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US Asia-Pacific improves global share of published scientific articles, says Thomson Reuters - 13 Sep 2010

Researchers at institutes and universities in many Western countries worry about budget pressures, while scientists in several Asian countries are reportedly translating huge R&D investments into impressive gains in research output.

According to the Thomson Reuters National Science Indicators, the Asia-Pacific region improved its global share of published science articles from 13 percent in the early 1980s to just over 30 percent in 2009. The Indicators is an annual database that records the number of articles published in about 12,000 internationally recognised journals.

The proportion of articles from the US declined to 28 percent in 2009. This is down from 40 percent in the early 1980s. China has increased its share of articles to 11 percent in 2009 from just 0.4 percent in the early 1980s, followed by Japan, accounting for 6.7 percent. India is next, accounting for 3.4 percent. It was also observed that Singapore, with a population of just under five million, has increased its number of indexed articles from 200 in 1981 to 8,500 in 2009. Singapore devotes 3 percent of its GDP to R&D. With the government's Economic Strategy Committee setting the target of reaching 3.5 percent of GDP by 2015, the country plans to further boost its research standing.

According to academics, the increasing influence of world rankings has encouraged competition among Asian universities. Some of the most widely recognised rankings use the number of published journal articles and highly cited researchers as indicators. This includes the recently released rankings by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

While US universities continue to dominate the Jiao Tong rankings, the number of Chinese universities in the top 500 increased to 34 this year from 16 in 2004.

Despite the rise in the number of articles from the Asia-Pacific region, as a whole it still trails the US in terms of the number of times its research papers are cited by others. While some Asia-Pacific nations like Singapore have already surpassed the world average in terms of the number of citations per paper, the region as a whole continues to remain 20 percent below the world average. Researchers suggest that ensuring academics have the freedom to conduct independent research is crucial for the region to continue to improve its standing.

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UK RIN report looks at trends in the finances of UK higher education libraries from 1999-2009 - 13 Sep 2010

The UK's Research Information Network (RIN) has released a briefing paper that looks at how the financial position of libraries in the higher education sector has changed over the period between 1999 and 2009 (the latest year for which statistics are available). It is based on an analysis of data collected by SCONUL, and also draws some comparisons with the US.

According to the paper, the last decade has been a period of unprecedented change for university libraries. The rapid growth in numbers of students and staff across the higher education sector has been accompanied by the move to a substantially-digital environment, with some fundamental changes in how libraries and their users operate. The paper further notes that while most university libraries have seen continued growth in their budgets in real terms, the next few years are going to be much more difficult in financial terms. Libraries therefore face a period in which they will have to cope with continued rapid, perhaps transformational, change, accompanied by reductions in their budgets.

This briefing paper presents a picture in which library expenditure has been rising in real terms, but not as fast as expenditure - and activity - in the HE sector as a whole. It notes that libraries face some real challenges as they prepare for a more difficult financial climate, with real and substantial cuts in expenditure.

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US OCLC adds more content from H.W. Wilson to WorldCat Local - 13 Sep 2010

Library cooperative OCLC has announced that it will make more content accessible through the WorldCat Local service with popular databases from H.W. Wilson. The WorldCat Local service delivers resources of local libraries and libraries around the world through a single search box.

Twenty-nine H.W. Wilson databases are accessible via single search and discovery through WorldCat Local for libraries that subscribe to these databases. Twenty-one databases have been added to the WorldCat Local central index; eight more are accessible remotely via a Z39.50 search of WilsonWeb.

WorldCat Local expands a library's collections by combining items from the library, relevant groups or consortia, and libraries around the world through a single search and result set. Built on the foundation of WorldCat, the comprehensive source for discovery of materials held by libraries, the service allows users to discover unique, locally available resources as well as materials in libraries worldwide. WorldCat Local helps increase use of a library's resources and, at the same time, offers users the ability to find more than 475 million items in a wide variety of formats.

Powerful discovery features in WorldCat Local enable library users to more easily find and interact with electronic materials, licensed databases and journals, locally digitised content and physical items. Intuitive connections to delivery services like link resolvers and resource sharing options help users take the final step to access the content they need.

OCLC is expanding the WorldCat Local central index to include more resources from familiar content providers most used by libraries today. The central index will provide access to most available content, and will be complemented by searching remote indexes to incorporate the diverse materials libraries make available to their users.

Independent publisher H.W. Wilson provides researchers with references produced with editorial integrity. More than 60 H.W. Wilson databases - indexes, abstracts, full text resources, plus the acclaimed Retrospective Collection - meet the research needs of customers around the globe.

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US EBSCO unveils serials price projections for 2011 - 13 Sep 2010

Information services provider EBSCO, US, has released serials price projections for 2011. The company uses recent information received from both large and small publishers as well as historical price data to calculate these projections. While the projections are based on careful analysis, it is recommended that subscribers exercise caution when using them, as they rely on historical trends and current estimates.

In last year's price projection report, EBSCO focused on the increasing difficulty of forecasting price increases due to the combined factors of the global recession; customised pricing by publishers for large e-package deals; and a general lack of transparency arising from new pricing models for e-content. For 2011, these three factors continue to play a major role in the pricing outlook for library customers.

In the 'e' world, similar-sized institutions with similar programmes may face varying price increase outcomes depending on each institution's list of licensed e-journal collections and unique pricing terms. However, despite the varied nature of publisher pricing in the electronic era, almost all institutions EBSCO serves are facing similar budget pressures, and many libraries are facing budget reductions. According to the company, the primary factor impacting publisher pricing over the next several years will be how the 'Big Deal' fares when challenged by prolonged budget weakness and the rise of usage-based tools to assist in determining the value of serial subscriptions at the title or collection level.

EBSCO notes that the global economic outlook continues to be cloudy, and economic weakness in general is negatively affecting both libraries and publishers. In the US, corporate profits have improved over the past 12 months as cost restructuring actions have boosted bottom line results. However, corporations appear unwilling to invest due to the uncertainties in the tax, political and economic landscapes. As a result, revenue and spending growth remain very weak. With a few notable exceptions, such as Germany's relative economic strength driven by a robust export sector, the picture is not much better in the UK and continental Europe. High levels of national debt and the hangover from the housing market bubble weigh heavily on economies throughout the region, it is observed. Moreover, the Greek debt crisis highlighted potentially serious fault lines in the Euro-zone countries. While the situation appears to be stable at the moment, another economic shock similar to the Greek situation would place significant pressure on the EU from a common currency standpoint.

Both in the US and elsewhere around the world, the bottom line of the economic situation for libraries is that their budgets are suffering. Not only is endowment funding down significantly, but many libraries are also receiving a smaller portion in general of university budgets (ARL Statistics 2007-2008). The end result is that librarians must continue to support their institutions with a smaller slice of a smaller pie. In a recent EBSCO survey, a majority of responding customers indicated that they were eliminating certain content purchases such as the print components of print + electronic combinations, low use electronic titles within e-packages (via unbundling when titles within a package are shown to receive minimal use), and databases with the least unique content and coverage.

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US Really Strategies celebrates 10 years in business serving publishers - 13 Sep 2010

Content management consulting and solutions provider Really Strategies, Inc., US, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in business serving the publishing and technical publishing industries.

Really Strategies was founded in 2000 by former Reed Elsevier executives Barry Bealer and Lisa Bos. The shift in strategy to also become a software solution provider has helped the company continue to grow and be recognised with industry awards. These include Information Today's People's Choice Award for Top Consulting Services and Content Management, the Deloitte and Touche Fast 500 Award, Benjamin Franklin Emerging Business Award, the Deloitte and Touche Rising Star Award (Delaware Valley), the Philadelphia 100 Award, and recognition as one of the 'Best Places to Work' in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Really Strategies provides content solutions and services to publishers, media companies and other content-centric companies. From content creation to delivery, Really Strategies seeks to bring strategy, content and technology together to analyse, architect and implement appropriate tools and technologies. The company's solutions encompass XML editorial tools, XML repositories, content management systems, and editorial and production systems. Its core product RSuite CMS is a content management system that facilitates the creation, management, re-use and distribution of XML, media files, and other document formats.

To access our daily STM news feed through your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphones, please visit www.myscoope.com for a mobile friendly reading experience.


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Japan Japanese researchers develop technology to scan a book in one minute - 13 Sep 2010

A team of researchers from the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology have reportedly developed a technology to scan a book as fast as a person can flip through it. According to Yoshihiro Watanabe, who leads the research team, a prototype ultra-speed scanner capable of digitising a book in one minute will be built within two years.

The 'book-flipping scanning' system operates with a camera that can take up to 500 photographs per second, enabling it to record about 170 book pages in 60 seconds as a person thumbs through them. The system fine-tunes the distortion caused by the curvature of the moving pages. It does this by measuring their three-dimensional forms using infra-red beams, so that the images can be electronically 'flattened' to look like the original.

Earlier this month, the university researchers teamed up with Japan's Dai Nippon Printing to put the technology to practical use. Printing firms in Japan are reportedly diversifying into e-books that can be read using handheld devices such as Amazon's Kindle or Apple's iPad tablet computer.



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UK Emerald to exhibit at the British Academy of Management Annual Conference 2010 - 13 Sep 2010

Academic and professional literature publisher Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., UK, has announced that it will be exhibiting at the British Academy of Management Conference. The conference is scheduled to be held in Sheffield, UK, from September 14-16, 2010.

Visitors are invited to Stand 6 to discover the collections of journals, books and book series. They will also receive one month's complimentary access to all content in various subject areas, including international business, strategy, human resource management, management studies, organisation studies, enterprise and innovation, and performance management and measurement.

Among the titles on display, there will be 'The History of UK Business and Management Education' by Allan P. O. Williams. This new book draws together the main influences that have resulted in the impressive emergence of business schools in the UK, and identifies the main institutions and individuals involved.

Emerald is also sponsoring the opening reception at this year's Conference.

To access our daily STM news feed through your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphones, please visit www.myscoope.com for a mobile friendly reading experience.


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UK CRC Press bags Best eBook Publisher ALPSP award for CRCnetBASE platform - 13 Sep 2010

Scientific publisher CRC Press, US, part of the Taylor & Francis Group, is the 2010 recipient of the 'Best eBook Publisher' award from The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). The award, one of three awarded at the annual ALPSP Annual Conference in Wyboston, UK, on September 9, follows the launch of the new Atypon powered CRCnetBASE in February. The platform also received a 'Highly Recommended' review from CHOICE Magazine.

The ALPSP award, one of the most reputable in the industry, for Best eBook Publisher recognises exceptional expertise, innovation, and enterprise in the publishing of academic or scholarly book content in electronic form.

CRCnetBASE offers subscription and purchase access to over 7,000 scientific and technical eBooks spanning 40 disciplines. The platform allows users to create personalised accounts where they can save queries, place favorite content onto a virtual bookshelf, purchase individual chapters or eBooks, and recommend content to friends.

Institutional account management tools are integrated within the platform. Registered library administrators can view their IP ranges, add additional administrators, download COUNTER usage reports, and personalise their institutions site directly from their user account. In addition to e-books published under the imprint of CRC Press, CRCnetBASE also includes online references from Auerbach and Chapman & Hall.

To access our daily STM news feed through your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphones, please visit www.myscoope.com for a mobile friendly reading experience.


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India Latest edition of Blogspeak now online - 13 Sep 2010

The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Joseph Esposito (The Portfolio Strategy: Developing a Financially Sound Plan for Not-for-profit Publishers); Jef Akst (When is self-plagiarism ok?); Philip Davis (Post-publication Review: Is the Dialog of Science Really a Monologue?); and Joe Wikert (Textbook Publishing vs. Lifelong Learning Publishing). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here

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India Attention Subscribers - www.myscoope.com lets you access Knowledgespeak using your mobile devices - 13 Sep 2010

Mobile access for Knowledgespeak is now available via our new beta application, SCOOPE STM Mobile. Subscribers on the move can now gain easy access to Knowledgespeak through a reader-friendly mobile phone interface.

This application is uniquely available in two versions: a mobile browser version and a Java application version. The mobile browser version, www.myscoope.com, is designed specifically for all types of Mobile Phones and Devices including iPhone, iPod, iPad, Black Berry and Android phones. The Java version - SCOOPE.JAR - is for all other Java enabled phones which are not browser friendly.

Some of SCOOPE STM Mobile's user-friendly features include:

Selecting desired news items
Saving News articles in the local phone memory for later reading
Search options
Forwarding information via SMS or email
Navigating to the URL links listed in the news item

Knowledgespeak is currently inviting feedback/suggestions from its subscribers as to their experiences with the service. Please send in your feedback to us at kspeaknews@scopeknowledge.com

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