The British Library and Microsoft Research have announced that the new open source 'Research Information Centre' (RIC) Framework v1.0 is now available to download for free at http://ric.codeplex.com. The RIC is seen to represent an entirely new way of conducting research by providing an online environment in which to navigate the collection of digital information available to 21st century researchers. It aims to maximise web technology to improve both flexibility and knowledge sharing for researchers, wherever they are in the world.
The British Library and Microsoft Research have worked in partnership to design and develop a 'virtual research environment' that will provide a single easy-to-use interface enabling research teams to work collaboratively. The RIC is projected to provide an environment in which users can create, share, discuss, manage, find and track articles, references, bookmarks, funding proposals, presentations and all the other digital information related to their research.
Built using the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Platform, the binaries and source code are being made publicly available. This is aimed to encourage experimentation and use amongst the scientific community to develop the RIC's foundation templates into an application that will offer support at every stage of the research life-cycle. The British Library is developing a RIC template that will incorporate a range of intuitive and customisable tools of relevance to biomedical research.
The British Library is working with a number of partners to understand biomedical research user needs and evolve the functionality of the RIC to meet those needs. The aim is to develop and support an RIC community that focuses on development and sharing of web parts that can be 'plugged in' to the RIC to enable research teams to define their own online environment.
Digital content products and technologies provider ebrary, US, has announced the availability of its new subscription database in medical technology. The database is targeted at technologists, engineers and other employees of healthcare companies that design and manufacture medical devices, equipment and instruments. It is projected to help users conduct research more efficiently and effectively, resulting in greater cost savings and faster development times for new products.
With titles from publishers including Elsevier’s Academic Press and Taylor & Francis’ CRC Press, the growing collection is seen to cover all aspects of medical technology. These include biomedical engineering and materials, imaging systems, medical instruments, nanotechnology and tissue engineering.
Corporations can supplement the subscription database by purchasing individual e-books from Springer, Wiley, William Andrew and other publishers in a wide range of medical technology topics including artificial joints & organs, biomechanics, biomedical materials, ceramics in medicine, imaging systems in medicine, implants, medical electronics, medical instruments and apparatus, and nanotechnology. ebrary also offers pre-selected bundles in electronics engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering and other related subject areas. The selection can be previewed at http://tinyurl.com/ebrarymedtech.
ebrary has also expanded its business and engineering offerings. Hundreds of new e-books worth over $14,000 were recently added to its subscription databases in finance, leadership, and sales & marketing. Additionally, the company has extended its engineering product line with databases in chemical, civil, electronic, environmental, materials, mechanical and power engineering.
All ebrary titles are claimed to be delivered via one easy-to-use interface and include sophisticated technology that makes it easy to pinpoint and manage relevant information from multiple sources within the organisation and on the web. With InfoTools, technologists and engineers can expect to select words of interest and automatically link to additional information within the collection and other online resources. Furthermore, personal bookshelves are projected to make storing, managing, and sharing highlights, notes, and hyperlinks quick and efficient.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has announced that the LibQUAL+ now operates on a new and improved platform with major enhancements to the protocol, including a customisation feature called LibQUAL+ Lite. The ARL recently launched the second generation of the LibQUAL+ interface. The new interface features usability enhancements that provide a more linear and simplified online survey management process.
The Lite protocol uses item sampling methods to gather data on all 22 LibQUAL+ core items, while only requiring the user to respond to a subset of the 22 core questions. Every Lite user responds to one ‘linking’ item from each of the subscales, and to a randomly-selected subset of five items from the remaining 19 core LibQUAL+ items. Consequently, survey response times are roughly cut in half, while the library still receives data on every survey question. Each participating library sets a ‘Lite-view Percentage’ to determine what percentage of individuals will randomly receive the Lite versus the long version of the survey.
LibQUAL+ is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users’ opinions of service quality. These services are offered to the library community by ARL. The programme’s centerpiece is a rigorously tested Web-based survey bundled with training that helps libraries assess and improve library services, change organisational culture, and market the library.
WebJunction, an online learning community for librarians and library staff, is working with the State Library of North Carolina, the Missouri State Library, and HSLC/Access PA to launch three new state sites - WebJunction–North Carolina, WebJunction–Missouri and WebJunction–Pennsylvania. Library staff in these states will now gain access to courses, articles, discussions and a professional network that will keep their skills up-to-date and help their libraries stay relevant to current user needs.
As part of these online learning communities, members will be able to connect with people from across the library community using social and professional networking tools; create and publish their own content; participate in discussions and form interest groups; take courses on a wide range of technology and library skill subjects; and engage in an online community experience that makes learning fun.
WebJunction–North Carolina, WebJunction–Missouri and WebJunction–Pennsylvania join 17 library organisations that offer custom communities for libraries and staff.
Library solutions provider Library solutions provider Ex Libris Group, Israel, has announced the acquisition of the Fujitsu Services A/S library division - the exclusive distributor of Ex Libris products in Denmark and Sweden - and the assumption of all interaction with the Company’s approximately 200 customer institutions in these countries. The newly opened Ex Libris Scandinavia office is part of the continually expanding Ex Libris worldwide organisation.
The Fujitsu Services A/S library division, the exclusive distributor of Ex Libris products in Scandinavia since 1992, has been instrumental in increasing and maintaining the Ex Libris customer communities in Denmark, Sweden and the Faroe Islands. Following the first sale of the Ex Libris Aleph integrated library system in Scandinavia to the Technical Information Center of Denmark - Danmarks Tekniske Informationscenter - the Scandinavian customer base expanded to include such leading academic and research institutions as the National Libraries of Denmark, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands, the Royal Library of Denmark (National Library and Copenhagen University); the Royal Library of Sweden; and Denmark’s State and University Library at Aarhus.
Among the Ex Libris customers in Denmark and Sweden are also large, nationwide library networks. This includes the Danish central government’s DAB central library and documentation center for civil servants and the Swedish LIBRIS union catalogue and national search and linking service, which provides access to nationally licensed databases and journal content.
Journal production services provider Dartmouth Journal Services (DJS), part of The Sheridan Group, US, has announced the successful transition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). DJS provides full service copyediting, composition, online deliverables, print production, back issue fulfillment, author billing and reprint services for PNAS.
PNAS claims to be one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials. Since its establishment in 1914, it continues to publish research reports, commentaries, reviews, perspectives, colloquium papers, and actions of the Academy. Coverage in PNAS spans the biological, physical, and social sciences. PNAS is published weekly in print, and daily online in PNAS Early Edition (http://www.pnas.org).
Dartmouth Journal Services provides a full complement of journal production services, including copyediting, issue management, composition and electronic data preparation for online publishing. DJS specialises in peer-reviewed journals which require full editorial support.
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