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The world's largest scientific society, the American Chemical Society (ACS), US, has announced that it will offer deeply discounted electronic access to 17,500 full-text scientific journal articles to Iraqi chemists, engineers and students. ACS is the first among the over 20 scientific publishers and other organisations who have agreed to offer discounted electronic access to scientific journal articles under the Iraq Virtual Science Library project.
With the National Academies coordinating the overall programme, the library was launched on May 3 at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. Nearly 80 percent of Iraq's scientists and university students will now have access to the electronic library.
Including ACS, 20 non-profit and commercial scientific publishers and federal and academic organisations will now be offering access at discounts up to 95 percent. According to NAS officials, the scientific community in Iraq will be billed as one site by each publisher, as if all of the scientists and students comprised a small college library.
Higher education material provider Thomson Higher Education, part of The Thomson Corporation, US, has announced three new custom publishing offerings from Thomson Custom Solutions (TCS). The new offerings provide professors with additional options to design course programmes tailored to their individual teaching styles as well as the requirements of a given group of students.
The products launched include Flex Texts, a variety of print-online hybrid solutions; Thomson Custom Collections, groupings or collections of materials that can be mixed and matched; and the Signature Series, premium custom publishing services for authors including development, design, technology and marketing.
In addition to the literary works available through Thomson Custom Collections, TCS also allows for the integration of audio, video and interactive instruction. Instructors can choose which of these additional supplements they want to accompany the customised text.
Global library cooperative OCLC, Inc., US, and US based non profit organisation RLG, have announced a merger under which the two service and research organisations will be combined, effective July 1, 2006. The merged organisation is projected to provide an opportunity to leverage program strengths, services and innovative research initiatives, and to deliver more value to a greater number of libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations worldwide.
Under the deal, RLG member institutions, RLG's online products and services will be integrated with OCLC products and services. RLG's program initiatives will be brought forward as a new division of OCLC Programs and Research. Also, RLG's president and chief executive officer, James Michalko will serve as Vice President of RLG-Programs Development.
The agreement is subject to approval of two-thirds of voting RLG member institutions. Voting is expected to conclude in early June 2006.
Search engine and online engineering community operator GlobalSpec, US, has announced the recent launch of several new product-specific e-newsletters. It has also introduced a new product alert system to its millions of segmented e-mail subscribers with the help of retention e-mail marketing services provider iPost, US.
Engineers and technical professionals visiting the GlobalSpec site can now select from 132 product topics to receive weekly e-mail updates about new products, suppliers and technical articles. iPost has helped keep GlobalSpec e-mail subscribers returning to the site through the expansion of its suite of product-focused e-newsletters. The company increased its set publications from four to 16 in late 2005, and has launched several more in 2006, in areas ranging from lights and lasers to supply chain management and scientific instruments. The company's Techs & Specs weekly e-newsletter has an audience exceeding one million.
GlobalSpec's trademarked parametric search technology, SpecSearch, allows visitors to search for products by specification, while The Engineering Web enables users to examine over 250 million engineering and tech web pages. The company publishes over 40 e-newsletters each month.
Search and filter technology developer Fast Search & Transfer (FAST), Norway, has announced the formation of the FAST Strategy Advisory Board to provide organisations with insight into global market trends, economic forecasts and strategic perspectives. The service will be offered free for FAST customers or companies initiating a formal relationship with FAST.
The company's newly formed advisory board will comprise academics who will provide objective views on competitive landscapes, technological innovation, consumer trends and buying habits. The Board is expected to provide an extraordinary resource to organisations looking to further their leadership positions or enter new markets.
Members of the FAST Strategy Advisory Board include Michael H. Zack, associated professor, Northeastern University; Ron Adner, associate professor of strategy and management, INSEAD, France; and Steve Haslett, affiliate professor of entrepreneurship, INSEAD, Singapore and France.
A two day medical forum on flu pandemic was recently organised by the British medical journal, The Lancet. The bird flu conference held in Singapore attracted nearly 500 scientists, policy makers, public health experts and about 300 international organisations from 52 countries and regions.
Themed "Preparing for Pandemic Influenza: the Avian Dimension and other Emerging Threats," the forum was co-organised by American publisher of health science books and journals, Reed Exhibitions and Elsevier Health Sciences.
Participants discussed topics such as the evolution of bird flu viruses, the development of vaccines against flu pandemic and the World Health Organization's (WHO) pandemic preparedness planning, as well as to identify the gaps in pandemic preparation. About 23 experts, including Jai P. Narain from the WHO, Martin Meltzer from the United States' National Center for Infectious Diseases, and John Oxford from St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London hospital expressed their views on the issue.
Information and publishing services provider Ingenta, UK, has announced the appointment of Carol Rice as Vice President, Product Development for the company's Information Commerce Division.
In her new position, Carol will lead the strategic and technological development of separate Information Commerce software and websites for prestigious customers such as OECD, Oxford University Press, Institute of Physics and World Bank.
Earlier, Rice served Progress Software where she was responsible for defining standards for technical designs.
This is with reference to the news alert titled "Editors voice concern over BioMed Central publishing process" covered in the News Section of Knowledgespeak (dated 3rd May 2006). BioMed Central has clarified that under a new agreement which covers more than half of its independent titles, journal editors do receive payment, in the form of a share of the revenue from article processing charges for their journal.