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July 30, 2004

U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publications Releases Final Report

:: Richard Poynder reports in Information Today NewsBreaks that the U.K. House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee has completed its work, and published its final report, Scientific Publications: Free for all? (see 20 July 2004). Poynder notes:

Following 7 months of deliberation, the U.K. House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee has concluded that the current model for scientific publishing is unsatisfactory, and it has called on the U.K. government to support open access (OA). Arguing that traditional subscription-based publishing is restricting access to research, as library budgets fail to keep pace with constant price rises, the report recommends that the government create a network of institutional repositories and mandate all publicly funded researchers to deposit a copy of all their articles in the repositories, thereby making their research accessible to all “free of charge, online.”

From the Summary of the report (pdf file):

Academic libraries are struggling to purchase subscriptions to all the journal titles needed by their users. This is due both to the high and increasing journal prices imposed by commercial publishers and the inadequacy of library budgets to meet the demands placed upon them by a system supporting an ever increasing volume of research. Whilst there area number of measures that can be taken by publishers, libraries and academics to improve the provision of scientific publications, a Government strategy is urgently needed.

This Report recommends that all UK higher education institutions establish institutional repositories on which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read, free of charge, online. It also recommends that Research Councils and other Government funders mandate their funded researchers to deposit a copy of all of their articles in this way. The Government will need to appoint a central body to oversee the implementation of the repositories; to help with networking; and to ensure compliance with the technical standards needed to provide maximum functionality. Set–up and running costs are
relatively low, making institutional repositories a cost–effective way of improving access to scientific publications.

July 29, 2004

NIH Research to be Open Access

:: I guess you could call this breaking news! Paula Park reported today, in The Scientist, that Elias Zerhouni, director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), "indicated at a gathering of 43 scientific journal publishers and editors Wednesday (July 28) that eventually all NIH-financed research will be freely available to the public." Full-text of Park's report is here. On CHMINF-L, Rob McFarland reacted to this news by writing, "Did anyone know NIH was moving this quickly??? Think of the possible implications!"

:: On a sad note, Francis Crick, co-discovered of the double helix, passed away yesterday in San Diego.

Journal of STEM Education

:: The Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, is now available online:

The Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research is a half yearly, peer-reviewed publication for educators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The journal emphasizes real-world case studies that focus on issues that are relevant and important to STEM practitioners. These studies may showcase field research as well as secondary-sourced cases. The journal encourages case studies that cut across the different STEM areas and that cover non-technical issues such as finance, cost, management, risk, safety, etc. Case studies are typically framed around problems and issues facing a decision maker in an organization.
The journal began with a March 2000 issue, at which time it was called Journal of SMET Education: Innovations and Research. The name changed with the v4, issue3-4, July-Dec 2003 issue, "to reflect a change in usage by the National Science Foundation, which has adopted the term “STEM” to emphasize that the focus needs to be on science, technology, engineering and math." Abstracts are available from v1 issue1, April 2000 to v4 issues1-2, January-June 2003.

Engineering Web Offers Specialized Information -- ResearchBuzz, July 28, 2004

ResearchBuzz posted the following resource today:

Engineering Web Offers Specialized Information

Engineering Web Offers Specialized Information Catalogs, application notes, patents, product announcements, and a whole bunch of other stuff is available for search at GlobalSpec's Engineering Web ( http://www.globalspec.com ), a search engine for engineers.

Most of the real estate on the front page is devoted to a browse/search of over 11,000 supplier catalogs. On the left, though, you'll see a search for the "engineering Web" (engineering Web sites, good for the most part, needs a wee bit of tightening, "Carol Burnett" got 54 results many of which were obviously out of place). There's also application notes (concrete got 824 results), material properties sheets (concrete got 1,826 results), patents (crawling three different patent databases from 1982-present), and tools & useful sites (set up sort of like a searchable subject index, with categories covering both engineering-specific topics and ready reference.) While these specific data collections are useful if you're trying to zero in on something, you might want to search everything. Note the search form at the top of the home page and all the other pages I looked at. A query box lets you search any one or all of the components on the site.

In addition to all these searches, the site also offers a newsletter, a toolbar, and job listings.

IoP Responds to Concerns Over Four IOP Journals Moving to Taylor & Francis

:: On PAMNET, Steve Moss, VP of IoP Publishing, responds to David Stern's comments regarding the sale of four IoP journals to Taylor and Francis:

Dear David,

Please be assured that IOP will never become a "breeding ground for eventual commercial titles." This is so much the opposite of our mission.

Our primary goal is to publish journals that will benefit the Physics community. To do so effectively, we occasionally need to consolidate our resources to focus on our core strengths. This enables us to sustain the ongoing development of all of our journals and the improvement of services being provided to authors, readers and subscribers.

We are also committed to developing new journals which reflect emerging and exciting growth areas in Physics. As a not-for-profit, learned society publisher for Physics, we are dedicated to communicating the latest state of the science of Physics.

We specifically chose Taylor & Francis as the new publisher for the four titles based on our recent experience with them during the transfer of Quantitative Finance.

T&F was very efficient and effective at the transfer of the journal both from editorial and continuity of subscription fulfillment aspects. This was an absolute priority for us at IOP. We needed to be confident that our authors and our subscribers alike would have a simple transition with these journals.

David, please know that these decisions are never taken lightly. We are confident that T&F will provide a good home to the four IOP journals and will treat these titles, their readers, authors and subscribers with the respect they deserve. These journals are now quite robust, and will benefit from a publisher with a strong presence in these subject areas.

We certainly hope this will not cause libraries to reconsider IOP package purchases, given the above. As always we strive to keep our price increases at a minimum and always compare most favorably in this regard to most other publishers.

If anyone would like to discuss this further, I'm certainly available.


Steve Moss
Vice President
Institute of Physics Publishing

July 28, 2004

Four IOP Journals move to Taylor & Francis - Commentary from David Stern

:: The Institute of Physics Publishing announced on July 19, 2004, the sale of four of their journals: Waves in Random Media, Network: Computation in Neural Systems, Combustion Theory and Modelling, and Journal of Turbulence. David Stern, of the Yale U Science Libraries, offered these comments on SLAPAM-L:

In case others have not seen this, there are about to be some changes to the IoP packages. This will probably mean increased costs as these titles move to a commercial publisher, and certainly will mean we will reconsider our current IoP package purchases.

I am disheartened that newer titles we have altruistically supported are moving away from non-profit publishers. If this is happening because the IoP could not support these titles due to low subscription levels, the move to a commercial publisher would seem to be an even worse fate for the authors ... as even fewer libraries will be able to afford them and the articles will be seen by even fewer readers.

I hope new journal titles from non-profit publishers are not merely a breeding ground for eventual commercial titles. If this becomes a common pattern, we will no longer support new non-profit titles as the better alternative ... knowing they will come back to bite us as established alternatives to existing non-profit titles. We will simply ask non-profit publishers to expand their existing journals rather than start new niche publications.

Classic Chemistry Book - Free Online Via U Cal Press

George Porter notes the following on CHMINF-L:

University of California Press, following the pioneering lead of the National Academy Press, has released 400+ books for public consumption. I've mentioned both of these excellent resources in the past. What sparked my interest today was a citation to an outstanding treatise on the evolution/revolution of scientific thought and understanding.

Rocke, Alan J. The Quiet Revolution: Hermann Kolbe and the Science of
Organic Chemistry
. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1993.

Some additional sources of online books to which one can link, without fees
or contracts:

University of California Press eScholarship Editions

Additionally, UC Press provides linking assistance, with MARC and MODS records that can be loaded into library catalogs, and an Excel spreadsheet with key bits of information for those who simply wish to add the URL to existing records.

E-Editions - University of Nebraska Press

Baen Books

Hoover Institution Books Online

National Academy Press Reading Room

- George S. Porter

July 27, 2004

Statistical Analysis of RTECS® Database

:: From a recent posting on CHMINF-L:

I recently prepared a detailed statistical analysis of the RTECS(®) database -- Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. The analysis includes detailed statistics about coverage of the 158,000+ chemicals included in the database as of March, 2004, under the following headings:
    -acute toxicity
    -irritation data
The analysis generally includes statistics about common routes of administration, species tested, and measurement of results (e.g., LC50, LD50, etc.). It includes a list of the 10 most extensively covered substances in the database. There is also a list of the 10 most frequently cited journals/sources of information from the more than 3,100 individual sources that RTECS(R) cites. The document is seven pages, and it's available as a PDF file to anyone interested at: http://www.nisc.com/cis/RTECS_Analysis_March_2004.pdf

Anyone may feel free to contact me with any questions at
cissupport AT nisc.com.

Bill Earle, Chemical Information System

Major Biochemistry/Biophysics Journals Coming to PubMed Central

:: George Porter reports the following in an e-mail sent to a number of listservs this morning:

PubMed Central has some major treats in store for science libraries and the users of scientific literature in the coming months.

Biochemical Journal is the flagship publication of the Biochemical Society. Although the Biochemical Journal's website mentions 'Free online archive', I cannot locate any statement regarding the free portion of the archive. Biochemical Journal will be added to PubMed Central through the JISC/Wellcome Trust Medical Journals Backfiles Digitization Project . I infer from the description at the Wellcome Library that the material published in a calendar year is to be released for free access in January of the following year.

Biophysical Journal is the primary journal of the Biophysical Society. The journal's archives at HighWire Press are freely available after a twelve month embargo. The retrodigitization of Biophysical Journal is part of PubMed
Central's ongoing backfile scanning project.

Biochemical Journal
Fulltext v313+ (1996+) [by subscription]
Print ISSN: 0264-6021 | Online ISSN: 1470-8728

Biophysical Journal
Fulltext v74+ (1998+) 1 year moving wall
Print ISSN: 0006-3495 | Online ISSN: 1542-0086

George followed the post with this note:

Dana Roth (Caltech) found the following statement:
    The Biochemical Journal online archive is free to anyone with internet access. Every year in January, the online content for the previous year becomes free providing access to full papers from 1996 and abstracts from 1976. Full access to the current year of the online journal is
    restricted to institutions that have a subscription.
This statement confirms the inference which I made.

Biochemical Journal
Fulltext v313+ (1996+) [current calendar year requires subscription]
Print ISSN: 0264-6021 | Online ISSN: 1470-8728

In addition, Roth notes that Biochemical Society Transactions has a
similar policy.

Biochemical Society Transactions
Fulltext v27+ (1999+) [current calendar year requires subscription]
Print ISSN: 0300-5127 | Online ISSN: 1470-8752

July 26, 2004

Open Archives Initiative Data Providers. Part II: Science and

:: Gerry McKiernan has made available for viewing his recent article, "Open Archives Initiative Data Providers. Part II: Science and Technology", which appeared in Library Hi Tech News, v21, n5, (June 2004): 22-30.

Yahoo! Search Joins OCLC Open WorldCat Project

:: Interesting article from Information Today, by Barbara Quint, on OCLC expanding its library locator service for books, to include Yahoo!:

OCLC (http://www.oclc.org) has expanded its online library locator service for books to Yahoo! Search. Last October, I reported on a new pilot project between OCLC and Google that opened library holdings information for just under 2 million items in the WorldCat union catalog (extracted from the 55 million items with over 900 million holdings recorded; see http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb031027-2.shtml). In January 2004, Yahoo! approached OCLC to arrange access to Open WorldCat records under Yahoo!’s new Content Acquisition Program. (For a description of that program, see http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb040308-1.shtml.) While Google took months to spider all the OCLC data, Yahoo! moved very quickly. The agreement was signed May 21; content first appeared on Yahoo! Search May 28; and full crawling and loading of the 1,993,073 set was completed June 6. Overall, OCLC seems to consider the Open WorldCat project a wonderful success and plans to expand it.

July 23, 2004

Love in the (SciTech) Library?

:: While somewhat outside the scope of STLQ, please permit me this small indulgence on behalf of an old friend.

Madeleine Lefebvre is the University Librarian at St Mary's University in Halifax NS. She is also Past President of the Canadian Library Association, and a professional actress, whose films include Jack Bull with John Cusack, my favorite actor (who also shares my birthdate). (Yes, she has an IMDb entry!) She is also a fellow graduate with me, of the U of Alberta 1978 MLS class. But enough about Madeleine! As a favour, she has asked me to help publicize a project on which she is working: a book for Scarecrow Press, entitled The Romance of Libraries. In her own words:

I am writing a book for Scarecrow Press, tentatively called The Romance of Libraries. This will be a collection of true stories of people who met and fell in love in a library setting, which could be a library, or library school, or other related locale.

I would love to hear from anyone with a story to tell. Names and some details of place may be changed on request to protect privacy. I don't need polished stories - just personal accounts that I may edit and weave together under chapter headings. Not all stories will necessarily have happy endings. Poignancy and/or humour is welcomed.

This project is garnering a lot of interest. The contributors of all stories used in the book will receive a signed copy when it is published in 2005. Please visit my website at www.libraryromance.com.

If you met your true love in a library, please let Madeleine know about it, and you could end up signing autographs at a bookstore someday soon! Good luck, Madeleine!

July 22, 2004

Full Text of Proceedings - Summary of Responses

:: Thank you to the many colleagues who responded with information on what society, institution and association conference proceedings are available online. In addition to IEEE, SPIE and MRS (mentioned below), the following are also available online:

One respondent advised that SPIE hopes to have its proceedings online back to 1990 by the end of 2004.

IEEE Presentation from Nashville SLA Conference Now Available

:: The slide presentation from the annual IEEE Customer Breakfast session on Jun8, 2004, at the Nashville SLA conference is now available for viewing. From the IEEE site:

IEEE Announces New Initiatives at Special Libraries Association Conference – Presentation Now Available Online

June 2004 – The IEEE announced several new initiatives in its online publishing program this month during a breakfast for the library community at the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Nashville.

The announcements made during the meeting include the launch of two new IEEE journals in 2005, a flexible new online collection designed for corporations, plans to grow IEEE's archival digital content and forthcoming updates to the IEEE Xplore online delivery platform.

Jonathan Dahl, Staff Director of IEEE Sales & Marketing, explained how IEEE measures the quality of its collections to the librarians in attendance. Beyond the traditional elements of price and citations, a statistical study reveals that patents are citing scientific information more than ever before, and that top patenting organizations cite IEEE more frequently than competitor's journals. To support the study, Dahl cited Qualcom's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology as a high-impact, patent that relied on IEEE publications for patent approval.

In addition, Barbara Lange, Director of IEEE Publications Business Development, reviewed several recently launched enhancements to the IEEE Xplore platform. Improved navigation features, among other enhancements, help to meet the varied needs of researchers. She also presented a preview of the enhancements planned for next year's IEEE Xplore 2.0 release.

IEEE is pleased to make this presentation available online.

Special thanks to Rachel Berrington for bringing this to my attention.

July 21, 2004

Full-Text of Proceedings - What's Available?

:: At SLA in Nashville in June, I learned that Materials Research Society has made their proceedings available online, from their 2000 MRS Spring Meeting. SPIE offers the SPIE Digital Library, which includes all proceedings from 1998, #3245 to the present. IEEE offers their conferences online back to 1988 via the IEEE/IEE Electronic Library.

As far as I can determine, other associations such ASME or ASCE are not offering this service. Does anyone know of other associations or societies which are making their conferences or proceedings available online? I'll add your responses to this post, and I will post this message to ELDNET and SLA-ENG.

The Future of Chemistry

:: Dana Roth wrote the following in a recent post to CHMINF-L (with a slight editorial change):

Peter Golitz' editorial in the latest web issue of Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. mentions George Whitesides' seminal essay on the future of chemistry. This is apparently an update of Whitesides' 1990 review entitled "What Will Chemistry Do in the Next Twenty Years?".

Golitz then segues into a promotion of Wiley-VCH's 'Small'. Golitz concludes with some interesting examples of the internationalization of ACIE's authors and argues that ACIE's ISI impact factor isn't boosted by the publication of a 50 review articles in 2003.

The links are:

Editorial: The Future of Chemistry?
Peter Golitz

Assumptions: Taking Chemistry in New Directions
George M. Whitesides

- Dana L. Roth

July 20, 2004

Yahoo! and Google's Inclusion of WorldCat records

:: Hello again. I'm back from a two-week break. Geoff is still away, and will return on July 26. He was married on July 9th in St John's, Newfoundland. I attended the wedding, and played guitar during the ceremony.

:: Rita Vine, in Sitelines, has an interesting commentary on the inclusion of WorldCat records in Yahoo! and Google. I wasn't aware that this was happening, but it is an important development. I use WorldCat a lot, always my first choice when I need to verify the existence of something. Rita writes:

There has been more news this month of Yahoo!'s inclusion of Worldcat records (Google already has them) in its database.

This is interesting because it illustrates some real variations in current ranking and sorting differences between Yahoo! and Google.

As a test to see if the Worldcat records for a book would come up during an average search, I selected the book Your Guide to Passing the AMP Real Estate Exam by Joyce Bea Sterling (Real Estate Education Co., 2000) which is one of the Worldcat records captured by both Google and Yahoo. I chose the title because it was recent, because users looking to pass the exam could conceivably use Google to help them, and because the word selections for searching would be fairly obvious (amp real estate exam).

The full post is here.

July 6, 2004

Relative Value of an Open Access Article - Commentary by George Porter

:: Once upon a time, folk wisdom held that "a man's word is his bond." This evolved(?) into, "a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."

The recent Parliamentary inquiry into Open Access and STM publishing had proponents on both sides of an Open Access variation on that theme -- notably, those who contended that Open Access journals/articles were of profoundly dubious quality.

As one who still believes in the value of a promise, I'd like to call attention to evidence, not just supposition, of the value and validity of, at least one, OA article.

Microarray results: how accurate are they?
Kothapalli R, Yoder SJ, Mane S, Loughran TP
3: art. no. 22 2002

Currently cited 23 times in Web of Science, it was designated a 'New Hot Paper' by ISI's Essential Science Indicators service. To my surprise, the topic under which it appears as a New Hot Paper is Computer Science.

New Hot Paper Comments
By Ravi Kothapalli
ESI Special Topics, May 2004
Citing URL - http://www.esi-topics.com/nhp/2004/may-04-RaviKothapalli.html

I remembered having seen a news item about the New Hot Paper designation at
BioMed Central when I came across a citation in the bibliography of a current article in Plant Cell by a Caltech biologist. - George Porter

PTDLA Presentations From ALA

:: From an e-mail from Virginia Baldwin regarding the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Association :

If you were unable to attend the ALA onference that started just as ASEE ended, please look at the PTDLA website to see the excellent presentations made by Don Kelly, Jan Comfort, and Jason Martin in Orlando. The speakers agreed to have their presentations posted so you won't have to miss out completely.

Whether you are new to patent searching, have done some searching, or are
just want more knowledge so you can be of greater assistance to your patrons, each of these presentations will have valuable information and tips for you.

Exchange rate profiteering and cost-effectiveness of physics journals - 2004 Update

:: Dana Roth presented the following to the PAM Physics Roundtable at SLA in Nashville in June, 2004: Exchange rate profiteering and cost-effectiveness of physics journals

US$ subscribers are paying significant 'surcharges' for European journals, when US$ prices are compared with the corresponding EURO prices, suggesting exchange rate profiteering. Furthermore, large differences in the relative cost effectiveness were observed across three publisher titles. The maximum variance in 'cost per use per Impact Factor' analysis was 11/1.

July 3, 2004

SLA Chemistry Division Presents First Web Conference

:: Dana Roth sent the following information about a fascinating new development from the Chemistry Division of SLA: the first annual Web Conference.

In keeping with its goal of bringing the SLA Annual Conference experience to its members who are not able to attend, the Chemistry Division of SLA will be sponsoring its first Web Conference, to be held throughout the month of July, 2004. This conference will feature the Poster Session presenters from the June SLA Annual Conference in Nashville. There will be three to four presenters per week, with ample opportunity for you to read and see the presentations online, as well as discuss any questions or comments you may have with the actual presenters, who will be moderating the discussions for their respective presentations.

The format for the discussion portion will be through an asynchronous bulletin board, so you may participate throughout the week at times convenient to you. Each set of discussions will be closed, however, at week's end, at which time a new set of topics will be presented. So if you wish to participate in the discussions taking place during a given week, please don't put it off too long.

The event will require registration, but this is free and painless. The
conference will take place at http://forum.lib.lsu.edu/slachem/. The site will be open for registration and participation beginning Monday, July 5.

A schedule of the presentations is as follows:

July 5 - 11:
1) Jennifer Lee Baldwin, Margaret Dominy. "Science Information Literacy for
the Undergraduate: Update."
2) Jennifer Lee, Don MacMillan. "Blended Learning in Chemistry: Using the
Web to Improve In-Class Instructions."
3) Bill Armstrong. "The Creation and Implementation of an Information
Retrieval Course for the Sciences at LSU using Blackboard."

July 12 - 18:
1) SuHui Ho, Jeff Williams. "Usability Study of a Web-Based Instruction
2) Susan K. Cardinal, Kenneth J. Harper. "Helping Students Succeed at
Identifying Organic Compounds: Optimizing Location and Content of a Guide to
the Literature."
3) Kathy M. Jackson, Eva Maddox. "Evolution of a Chemical Literature Web
Tutorial at Texas A&M."

July 19 - 25:
1) Eleanor M. Smith, May M. Chang. "Use of a Content Management System and Reusable Learning Objects to Develop an Integrated Suite of Instructional
Materials for Scientific Information Literacy."
2) Carol E. Vreeland, May M. Chang. "Creating a Web-Based Science Tutorial:
an Opportunity for Inter-Institutional Collaboration."
3) Linda Shackle. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Down the Video Stream."

July 26 - Aug. 1:
1) Smadar Izhaky, Beth Weil. "Using Streaming Video for Library Tutorials."
2) Daureen Nesdill. "Making Organic Chemistry Relevant."
3) Cory Craig. "Library Instruction on the Web: Tips, Strategies and How to
Get Started."
4) Kathy Whitley. "Information Literacy Teamed with Science Literacy."

We hope you all have a chance to come and participate, and we hope you enjoy the conference. A reminder will be sent out on Monday, letting you know the conference site is open for registration.

On behalf of the Chemistry Division Executive Board,
Bill Armstrong and Dana Roth

William W. Armstrong
Head, Chemistry Library
301 Williams Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 USA
Ph. (225) 578-2738
Fax: (225) 578-2760
Email: notwwa AT lsu.edu
Dana L. Roth
Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
626-395-6423 fax 626-792-7540
dzrlib AT library.caltech.edu