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Weekly News Digest

May 20, 2013 — 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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EBSCO and Data-Planet Provide Statistical Data Via EBSCO Discovery Service

EBSCO and Data-Planet reached an agreement that for the first time provides statistical DataSheets within a discovery service. A growing collection of more than 5,000 summary-level data records from Data-Planet will be available within EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), allowing mutual customers to link directly to Data-Planet DataSheets.

The Data-Planet repository of statistical content currently holds more than 5,000 datasets presented in more than 2 billion views of data (maps, trends, tables, rankings). The datasets are sourced from reputable public and private organizations and cover topics across 16 broad subject areas, including education, population and income, industry, commerce and trade, housing and construction, and much more. All of the data have been standardized and structured, and are described with 37 fields of metadata including DOI, summary-level visualizations of the data, descriptions, titles, geographic entities, data-specific elements, and standardized citations. Users can access all the available views for each data series and download the data from each DataSheet.

Data-Planet president Matt Dunie says the agreement with EBSCO is a natural extension of Data-Planet’s mission. “Our mission is to make statistical data more findable and more usable and this effort is in sync with the overall objective of discovery.”

In addition to being accessible via EDS, the Data-Planet repository is searchable via two complementary interfaces: Data-Planet Statistical Datasets and Data-Planet Statistical Ready Reference.

Data-Planet is part of a growing list of publishers and other content partners that are taking part in EDS to bring more visibility to their content. EDS creates a unified, customized index of an institution’s information resources, and an easy yet powerful means of accessing all of that content from a single search box.

Source: EBSCO 

Wiley Begins Trial of Alternative Metrics on Subscription and Open Access Articles

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. began a trial of Altmetric, a service that tracks and measures the impact of scholarly articles and datasets on both traditional and social media. The 6-month trial will run on a number of subscription and open access journals published by Wiley, including Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie, BJU International, Brain and Behavior, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, and EMBO Molecular Medicine.

As part of the trial, Altmetric will track social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, blogs, newspapers, magazines, and online reference managers such as Mendeley and CiteULike for mentions of scholarly articles published in the journals included in the trial. Altmetric will create and display a score for each article measuring the quality and quantity of attention that the particular article has received. The Altmetric score is based on three main factors: the number of individuals mentioning a paper, where the mentions occurred, and how often the author of each mention talks about the article.

Article-level metrics are emerging as important tools to quantify how individual articles are shared, used, and discussed. These are being used in conjunction with more traditional metrics focused on long-term impact of a collection of articles found in a journal based on the number of citations.

Altmetric is a system that tracks the attention that scholarly articles and datasets receive online by pulling in data from three main sources: social media sites and blogs, traditional media, and online reference managers. Altmetric cleans up and normalizes the data from these sources, then makes it available for analysis. A key difference between Altmetric and other social media-monitoring services is that Altmetric will disambiguate links to articles: It knows that even though some tweets might link to a PubMed abstract, newspapers to the publisher’s site, and blog posts to a link, they’re all talking about the same paper.

Source: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

D&B Introduces Hooverís Analytics for Small Business Customers

D&B, a source of commercial information and insight on businesses, introduced Hoover’s Analytics, a new product to help small businesses segment and evaluate their customers and prospects to identify new growth opportunities. In addition to the D&B predictive analytics solutions launched earlier, this new product gives small businesses the edge to anticipate tomorrow’s opportunities today.

Businesses are looking for a competitive edge to successfully navigate market dynamics. They depend on actionable insights and a clear point of view that reveal untapped opportunities. D&B has long provided this informed perspective, and now, with expanded analytics, Hoover’s customers will have the insight to uncover new prospects and market opportunities.

Hoover’s Analytics enables users to integrate transactional data from customers with D&B’s database of more than 20 million U.S. business records. Using this new customer analytics product, subscribers can pinpoint optimal targets while gaining insights about their market penetration and how they stack up to the competition.

The four reports within Hoover’s Analytics enable small businesses to analyze their customer and prospect portfolios by geography, size, corporate relationship, and other filters. Reports include the following:

  • The Industry Penetration Report categorizes customers by industry, providing a quick and easy view of the industries spending the most and which ones to target for growth.
  • The Company Map Report shows where existing customers are located geographically to easily plan customer visits, assign sales territories, or target prospects in key regions.
  • The Company Opportunity Report provides a quick view of a customer’s family tree to help leverage current relationships for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. It also finds look-alike prospects based on a company’s best customer profiles.
  • The Company Segmentation Report determines the size of best customers, based on annual revenue, and summarizes market penetration, allowing target segmentation where sales has had success but a great deal of opportunity remains.

Available to U.S. subscribers via a web-based application, Hoover’s Analytics requires no additional IT support or hardware.

Source: Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.

Elsevier to Integrate GSA Geological Maps Into Geofacets

Elsevier announced a collaboration with The Geological Society of America (GSA), one of the largest and most prestigious societies serving geosciences professionals worldwide. The collaboration will formally launch in September through the integration of more than 60,000 geological maps from GSA’s flagship journals, book series, and the comprehensive Decade of North American Geology compendium into Geofacets, Elsevier’s research tool for geoscientists working in exploration for the oil and gas and metals and mining industries.

The move will bring the total number of maps in Geofacets to more than 300,000, providing a comprehensive resource for Geofacets users to investigate potential areas for exploration in more detail. The GSA will be the largest third-party content contributor to Geofacets’ maps database to date, providing maps from its range of publications dating from 1934. As a result, exploration teams will put Geofacets to better use in their technical evaluations of geographic areas for potential energy and mineral sources. For the GSA and its 25,000 members across 103 countries, the collaboration will allow the society to expand the reach of its maps, from its established position with academic users to those in the applied sector that need its information to make the best decisions possible.

The 60,000 maps are collated from GSA’s flagship journals, including the Geological Society of America Bulletin and Geology, GSA’s monthly journal that has been recognized as the most cited geology publication for the past 6 years. Maps are also taken from GSA’s four book series and the Decade of North American Geology compendium. The collaboration builds on earlier Geofacets alliances with the Geological Society of London in October 2011, the Society for Sedimentary Geology in September 2012, and the Society of Economic Geologists in January 2013.

Source: Elsevier

Blackboard and Vital Source Launch Etextbook Pilot

Blackboard, Inc., and Vital Source Technologies, Inc. launched pilot programs with a number of colleges and universities to test-drive an integrated offering that makes the VitalSource Bookshelf platform and its hundreds of thousands of etextbooks available directly within Blackboard Learn, the company’s flagship learning management system. 

Indiana University-Fort Wayne, University of Alaska-Anchorage, and Fayetteville Technical Community College are among the institutions participating in the field trial. With the integration, instructors can preview and select etextbooks, content, and learning objects from the VitalSource Bookshelf platform that students can then access through a single sign-on.

Participants in the field trial will provide ongoing feedback to the companies about their experiences. Participating instructors have expressed satisfaction with the ability to annotate etextbooks, link to content from anywhere within a course or assignment, and assess how students are progressing through content. Students have been enthusiastic about using etextbooks on mobile devices through native iOS and Android applications, which includes deep linking that makes pages and features such as notes, highlights, and annotations look the same on etextbooks as they do in printed textbooks.

The integrated solution, expected to be available this summer, offers two purchase models. Institutions that include textbooks as part of tuition can place etextbooks directly into Blackboard Learn courses for immediate student access. Alternatively, a student-purchase option will give instructors the opportunity to make etextbooks available for students to purchase or rent from within their Blackboard Learn course environment.

Source: Blackboard, Inc. and Vital Source Technologies, Inc.

UNESCO Publications to Be Free Under Open License

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the U.N., announced that it will make its digital publications available to people around the world free of charge with an open license. Following a decision by the Executive Board in April, UNESCO became the first member of the U.N. to adopt such an open access (OA) policy for its publications. 

The new policy means that anyone will be able to download, translate, adapt, distribute, and re-share UNESCO publications and data without paying. By adopting this new publishing policy, UNESCO aligns its practice with its advocacy work in favor of OA and strengthens its commitment to the universal access to information and knowledge.

The OA movement was born in the scientific community to address the spiraling costs of the scientific literature, which is essential to researchers. A wide range of universities, institutions, and governments support it as an alternative to the traditional model of knowledge dissemination through costly academic journals.

Starting in July 2013, hundreds of downloadable digital UNESCO publications will be available to users through a new OA repository with a multilingual interface. All new publications will be released with an open license. UNESCO will also seek ways to apply it retroactively (i.e., to works already published). If UNESCO enters into special agreements with publishing partners, the OA policy need not apply. Co-publishers will be strongly encouraged to adhere to the requirements of the new policy.

By championing OA for its publications, UNESCO reinforces a fundamental goal of an intergovernmental organization—to ensure that all the knowledge it creates is made available to the widest possible audience.

The full text of the policy is available on UNESCO's website. The new publishing policy is in line with UNESCO’s Open Access to Scientific Information Strategy and its main components as well as its work on Open Educational Resources and Free and Open Source Software.

Source: UNESCO

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