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US Elsevier’s new Opioid Resource Center brings together latest medical and scientific information to tackle opioid crisis - 10 Nov 2017

Elsevier, the information analytics business specialising in science and health, has created the Opioid Epidemic Resource Center to help healthcare professionals, medical researchers and the public understand the ongoing opioid epidemic.

The Opioid Epidemic Resource Center, freely available on Elsevier Connect, Elsevier's public news and information website, includes content from Elsevier's many medical journals, textbooks and other clinical resources. Also available is information that is used by practicing nurses and doctors and resources for patients and their families.

Dr. Leslie Dye, Editor-in-Chief of Point of Care Content for Clinical Solutions at Elsevier and a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician, is curating the content featured on the resource center.

The United States federal government recently declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. That declaration will redirect federal resources and loosen regulations to combat opioid abuse, particularly in rural areas. More than 100 Americans die daily from related overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioids, primarily prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, are fuelling drug overdoses across the USA.

The Opioid Epidemic Resource Center is advised by Dr. Dye and other professionals at Elsevier and will be updated with the most current research and evidence-based information available. Elsevier publishes about 25 percent of the world's scientific content, including thousands of textbooks and journals, drug information, clinical guidelines and patient education.

The resource center on Elsevier Connect also links to other authoritative resources, including the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, the site features links to data from Scopus and SciVal, which provide insight into global research on opioid use and abuse.

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US Wolters Kluwer Health unveils quizzing tool that delivers personalised learning for millennials and next generation medical students and residents - 10 Nov 2017

Wolters Kluwer Health unveiled a quizzing engine that delivers personalised learning and on-the-go insights to support how, when and where today's medical students want to learn. The powerful quizzing tool allows students to track progress, view results and build customized quizzes to focus their training on specific subjects, topics or areas of weakness. It is an important addition to contemporary medical education, which supports mobile access and tailors content to ensure medical students and residents more easily learn and retain information that prepares them for clinical practice.

This highly intuitive, interactive quizzing engine is available as part of the LWW Health Library, a proven online platform providing immediate and searchable access to the most widely used evidence-based textbooks, case studies, multi-media and self-assessment for medical, pharmacy and other health sciences educational programs. The new quizzing capability delivers value to medical and allied health educators and students alike by moving beyond the traditional static quizzing models that are less effective with next-generation medical students.

Research, including studies published by the American Psychological Association, demonstrates that the traditional, formal chapter-by-chapter approach to learning is less effective with 21st Century students. Instead, they fare better with an experiential and exploratory approach that incorporates multimedia, collaboration, personalised and customised assignments, which build foundational knowledge and increase retention. Active learning approaches have also been associated with greater academic achievement. For example, a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Online found that active learning increased exam performance while lecturing increased failure rates.

Students can quiz themselves, with the flexibility to simulate a timed test-taking experience at high or granular levels depending on what they want and need, with analytics that track performance results. Quiz results are also stored on the student's personal dashboard, which provides cumulative, cross-subject, topic, and sub-topic metrics that allow them to track progress over time and identify areas of strength and weakness, so study time is spent efficiently.

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UK New international coalition takes crowd-funding style approach to secure the future of open science - 10 Nov 2017

In an effort to strengthen and secure the network of non-commercial services that underpin the burgeoning field of Open Science, a newly-formed coalition of international organisations, including SPARC Europe, is spearheading an unconventional appeal.

The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), which formed just over a year ago, is now making its first funding appeal to the global academic and research communities; a request for funding support for two widely used services: the Directory of Open Access Journals and SHERPA RoMEO. The former is an online index of open access journals while the latter is an online resource providing analyses of publisher open access policies, along with summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of authors rights on a journal-by-journal basis.

Both services have been vetted by the coalition. The aim is to gain three-year funding commitments from a voluntary network of institutions — the core user-base of the services. While DOAJ and SHERPA RoMEO represent the first services to be presented for community funding, SCOSS plans to accept applications from qualified services twice a year. The next call for applications will be held in early 2018.

The groundwork for SCOSS was laid by Knowledge Exchange, which presented many of the foundational ideas for the coalition in its 2016 report, 'Putting Down Roots, Securing the Future of Open Access Policies.' Many organisations have helped to shape the coalition, including the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG), The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), The European Research Council (ERC), The European University Association (EUA), EIFL, The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), LIBER, Science Europe and SPARC Europe. Initial input was also provided by SPARC (US).

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Italy Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata" implements Ex Libris Leganto reading list solution - 10 Nov 2017

Ex Libris®, a ProQuest company, has announced that the Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata" (University of Rome Tor Vergata) has now gone live with the company's Leganto SM course reading list solution. Along with Tor Vergata's Ex Libris Alma® library services platform and Ex Libris Primo® discovery and delivery solution, the Leganto service will provide instructors and students with all the functionality needed for creating, maintaining, and using reading lists.

Leganto will improve the reading list process at Tor Vergata considerably, enabling instructors to easily create, maintain, and share course reading lists with students, the library, and with other faculty members. Leganto informs the library automatically of course resource needs while both instructors and students can immediately check item availability. Leganto also encourages instructors to use resources that the library already holds.

The University of Rome Tor Vergata offers 112 programs granting undergraduate degrees, master's degrees, and professional degrees, including 10 programs entirely in English. The university participates in international projects and promotes research in an interdisciplinary environment. Additionally, Tor Vergata works with businesses and helps launch and grow companies that come from the world of research and aim to develop innovative products.

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UK eLife welcomes Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation as new funder-partner - 10 Nov 2017

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden, has added its weight to the funder-backed effort to reform science publishing, eLife. Established 100 years ago, the Foundation has awarded 24bn Swedish Krona (nearly £224m) in research and education grants, making it one of the largest private research funders in Europe.

eLife was founded in 2011 in an unprecedented collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (US), the Max Planck Society (Germany) and the Wellcome Trust (UK). To date, the organisations have promised over £40m to eLife, which aims to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science.

Having first distinguished itself through a consultative approach to peer review of the most promising new results, eLife now increasingly contributes to the development of new, open-source tools and technology that enhance the communication, discovery and interrogation of published findings. The organisation has released a modular open-source publishing system, eLife Continuum, and is now collaborating in the development of an open annotation platform for scholarly discussion online and an open-source solution for submission and peer review.

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has committed SEK 29m (about £2.72m) to eLife for a four-year period beginning in 2018. Long-term support from research funders is one aspect of eLife's strategy for sustainability, and further organisations will be welcomed to the initiative in future.

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UK UKSG appoints Bev Acreman as Interim Executive Director - 10 Nov 2017

UKSG, the key professional interest group for the scholarly communications community, has announced the appointment of Bev Acreman as Interim Executive Director.

Bev replaces Sarah Bull who is moving on to pursue other opportunities. She is well known by the UKSG community, having held senior roles at Taylor & Francis, BioMed Central, Springer Nature and F1000. She has also served on several UKSG committees.

Bev Acreman takes office with immediate effect and will be attending UKSG's One-Day Conference and Forum in London next week. She can be contacted at bev@uksg.org.

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