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Weekly News Digest

August 27, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Al Jazeera America Takes to the Airwaves

Get your remote ready—there’s a new channel in TV land. Al Jazeera America, the U.S.-based news channel from the Al Jazeera Media Network, premiered recently as a hub for national and international news programs, documentaries, and discussions.

Al Jazeera America’s website promises “unbiased, fact-based and in-depth” reporting “that gets you closer to the people at the heart of the news.” There are 12 Al Jazeera America bureaus, three broadcast centers, and about 800 journalists and staff to cover the 14 hours of news programming per day. The other 10 hours are currently filled with newsmagazine shows and documentaries. Content will constantly evolve; for example, a weekly sports show is now in development. 

“This is the type of journalism we committed to when we announced the creation of Al Jazeera America in January,” says Ehab Al-Shihabi, interim CEO.

The channel can enlist help from Al Jazeera’s 70 international bureaus when covering breaking news. These connections will allow for continuous updates to stories, according to Kate O’Brian, channel president.

So far, the lineup of programming is a mix of traditional reporting, citizen journalism, and analysis. America Tonight, the flagship show, provides in-depth coverage of timely and lesser-known topics, while The Stream uses social media and citizen journalist input on the news. Fault Lines explores the U.S.’s role on the international stage. Real Money With Ali Velshi and TechKnow focus on the economy and science, respectively. And Consider This takes a look at current affairs from new viewpoints.

The channel may not be offered in all areas. For more information, visit the channel finder.

Source: Al Jazeera America

Researchers Granted Access to Digitized Malay Manuscripts

The British Library (BL) recently signed an agreement with the National Library Board Singapore (NLB) so researchers can access the BL’s Malay manuscript collection for free online.

Philanthropists William and Judith Bollinger donated £125,000 (about $195,000) for this 5-year digitization project that will preserve historic materials focusing on Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British administrator and founder of Singapore. Among other topics in the collection are documents relating to history, religion, law, culture, folklore, and legends.

The NLB, which oversees the National Library, the Public Libraries, and the National Archives of Singapore, is designed to “provide trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service” to its users, according to the website. The Malay manuscripts will be available for viewing in the BL’s Digitised Manuscripts archive and the NLB’s BookSG.

The BL, which began acquiring these manuscripts in 1753, now has 100 documents from Java and the Malay peninsula from the 17th to the 19th centuries, along with diplomatic letters and 150 legal documents, all of which are in the Malay language. These resources are part of the BL’s India Office Records.

“This collaboration allows the National Library to explore the wealth of information in the British Library’s Southeast Asian collection, especially materials which are of interest to Singapore,” says Gene Tan, director of the National Library. “Our users will be able to easily access rarely seen documents relating to the rich history and culture of Singapore and the region.”

Source: The British Library

Chegg Unveils Updated Mobile App

Chegg just released a redesigned version of its mobile app for etextbook reading. The app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, has more than 2.5 million guided solutions to help students answer problem sets and question sections in textbooks. Solution topics so far include math, science, engineering, and business.

Students can also read their etextbooks (rented for a monthly subscription fee) on the app and search for titles by keyword or by scanning a physical book’s bar code.

New to the app is the option to receive two free guided solutions per week and read more than 2,500 free etextbook samples. The homescreen is now streamlined to include access to both the etextbook reader and the guided solutions. Chegg encourages user feedback to fine tune the new app; in fact, student feedback was instrumental in creating this update.

Chegg notes on the app homescreen that the next update will include 24/7 study help for questions from students on-the-go.

Source: Chegg  

OUP and MIT Press Launch New Database

The MIT Press, in partnership with Oxford University Press full-text monograph library Oxford Scholarship Online, is launching MIT Press Scholarship Online.

MIT Press Scholarship Online, which is a database of XML-enabled titles from MIT Press, will be hosted on the University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO) platform beginning this month. UPSO and MIT Press use XML workflows to enhance discoverability, says Ellen Faran, MIT Press director. “We are convinced that [XML] features such as chapter-level tagging and chapter abstracts will encourage the use of our monographic content.”

UPSO aggregates books from 13 university presses on a single platform and uses a federated search engine. MIT Press Scholarship Online is designed to leverage the tools of the UPSO search interface to provide librarians, researchers, teachers, and students with access to MIT Press titles, as well as all 12,897 titles and 25 subject areas in UPSO.

On its FAQ page, MIT Press explains its decision to partner with Oxford University Press and UPSO is based on partnerships: “UPSO operates a mature frontlist publishing platform for monographs online with deep penetration into the academic library market. We believe that joining with Oxford in an UPSO partnership will provide users around the world with access to our authors’ excellent scholarship.”

Source: Oxford University Press

Versita to Publish Swedish OA Journal

Versita agreed to begin publishing the peer-reviewed, open access (OA) Journal of Official Statistics (JOS), the flagship publication of Statistics Sweden.

Sweden’s administrative agency for official statistics helps the government and private sector customers in decision making, debates, and research. Statistics Sweden handed over publishing duties of JOS to Versita because of the company’s prestige, says Dawid Cecula, head of acquisitions at Versita. Versita, which became part of De Gruyter in 2010, is now the second-largest OA publisher in the world.

JOS, a quarterly English-language journal, spotlights the production process of official statistics that range from survey methods to policy decisions. The journal will be available on De Gruyter’s online OA platform; researchers will be able to access back issues of the journal on Versita’s website in September.

Source: Versita

Nielsen Acquires Bowker Products

Nielsen continues to collect more data than who’s watching what on television: It has expanded its book-related intelligence information through its recent acquisition of Bowker’s market research and commerce solutions products.

These Bowker services will allow Nielsen to measure ebook sales in the U.S. and the U.K. and to analyze demographic data about book sales. Among Bowker’s portfolio of business intelligence solutions now available to Nielsen are PubTrack, Books & Consumers, Global eBook Monitor (which tracks ebook purchases and opinions in 10 countries), and customer service information for booksellers from PubEasy and Pubnet.

Bowker, a ProQuest affiliate, provides bibliographic information and management solutions for the publishing industry and is the official ISBN (International Standard Book Number) agency in the U.S.

“We are committed to elevating the global book industry’s understanding of print and digital book measurement and discovery within an evolving media landscape,” says Jonathan Nowell, president of books at Nielsen. Kurt Sanford, ProQuest CEO, concurs: “By bringing together Nielsen and Bowker analytic services, book publishers will receive the critical data they require … through one tool set from one source, significantly simplifying the collection of business intelligence.”

Nielsen currently studies consumer habits in more than 100 countries to gain insight into global trends.

Source: Bowker

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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