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ASTHO Announces Release of 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™

December 15, 2014 Comments off

ASTHO Announces Release of 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™
Source: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and CDC

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more than 35 development partners, released today the 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™), which measures and advances the nation’s readiness to protect people during a health emergency or disaster. The 2014 Index includes updated data and new content, especially in the areas of healthcare delivery and environmental health.

The 2014 national result,7.4 on a scale of 10, suggests that substantial health security preparedness capability exists across the nation with progress to sustain and build upon. It also suggests significant work still needs to be done. As with 2013 findings, 2014 areas of relative strength include Countermeasure Management, Incident & Information Management, and Health Security Surveillance. Areas suggesting need for greater development include the new domain of Environmental & Occupational Health, and Healthcare Delivery (previously Surge Management) and Community Planning & Engagement.

Report — More Hispanics Earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Physical Sciences and Engineering

December 9, 2014 Comments off

More Hispanics Earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Physical Sciences and Engineering
Source: American Institute of Physics

A new report from the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center has found that the number of Hispanic students receiving bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences and engineering has increased over the last decade or so, passing 10,000 degrees per year for the first time in 2012. The overall number of U.S. students receiving degrees in those fields also increased over the same time, but it increased faster among Hispanics.

From 2002 to 2012, the number of Hispanics earning bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences rose 78 percent compared to an overall increase of 47 percent in all U.S. bachelor’s degrees earned in those same fields. Similarly, Hispanics earning bachelor’s degrees in engineering rose 64 percent, compared to just a 34 percent increase in the overall population.

“HowOpenIsIt?®” Open Access Spectrum (OAS)

November 13, 2014 Comments off

“HowOpenIsIt?®” Open Access Spectrum (OAS)
Source: PLOS, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)

The “HowOpenIsIt?®” Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource created by PLOS, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). The guide defines core components of Open Access derived from the articulation of basic tenets in the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

“HowOpenIsIt?®” OAS moves the conversation from “Is It Open Access?” to “HowOpenIsIt?®” and illustrates a nuanced continuum of more versus less open to enable users to compare and contrast publications and policies across a grid of clearly defined components related to readership, reuse, copyright, author and automatic posting, and machine readability.

The guide has been vetted and refined in a practical use pilot of 100 journals by PLOS, SPARC and Copernicus Publications in consultation with OASPA, Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access (SHERPA) and Infrastructures for Open Access (IS4OA).

Through the work of volunteer translators, the guide is available in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese and French for use around the world by authors, libraries, research funders, government agencies, institutions and other interested parties.

Highlights From the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

November 5, 2014 Comments off

Highlights From the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Source: National Association of REALTORS®

For most home buyers, the purchase of real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. Buyers purchase a home not only for the desire to own a home of their own, but also because of changes in jobs, family situations, and the need for a smaller or larger living area. This annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® of recent home buyers and sellers provides insight into detailed information about their experiences with this important transaction. Here are highlights from the latest report.

  • Thirty-three percent of recent home buyers were first time buyers, which is still suppressed from the historical norm of 40 percent among primary residence buyers.
  • For 43 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties and 12 percent of home buyers first looked online for information about the home buying process.
  • Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process and 50 percent of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.
  • Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 98 percent of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 10 weeks and viewed 10 homes—this is two weeks shorter than the previous year’s report.
  • Seventy percent of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty-four percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.

See also: Presentation: 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Nobel Laureates’ publications opened for free access in SPIE Digital Library

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Nobel Laureates’ publications opened for free access in SPIE Digital Library
Source: SPIE

Research papers published by six 2014 Nobel Prize recipients whose accomplishments in physics and chemistry have been enabled by photonics are being made freely available in the SPIE Digital Library through the end of 2014. The innovations recognized for this year’s Nobel prizes in Physics and in Chemistry utilize light-based science and technology in the development of sustainable LED lighting, smart phone and computer displays, and more accurate medical diagnostics and treatments, and have illuminated the path to new areas of research.

The new Nobel Laureates are Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura, who were awarded the Physics prize for their invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell, and William Moerner, recipients of the Chemistry prize for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.

The papers — nearly 100 in all — can be accessed at http://www.spie.org/nobelpapers. Publications date from the mid-1980s through this year and include papers presented at SPIE conferences and published in the Proceedings of SPIE as well as papers appearing in SPIE journals.

Hat tip: ResearchBuzz

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Children, Adolescents, and the Media

October 15, 2014 Comments off

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Children, Adolescents, and the Media
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Media, from television to the “new media” (including cell phones, iPads, and social media), are a dominant force in children’s lives. Although television is still the predominant medium for children and adolescents, new technologies are increasingly popular. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to be concerned by evidence about the potential harmful effects of media messages and images; however, important positive and prosocial effects of media use should also be recognized. Pediatricians are encouraged to take a media history and ask 2 media questions at every well-child visit: How much recreational screen time does your child or teenager consume daily? Is there a television set or Internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom? Parents are encouraged to establish a family home use plan for all media. Media influences on children and teenagers should be recognized by schools, policymakers, product advertisers, and entertainment producers.

Paid Time Off Programs and Practices

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Paid Time Off Programs and Practices (PDF)
Source: WorldatWork
From press release:

Workplace flexibility ranked as the primary motivator cited by employers for implementing a paid time off (PTO) bank leave system for employees, according to a 2014 WorldatWork survey, “Paid Time Off Programs and Practices” released today in conjunction with National Work & Family Month. Forty-nine percent of the respondents who indicated they use a PTO bank system cited granting employees more flexibility as the primary motivator for implementing a PTO bank system.

WorldatWork conducted a survey of its membership to better understand usage by employers of PTO bank systems €”typically defined plans that offer a combined bucket of available days to be used for a variety of types of absences” and traditional leave (e.g., vacation time, sick time and personal days) programs and practices. WorldatWork conducted similar surveys in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

“PTO banks give employees more control over managing their time off, and therefore, offer more flexibility. Employers tend to see PTO banks as an appealing option for attraction and retention and overall ease of administration,” said Lenny Sanicola, WorldatWork senior practice leader. “However, this year €™s data show us that PTO bank style programs, while appropriate for some organizations, are not for everyone. After considerable growth in usage over the past 12 years, the 2014 data show the trend of moving from a traditional leave system to a PTO bank system seems to have leveled out.”

Categories: labor, management, WorldatWork
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