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US Stanford, MIT and Harvard top the third annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the most innovative universities - 28 Sep 2017

Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University top the third annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the world's most innovative universities. The Reuters Top 100 aims to identify and rank the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and power new markets and industries. Compiled in partnership with Clarivate Analytics, the ranking is based on proprietary data and analysis of numerous indicators including patent filings and research paper citations.

The most innovative university in the world, for the third consecutive year, is Stanford University. Located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, Stanford has long played a key role in the development of the modern networked world: A Stanford professor designed the basic communication standard for the Internet, and university alumni founded some of the biggest tech companies in the world, including Google, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Netflix. At present, the university continues to consistently produce original research and technology. Innovations that originate at Stanford are frequently cited by researchers elsewhere in academia and in private industry.

The top ranks of the World's Most Innovative Universities remain largely unchanged, with nine of last year's 10 highest-ranked universities remaining in the top 10. And the most elite institutions are almost all large, well-established universities based in the US and Western Europe. Rounding out the top three are MIT and Harvard, which have held onto their respective 2nd and 3rd place rankings for the past three years. In fourth place is the University of Pennsylvania, which climbed four spots from #8 last year. The highest ranked university outside the US, Belgium's KU Leuven (#5), is a nearly 600-year-old institution that maintains one of the largest independent research and development organisations on the planet.

In contrast, there are only two Asian universities in the top 20, both of which are based in South Korea, and one of them actually teaches the majority of its classes in English: South Korea's KAIST, formerly the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, ranked #6. Established in 1971 by the Korean government, KAIST was modeled after engineering schools in the US, and initially funded with a multimillion-dollar loan from the United States Agency for International Development.

The top 100 consists of 51 universities based in North America, 26 in Europe, 20 in Asia and three in the Middle East. For more on the Reuters Top 100, including a detailed methodology and profiles of the universities, visit www.reuters.com/innovative-universities-2017/.

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Awards, Certification and other Achievements

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US American Chemical Society expands its applied materials journals portfolio - 28 Sep 2017

The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has announced a concerted expansion of its applied materials portfolio of peer-reviewed journals.

The publishing initiative begins immediately with the addition of ACS Applied Energy Materials and ACS Applied Nano Materials to the Society's portfolio. The two new journals, and others planned to follow, are positioned within the editorial purview of the Society's highly successful journal, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, which has been enthusiastically embraced by authors and readers worldwide since its inception in 2009. Deputy editors will lead the editorial direction of each journal, supported by distinguished and diverse Editorial Advisory Boards.

Kirk Schanze, editor-in-chief of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, will also oversee the respective editorial teams to be assembled for both ACS Applied Energy Materials and ACS Applied Nano Materials.

Both ACS Applied Energy Materials and ACS Applied Nano Materials will begin accepting submissions for consideration as of October 2017. The first online issues will appear in early 2018 and will include original research articles and letters, reviews and other editorial features. ACS Applied Energy Materials will publish broadly in the area of materials for energy generation, storage, conversion and sustainability, with a focus on research that reports novel applications of materials and devices. ACS Applied Nano Materials will publish research of an applied nature on functional nanostructured materials, including the design, synthesis or fabrication, characterisation and properties of the materials.

Researchers who publish in these new ACS journals will benefit from a range of peer-review and author services offered by ACS Publications, including Manuscript Transfer - which enables the seamless rapid transfer of an author's submission from one ACS journal to another, and will thus facilitate the transfer of submissions from ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces to these journals where appropriate, without requiring the author to start the submission process anew. As with all ACS journals, ACS Applied Energy Materials and ACS Applied Nano Materials will also offer authors a range of flexible open access publishing and licensing options.

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US EBSCO Information Services releases Serials Price Projection Report for 2018 - 28 Sep 2017

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) has released the 2018 Serials Price Projection Report. The report projects that the overall effective publisher price increases for academic and academic/medical libraries are expected to be in the range of five to six percent (before currency impact). EBSCO released the Serials Price Projections based on surveys of a wide range of publishers and reviews of historical serials pricing data to assist information professionals as they make budgeting decisions for the renewals season.

The Serials Price Projection Report looks at market dynamics highlighting many issues that have driven the scholarly information marketplace for several years including: library budgets, Open Access, government mandates, shifts in political climates, new assessment and evaluation tools and alternative distribution networks. The emergence of organised piracy, which may grow as a disruptive force in the marketplace, is also a topic in the report.

The healthy US economy is a stabilising force and academic library budgets in the US are showing some improvements, but libraries in many countries outside of the US are still seeing notable decreases in budgets. Even without budget decreases, libraries are experiencing serial costs outpacing budget growth. The US dollar has weakened relative to some currencies and this will impact libraries paying in euro and pounds sterling as the strength of local currencies may eliminate some pricing increases for titles priced in US dollars. The report recommends that customers add an additional two to four percent to the estimated price increases when budgeting. This provides added protection from the possible weakening of their currency between now and when subscription payments are made.

Although the serial price forecasts are based upon careful analysis, EBSCO recommends caution when using these projections, as they rely on historical trends and current estimates. EBSCO will update the projection information if economic conditions warrant it.

The 2018 Serials Price Projection Report in its entirety and the Five-Year Journal Price Increase History is available at http://journals.ebsco.com/products-services/explore-content.

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US SAGE Publishing expands course material options for students through inclusive access - 28 Sep 2017

Academic publisher SAGE Publishing has announced a new option for students to access SAGE content early and at a lower cost. Labelled 'inclusive access,' the program allows students to pay a significantly discounted fee for digital and print course materials such as textbooks and ancillary course content that they can access on or before the first day of class.

SAGE is launching the program in partnership with campus bookstores, ebook vendors VitalSource, Redshelf, Follett, and Barnes & Noble, and tens of thousands of students across the US.

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UK Emerald launches new open access programme, Emerald Reach - 28 Sep 2017

Academic publisher Emerald Publishing has launched Emerald Reach, a new open access programme designed to deliver rigorous high-quality open access content, support authors and extend their impact.

Recognising that being open access alone does not necessarily mean content is more discoverable, Emerald Reach works harder on behalf of authors to drive discoverability. The aim of the programme is to ensure the widest possible dissemination of research and maximize its potential to deliver impact.

All open access content will be accessible in a dedicated section of the leading research platform, EmeraldInsight.com, and Emerald Reach will provide additional author services to increase engagement. In addition, enhanced metadata will ensure open access content is comprehensively and accurately indexed in discovery systems.

As a key benefit, Emerald Reach also says 'it's easy being green' by introducing a liberal new green open access policy. Effective from 27 September 2017, Emerald has removed embargoes across all journals, providing authors with the option to make their accepted manuscript openly available, free from payment and embargo periods.

Emerald has been busy expanding its portfolio of open access content, and now publishes more than 20 fully open access journals, including the newly flipped Impact Factor-ranked International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management (IJCCSM). They also offer a range of open access options to book authors and their sponsoring bodies across all formats monographs, handbooks, short form and professional content.

To celebrate the launch of Emerald Reach - and to support their commitment to extend impact within and beyond academia - Emerald will publish 12 special open access issues in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals over the next year. All costs associated with making the issues open access will be covered by Emerald, with no additional charge to the authors.

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US ACRL and OCLC release 'Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research' report - 28 Sep 2017

ACRL and OCLC have announced the release of Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research. Developed for ACRL by OCLC Research, this valuable resource investigates how libraries can increase student learning and success and effectively communicate their value to higher education stakeholders. The full report is freely available for download on the ACRL website.

Now more than ever, academic libraries are being asked to demonstrate value to their institutional stakeholders, funders, and governance boards. Academic Library Impact builds on ACRL's 2010 Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and the results of the subsequent Assessment in Action program. It demonstrates how libraries are now measuring library contributions to student learning and success, and recommends where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector such as accreditation, student retention, and academic achievement.

Led by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research, all components were produced in partnership with OCLC staff and partners including William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, Stephanie Mikitish, and Dale Musselman. The components include analyses of library and information science (LIS) and higher education literature, focus group interviews and brainstorming sessions with academic library administrators at different institution types within the US, and individual interviews with provosts.

Building on established best practices and recent research, Academic Library Impact clearly identifies priority areas and suggests specific actions for academic librarians and administrators to take in developing programs, collections, and spaces focused on student learning and success. It includes effective practices, calls out exemplary studies, and indicates where more inquiry is needed, with proposed research designs. It identifies the next generation of necessary research to continue to testify to library value. The new report is a significant milestone for ACRL's Value of Academic Libraries initiative and for the profession.

A companion online tool, 'Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard' helps librarians and researchers filter the existing literature for studies most relevant to their research interests and visually explore the literature and other data in the form of charts and graphs.

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