All posts by NSR

Two million open access nature illustrations available on Flickr via Biodiversity Heritage Library

From Open Culture:

“The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an ‘open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives,’ has for many years been making it easy for people to connect to nature through nature writing and illustration. In 2012, they announced the “success story” of their Flickr streams, both containing thousands of illustrations and photographs uploaded by the BHL staff and readers from their huge collections of books.

The first stream, currently at 122,281 images, has been carefully curated, and includes searchable galleries and albums divided by book title or subject…The second stream, consisting of over 2 million images, is a massive grab-bag of photos, illustrations from nature, advertisements, and imaginative renderings.”

Read the full article here.


More about BHL, as noted on its web site:

“The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles. In partnership with the Internet Archive and through local digitization efforts, the BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing over 120,000 titles and over 200,000 volumes.”

Spain will be the Guest of Honor at 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurter Buchmesse and Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, in the presence of the Spanish Publishers Association, have signed a joint memorandum of understanding to prepare for Spain’s participation as Guest of Honour at the Frankurter Buchmesse (20-24 October 2021). This means Spain will be Guest of Honour in Frankfurt exactly 30 years since it was last present in this role. Spain’s most widely read and important contemporary authors include Fernando Aramburu, Dolores Redondo, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Javier Marías, Almudena Grandes and Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Some 500 million people speak Spanish, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

The partners describe Spain’s appearance as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse as an excellent opportunity to showcase the developments and trends in Spanish culture in recent decades and to present Spanish literature and authors to an international audience. Another goal of Spain’s participation is to create an international network for the Spanish creative and cultural industries. Continue reading Spain will be the Guest of Honor at 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair

What’s new at Knowledge Unlatched and with Open Access in general

Some Open Access news (as drawn from Knowledge Unlatched’s recent newsletter):This October,  usage of Open Access books, funded through Knowledge Unlatched (KU), has doubled within just one quarter, now totaling 228 000 full-text downloads on the OAPEN platform and 67, 068 chapter downloads on the JSTOR platform.

To mark International Open Access Week, KU announced two new partnerships. It launched a new cooperation with Bertelsmann Verlag to make its Open Access titles in social sciences, education, and social research internationally available through KU. In addition, KU’s partnership with transcript makes 200 political science monographs free for reading worldwide. Continue reading What’s new at Knowledge Unlatched and with Open Access in general

VitalSource and Al Manhal collaborate to bring digital content from over 450 publishers to learners in the Middle East

From Vital Source:

VitalSource®, the world leader in building, enhancing and delivering digital course materials, and Al Manhal, the leading publisher of full-text searchable electronic databases of scholarly, professional and peer-reviewed content from the Arab World, are now collaborating to expand the reach and delivery of Al Manhal’s unique content collection from over 450 Arabic language publishers.

By working together, Al Manhal’s expansive collection will now be deliverable through VitalSource Bookshelf®, the most widely used higher education digital-content platform in the world. Continue reading VitalSource and Al Manhal collaborate to bring digital content from over 450 publishers to learners in the Middle East

Follett to sell LEGO Education solutions to U.S. school libraries

From Follett:

In its continuing effort to serve the growing makerspace movement, Follett announced today it will sell a selection of LEGO® Education solutions. These solutions will be offered by Follett specifically for school librarians in the U.S. who are interested in establishing a makerspace in their library.

The announcement was made in Phoenix at the 18th American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition. At Follett’s booth (409), the company is featuring an array of makerspace resources, including LEGO Education solutions. Continue reading Follett to sell LEGO Education solutions to U.S. school libraries

Cathay Pacific and PressReader partner to bring newspapers and magazines to passengers via an app

From Talking New Media:

“Starting today, all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon passengers get sponsored access to PressReader. They can choose from thousands of publications to download to their own device 48 hours before their flight… [and]… activate their access to PressReader using the Cathay Pacific app.

After that, it’s all about choice. Users can use PressReader’s award-winning app to download issues, or they can browse them online. They can read the original layouts or check out an enriched text-view optimized for mobile.”

Read the full article on Talking New Media.

EBSCO and BiblioLabs partner to support open access discovery of electronic theses and dissertations

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and BiblioLabs have announced the launch of a collaborative open access initiative dedicated to advancing library and industry innovation related to electronic theses and dissertations (ETD). OpenDissertations.org, is committed to facilitating open and free access to ETD metadata and content. In addition to the fully open website, EBSCO will include EDT metadata in EBSCO Discovery Service to facilitate access and improve content discovery.

Project sponsors recognize that ETD authors are faced with an expanding world of discovery and hosting options for their work. EBSCO is committed to easing the path of discovery. By exposing metadata via the OpenDissertations.org website and EBSCO Discovery Service, the project seeks to increase the visibility of ETDs on the open web. Users will be able to link from individual records in the database to partnering host sites, including academic institutional repositories. Continue reading EBSCO and BiblioLabs partner to support open access discovery of electronic theses and dissertations

Safari, O’Reilly’s learning platform for higher education now available from ProQuest

O’Reilly Media’s completely new version of Safari: O’Reilly’s Learning Platform for Higher Education is now available from ProQuest. This version of Safari features both a new student experience and a new business model that provides academic institutions with easier, more affordable access for their entire student body.

“We designed the new Safari to support today’s students, who expect to learn online, on their own time, and in their preferred way,” said Karen Hebert-Maccaro, O’Reilly’s Chief Content Officer. “No longer just an online library, Safari is a rich, full-featured learning platform. And, our revamped business model allows our higher-ed customers to give all of their students full access to Safari. We are very excited to work with ProQuest, our exclusive distributor in the academic library market, to offer this new platform to libraries around the globe.” Continue reading Safari, O’Reilly’s learning platform for higher education now available from ProQuest

Chapters – Interactive Stories, an innovative new app that introduces gamified fiction

Mobile gaming has exploded in recent years, climbing from $17.5 billion in revenue in 2013 to $36.9 billion in 2016. This represents almost 40 percent of the gaming industry’s entire market and reveals that games designed specifically for smart phones and tablets are rapidly outperforming PC and console games.

A Novel Concept

Entering this infinitely expanding galaxy of mobile gaming apps is one that involves a novel concept: gamified fiction. Chapters – Interactive Stories—created by San Francisco-based Crazy Maple Studios, an iOS/Adroid app developer owned by ChineseAll USA Corporation and known for their game Tap Knights – Idle RPG—is “transform[ing] fiction stories into sustainable mobile games.” Launched in September 2017, Chapters was downloaded 250,000 times worldwide within the first month, and double that amount is projected to occur by mid-2018 as its catalog of game-adapted literature grows. Because the app is exclusively in English, 50 percent of the initial quarter-million downloads have been USA-based, while the remainder have been divided between the UK, India, Australia, Canada, and Brazil.

Available in GooglePlay and iStore, Chapters can be download for free. Once open, the homepage offers an array of genre fiction, with romance, horror, fantasy, and young adult selections principal among them. Supplementary chapters to existing titles become available each week. Currently, the app’s catalog of works includes titles by popular self-published authors, like Yuriko Hime, Gabriela Cabezut, and Jerilee Kaye, each of whom already has a significant following online and has previously released novels in either Kindle format or via the online storytelling community Wattpad. In the Chapters app, new gamified stories from other authors are now in production, a process that takes approximately three months, and these will be added throughout the end of the year. The application’s developers are also looking to significantly expand the scope of their catalog to include not only genre fiction, but literary fiction as well.

Continue reading Chapters – Interactive Stories, an innovative new app that introduces gamified fiction

EBSCO introduces two new magazine archives: U.S. News & World Report Magazine Archive and Esquire Magazine Archive

November 1, 2017 — Libraries can now enhance their special collections with digital backfiles for two leading magazines, U.S News and World Report and Esquire, through EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). The new magazine archives, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Archive and Esquire Magazine Archive include cover to cover processing, which means each issue is presented in its entirety as originally published.

The two archives provide researchers with extensive coverage of 20th century topics including: business/economics, cultural studies, education, fashion/lifestyle, gender studies, history, marketing/advertising, politics, pop culture and sociology. Continue reading EBSCO introduces two new magazine archives: U.S. News & World Report Magazine Archive and Esquire Magazine Archive

EBSCO and William S. Hein & Co. partnership brings historical and government-related information to researchers

Just in from EBSCO:

Five HeinOnline Databases Will Be Accessible via EBSCOhost® and
EBSCO Discovery Service

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and William S. Hein & Co., Inc. (HeinOnline), the world’s largest image-based legal and historical document research database, announce the availability of five HeinOnline databases on EBSCOhost® and EBSCO Discovery Service. The arrangement brings one of the richest and most comprehensive collections of historical and government–related information to researchers in academic and public libraries.

The HeinOnline databases provide unique coverage of legal history and government documents, making them a valuable resource for government, politics and law curricula. These resources provide a vast array of content including books, government documents, constitutions and treaties. HeinOnline databases feature works from some of the greatest minds in legal history, as well as a robust collection of Congressional documents, including comprehensive coverage of the Congressional Record, more than 60,000 hearings, thousands of House and Senate Reports, CRS reports, committee prints, and much more. Additionally, comprehensive coverage of both the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations is available. Continue reading EBSCO and William S. Hein & Co. partnership brings historical and government-related information to researchers

Sweek, a social platform for reading and writing, launches a writing competition; awards a 16-year-old Swiss girl

If you are in the book/library/publishing business and you haven’t heard of Sweek, it’s time to catch up. The Dutch start-up aims to provide a global—and social—platform for free reading, writing and sharing stories. According to its earlier press releases, its already present in over 75 countries. Sweek describes itself as “an open platform that allows anyone to easily publish stories, books and series and to read online and offline…[and] it minimizes the distance between writer and reader and adds a social component through integration of social media and the follow, like, share and comment options.”

Sweek is available on all relevant platforms (including iOS and Android) and new stories from authors from around the world are uploaded daily. The idea is to give established and aspiring writers a creative outlet where they can share their stories for free, while also being able to promote their work. NSR covered Sweek in the past, mostly recently when it reached its 100,000th user.

To date, Sweek has welcomed over 200,000 users. And since its launch in October 2016, Sweek users have published more than 50,000 stories, resulting in millions of reads and a high level of  social activity.

I have a theory that writing and reading are inseparable. Reading, alone, isn’t enough to transform us or help us internalize knowledge and the experience of being human; in the (not verbatim) words of Einstein, when we only read to learn (vs. when we also create) we run the risk of becoming ‘lazy’ learners). The truth is, we are wired, as humans, to share stories. We literally exist to share stories. Everything we do, at its core, is an attempt to create or share a story. Products/platforms that blend the skill of writing with the skill of reading are helping us to envision new possibilities. Sweek is a good example.—Mirela Roncevic Continue reading Sweek, a social platform for reading and writing, launches a writing competition; awards a 16-year-old Swiss girl

VitalSource unveils next-generation professional learning platform

Just in from VitalSource:

As VitalSource Technologies heads to Elliott Masie’s Learning 2017 and the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn this week, the company is celebrating the launch of the next generation VitalSource Content Experience Platform and crossing the one-million-user threshold on its Content Experience Platform.

“We believe learning matters everywhere,” said Eric Kuennen, VitalSource VP of Professional Learning. “To that end, it is exciting to be able to share the news of our revamped VitalSource Content Experience Platform that puts high-quality content in the hands of learners. No matter where learners may live or travel, we have tools for learning organizations and companies to create, curate, deploy and measure content securely and at any scale.” Continue reading VitalSource unveils next-generation professional learning platform

Follett Challenge launches seventh annual contest; $200,000 to be awarded to schools with innovative educational programs

Just in from Follett:

Following a year when schools from 13 different states were singled out as winners, the Follett Challenge is launching its seventh annual contest.

The 2018 Follett Challenge, open for entries through Dec. 15, will reward $200,000 in products and services from Follett to schools/districts with innovative educational programs that teach 21st-century skills to students. All public and private K-12 schools/districts in the United States, Canada, and Australia are eligible to apply.

The contest’s first six years has recognized schools of all sizes and demographics from coast to coast. In the 2017 Follett Challenge, Chase County Elementary School in Strong City, Kan. – with an enrollment of 180 students – was named the Grand Prize Winner. The school was honored for its unique “Learning with Cattle” program, where students learn valuable STEM lessons and 21st-century skills through projects involving the community and the local cattle industry. Continue reading Follett Challenge launches seventh annual contest; $200,000 to be awarded to schools with innovative educational programs

Credo introduces ‘Real-time Reference” within search results to combat fake news

Just in from Credo:

Credo Reference – the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions – is introducing a “Real-time Reference” category within search results to help students easily identify reliable sources on current issues of importance. In addition to enabling researchers to find timely and accurate reference content relating to current events and controversial topics, Credo is announcing a partnership with ProCon.org to make its Debate Topics available within Credo’s Core Collections.

In an era where news may be fake and the number of sources available are overwhelming, the ability to navigate information online is increasingly vital to both the research process, as well as each individual’s understanding of the world around them. ProCon.org’s carefully curated arguments and background context are compiled from multiple viewpoints, reliable sources, and key experts in a diverse array of topics influencing today’s society. Continue reading Credo introduces ‘Real-time Reference” within search results to combat fake news

Follett to receive an award for exceptional service to school libraries and librarians

Just in from Follett

Follett, a provider of educational resources to K-12 institutions for more than 140 years, is being honored by the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) with the organization’s 2017 Pillar Award. Follett will receive the honor Friday (Oct. 20) at ISLMA’s Awards Dinner Banquet in Springfield, IL, which caps the association’s three-day 2017 conference.

The ISLMA Board of Directors selected Follett as the Pillar Award recipient for the McHenry, Ill.-based company’s “distinguished and exceptional service and contribution to ISLMA and the school library community.”

“Follett’s support of school libraries and school librarians has been unwavering in the midst of ongoing budget cuts and state budget choices,” said Katherine Hlousek, Grants and Awards Function Representative, ISLMA. Continue reading Follett to receive an award for exceptional service to school libraries and librarians

Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: Cultural, economical, political

According to a press release NSR received from the 2017 Frankfurter Buchmesse, the world’s largest Book Fair ended yesterday with some positive numbers:

  • 286,425 visitors from over 150 countries
  • 3 percent increase in attendance over 2016
  • 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries
  • a total of 4,000 events  over the course of six days
  • 500 tables sold at the Literary Agents and Scouts Centre (LitAg), a new record
  • 6.5 percent more visitors over the weekend (when the Fair is open to the public)

More from the press release summing up this year’s Fair:

The opening of the Frankfurter Buchmesse by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron sent a strong signal highlighting a Europe of culture. Various other politicians attended the fair, including French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen, German Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters, German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles, German SPD Party Leader Martin Schulz, and Gregor Gysi, President of the European Left. The fair was overshadowed by confrontations between left- and right-wing groups. Continue reading Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: Cultural, economical, political

Digital Public Library of America unveils a pilot program to test a new model for a library-centered ebook marketplace

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) unveiled this week a pilot program to test a new model for a library-owned and library-centered ebook marketplace for popular ebooks, together with free public domain and openly-licensed ebooks. The DPLA Exchange (exchange.dp.la), will allow staff at six pilot libraries to select ebooks from over a hundred thousand licensed titles and thousands more that are openly-licensed. The new program will be administered through a partnership with LYRASIS, which will provide the hosting and other technology resources.

The launch of the Exchange represents a major milestone in the DPLA ebook pilot announced earlier this year. The goal of the program is to demonstrate how DPLA can help libraries maximize access to ebooks for their patrons. For the pilot, DPLA sought out a mix of library types including a state library, a consortium, and both a large public library and one serving smaller and rural populations. The  pilot libraries include: Alameda County Library (CA); Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (PA); Connecticut State Library (CT); Califa Library Group (CA, KS); St. Mary’s County Library (MD) and Yavapai Library Network (AZ). After a preliminary period working with these selected libraries, DPLA will explore expanding the Exchange to more institutions. Continue reading Digital Public Library of America unveils a pilot program to test a new model for a library-centered ebook marketplace

ProQuest Dissertations Now Discoverable in Google Scholar

From ProQuest:

Following the indexing of millions of scholarly articles in Google Scholar in 2015, ProQuest and Google are expanding their collaboration by indexing almost half a million full text dissertations from the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database (PQDT), the leading source of emerging research from the world’s great universities.

Google Scholar users can now seamlessly discover and access this set of full text dissertations in their libraries’ subscription collections. The user experience is improved and libraries benefit from increased usage for their content investment.

“Dissertations are excellent sources for finding emerging research and new voices,” said Allan Lu, Vice President Research Tools, Services and Platforms. “ProQuest has curated this content over decades and we’re continually looking for ways to simplify its discovery and access.” Continue reading ProQuest Dissertations Now Discoverable in Google Scholar

De Gruyter launches Science Discoveries, science news site to feature information based on published research

De Gruyter has recently launched Science Discoveries, an international science news site focused on research advancements in medicine, health, environment and technology. The site features selected research published in De Gruyter journals.

From the press release:

Publishing article highlights as well as multimedia content several times a week, Science Discoveries aims to showcase peer-reviewed scientific research in a context that helps scientific advancements reach a wider audience, not only academics and professionals, but also general science enthusiasts.

Featured research currently available includes an article on the devastating effect natural disasters have on pets and livestock from the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (JHSEM), a contribution on insect silk and its medical application from the Journal of Biosciences, and an article entitled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” on human aggression from the journal NeuroForum. Continue reading De Gruyter launches Science Discoveries, science news site to feature information based on published research