This Year's Information Industry News: 2019 in Review

Over the course of the past twelve months, we've tracked press releases, news stories and blog posts emerging from NISO's cross-sector membership. Here we offer just a bit of a retrospective -- a sampling of those member announcements reflecting new directions, innovative approaches, exciting leadership and collaborative partnerships. 

Product Innovation

Introducing eLife’s first computationally reproducible article (Blog Post Announcement)

eLife, in collaboration with Substance, Stencila and Tim Errington, Director of Research at the Center for Open Science, US, published its first reproducible article, based on one of Errington’s papers in the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology. This reproducible version of the article showcases some of what’s possible with the new RDS tools.

Cambridge University Press launches new model for scholarly publishing (News Story)

Cambridge University Press has launched a new publishing model to provide an outlet for world-class research and writing that sits outside the traditional formats of book or journal article.

Work of between 50-120 pages will be published digitally and through print-on-demand as ‘Cambridge Elements’ – concise, peer-reviewed guides to key and current topics across all fields of study and research. These will be organised into focused series, edited by leading scholars.

Wolters Kluwer Introduces Clinically Intelligent NLP Solution to Extract Insights from Patient Medical Records (News Release)

Wolters Kluwer, Health announced today it has expanded its portfolio of real-world artificial intelligence (AI) solutions with the addition of a clinical natural language processing (cNLP) solution that enables healthcare organizations to unlock the value of unstructured clinical information. The solution, part of the Health Language platform, supports extraction of patient data found in free-text physician notes and patients’ electronic health records to improve the quality of data across payer and provider organizations.

HighWire and Semantic Scholar partner to enhance article discovery (Blog Post Announcement)

Scholarly publishing technology provider, HighWire, announced it has partnered with AI-powered academic search engine, Semantic Scholar to enhance article discovery for researchers. Through the partnership, Semantic Scholar will apply their semantic tools and AI models to HighWire’s publishers’ articles, and index the content and related metadata to make it easier for users to find and understand relevant content.

CAS Accelerates Product Development with Launch of Specialized Formulations Solutions (Press Release)

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society that specializes in scientific information solutions, has expanded its product portfolio with the launch of Formulus®, a new solution aimed at getting innovations to market faster by addressing the unique information needs of formulations scientists. With product development accounting for an estimated 30% of overall R&D costs, industries including pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals and cosmetics are seeking to spark innovation and increase efficiency. By providing ready access to the detailed insights formulators need, Formulus inspires new ideas, reduces iterations required to optimize each formulation and informs problem resolution.

IET’s Inspec Analytics wins Best New Product/Service in The Charleston Advisor’s Eighteenth Annual Readers’ Choice Awards (News Release)

Inspec Analytics, which launched earlier this year, is based on the IET’s Inspec database and was developed to support researchers, strategic managers and libraries in assessing the value and impact of research and make strategic decisions about the direction of their projects, departments and collaborations. The Charleston Advisor praised Inspec Analytics as “a wonderful analytics tool for multidisciplinary collaboration as well as those working in focused fields.”

The New PubMed Is Here (News Release)

An updated version of PubMed is now available at The new PubMed will become the default in spring 2020 and will ultimately replace the legacy version...NLM will continue adding features and improving the user experience, ensuring that PubMed remains a trusted and accessible source of biomedical literature today and in the future.

Clarivate Analytics Launches Cortellis Cloud to Accelerate R&D Innovation (Press Release)

Clarivate Analytics launched Cortellis Cloud, an integrated, scalable technology platform, intended to serve as a single point of access to Cortellis, the company’s suite of life science intelligence solutions. 

The University of Michigan Press EBook Collection Launches on Fulcrum (Blog Post Announcement)

Now available on the Fulcrum platform is a collection of scholarly ebooks published by the University of Michigan Press that is available for sale to libraries via LYRASIS, a non-profit organization that acts as an agent for its 1,200 members to buy content collections and technology solutions.

Open Access, Open Science

Open Access Market Sizing Update 2019 (News Release)

Delta Think’s OA Market Sizing shows that the open access market continues to grow faster than the underlying journals publishing market, and faster than we previously expected. (Market Size represents revenue generated by providers or, conversely, costs incurred to buyers of content.) We estimate it to have been worth $675m in 2018 and on track to grow to over $758m in 2019.

Supporting Collaboration and Research Excellence (News Release)

The University of Oklahoma has joined the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework (OSF). OSF is a free and open-source project management tool designed to support researchers from any field or specialty throughout their project lifecycle.

Government Initiatives

NGA Launches $1.2M Challenge to Advance Geomagnetic Data Collection for the World Magnetic Model (Press Release

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency launched MagQuest, a $1.2 million global open innovation challenge. NGA calls upon solvers to submit novel approaches to geomagnetic data collection for the World Magnetic Model. The WMM is embedded in thousands of systems, including more than a billion smartphones for mobile navigation apps. The WMM is also critical for military and commercial uses around the world. Among other applications, it supports navigation and attitude determination while also informing operational logistics like the numbering of runways. 

National Archives Awards $3.5 Million in Grants for Documentary Editing and Archival Projects (Press Release)

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero has awarded $3,492,445 for 35 projects in 21 states to improve public access to historical records...Grants went to 13 documentary editing projects to publish the papers of key American figures, including Jane Addams, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. The Institute for Editing Historical Documents, which began in 1972, received a grant to continue its work in providing training to documentary editors.  

GPO Digitizes Public Papers of the President (Press Release)

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) have digitized volumes of The Public Papers of the Presidents for Presidents Herbert Hoover (1929) through George H.W. Bush (1990), with the exception of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Atypon acquires Authorea and Manuscripts and signals its plans for open science (Press Release)

Atypon has announced today its acquisition of two authoring platforms – Authorea and Manuscripts – enabling the company to provide free HTML-first authoring and collaboration tools for researchers. Already used by over 200,000 researchers across the globe, these tools enable researchers to write, cite, collaborate, host data, and publish.

EBSCO Information Services Acquires Leading Library and Research Web Platform, Stacks Inc. (Press Release)

EBSCO) announced the acquisition of Stacks Inc., a leading library and research web platform. EBSCO partnered with the company in 2016 to release Stacks, a hosted content management system for libraries. This acquisition reinforces EBSCO’s commitment to providing library patrons with the best possible search experience and deep integration of resources.

Wiley Signs Agreement to Purchase the Assets of Newton (Press Release

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JWa) (NYSE:JWb), a global leader in research and education, announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Knewton, a provider of affordable courseware and adaptive learning technology for an undisclosed amount.

Internet Archive Buys Better World Books (Blog Post Announcement)

Better World Books, the world’s leading socially conscious online bookseller, is now owned by Better World Libraries, a mission-aligned, not-for-profit organization that is affiliated with longtime partner, the Internet Archive.  This groundbreaking partnership will allow both organizations to pursue their collective mission of making knowledge universally accessible to readers everywhere. This new relationship will provide additional resources and newfound synergies backed by a shared enthusiasm for advancing global literacy. Together, the two organizations are expanding the digital frontier of book preservation to ensure books are accessible to all for generations to come.

Ex Libris Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Innovative (Press Release)

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire Innovative, a leading provider of integrated library systems for public, academic, and specialty libraries. Innovative will become a business unit within Ex Libris. 

Libraries and Archives

CLIR Announces 2018 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Awards (Press Release)

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) announced the award of over $3.8 million to fund 17 projects for 2018 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards. More than 40 institutions located in 17 states and one US territory were involved in these projects, covering subjects ranging from endangered languages and displaced peoples to health issues, architecture, and fisheries.

Turning the Page to the Next Chapter (Blog Announcement)

Launching a new identity and updated web experience, ATLA (American Theological Library Association) announced that it was turning a page and realizing a new vision of ATLA as the hub of worldwide scholarly communication in religion and theology.

NYU Receives Major Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Collaborative Effort Aims to Meet the Challenge of Preserving New Forms of Digital Scholarship (Press Release)

New York University received a grant of $527,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project to help ensure the preservation of complex new forms of digital scholarship. In the collaborative project, “Enhancing Services to Preserve New Forms of Scholarship,” participating preservation service organizations will test the limits of their capabilities today, using their existing tools or drawing on partnerships to preserve a series of increasingly complex works from participating scholarly publishers. 

2019 ACRL Environmental Scan Released (News Story)

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee releases an environmental scan of higher education, including developments with the potential for continuing impact on academic libraries. The 2019 Environmental Scan (PDF) provides a broad review of the current higher education landscape, with special focus on the state of academic and research libraries. The document builds on earlier ACRL reports, including the Top Trends in Academic Libraries, published every other June in C&RL News. The 2019 environmental scan is freely available on the ACRL website (PDF).

Toward a National Archival Finding Aid Network: CDL Releases Planning Initiative Update and New Report (Blog Post Announcement)

This report is a primary deliverable of the “Toward a National Archival Finding Aid Network” project, a one-year (October 2018 – September 2019) planning initiative convened by the California Digital Library (CDL), with the participation of representatives from multiple state and regional finding aid aggregations. The report provides a survey of the current landscape of archival description — in particular, finding aid aggregations — and was developed to ground discussions of how best to provide access to archival collections, ensure the long-term sustainability of that access, and plan for future developments in this space.

Infrastructure and Platforms

New Collaborative Effort to develop a national digital ebook platform for libraries (Press Release)

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), The New York Public Library (NYPL), and LYRASIS are pleased to announce a new collaboration to help provide all public libraries with a free, open, library-controlled platform for managing their ebook and audiobook services.

Infrastructure for a Bibliographic Network (Blog Post)

The progress of technology means that what was new and innovative yesterday is necessary and presumed today. Based on recent inquiries to Index Data, we think union catalogs of arbitrary groups of libraries are reaching that latter stage. In this post, we are describing a new way of thinking about aggregations of libraries’ records, and we’re calling this the Bibliographic Network.

Springer Nature first publisher to implement service (Press Release)

As part of its commitment to finding solutions to problems researchers are facing, Springer Nature has been working with others in the industry and in collaboration with to address the current sometimes confusing and frustrating experience researchers face trying to access research subscribed to by their university when outside of the institution’s network. The new solution, to be implemented first by Springer Nature, will see users from participating institutions only having to log in once per browser, after which will remember their institutional affiliation, making future authentication when outside of their institution’s network easier. 

Workflow: Enhancements and Tools

Updated BISAC Subject Headings Released (Blog Post Announcement)

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has published the 2019 update to its book publishing subject codes, often referred to as BISAC Subject Headings.The codes are reviewed and updated annually by members of BISG’s Subject Codes committee, led by Connie Harbison of Baker & Taylor.

Inera Inc. Announces eXtyles Arc: Hands-Free Intelligent Document Structuring and XML Conversion (Blog Post Announcement

Inera Inc. announced the launch of eXtyles Arc, designed to offer hands-free document structuring and XML conversion from raw Microsoft Word manuscripts. Designed for a range of implementations including integration with journal submission systems, preprint servers, institutional or disciplinary repositories, and traditional publishing workflows, eXtyles Arc performs AI analysis of unstructured Word content to identify document elements and accurately convert them to full-text XML.

What's New in EPub 3.2? (Blog Post)

BISG announced an update to the specification to EPUB 3.2 while maintaining backward compatibility with EPUB 3.0.1. The biggest conceptual change uses the latest stable versions of HTML/CSS/SVG, so that EPUB can evolve with the web, rather than using static profiles which become increasingly out-of-date. 

CRKN and CARL Investigating National Solution for Minting DOIs with DataCite (News Release)

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) are investigating the feasibility of a national consortial approach to DataCite, the global non-profit organization that provides persistent identifiers (DOIs) for research data and other research outputs.

Aries Systems Announces Partnership with Aptara for Simplified Processing of Open Access Publishing Charges (News Release

In response to the increase in open access (OA) publishing and business models, Aries and Aptara have collaborated to create an efficient end-to-end solution for authors and publishers. The agreement enables Aptara’s SciPris to be integrated within Editorial Manager®, Aries’ manuscript submission and peer review tracking system, for automated calculation and collection of fees from Authors, funding agencies, and institutions.

Exciting Leadership

Elsevier Welcomes A New CEO  (Press Release)

Kumsal Bayazit takes over as Elsevier’s Chief Executive Officer, replacing Ron Mobed, who joined Elsevier in 2011. Kumsal becomes the first female CEO in the company’s close-to-140-year history.

Meet the Vice-Provost (Libraries) and University Librarian: Lisa O’Hara (Press Release

Throughout her tenure since 2002 at the University of Manitoba Libraries, Lisa O’Hara has welcomed innovation, helping to transform how information is discovered and accessed in print and digital formats, to the benefit of all faculty and students.

In June, O’Hara was appointed Vice-Provost (Libraries) and University Librarian. UM Today spoke with the self-described “metadata geek” about her vision for UM Libraries to “bring the world to the University and the University to the world” in a rapidly changing information environment, enjoying the rhythm of the academic year and accomplishing more by working together. And, of course, her favourite books.

Margaret McGhee appointed Chief, Public Services Division, Library Operations, National Library of Medicine (Press Release)

National Library of Medicine Associate Director for Library Operations Joyce Backus has announced the appointment of Margaret McGhee as Chief, Public Services Division. She will assume this role on December 9, 2019. Ms. McGhee will lead the Division responsible for several key NLM programs including MedlinePlus, the main web site, customer service, management and preservation of the collection, and delivery of onsite services and interlibrary loans. 

Kevin Borden Named Senior Director of Research and Analytics for ARL (Blog Post Announcement)

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Borden as senior director of research and analytics, effective January 13, 2020...Borden will lead the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of all research and analytics functions. He will inform and work with members and research and learning community partners in order to achieve a shared understanding of the opportunities for and contributions made by research libraries.

Online Literacy and Learning

Montana State University Researchers receive grant to build ‘algorithmic awareness’ as form of digital literacy (News Story)

Understanding the rules that govern software and shape users’ digital experiences is a form of digital literacy that is important knowledge for everyone who uses the internet to possess, just as knowing how to read and write are key literacy skills.

Provost, COO announce new online and distance learning organization (News Release)

From the University of Colorado - Boulder, Provost Russell Moore and Chief Operating Officer Kelly Fox announced they are accepting the recommendations of the Academic Futures-Financial Futures Online (AF-FF) Strategy Working Group to create a single coherent online and distance organization to serve the campus. This new organization will be under the leadership of Dean of Libraries Robert McDonald, who will report to Moore in the new role of senior vice provost of online education.