based recommendations that improve the VR services provided by information professionals.
View and download the report at http://www.oclc.org/reports/synchronicity. More information on the “Seeking Synchronicity” project is available at http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/synchronicity/, and other OCLC membership reports can be found at http://www.oclc.org/reports/.
WorldCat Content Coming to Credo General Reference Service
OCLC and Credo Reference announced that they signed an agreement to integrate the WorldCat Search API into the Credo General Reference service, its flagship content application. With this new agreement, OCLC member libraries that subscribe to the Credo General Reference service will be able to retrieve a list of books from WorldCat related to the topic of their Credo Reference search.
Under this new partnership, authenticated users will be able to access the Credo General Reference service from the library or Credo Reference website and perform a search for encyclopedic entries. Each entry includes a side panel listing books that are related to the topic generated from a search of WorldCat using the library’s key to the WorldCat Search API. Each book includes a link to the library’s OPAC or discovery application to get additional information, such as shelf status.
Credo Reference expects to release the functionality later this month. Libraries will be able to activate the functionality by registering their key to the WorldCat Search API within the application. Libraries that do not already have a key to the API can visit the OCLC website for more information on how to obtain a key.
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