All posts by NSR

De Gruyter and United Nations cooperate on Open Access book project

news from De Gruyter:

Berlin/Boston, 18 December 2017 –De Gruyter and the United Nations are cooperating on the publication of two open access books on mathematics. The UN promotes international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of outer space, and among its responsibilities are the UN-affiliated Regional Centers for Space Science and Technology Education (located in India, Morocco, Nigeria, Mexico/Brazil, Jordan and China). The Regional Centers are responsible for the development of skills and knowledge for university educators and research and applications scientists. To do this, they use rigorous theory, research, applications, field exercises, and pilot projects in those aspects of space science and technology that can contribute to sustainable development in each respective region.

Both books are open access titles accessible to anyone, anywhere and will form the basis of the mathematics foundation courses within the curricula of the Regional Centers. Both are designed for physicists and engineers. The first volume covers Linear Algebra and the second volume focuses on Probability and Statistics.

“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity of working with the UN to help support the valuable work they do and to help contribute to accessible, timely information for researchers,” said Dr. Anke Beck, Managing Director, De Gruyter. “As one of the largest open access book publishers, we are especially pleased to add to the corpus of quality research available to anyone on degruyter.com.”

Continue reading De Gruyter and United Nations cooperate on Open Access book project

Papers of Florence Nightingale now digitized using Handwritten Text Recognition technology

From Adam Matthew:

Medical Services and Warfare, 1850-1927, the latest primary source collection from Adam Matthew Digital, has transformed access to the personal and professional writings of Florence Nightingale with exclusive Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR). The HTR technology allows these handwritten papers to be fully searchable for the first time.

“[HTR] is going to transform scholarship and the types of questions researchers can ask,” commented Dr Patrick Spero, Director, American Philosophical Society Library, explaining the impact of HTR. “The technology has tremendous potential.”

Along with the Nightingale Papers, thousands of digitized documents from prestigious archives will give students and scholars first-hand knowledge of the development of medical practice as influenced by the wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Continue reading Papers of Florence Nightingale now digitized using Handwritten Text Recognition technology

With the recent addition of Florida’s collections, Digital Public Library of America now comprises 18 million resources

From DPLA:

We are pleased to announce that over 74,000 new materials from Florida’s Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN) are now discoverable in DPLA. Please join us in welcoming SSDN partners Florida State University, University of Miami, and Florida International University to the DPLA network.

With this new content, DPLA now makes over 18 million resources available to all, but it’s not about the numbers for us. Each new partner, institution, and collection added to DPLA means we expand the network of people, communities, and stories that we represent and can share with you, our community. Newly added collections from Sunshine State Digital Network provide rich content documenting Florida’s unique culture, landscape, and people, as well as materials that represent and reflect our shared national heritage. Continue reading With the recent addition of Florida’s collections, Digital Public Library of America now comprises 18 million resources

Califa forms ongoing agreement to bring Total Boox to California libraries

Total Boox, the ebook service that offers unlimited simultaneous access while minimizing cost with payment based on actual reading, and the Califa Library Group, the consortium of California public libraries, have announced that Califa will continue reselling the Total Boox service to its members following the conclusion of a pilot period. Califa members will receive a discount on Total Boox, making it even more affordable to them.

Total Boox provides a collection of nearly 100,000 titles from reputable publishers, and libraries pay only for actual reading that their patrons do. This allows the library to expand its ebook collection from bestsellers-only to cover many areas of nonfiction and specialized fiction that it normally cannot provide. Continue reading Califa forms ongoing agreement to bring Total Boox to California libraries

Free trial access to Adam Matthew’s Literary Print Culture granted to NSR readers through January 12th

Recently Adam Matthew announced the publication of its latest collection, Literary Print Culture: The Stationers’ Company Archive. NSR originally reported on it in late September. Widely regarded as one of the most important sources for the history of the book, publishing and copyright, the archive of The Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspaper Makers is now available for research via this digital archive.

Adam Matthew is now offering free public access to the archive through January 12, 2018 for No Shelf Required readers. Here are access details:

Libraries and other institutions interested in subscribing may contact publisher for pricing details. Generally, pricing is based on FTE, purchase history, and Carnegie Classification.

The world’s first virtual reality book series launches exclusively at Walmart

Reading continues to evolve right before our eyes. We saw this coming, and now it’s arrived. A children’s book series which combines traditional print with AR and VR to drive engagement and to ultimately get today’s young readers to read in ways native to them (not us). This means using technology to bring literature to them  with a whole new approach.–Ed.

From Quantum Storey Company, Inc.

An exciting new children’s publishing venture is launching exclusively today at Walmart that will combine the tradition of illustrated printed books with the dynamic, self-directed action of virtual reality. The Quantum Storey Company, publisher of the disruptive, new book series, Operation YOU®, which insightfully addresses the highs and lows of growing up today, is hitting the shelves exclusively at Walmart, reaching millions of families in time for the holiday season.

Blending “old school” and new, Quantum Storey’s new category of Virtual Reality Books have the potential to transform both the publishing and nascent augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) content markets.

Watch promotional video here.

Continue reading The world’s first virtual reality book series launches exclusively at Walmart

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