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Weekly News Digest

August 1, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Submit Your Ideas on IMLS's Strategic Plan

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) wants your ideas on how it can carry out its statutory responsibility “to support museum, library, and information services to meet the information, education, research, economic, cultural, and civic needs of the people of the United States.” It is currently working on a 5-year strategic plan.

The plan is required by the Government Performance and Results Act. The Administration has asked agencies to focus on three performance improvement strategies:

  • Using performance information to lead, learn, and improve outcomes
  • Communicating performance coherently and concisely for better results and transparency
  • Strengthening problem-solving networks, inside and outside government, to improve outcomes and performance management practices

Your input is needed to help it examine all its grant programs, research, and leadership initiatives to assure that it continues to meet the evolving needs of the American public.

Through discussions with the National Museum and Library Services Board, IMLS stakeholders, and the public, it has developed five strategic questions to help envision future services. Using a social media tool called IdeaScale, it has invited the public to suggest answers to these questions, read the comments others have provided, and vote on the ideas that have the greatest merit. The comment period will continue until Friday, August 12.

Five Strategic Questions

How can IMLS leverage its resources, position, reputation, and relationships to...

  • Promote effective public access to physical and digital content?
  • Promote policy that sustains information access for the American public?
  • Support lifelong learning for a competitive workforce and engaged public?
  • Promote museums and libraries as community anchor institutions?
  • Achieve excellence in public management?

Source: IMLS

Gale Enhances PowerSearch Platform

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, announced enhancements to Gale PowerSearch, its specially designed platform that offers cross searching of periodical content, reference content, primary source information, and ebooks from a single interface. Based on user feedback, Gale has added many new features, including search assist, enhanced results lists, language customizability, expanded content, and enhanced subject and publication search options. These features allow for a faster, easier way to search millions of entries and multiple online resources with just one query.

Gale PowerSearch provides libraries, universities, schools, and businesses with a sophisticated yet simple solution for managing a wealth of periodical, reference, multimedia and primary source information. Researchers can access almost all of the Gale content in their library's collection through one, single search query. The interface provides users with a Web-like experience and includes features that appeal to and empower library researchers.

These new enhancements include the following:

  • Search Assist: InfoTrac products now have an intuitive auto-complete feature allowing users to find the exact subject, keyword, or publication they are looking for from a single search box, saving time and providing search functionality similar to what they experience with other Web products. Trending top searches and top content viewed by resource are also featured on the homepage
  • Related Subjects: By default, results lists display all relevant, related subjects and articles to help users find the information they seek faster and more efficiently
  • Enhanced Publication and Subject Search: Additional features and limiters have been added to the publication and subject search pages along with search assist “Did You Mean?” functionality
  • Language Customizability: The user interface now supports three additional languages: Chinese, Japanese and Korean, and translation of all foreign language documents to English
  • New Titles: New content is added to InfoTrac products daily. In the last year, more than 1,500 new titles were added, including more than 1.6 million articles

Gale PowerSearch will continue to support existing features such as Read-Speaker audio technology, eBook cross-search, sharing tools, language translation and more. Academic OneFile, General OneFile, InfoTrac and PowerSearch enhancements are now available for new and existing customers.

Source: Gale

Elsevier Introduces Genome Viewer

Elsevier introduced the Genome Viewer, a new interactive feature on SciVerse ScienceDirect for applicable life sciences journals. The Genome Viewer is a SciVerse application that displays detailed gene or genomic sequence information on the genes mentioned in an article.

The Genome Viewer uses a genome browser developed by NCBI (the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health). Elsevier collaborated with the NCBI as it was developing the browser, and is the first publisher to incorporate the technology into an application for viewing detailed information about the gene sequences that are mentioned in articles.

When an author of an article tags a gene sequence, Elsevier matches this gene with information in NCBI’s databases and pulls this information into the article. This allows readers of the article to get specific information about each strand by hovering over it, and offers functionality such as flipping the strands, zooming to a sequence, or going to a specific position to define a track of interest within the sequence.

The Genome Viewer also allows the user to download the complete list of genes and/or genomes referred in the article along with their respective GenBank accession numbers. This functionality was added based on recommendations of domain experts interviewed.

The Genome Viewer is one of the results of the Article of the Future project, which is designed to improve the readers’ experience in all areas of presentation, and offering value-added content and interoperability with external databases. The Genome Viewer will be available for all other Elsevier applicable life sciences journals in the future.

Visit these links to explore this new feature:

Example from the journal Genomics:

Example from the journal, Gene:

Source: Elsevier

Elsevier Upgrades illumin8 Semantic Search Tool

Elsevier announced the expansion of illumin8, its semantic search tool first launched in 2008. illumin8, which indexes scientific, patent, news and web content from Elsevier and other trusted sources, now offers new features, including an improved ability to explore technology trends and white space opportunities, evaluate potential new technologies and product applications, and compare organizations, products, people, and approaches.

“The early stage of the innovation process is often referred to as the fuzzy front-end. At this point in our customers’ workflow, using regular search can feel like reaching around in the dark, especially when they are dealing with unfamiliar markets or emerging technologies or products,” said Robbertjan Kalff, VP for product development for engineering and technology and alternative energy at Elsevier. “Users say that this is the time where they don’t know what they don’t know, but at the same time they need a way to get on the right track faster. This is the need that illumin8 addresses.”

The functionality of illumin8 is further enhanced by the introduction of illumin8 Reports—customizable documents that users can create to share their findings and analysis of a research topic. The new functionality was developed based on customer requests and testing with a representative group drawn from the thousands of illumin8 users worldwide—including innovation leaders and R&D scientists and engineers from leading Fortune 500 companies. illumin8 customers come from across industries such as automotive, chemicals, and consumer packaged goods, and the web-based tool has been enhanced to closely align with its users’ workflow and the questions they need to answer at the front-end of innovation.

illumin8 supports an organization’s innovation platform by helping identify new technologies and applications for product development, supporting risk assessment of entering new market space, uncovering competitor activity and helping identify potential new partners or suppliers. Unlike regular search platforms, illumin8 is able to easily identify and show relationships between concepts and entities such as technologies, organizations, products, and scientific approaches—which is often buried in document text and could take many hours or weeks to capture and assess.

Source: Elsevier

Pubget Launches Major Redesign

Pubget announces the launch of the latest version of, the search engine for life science PDFs. beta, launched in 2008 at Harvard, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital, was created to eliminate the roadblocks faced by ten million researchers in their daily search for life science literature.

This launch represents the most significant redesign since the site’s inception. The improvements change look, feel, and workflow. Unchanged are the site’s search, authentication and retrieval capabilities, and millions of direct paths to publisher content as supported by more than 450 libraries.

Pubget’s redesign was prompted by a recent surge in popularity. “As we saw our audience grow from a few scientists in-the-know to a broader and more diverse group, we wanted to address the needs of different user workflows,” said Dr. Ramy Arnaout, CEO and founder at Pubget. “In addition, we made search, authentication, and content access faster and easier.”

While the web brought the most important published scientific research online, it has remained locked behind a variety of content sites and paywalls. Pubget makes that research instantly accessible through connecting disparate resources together in the cloud, or “cloud sourcing,” while still respecting copyrights. As such, analysis at Pubget has shown that its service makes researchers five times more productive in finding and retrieving scientific literature.

Source: Pubget

Digital Science Funding Program to Spur Innovation

Digital Science, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., unveiled its Catalyst Prize, an initiative to support innovators who wish to develop new software tools or technologies for scientific research. The program will provide a series of awards up to £15,000 each (about $24,000) to the most promising ideas for novel uses of information technology in science. Catalyst Prize awards are intended mainly to provide initial support for innovators who wish to take ideas from concept to prototype. Along with funding, they also provide an opportunity to work with Digital Science to refine, develop, and promote the innovation.

The application process is simple, and decisions are made in a timely fashion. Interested parties are asked to submit a short proposal detailing their breakthrough idea or innovation. Shortlisted applicants are then invited to present their ideas, preferably in person at a Digital Science office in London, New York, or Tokyo.

Priority will be given to applicants who have limited access to other sources of funding, and to projects that adopt open and collaborative approaches. Digital Science will not claim intellectual property rights over the results.

"We are proud of Macmillan’s long track record in supporting innovation, both inside and outside the company, not least in our science-publishing division, Nature Publishing Group. But we are always seeking new ways to do more, which is why we launched Digital Science, and why we’re delighted to announce the Catalyst Prize initiative," said Annette Thomas, CEO, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Digital Science was launched in December 2010 to provide technology solutions for researchers. From intelligent knowledge-discovery tools to software applications for the laboratory and decision-support systems for managers, Digital Science combines world-class technology with a resolute focus on scientists and those who support the research process.

For more information on the initiative or to apply, visit

Source: Digital Science

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