Author Archives: admin

Australian library Coronavirus innovation: story time video streaming for babies and youngsters

(31 Mar 2020) If this was normal life in Australia every week parents and grandparents would be walking their young children and pushing their baby strollers to Library Story Time and Rhyme time sessions.

Unfortunately because of Coronavirus, Libraries are shut to the general public and only open to staff so there won’t be any Library story time or rhymetime sessions you can take your kids to for several months.

Fear not for many libraries have innovated and are recording video streams of their children’s librarians doing Story Time sessions and they’re all available online for free.

See how Australian libraries are doing for this time of home learning here.


An opportunity for East Asia? Global student flows to suffer ‘massive hit’ for years

(26 Mar 2020) International student mobility will take at least five years to return to normal levels in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while East Asia will emerge as a regional hub in the intervening period, a leading global higher education scholar has predicted.

Simon Marginson, director of the Centre for Global Higher Education at the University of Oxford, said that developing countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa will bear the brunt of a coronavirus-induced recession and that “a temporary shrinkage of the global middle class” will have a significant knock-on effect on international student flows to Western universities.

Read more from the full report here.

SAGE waives article processing charges for research related to COVID-19

(26 Mar 2020) SAGE Publishing announces that it will publish open access any accepted research that is relevant to the treatment, transmission, cure, or social impact of COVID-19 without requiring article processing charges (APCs). Additionally, SAGE will fast track these papers for rapid publication and dissemination.

“SAGE aims to support the medical community in its efforts to prevent, detect, and treat COVID-19 as well as social and behavioral scientists as they assess the impact of the pandemic on society and propose solutions for individuals, communities, and governments,” commented Bob Howard, Senior Vice President of Research at SAGE Publishing. “We believe firmly that the efforts of the research community will be critical to addressing our current challenges and are committed to supporting researchers as we navigate this difficult time.” 

Waived APCs will last for the duration of the crisis. To request to waive an APC, researchers can either contact the journal’s editorial office upon submission or email upon article acceptance.

SAGE recently launched a freely accessible research collection of medical and SBS research relating to COVID-19 and pandemics and has signed and committed to the Wellcome coordinated statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the outbreak.

Additionally, the company has made several resources available to support instructors and students as they make the transition to online teaching and learning.

SAGE’s recent statement on COVID-19 details the publisher’s various initiatives and efforts.

The press release is here.


Macmillan abandons library e-book embargo

(17 Mar 2020) In a surprise announcement today, Macmillan abandoned its controversial embargo on new release e-books in libraries, effective this week.

“There are times in life when differences should be put aside,” reads a brief memo from Macmillan CEO John Sargent addressed to librarians, authors, illustrators, and agents. “Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some e-book prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.”

The full report is here.


Researchers are tracking coronavirus misinformation

(24 Mar 2020) When five researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, launched the new Center for an Informed Public back in December 2019, they had no idea what was coming. The center aims to study how misinformation propagates and use the findings to “promote an informed society, and strengthen democratic discourse.” Now, just a few months later, the coronavirus pandemic is generating a tidal wave of information—some of it accurate, some not so much—that has saturated social and traditional media.

Two of the center’s founders—sociologist Emma Spiro and crisis informatics researcher Kate Starbird—are watching closely. By monitoring news reports and scraping massive amounts of data from social media platforms, they are examining how misinformation is spreading during the pandemic, and how scientific expertise factors into public perceptions.

“We’re trying to think about questions of how data and statistics are being used and debated in these conversations online, and what is the impact of that on public understanding and the way that people make decisions and take actions,” Spiro told ScienceInsider this week.

Spiro and Starbird discussed lessons learned from the spread of misinformation in past crises, and some of the things they’re hoping to learn from this one.

Read the interview here.


COVID-19 highlights the wisdom of the academic crowd

(13 Mar 2020)  With the rapid growth of COVID-19 upon the world, the number of research papers on the virus is also increasing. See how the trend grows in Google search by matching the dates of related scientific activities, and see how researches around this new topic evolve through citation and change of keywords via Microsoft Academic here.


Five things you (maybe) didn’t know about AI

(20 Mar 2020) While there’s plenty of information out there on artificial intelligence, it’s not always easy to distinguish fact from fiction or find explanations that are easy to understand. That’s why we (Oxford Internet Institute) have teamed up with Google to create The A to Z of AI. It’s a series of simple, bite-sized explainers to help anyone understand what AI is, how it works and how it’s changing the world around us. Here are a few things you might learn.

The full story is here.


Virtual plenary meeting and poster session for RDA 15th plenary meeting

(26 Mar 2020)  The 15th RDA Plenary Meeting, which was scheduled to take place from 18-20 March 2020 in Melbourne Australia, has been canceled due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. However, from 18th March to 10th April 2020 RDA will be facilitating the organisation of a virtual Plenary (VP 15) meeting, offering session convenors the opportunity to organise and participate in virtual breakout sessions.

The Virtual Plenary Programme is constantly updating and is available here

If you and your group(s) had a session planned for Plenary 15, and are now interested and willing to organise a virtual breakout session, we kindly invite you to fill in the form here.

The virtual poster session can be visited here during 30th March – 9 April.


Information apocalypse: all about deepfakes

VIDEO: Doctored images, fake videos and computer-generated news are easier than ever to create and distribute. Here’s why you should worry and what you can do.

Watch the video from Knowable Magazine here.

Read more: Synthetic media: The real trouble with deepfakes is now collaborating with Knowable Magazine to bring you the latest research stories of the real-world significance of scholarly work through a journalistic lens.


COVID-19 – Translated language resources available for libraries to communicate with communities

(24 Mar 2020) The IFLA Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section is working with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) to create translated signage and text for libraries to communicate with their communities about library closures and changes to programs.

Freely downloadable in 30 languages (and counting), you are welcome to share, edit and adapt this content to your own library’s needs.

Multilingual communication resources

These materials would not have been possible without the generous and quick response of the Section members, as well as members of the IFLA New Professionals SIG, and other networks in the international library community – in particular, members of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL).

We are still seeking assistance to continue to translate this content into other languages – particularly Indian Punjabi or Karen. If you can help with either of these languages, or any others that we have not translated yet, then please contact ALIA directly at

Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese, and Vietnamese versions are among the translated ones. Download them here.

Scientific posters and presentations to gain visibility and impact through SciMeetings by ACS

(24 Mar 2020) Every year, hundreds of thousands of researchers share their research findings at in-person conferences. Scientific content created for these conferences has traditionally been limited to the audience at that event, with no wider distribution or long-term preservation. SciMeetings, a service developed by the American Chemical Society (ACS) through its Publications Division, will expand the reach and impact of early-stage research and globalize professional networking via its online poster and presentation publication service.

SciMeetings, powered by Morressier, is a fully open access product that is freely searchable, citable and shareable. Posters and presentations receive a DOI number and creative commons license upon upload, and video or audio can be embedded to enhance the submission. Content is fully indexed and will be searchable on the ACS Publications and Morressier platforms. With SciMeetings, innovations presented at conferences can now be widely shared, advancing the pace of science and maximizing professional exposure. SciMeetings is one of many products that fulfill the ACS strategic goal of delivering essential chemistry-related information solutions to address global challenges.

“Sharing research at conferences is an essential part of the scientific process. ACS Publications, as one of the most-recognized and authoritative STM publishers, is ideally positioned to assist researchers and event organizers in disseminating conference material for global impact,” says James Milne, Ph.D., president, ACS Publications Division. “ACS has demonstrated leadership in scientific collaboration before, most notably as a founder of ChemRxiv, the preprint server for chemistry.”

“Now, more than ever, it is tremendously important for scholarly posters and presentations to be widely accessible,” says Sami Benchekroun, Morressier co-founder and managing director. “ACS is acting as a trailblazer in digitizing early-stage research and has the potential to set a new standard for the entire industry. We are very excited to support them with this endeavor.”

This service is intended to provide a timely option for presenters and conference organizers of meetings that are postponed, delayed or cancelled, such as the ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo, which was to be held in Philadelphia in March. ACS is adopting SciMeetings for the more than 14,000 posters or talks that were scheduled for this event, many of which will now be held in a virtual environment. SciMeetings will be available to enhance future events among the global scientific community as well, supporting the communication of high-quality research. Interested parties are invited to contact Tammy Hanna, director of new product innovation ( to learn more.

Morressier is the home for early-stage research. Morressier’s workflow tools uncover and disseminate traditionally hidden research, including conference posters and presentations, to help scientists boost their recognition and accelerate their breakthroughs. Over 200 societies, institutions, conferences and companies work with Morressier to structure their early-stage research and facilitate new revenue streams, publishing opportunities and research partnerships.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

The press release is here.


Hong Kong bookstore owner is creating a new way of consuming the written word

  • Flow Books owner Surdham Lam plans to turn his second-hand book store into the Flow-brary, a lending library with a difference
  • Borrowers can keep their books as long as they like, or until other readers request them

(19 Mar 2020) The plight of the bookseller is well documented, and rarely does the story end happily ever after. So when beloved Hong Kong second-hand bookstore Flow Books came in danger of going under 2½ years ago, it was both newsworthy and heart-warming to see patrons raise the necessary HK$150,000 (US$19,300) to keep the enterprise afloat.

Its home now is small and overflowing – books line every inch of shelf space, with stacks on the floor, and a fortress of literature stands in the hallway outside.

Space is a commodity in Hong Kong, which is a problem that Flow alleviates by taking unwanted books from patrons. It is also a problem from which it suffers, so much so that when more than two people are in the shop, it’s like a game of human Tetris.

See how the bookstore owner, Surdham Lam, solved the issue by turning the bookstore into a library here.

National Library of Korea introduces enhanced online service amid coronavirus spread

(23 Mar 2020)  The National Library of Korea started providing its enhanced online service Digital Collection on Monday.

“Digital Collection provides selected content curated by experts from different fields who also wrote commentaries. We hope that this cultural content can help people who are having a difficult time due to the delay of the new school semester and social distancing,” a National Library of Korea official said in a statement.

The service can be accessed via the National Library of Korea’s website (English version available)

Read more from The Korean Herald here.


Cultural, historical and scientific collections you can explore online

(23 Mar 2020)  As efforts to contain the effects of the COVID-19 crisis ramp up, millions of people around the globe are social distancing and self-quarantining themselves in their own homes. To support those in search of diversion from the relentless news cycle, Smithsonian magazine has compiled a collection of 68 online culture, history and science collections you can browse from the comfort of your living room. Whether you’re in the mood to virtually explore ancient Rome, read past presidents’ personal papers or download coloring pages from dozens of international cultural institutions, this roundup has you covered. Listings are bolded and organized by field.

Explore more from Smithsonian magazine here.


Closing in on the new coronavirus

The eye-catching spikes sticking out from the surface of SARS-CoV-2 may inspire new ways to prevent or treat Covid-19 infections

(20 Mar 2020, feed from Knowable Magazine) It is new, but not entirely. The coronavirus upending the world right now is so similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus of 2002–03 that virologists opted to simply call it SARS-CoV-2.

Yet there seem to be some crucial differences between the virus that caused an epidemic 17 years ago and the one causing a global pandemic today. The good news is that relative to the number of infections, the virus does not seem to be quite as deadly as the earlier SARS virus was. SARS-CoV-1 infected around 8,000 people and killed roughly 1 in 7, whereas the estimated death rate for known cases of SARS-CoV-2 — while still uncertain — is much lower, perhaps even less than 1 in 70.

To understand the reasons for these differences, researchers are intensively studying the three-dimensional structure of the viral proteins and, in particular, the ones it uses to infect human cells and reproduce inside them. Such knowledge might offer vital clues for developing therapies and a vaccine — some of which are already being tested.

The full story is at Knowable Magazine here. is now collaborating with Knowable Magazine to bring you the latest research stories of the real-world significance of scholarly work through a journalistic lens.