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UK Authors can now opt for double-blind peer review across Nature and Nature Research Journals - 19 Feb 2015

Authors will now be able to opt for double-blind peer review across Nature and the Nature Research Journals. Nature Publishing Group's flagship open access journal, Nature Communications, will be joining the trial later in 2015. The news is announced in an editorial published in this week's Nature, with other journals announcing their implementation over the coming month. Double-blind peer review is being introduced in response to author feedback, and follows trials by Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change.

In double-blind peer review both the authors and the reviewers are anonymised. The Nature-branded journals will also continue to offer single-blind peer review, in which the reviewers are anonymous but know the authors' identity. Corresponding authors will be able to choose whether single-blind or double-blind peer review is used on their submission. Advocates of double-blind peer review argue that it removes biases that relate to the authors (for example those based on gender, seniority or organisation) that might otherwise impact the objectivity with which the review is carried out.

Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change began offering a double-blind peer review option in June 2013. Authors of about 20 percent of submissions chose the option, no substantive effects on the quality of reviews have been detected and support for the trial remains very high. A recent Nature Publishing Group reader survey found that 78 percent of almost 29,000 respondents thought that double-blind peer review was a 'good' or 'very good' idea and many in-person interviews with young scientists confirmed that researchers wanted to see double-blind peer review as an option.

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German Springer unveils German eBook package for psychology - 19 Feb 2015

STM publisher Springer is offering a dedicated psychology package as part of its eBooks collection, effective immediately. The package contains all German-language titles from the field and will include over 100 individual works by the end of 2015. With this step, the psychology package will become part of SpringerLink, the most extensive online academic library in the world, currently comprising more than 176,000 books bundled by subject area, and expanded yearly.

Until the end of 2014, Springer's psychology titles were assigned to different areas, e.g. medicine or business. The choice to bundle all German-language titles into an eBook package for psychology reflects the field's growing importance for science and in practice. According to Dr. Reinald Klockenbusch, Editorial Director Psychology & Reference Works at Springer, it was decided to group all of these titles thematically as of the 2015 publishing year as part of a strategic decision on the part of Springer's management and in response to repeated requests from the market.

Through the variety of topics offered, the new German psychology package addresses the needs of a readership that is characterized by both a heterogeneous makeup and high standards. As such, the collection includes book series like Wirtschaftspsychologie and individual titles, such as textbooks, specialist books, self-help books, and the Essentials, the last of which concentrate on a selected topic within a complex subfield. The package is also home to Springer References in the field of psychology.

Beyond the library market, the new package also addresses professionals active in psychology or neighboring fields.

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ebooks

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UK IPR License enhances search functionality for rights buyers - 19 Feb 2015

IPR License, the global platform for the trading of subsidiary book rights, has enhanced its search functionality to make it even simpler for rights buyers to offer, negotiate and complete on a variety of rights-related deals.

Significant development work has been undertaken throughout the platform to ensure necessary algorithm and server improvements have been made to simplify and speed up the search functionality. An option to search for journals, magazines and books has also been introduced to reflect growing demand from STM publishers.

According to Tom Chalmers, Managing Director of IPR License, the development of the IPR platform is a constant work in progress but this recent development sprint has dramatically enhanced the experience for rights buyers. This is vital moving forward with web traffic increasing and growing numbers of organic deals being completed on a daily basis.

IPR License is the platform for publishers, authors and literary agents to list and license literary rights. The platform offers the opportunity to monetise or find the best new content in a global marketplace. It also acts as a copyright hub making it easier to locate copyright holders to clear permission for use of their work.

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US Nevada to use Elsevier DirectCourse to train employment professionals - 19 Feb 2015

STM publisher Elsevier has announced that Nevada's Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) will provide a new online curriculum from Elsevier Direct Course to train about 75 ADSD staffers. These professionals work to improve employment outcomes for Nevada adults and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

In Nevada, and across the nation, people with I/DD face barriers to employment. Many collect Social Security Disability Insurance rather than working, often due to low expectations around what they might achieve professionally.

However, a growing trend nationwide is supporting people with I/DD to find fulfilling and competitive work in their communities. DirectCourse's online curriculum, the College of Employment Services (CES), trains professionals serving the I/DD population – as well as professionals supporting individuals with other challenges - to help job seekers find satisfying work at or above minimum wage.

Funding for ADSD staff to take CES courses came from the Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities. Nevada's commitment to employment is also furthered by its membership in the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN), which connects state I/DD agencies in approximately 30 states to promote employment.

In Nevada, CES courses will be available to professionals who work within vocational centers, mental health offices, health provider organizations and state agencies.

CES is developed by the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is delivered in collaboration with the University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center on Community Living and Elsevier. Designed for professionals who help individuals with disabilities find employment, the courses provide employment professionals with training based on the APSE competencies. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counsel or Certification (CRCC) approves each course within the College of Employment Services for continuing education credits.

The Direct Course suite of online curricula also includes the College of Direct Support (CDS), the College of Personal Assistance and Caregiving (CPAC), and the College of Recovery and Community Inclusion (CRCI). CES courses cover topics such as supporting people in disclosing a disability, helping individuals transition from cash benefits to paid work, and finding matches between an employer's needs and a job seeker's unique skills. Other states are adopting the CES curriculum for their employment staff, including Mississippi, which is offering CES courses through collaboration with the disability advocacy group The Arc.

All courses within the College of Employment Services curriculum allow Nevada's state wide ADSD staff to learn at their own pace and develop national practitioner competencies through content that is guided and updated by recognized experts in the disabilities employment field. In Nevada, as with other users of CES, administrators assign lessons, track progress and create customized content. This ensures that employment support specialists receive the specific education to build the skills they need throughout their careers.

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Digital Learning Solutions
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US Scientific American and Google introduce Scientific American Innovator Award as part of the 2015 Google Science Fair - 19 Feb 2015

Science magazine Scientific American and Google are introducing the Scientific American Innovator Award as part of the 2015 Google Science Fair. The Scientific American Innovator Award honours a project in the biology, chemistry, physics, or behavioural and social sciences.

The Google Science Fair, now in its fifth year, is an international competition that encourages students between the ages of 13 to 18 from all over the world to submit online science projects in order to compete for prizes, scholarships and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Entries for the 2015 fair are due May 18, 2015. The theme of the 2015 Google Science Fair is 'What will you try?'

The winner of the Scientific American Innovator award will receive $25,000 in funding from Scientific American and a year's worth of mentoring. In addition, the winner's school will receive digital access to Scientific American magazine's archives for 12 months.

Scientific American is also sponsoring the Community Impact Award, which honours a project that makes a practical difference in his or her community by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. To help develop their project, the winner will be awarded $10,000 in funding and a year-long mentorship provided by Scientific American.

In early July 2015, 90 regional winners of the 2015 Google Science Fair will be announced, representing the best projects from the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific. From this pool, 20 global finalists will be chosen in early August to come to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California in September to present their projects in front of a panel of esteemed judges.

Previous winners have tackled the global food crisis, toxic pollution, Alzheimer's disease, cancer detection, and bioplastic innovation. Past winners have received numerous other accolades including being invited to the White House.

Scientific American has been a partner with the Google Science Fair, an annual international online competition, since it launched in 2011. The other partners of the Google Science Fair are LEGO Education, National Geographic and Virgin Galactic.

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Awards, Certification and other Achievements

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Switzerland MDPI launches beta version of Sciforum Journal Reviews - 19 Feb 2015

The Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) has released Sciforum Journal Reviews, a free service that aims to publish statistics and rankings of scientific and scholarly journals and their publishers. Scientists and scholars that published in a journal can rate the peer-review process and the perceived quality of that journal, as well as share their experiences with the journal's editors and referees.

The beta edition covers publishers of academic journals using the doi system via CrossRef. Data to compute statistics is mostly based on CrossRef's API. Statistics offered are based on volume only (that is: papers published in scholarly journals).

Available statistics include, on a journal-level: the number of papers published per year and the percentage of papers published under open access licenses per year; on a publisher-level: the number of journals published per year, the number of papers published per year and the number of journals covered by leading indexing service (Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, etc.); and on a market-level: the market-size in terms of papers published per year, the number of papers published under an open access license per year, the market distribution (market share) per publisher per year in terms of papers published, and the overall market distribution per year (Lorenz curve and Gini coefficient for each year).

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US University of Connecticut selects Ex Libris Alma and Primo - 19 Feb 2015

Library automation solutions provider Ex Libris Group has announced that the University of Connecticut Libraries have selected the Alma® library management solution and the Primo® discovery and delivery solution.

The UConn Libraries were looking for an advanced technology solution to achieve seamless integration of all the libraries across their diverse system that includes four libraries on the main campus, five regional libraries, the UConn School of Law, and UConn Health. According to Martha Bedard, Vice Provost for University Libraries at UConn, the UConn Libraries is focused on ways to expand efficiencies across the Libraries' system and the shared management platform provided through Alma will be a major tool in streamlining workflows and highlighting collection development opportunities. Additionally, the unified discovery solution in Primo gives users a search option that will help them easily find the resources they need regardless of their campus location.

Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will facilitate their transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 90 countries on six continents. Dedicated to developing creative solutions in close collaboration with customers, Ex Libris enables libraries to maximize productivity and efficiency and, at the same time, greatly enhance the user experience.

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