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Weekly News Digest

February 6, 2012 — 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.

NFAIS Releases Draft Discovery Service Code of Practice

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) posted a draft Discovery Service Code of Practice for review and comment by March 16, 2012. NFAIS believes that discovery services have the potential to provide ease of information discovery, access, and use, benefitting not only its member organizations, but also the global community of information seekers. However, the relative newness of these services has generated questions and concerns among information providers and librarians as to how these services meet expectations with regard to issues related to traditional search and retrieval services, e.g., usage reports, ranking algorithms, content coverage, updates, product identification, etc. Accordingly, this document has been developed to assist those who choose to use this new distribution channel through the provision of guidelines that will help avoid the disruption of the delicate balance of interests involved.

NFAIS is inviting all members of the information community to review the draft and submit questions and comments for consideration by the Code Development Task Force. Background information and the draft Code can be accessed here.

NFAIS wants to hear from you. Are there other issues to be considered? Who do they impact? What solutions should be considered? All comments are welcome and can be submitted online here

Source: NFAIS

International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) Approves Indexes Working Group

The American Society for Indexing (ASI) reported that at the end of January 2012, the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) approved the Indexes Charter Proposal to establish an Indexes Working Group. The proposal was approved by a vote of 69 yes, 1 no, and 1 abstention.

The Indexes Working Group is now identifying additional participants and setting its meeting calendar and agenda. Any representative of an IDPF organization member (the IDPF consists of 300+ publishers, organizations, software and device developers, etc.) can participate and a small number of invited experts, who are not IDPF representatives, can also be included. It is hoped that participants will include representatives of publishers, e-reader developers, software tool developers, and librarians, as well as indexers who have experience with technologies, such as XML, HTML, and online and web indexing. Interested parties should contact David K. Ream, co-chair of ASI’s DTTF at

The Indexes Charter Proposal team, consisting of ASI Digital Trends Task Force (DTTF) members and IDPF members, completed the proposal in late November 2011 after public peer review in the U.S. and internationally. At a December meeting, the IDPF board had unanimously approved putting the Indexes Charter Proposal to a vote by the full membership.

The ASI established the DTTF in mid-2011. One goal was to influence the inclusion of indexes in ebooks. To achieve this end, ASI became a member of the IDPF and began working on a proposal to better integrate indexes as components of ebooks formatted using EPUB 3.0.

For information on the activities of the DTTF beyond the EPUB standard, email, or visit LinkedIn members can search for the discussion group “ASI Digital Trends Task Force.”

Source: ASI

SAGE Journals Available Via Mobile Devices

SAGE announced that its entire online journal collection is now available in a mobile-optimized format with the help of HighWire Press’ Mobile Web Interface. Visitors to one of the more than 640 SAGE journal sites using their iPhones, Androids, or other smartphones are automatically redirected to the mobile version. Subscribers can now view content in a format designed specifically for the small screen size and functionality of their mobile devices.

Each of SAGE’s mobile journal sites feature the full-text content of the current issue (with user authentication), OnlineFirst articles, archives, and tables of contents, in addition to providing simplified search, personalization, and article share options. The mobile sites maintain the look and feel of the full web versions for consistency. Mobile-optimized sites will be created for every new SAGE journal launched in the future.

SAGE is an international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a range of subject areas. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC.

A division of the Stanford University Libraries, HighWire partners with influential societies, university presses, and other independent publishers, sharing ideas and innovations in publishing, and producing definitive online versions of peer-reviewed journals, books, reference works, and other scholarly content. The underlying infrastructure of HighWire’s electronic publishing platform is web-services-oriented, flexible, and permeable, allowing publishers to easily layer new software and services to their sites that will meet the ever-changing needs of today’s online and mobile readers.

Amigos and Missouri Library Network Announce Agreement to Explore Merger

Amigos Library Services, a library membership organization based in Dallas, and the Missouri Library Network Corp. (MLNC), a similar St. Louis-based library membership organization, announced that they entered into a working agreement to explore merging operations. If the organizations merge, Amigos will be the largest library consortium west of the Mississippi River, comprising about 1,000 libraries and cultural heritage institutions in 22 states.

Following lengthy exploratory discussions, members of the Boards of Directors of Amigos and MLNC unanimously approved a working agreement as the definitive guideline for further activities leading to merger. Member votes on the merger are scheduled for mid-April and early May. Pending member approval, the merger will be completed July 1, 2012.

Both networks bring unique services of interest to a larger member base and both have strong continuing education programs to share. Current MLNC and Amigos members will benefit from increased ability to leverage library resources for purchasing thousands of library products and services from leading providers.

Source: Amigos Library Services

EPA Releases New Tool With Information About U.S. Water Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new tool that provides the public with important information about pollutants that are released into local waterways. Developed under President Barack Obama’s transparency initiative, the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and allows for easy searching and mapping of water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant. Americans can use this new tool to protect their health and the health of their communities.

Searches using the DMR Pollutant Loading Tool result in “top ten” lists to help users easily identify facilities and industries that are discharging the most pollution and impacted bodies of water. When discharges are above permitted levels, users can view the violations and link to details about enforcement actions that EPA and states have taken to address these violations. 

Facilities releasing water pollution directly into our nation’s waterways, such as wastewater treatment plants or industrial manufacturers, must receive a permit to discharge under the Clean Water Act. Each permit sets specific limits for how much can be discharged. It also requires the permittee to frequently sample their wastewater discharges and report the data to their state or EPA permitting authority. 

A link to the new tool can be found on EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website, which provides information about inspections, facility compliance, and state and federal enforcement actions. EPA has also released several new ECHO features, including a search for criminal enforcement cases and web developer tools that make it easy to tap into ECHO reports and maps. 

Source: EPA 

Chemistry Information Centre Berlin (FIZ CHEMIE) Up For Sale

The public sector shareholders of Berlin’s Chemistry Information Centre FIZ CHEMIE GmbH are putting their shares up for sale. FIZ CHEMIE is the successor of the “Chemisches Zentralblatt” founded in 1830. It provides chemical data and abstracts for scientific and industrial communities both on paper and electronically.

Main shareholders are the German Federal Government and the State of Berlin, with industry associations being minority shareholders whose shares are available as well. Several scientific publishers have already shown interest in the information services produced. These include the databases ChemInform and INFOTHERM and the educational encyclopaedia CHEMGAROO. Berlin attorney Christian Köhler-Ma, who was appointed commercial director to handle the sales process, has begun preliminary talks with interested parties on behalf of the shareholders.

The 68 employees of FIZ CHEMIE research all current literature and data on chemistry and related sciences, summarize it, and input it into databases for various applications, fast and easy searches and—if desired—customized content.

The main product—called ChemInform—is an abstract service and a journalistic database for synthetic-organic and metal-organic chemistry. A second product, the INFOTHERM database, supplies thermo-physical experimental data for the everyday-use of process engineering. The eLearning product family CHEMGAROO comprises the online encyclopaedia ChemgaPedia and the areas ChemgaNet, ChemgaMedia, and CemgaCourse.


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