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January 30, 2004

The Year 1000: A Legacy of Science & Technology

:: The Year 1000: A Legacy of Science & Technology, is a new online exhibition from the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology.

    "Sometimes when people think about the year 1000, they think of a time of darkness and chaos for civilization. In fact, the turning of the first millennium was a time of marvelous change. This time period marks the turning point towards High Medieval civilization with individuals and societies around the world making contributions to science, technology and culture. The exchange of goods between China, India and the Islamic world brought with it the exchange of ideas and inventions.

    The year 1000 was a time influenced by the dominance of Islamic culture in science and technology. Most of the new knowledge coming into Europe came through Islamic scholarship. It also marks the beginning of the end of Islamic control in Spain. This allowed European-based civilization to begin its first steps on its own cultural expansion. These steps would eventually bring about the Renaissance in Europe.

    Tremendous growth in Chinese commerce during the Song Dynasty affected technological development worldwide. Although the Chinese culture remained remote, Chinese inventions and scholarship traveled with trade into the Islamic world and from there to Europe. The influence of Indian knowledge also traveled the trade routes with extremely important results.

    Around the year 1000, the European population began to grow. While the increase in population created a need for technological advancement, it is also true that advances in technology allowed growth in population. Technological growth brought surplus in the form of extra food and goods which in turn allowed trade to develop in this part of the world also. From trade the flow of ideas was stimulated through the exchange of artifacts.

    Taking a look at some of the items in the collections of the Linda Hall Library and information available through the World Wide Web, we will explore a few of the events and influences that began an intellectual revolution. It is interesting to see how some technological advances were made rapidly, while others took hundreds of years. Investigate the chain of events that began in the year 1000 and its legacy that we enjoy today. "

January 28, 2004

Web Sites of Interest

:: A couple of web sites discovered via the EEVL catalogue and the EEVL Current Awareness Service:

    E-STREAMS publishes "electronic reviews of science & technology references covering engineering, agriculture, medicine and science. Each issue contains 30+ STM reviews, covering new titles in Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine and Science. Each review is signed, and includes the email address of the reviewer. The reviews feature short TOCs, a list of contributors and bibliographic information."

    Technology History: "An annotated collection of links to some of the history of technology, including little-known subsites buried on many well-known commercial sites." Coverage on computers and internet, aerospace, and telecommunications.

January 27, 2004

The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives

Cartographers and historians alike will be interested in The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives:

Evidenceincamera has been created by The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (TARA) at Keele University. Our aim is to make the aerial reconnaissance photographs, deposited by the UK Ministry of Defence at TARA, accessible via the internet.

During World War II, photgraphic reconnaissance played a major part in the intelligence war. The advanced photographic techniques developed, gave intelligence officers the ability to view the enemies activities in 3D, and make highly accurate assessments. Discover a new way of looking at our history, and our future at evidenceincamera.

Unanticipated levels of traffic to the site have forced the temporary closure of the archive, although they are working to bring the site up in the near future.

Directory of Open Access Journals

Further to my last posting, for a listing of open access journals in biological sciences, or for that matter, other subject areas of interest, be sure to visit the Directory of Open Access Journals (under the direction of a new project coordinator).

January 26, 2004

Quantitative Biology at arXiv.org

The following email re: open access materials was posted to STS-L on Friday.

I just noticed a new eprint archive at arXiv (formerly xxx.LANL.gov) -- Quantitative Biology. Subject groupings include:

# BM - Biomolecules
# CB - Cell Behavior
# GN - Genomics
# MN - Molecular Networks
# NC - Neurons and Cognition
# OT - Other
# PE - Populations and Evolution
# QM - Quantitative Methods
# SC - Subcellular Processes
# TO - Tissues and Organs

The q-bio announcement indicates the archive was established in mid-September 2003. This development is especially noteworthy in that biology, as a discipline, has not had the same preprint sociology which nurtured the development of arXiv.org for the mathematics and physics communities.

George S. Porter
Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering & Applied Science
California Institute of Technology

Two other big(ger) open access models covering Biological Sciences are of course those of BioMed Central and BioOne*.
*(BioOne is actually not open access, but rather yet another model of publishing involving "innovative collaboration between scientific societies, libraries, academe and the private sector." Journals via BioOne are low cost, but not open access.)

2004: The (Internet) Turning Point

:: Stephen Downes has written 2004: The Turning Point, a thoughtful and interesting essay on some of the issues that will change how we use the Internet. Downes maintains Stephen's Web, which he describes as "a digital research laboratory for innovation in the use of online media in education. More than just a site about online learning, it is intended to demonstrate new directions in the field for practitioners and enthusiasts." (Thanks, Lea!)

C.S. Daily: Computer Science Daily News

Somewhere in my travels I came across C.S. Daily: Computer Science Daily News, which looks and sounds like a good idea for a site, assuming it can gather some momentum. Postings look a bit sporadic, although the most recent entry is from January 23, 2004.

CSDaily is a Computer Science news site aiming to provide useful information for Computer Science professionals, researchers, students, and instructors. Its focus is on technology and information that can be applied.

January 21, 2004

10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World

:: "Technology Review unveils its annual selection of hot new technologies about to affect our lives in revolutionary ways—and profiles the innovators behind them." The technologies described are:

Roland Piquepaille notes: "But last year's list included injectable tissue engineering or nanoimprint lithography, which didn't really change the world in 2003. So read this list with a grain of salt."

January 20, 2004

Royal Society of London's Catalogue of Scientific Papers to be in 19th Century Masterfile

:: Catherine has already mentioned this, but it's worth repeating. In 2004, The Catalogue of Scientific Papers, 1800-1900, Royal Society of London, will be added to the 19th Century Masterfile database. The 19th Century Masterfile is primarily a non-scientific/technical database, covering pre-1920 studies. Nonetheless, it will be great to have the Catalogue of Scientific Papers added, making it much easier for scientists, engineers and other researchers to locate material in their subject areas from two centuries past.

The Catalogue of Scientific Papers' coverage included mathematics, mechanics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, meterorology, mineralogy, geology, geography, palaeontology, biology, botany, zoology, anatomy, anthropology, physiology, and bacteriology. Three subject index-volumes were published: pure mathematics, mechanics, and a two-part index for physics. Unfortunately, World War I interrupted the work, and the remaining 14 subject indices were never published. The 19th Century Backfile's keyword searching capabilities will compensate somewhat for the long-lamented absence of those indices.

There is another development regarding the Catalogue: the entire catalogue has been digitized, and is available for viewing via Gallica - la bibliothèque numérique (Bibliothèque national de France.) Click on "Recherche", and in the Mots du titre search box, type: catalogue of scientific papers, et voilà! - the entire catalogue is available in 20 search results.

January 16, 2004

New report -- "A Survey of Digital Library Aggregation Services"

As posted to several listservs, including OAI-general...

"A Survey of Digital Library Aggregation Services."
By Martha L. Brogan.
Digital Library Federation, Council on Library and Information Resources:
Washington DC, December 2003.

[And available in print, 1st quarter 2004]

This 100-page report, commissioned by the DLF, provides an overview of a
diverse set of more than thirty digital library aggregation services,
organizes them into functional clusters, and then evaluates them more fully
from the perspective of an informed user. Most of the services under review
rely wholly or partially on the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting of the Open
Archives Initiative (OAI-PMH). Each service is annotated with its
organizational affiliation, subject coverage, function, audience, status,
and size. Critical issues surrounding each of these elements are presented
in order to provide the reader with an appreciation of the nuances inherent
in seemingly straightforward factual information, such as "audience" or

David Seaman
Executive Director, Digital Library Federation
Council on Library and Information Resources
1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

web: http://www.diglib.org/


And the number continues to shrink...

Thomson Corp. said yesterday that it had acquired the publishing assets of Philadelphia-based Biological Abstracts Inc. and Biosis, a life-sciences indexing service. Financial terms of the deal, which closed Friday, were not disclosed. The nonprofit Biosis' 125 employees, at 20th and Market Streets, and 40 other employees in York, England, now work for Thomson ISI, a business unit of Thomson Scientific & Healthcare, based in Philadelphia. Biosis' employees, now in leased space at Two Commerce Square, will move eventually to Thomson offices at 35th and Market Streets, said Michael Tansey, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Scientific. "Nobody lost their jobs," he said. Because the transaction involved a for-profit company buying a nonprofit, proceeds from the sale of Biosis' publishing assets will go to a new foundation, the J.R.S. Foundation, run by Biosis' former board of trustees to "further the work of biological scientists," said Joel Baron, an adviser to the former Biosis board. "The foundation money could be used for funding life-science research, supporting the work of researchers in Third World countries, or to support other foundations," Baron said. "A final determination has not been made." Biosis, which was founded in 1926, produces databases and services for life-sciences research, including Biological Abstracts, Biosis Previews and Zoological Record, which is published jointly with the Zoological Society of London. Thomson said Biosis was the world's largest abstracting and indexing service. Toronto-based Thomson, with $7.8 billion in revenue in 2002, is a publisher of specialized information for businesses, with more than 20 million users in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information, corporate training, scientific research, and health care. Thomson's products range from Westlaw legal databases and the Physicians' Desk Reference to university textbooks. Thomson ISI, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1958 as the Institute for Scientific Information, provides Web-based information to researchers, students and businesses worldwide. Biosis announced in May that it was seeking a partner to ensure that researchers, educators, students and others would have continued affordable access to biological research. In October, Biosis said it was in final negotiations with Thomson. [Source: http://www.philly.com]

January 15, 2004

Symposium on Electronic Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journal Publishing and its Implications

:: On May 19-20, 2003, the National Academy of Sciences held the Symposium on Electronic Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journal Publishing and its Implications. A number of presentations from that conference are now available for viewing. Geoff reported previously that the sessions he listened to on a webcast were interesting, and covered a wide range of topics.

Libraries in Iraq

As posted to Jerome-L...

Some of you may recall that in early December I had posted the first release of The Library of Congress and the Cultural Property Office of the US Department of State Mission To Baghdad Report on the National Library and the House of Manuscripts from their visit during October 27-November 3, 2003.

Since then, the website for the Committee on Iraqi Libraries has been cataloged by LC see: LCCN = 2003692800, and also that a second and now third, illustrated version (of the report) appeared at the Library of Congress website in December 2003, along with a Press Release announcing that "A 30-minute film titled 'The Library's Mission to Baghdad,' produced by the Library and featuring interviews with the team members, will debut at the American Library Association's 2004 Midwinter Meeting to be held Jan. 9-14 in San Diego, Calif."

See Link: http://www.loc.gov/rr/amed/iraqreport/iraqreport.html

There is also a URL for the Middle East Library Association Website on it:


I thought some of you may like to know about this.



Joseph E. Saad
Instructional Assistant

January 9, 2004

Get thee to a library school!

There is no question that we need to continue to promote the strengths of our profession if we want to recruit the brightest and the best. ACRL has put together a very useful recruitment page with a number of interesting resources for both recruiters and recruitees to use. There is even a very well done streaming video on academic librarianship, Faces of a Profession@Your Library, which is available for download (requires Real Video).

Recruiting to the Profession Video (streaming file, requires RealMedia player)
Streaming video highlighting the role of academic librarians and the satisfactions to be realized in the profession. Includes interviews with academic librarians who discuss what they do and why they made their career choices. This video is also available for download as a zipped file. After downloading the file must be uncompressed and can then be played using RealPlayer.

[Found via a path of links originating with the newish blog, Beyond the Job - Professional tips for librarians: Articles, job-hunting advice, professional development opportunities, and other news and ideas on how to further your library career. Compiled by the Library Job People, Sarah Johnson and Rachel Singer Gordon.]

January 7, 2004

CSA Releases Version 6.4 of their Internet Database Service

:: From an e-mail received today:

    The major change featured in this release is the new "Remove Duplicates" feature, allowing users the ability to remove duplicate results when searching multiple databases.

    A Remove Duplicates button has been added to the search results screen. Clicking on this button will initiate the removal of duplicate records in your search results. Your new search results screen will display both the original number of records found in your search, and the numbers of records remaining after the removal of duplicates.

For further information, you can reach CSA via their Contact Page.

ACS President Weighs In On Soaring Journal Prices and Open Access

:: ACS President Charles P Casey is featured in the 5 Jan 2004 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. His column, Challenges for Chemists, Chemistry, and ACS, addresses a number of issues, including rising costs of journals, and the open access movement:

    I think that the solution to soaring library costs does not lie with open-access publishing but rather with electronic journals from scientific societies that are made available at reasonable costs. The solution will also require scientists to exert pressure on commercial publishers. The time has come for chemists who are editors or editorial board members of commercial journals to use their considerable influence to strongly urge publishers to greatly reduce their prices. I believe it is also time for chemists to consider whether they will continue to support exorbitantly priced commercial journals by serving as editors, editorial board members, authors, and referees!

January 6, 2004

Top Ten Nanotech Products Of 2003

:: Forbes Magazine has ranked the top ten products developed in 2003 which incorporated nanotechnology. (From: Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends)

Also available for those following developments in nano-everything, is the Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report, produced by Josh Wolfe and his staff. There is also a Forbes/Wolfe blog.

GeoScienceWorld (GSW)

GeoScienceWorld - a new world of Earth science publishing opens up December 22, 2003 Six leading Earth science societies and one institute have agreed to develop cooperatively an electronic research resource unprecedented in the Earth sciences

Called GeoScienceWorld (GSW), it will deliver online the aggregated journal content of the founding organizations and many other not-for-profit and independent Earth science publishers. The collection will feature full text searches across the aggregated journals and reference linking between included journal articles and, where possible, other online journals. GeoRef, the premier bibliographic database in our field, will be fully integrated into GSW expanding the search capability to include nearly all geoscience literature using a controlled vocabulary and providing direct linking to full text articles and abstracts within and outside the aggregation. With time, other material such as maps, books, and geoscience digital data will be included or inter-linked on an optional participation basis with content owners. When technically practical, GSW would include non-English publications. [As posted to LibLicense-L]

For two years the founding organizations - American Association of
Petroleum Geologists, American Geological Institute, Geological Society of
America, Geological Society of London, Mineralogical Society of America,
Society for Sedimentary Geology, and Society of Exploration Geophysicists
- have been developing plans for GeoScienceWorld. Final agreement allows
implementation of the plan. A prospectus will be sent in January to all
societies and other journal publishers potentially interested in
participating. A free trial period for potential subscribers is
anticipated during the summer of 2004 with a fall launch date for paid
online subscriptions

January 5, 2004

Mars Exploration Rover Mission

:: The latest details and photographs, both raw and processed for press releases, are available on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission website.

January 2, 2004

January issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter

Peter Suber writes, "In addition to the usual round-up of news and bibliography from the past month, it takes a close look at open access momentum during 2003, the "many-copy problem" and "many-copy solution", and the gap between the literature directly available through a university library and the literature that campus patrons need for their research."

Access the January issue:

Elsevier to Close Three End-User Portals

:: From Infotoday: "December 29, 2003 — An in-house employees’ newsletter, Elsevier Today, dated Dec. 3, revealed that a company review of portal operations had decided that “the contribution of this form of marketing to S&T's [science and technology] current business is not sufficient to continue the associated high investments.” Therefore, Elsevier plans to discontinue operation of its three end-user portals—BioMedNet (http://www.bmn.com), ChemWeb (http://www.chemweb.com), and ElsevierEngineering.com. Some current activities will migrate to the main Elsevier.com site, which may have some redesign." - Barbara Quint

:: Geoff and Randy wish all our readers a very Happy New Year!

US Navy tries blogging for team communication

Yet another example of blogging making its way into organizational communication strategies... ScienceDaily News Release: Blog, Blog, Blog: The Navy Tests Web Logging For Team Communications

Blogging, or keeping a weblog, is often seen as a solitary effort. An individual can type frequent updates onto their log, sharing opinions or ideas with anyone with Internet access. The future of blogging could look a lot different. The Office of Naval Research and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) are testing out the idea that weblogs can be powerful communication tools to bring together teams of people.

The ONR and NUWC are leading a government-industry team to develop a blog as a promising new approach to speeding up the exchange of information on new defense technologies--and thereby speed up getting the technologies into the field.

The blog is one of 12 pilot programs, selected for funding from a field of 120, for demonstration through the DoD Rapid Acquisition Incentive-Net Centricity (RAI-NC) initiative. The RAI-NC, managed by the office of the Pentagon's chief information officer, aims to demonstrate processes to speed up the development of net-centric, "transformational" approaches to defense technology development and acquisition. [Blog, Blog, Blog: The Navy Tests Web Logging For Team Communications]