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August 24, 2004

Real-Time Document Request™ (RDR™) Ranking Establishes New Method of Evaluating Scientific Journals

:: Press Release: CAS Science Spotlight Ratings Show Journals' Significance for Scientists

Philadelphia, August 23, 2004 - Recording how often a journal's contents are cited in scientific literature has long been the conventional way of measuring the importance of specific publications and even of the authors themselves. However, the widespread availability of electronic journals on the Web has enabled CAS to provide a new measurement - a tally of researchers' actual requests (Real-Time Document Requests) for full-text articles transmitted via CAS search services. The latest rankings are now available on the Web, free of charge, through CAS Science Spotlight and were announced at the American Chemical Society national meeting held this week in Philadelphia.

CAS Science Spotlight taps into the aggregated research activity of hundreds of thousands of the world's scientists who use CAS information products, then highlights the most requested articles in chemistry and related sciences. CAS is projecting 11 million RDRs in 2004. Visitors to the free Science Spotlight web site (http://www.cas.org/spotlight/index.html) can compare the "Most Cited" articles of 2003 versus the "Most Requested" articles of 2003. Typically, there is little if any correlation between the two lists - possibly indicating authors sometimes cite articles mainly because they have been cited by other researchers.

"The Spotlight rating of Most Requested shows the journal articles scientists are requesting daily in their scientific research," explains Eileen Shanbrom, Manager, CAS and Web Content. "A comparison of the 2003 Most Requested versus 2003 Most Cited lists shows no articles in common. We think the Spotlight rating provides intriguing possibilities for assessing the true significance of scientific articles. Perhaps citations and journal impact factors shouldn't be the only measures of a journal's value for scientists' research."

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, is an organization of scientists creating and delivering the most complete and effective digital information environment for scientific research and discovery. CAS provides pathways to published research in the world's journal and patent literature - virtually everything relevant to chemistry plus a wealth of information in the life sciences and a wide range of other scientific disciplines - back to the beginning of the twentieth century. In addition to o ffering STN in North America, CAS publishes the print version of Chemical Abstracts (CA), related publications and CD-ROM services; operates the CAS Chemical Registry; produces a family of online databases; and offers the SciFinder desktop research tool. The CAS Web site is at http://www.cas.org.


Eric Shively
Public Relations Group Leader
eshively AT cas DOT org

Communication Patterns of Engineers - Review by Christina Pikas

:: Christina Pikas, who maintains On Christina's Radar, has written a concise, informative review of the book, Communication Patterns of Engineers, by Carol Tenopir and Donald W King. The review appeared in the online journal, E-STREAMS Vol. 7, No. 7 - July 2004. The review is a reminder to read the book, which continues to sit on my desk, staring at me, daring me to open it...

Developments at IEEE Xplore

:: New journal debuts on IEEE Xplore, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology & Bioinformatics. The ACM Digital Library version of this journal is not yet available.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
Fulltext v1+ (2004+)
ISSN: 1545-5963

Unfortunately, there is still no indication that IEEE will be including two of the more recently introduced IEE journals in Xplore any time soon. Systems Biology is supposed to have its first issue released in Summer 2004. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing appears to date from 2000, although I've seen neither hide nor hair of it in Xplore nor seen any mention of it through the various IEEE alerting services.

- George Porter

August 23, 2004

CAS Extends Access to Additional Research from Early 20th Century

:: As posted to CHMINF-L.

CAS Extends Access to Additional Research from Early 20th Century

CA Databases Add More Than 7,000 Publication Records back to 1900

Philadelphia, August 23, 2004 - CAS has expanded its "Scientific Century" project by making thousands of additional early 20th century articles from American Chemical Society (ACS) journals and others available online. Planned for release in September, the enhanced content will enable researchers to access more than 7,000 additional records back to 1900, including publications even older than the beginning of Chemical Abstracts (CA). CAS announced the expanded access during the ACS National Meeting being held this week in Philadelphia.

"We have learned from the scientists and information specialists who rely on our information services that 'more is better,' and literature from an earlier era can contain findings highly relevant to current research," said Dr. Matthew Toussant, CAS Vice President, Editorial Operations. "Now we have gone even beyond the traditional coverage of CA to make thousands of published studies easily accessible online."

Included in the newly added information accessible through STN services, SciFinder and SciFinder Scholar is material from ACS journals and other sources, as described below:

o Journal of the American Chemical Society - more than 1,500 records, including abstracts for journal articles and summaries for book reviews;

o Journal of Physical Chemistry - more than 5,200 records, including abstracts of articles published in the journal plus other "abstracts of interest" to the journal (i. e. published in other sources of the time); and

o more than 400 documents of lasting importance published from 1900 - 1912 in various sources and not originally covered in CA. These are landmark publications cited in CA/CAplus files since 1998.

Among the early literature studies that continue to be cited in more recent publications are a paper on radioactive substances by Marie and Pierre Curie in Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences (1902); a study by Emil Fischer on amino acids, polypeptides, and proteins in Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft (1906); and a paper by Victor Grignard regarding organometallic combinations of magnesium and their application to the synthesis of alcohols and hydrocarbons, from Comptes Rendus
Hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences (1900).

Since CAS announced the Scientific Century project in 2001, more than 3.5 million documents from the first half of the twentieth century have been added to the online CA and CAplus files. In total, 23 million records for journal articles, patents, symposia, books, and other documents of scientific interest are available in these databases, which are accessible though SciFinder, SciFinder Scholar and the STN services, including STN Easy and STN on the Web.

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, is an organization of scientists creating and delivering the most complete and effective digital information environment for scientific research and discovery. CAS provides pathways to published research in the world's journal and patent literature - virtually everything relevant to chemistry plus a wealth of information in the life sciences and a wide range of other scientific disciplines - back to the beginning of the twentieth century. In addition to offering STN in North America, CAS publishes the print version of Chemical Abstracts (CA), related publications and CD-ROM services; operates the CAS Chemical Registry; produces a family of
online databases; and offers the SciFinder desktop research tool. The CAS Web site is at http://www.cas.org.

August 20, 2004

Palm PDA Resources for Engineering

:: Matthew Miller, professional engineer and creator of palmsolo's Life with PDAs , has compiled a list of engineering applications which are compatible with a Palm powered PDA.

August 19, 2004

NanoFocus at Chemical & Engineering News

:: Chemical & Engineering News NanoFocus - http://pubs.acs.org/cen/nanofocus/

"We created Chemical & Engineering News NanoFocus as a single source for all of our nanotechnology news. Chemists and non chemists alike are encouraged to explore the site as we present breaking news from the forefront of the nano-world."

"The site is broken up into two main areas: Top Stories and The Archive . All top stories and news available from the 'Index Page' are free to all users, but you must be a member of the Society to access our 'Archive'."

- via Dana Roth

Cell Press Announces Free Access to Recent Online Archive

:: From the Cell web site:

Cell Press is pleased to announce that access to the recent online archive of Cell and the other premier journals of the Cell Press collection will become freely available beginning in January 2005. The recent archive of these journals includes content that is 12 months old or older and dating back to content from 1995. Each month as new issues are published, the year old issues will be added to the freely accessible recent archive. Free access to the recent archive will be available on both ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com) and on the Cell Press journal sites (www.cellpress.com).

Today’s announcement by Cell Press represents an important change that will make a large part of the Cell Press journal archive freely accessible to the worldwide biomedical research community. Cell Press President and CEO Lynne Herndon commented, “Our main goal is the dissemination of information and the active support of scientific exchange. In recognition of the opportunities afforded by electronic publishing, Cell Press is taking this decision in order to better meet the needs of our unique author and reader communities. This opportunity also allows us to incorporate the notion of an open archive without adopting the pay-for-publication model that we believe is untested from both an editorial and financial perspective.”

Arie Jongejan, CEO Science & Technology, Elsevier added: “Cell Press publishes a suite of journals with a unique profile in biomedicine. Its readers expect science with immediate impact and its authors expect specialized care and extra speed. We support Cell Press’ unique role in the life sciences and within Elsevier.”

Cell Press is committed to improving scientific communication through the publication of exciting biology research and reviews. Our mission is to continue to publish and develop journals that deliver the highest possible intellectual rigor, promote community trust, and are widely disseminated. To that end, we are pleased to be able to add our new policy to existing Elsevier initiatives:

  • Participation in the HINARI project of the WHO, which distributes journals for free to developing countries (http://www.healthinternetwork.org/index.php);
  • A liberal copyright policy that gives authors broad rights;
  • Free advance online publication of selected papers;
  • Investment in making the entire back-issue collection available online;
  • Online submission and review for the convenience of authors and reviewers;
  • Support of the research community via meeting sponsorships
David Goodman, writing in CHMINF-L, notes the following:
As I understand it:
  1. the period from the present to 12 months back will be available in full text only to paid subscribers.
  2. the period from 12 months back through 1995 will be available free
  3. Is the period before that available at all? Is it a paid backfile, or not available at all in full text.
If Goodman is correct, I'm not sure that this is such a major announcement. If you can't afford the journal electronically now, then you still won't have access to the backfile. Clarification, anyone?

August 18, 2004

Chemistry Style Manual

:: As noted by Michael Engel on CHMINF-L: The Chemistry Style Manual, 2d ed, revised, 2004, by Professor Kieran F Lim, published by Deakin University, Australia. You may download one copy to your desktop. Copyright notice information is on p. xiii.

August 17, 2004

Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Uncertainties

:: Nano is everywhere. The UK government is one of the interested parties:

In June 2003 the UK Government commissioned the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK national academy of engineering, to carry out an independent study of likely developments and whether nanotechnology raises or is likely to raise new ethical, health and safety or social issues which are not covered by current regulation.
The aims of the study were:
  1. define what is meant by nanoscience and nanotechnology;
  2. summarise the current state of scientific knowledge about nanotechnology;
  3. identify the specific applications of the new technologies, in particular where nanotechnology is already in use;
  4. carry out a forward look to see how the technology might be used in future, where possible estimating the likely time scales in which the most far-reaching applications of the technology might become reality;
  5. identify what environmental, health and safety, ethical or societal implications or uncertainties may arise from the use of the technology, both current and future;
  6. identify areas where regulation needs to be considered
The final report, ‘Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties’ - was published on 29 July 2004.

Thanks to Robyn Mills, CSIRO Cunningham Library, St Lucia, Queensland in Oz, for bringing this to my attention.

ISTL - Summer Issue Now Available

:: The latest volume of Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship, n40, Summer 2004, is now available for viewing.

August 16, 2004

The Botox of scholarly communications

I just received a notification that the latest issue of Open Access Now is out. As per usual, it has a number of intriguing stories related to OA initiatives--some of which involve gains with rather large publishing houses. A lot of this has already made the rounds on many of the listservs and blogs but I still find it interesting. The editorial quotes Dylan, "You better start swimmin', or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'". The times are definitely changing, although it still remains a mystery to me as to who is swimming and who exactly will end up at the bottom of the pond.

BTW - Charles Bailey's Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography is now up to Version 54 (7/13/2004). His blog just pointed me to an interesting paper on OA appearing in the latest issue of First Monday. To read about how "OA is the Botox of scholarly communications," see The devil you don’t know: The unexpected future of Open Access publishing. I may have been asleep at the wheel, but I thought this paper would have provoked more debate on the lists. Thoughts?


:: Thanks to Pamela Bailey for letting me know about her website, tinytechjobs:

tinytechjobs is a unique career website devoted to jobs at the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. On the site you will find both academic and industrial positions in such disciplines as chemistry, physics, materials science, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, micro- and nano-electromechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and devices, microfluidics, microarrays, information technology, optics, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering, and other relevant fields.

tinytechjobs is heavily marketed to a qualified, highly targeted audience through email and banner advertising, search engine positioning, and through partnerships with sites who have a similar target audience.

I've added the site to my nano-resource guide.

August 13, 2004

Four IOP Journals Move to Taylor & Francis - Commentary by Dana Roth

:: There has been ongoing dialog regarding the transfer of four IoP journals to Taylor & Francis. David Stern (Yale) provided comments, and Steve Moss (IoP) responded. Dana Roth (Caltech), continues the discussion, and writes the following on SLA-PAM:

I first want to express my appreciation to the IOP for all it has done over the years for SLA-PAM. The sale of the four titles to T&F, however, reminded me of a tangential issue that has been bothering me for some time.

I have spoken about differential journal pricing for several years now, and it is not an issue unique to commercial European publishers. For example, the 2004 British Pound price for IOP package Z was £25,894 while the US$ price was US$49,798. There are several ways to calculate a reasonable exchange rate and a corresponding reasonable US$ price.

1. Elsevier, prior to 2000, calculated their US$ subscription rates based on the average exchange rate for the 07/01-6/30 period prior to announcing subscription rates, a few months later, for the next calendar year.

2. An alternative, that was offered by Harrassowitz in the past, was to allow payment (in US$) at the exchange rate in effect on the day when the invoice was paid (i.e. for institutions on the 10/01-9/30 fiscal year, in October 2003).

If either of these practices had been employed by the IOP, for their 2004 prices, the exchange rate (and US$ price) would have been:

1. (07/01/02-06/30/03) US$ 1.586 = 1£ --- $41,068

2. (10/01/03-10/31/03) US$ 1.677 = 1£ --- $43,424

Comparison of these prices, with the $49,798 charged, suggests that US$
subscribers are paying at least a 15% surcharge over a reasonable exchange rate subscription price.

If the IOP is not prepared to reduce the Package Z subscription rate in 2005, would it be too much to expect them to meet us half way and also not increase the US$ subscription rate?

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 DOT caltech.edu

August 12, 2004

Nanotechnology Resources

:: At the U of Alberta, nanoscience and nanotechnology is flourishing. Currently, faculty from at least 19 departments have projects in nano-related areas. NINT, The National Institute for Nanotechnology, is currently being constructed on campus, and will house ~440 people working in All Things Nano when it is constructed, including graduate students and researchers. NanoMEMS Edmonton has been formed, an organization bringing together the Edmonton microsystems and nanotech cluster.

I have created a library resource guide for nanoscience and nanotechnology. The most recent addition is the web site, AZoNano.com:

AZoNano.com is a knowledge tool that is intended to provide the science, engineering and design community worldwide with a continuously updating source of all the information they need to make an informed decision on the implementation or acquisition of nanotechnology.
Either through “static” mediums i.e. the knowledge base of articles and news items or through “dynamic” forms i.e. the community of experts.

Due to the collaborative publishing approach that has been adopted, AZoNano.com is totally free to access and is focused on the requirements of industrial end-users of Nanotechnology.

Other sites of interest include:If you know of any good nano-web resources, please let us know.

August 11, 2004

Open Access Journals: Revenue Beyond Author Charges

:: David Stern, Director of Science Libraries and Information Services, Kline Science Library, Yale, has created a web page that provides an outline of one version of a proposed open access model. The site is called Open Access Journals: revenue beyond author charges. The approach "is based upon guaranteed revenue generated through differential pricing, with direct and indirect charges to vested institutions." From the web site:

This page will attempt to outline the current pricing models that are being tested for supporting Open Access to electronic journals. My definition of open access is: freely available immediate access to published peer reviewed research articles.
David welcomes comments on his proposal, which can be added from the site.

:: Brian Simboli, Lehigh U, has created the "Non-Exhaustive List of Resources about Open Access Publishing".

Use of Blogs in Instruction and Student-Recommended Web Resources Guide(s)

:: Gerry McKiernan, Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer for Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University Library, is looking for instructional activities which make use of blogs, as well as web resource guide featuring student-recommended resources. In a recent cross-posted e-mail, he writes:

The coming Fall semester, I will be collaborating with a faculty member for a Semester Project assignment. For the project, several groups of ten students (or so) from a graduate class and an undergraduate class in different mechanical engineering courses, will be required to address and propose reasonable solutions for a real world issue.

In addition to a WebCT component for reach class, I've proposed the use of a Blog to facilitate communication and documentation among the various project participants, as the two classes will not formally meet.

In addition to a proposed Blog, I am considering the creation of a Web Guide of relevant Web resources that have been identified and recommended by the *students* (not The Librarian (Me) {:-)).

The philosophy of this approach is that as part of their training in proposing solutions to areal-world problem, students should Think Creatively and Think Critically about The Issue at Hand. Within this framework, the role of the Librarian and Instructor is to provide guidance to the students in assessing the quality/credibility/authenticity (not to prepare The Compilation of The Ten Sites).

I' d very much appreciate learning of Any and All instructional activities that have employed Blogs in information literacy initiatives in engineering/science/technology (or other disciplines)


I would also appreciate learning of examples of Student-Recommended Web Resource Guides that have been Aided and Abetted by librarians, but not Controlled primarily by The Librarian {;-)

Thanks in Advance!

Gerry McKiernan
Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer for Mechanical Engineering Iowa State University Library Ames IA 50011
gerrymck AT iastate DOT edu

I have thought about embedding blogs into individual courses, and am aware of at least one professor, a good friend who teaches at U Lethbridge, who uses blogs in his classes. Last year, I began suggesting to students in some of the fourth-year engineering design courses that they consider using blogs as a means of communication between design group members. In other words, pure project management. This fall, in my library and research skills instruction sessions, I will be encouraging the students to use blogs from the outset to manage their design projects, thus reducing the number of phone calls, e-mails, text messaging, and other means of communication, as they work in teams on their capstone design projects.

SLA-ENG: ASEE Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) - Call for Abstracts for the Session on Vendor Partnerships

:: Another post from Jay Bhatt, which appeared on a few listservs, may be of interest to some of you. Jay writes:

I will be the moderator for the session on 'Vendor Partneships with Engineering Libraries' during the next year's ASEE conference in Portland, Oregon. The theme for this year's conference is 'Exploring the World of Engineering Education'. The Engineering Libraries Division seeks papers related to innovations in the presentation and delivery of information resources and services for engineering constituents.

Guidelines for Abstracts Submission:


Submission of abstracts through CAPS. The CAPS system is now open at http://www.asee.org/caps. It will remain open until October 6, 2004.

Important Deadlines

Abstract Deadlines

August 2, 2004 - Abstract submission opens via CAPS.
October 6, 2004 (3 pm EST) - Abstract submission closes.
October 8 - Ocotober 22, 2004 - Abstract review period

Brief description of my session:

Vendor partnerhips with engineering libraries

Effective partnerships with vendors can often be instrumental in promoting library resources to their faculty and students. In that sense, they can play a crucial role in reaching out to faculty and students with not only the vendor's own resource(s) but also other library services and its website as well. In this particular session, I am inviting presentations on such partnerships where engineering libraries have collaborated with electronic resource vendors or any other types of library vendors to plan, organize and carry out related activities for their faculty and students. In a way it may not be just outreach but also can encompass possible instructional and information literacy related activities emerging from such partnerships. I am also inviting submissions on any future or envisioned such partnerships and in that case, what you plan to achieve in the process as a team.

ASEE website for the 2005 conference

ASEE/ELD web site: http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/eld/

Please take this opportunity to start thinking about submitting an abstract related to your important milestones and achievements on this important topic.


Jay Bhatt
Information Services Librarian (Engineering)
Hagerty Library, Drexel University
TEL 215-895-1873
FAX 215-895-2070
EMAIL: bhattjj AT drexel DOT edu

Engineering Assistance page:

August 10, 2004

Engineering Information Retrieval Pilot Tutorial

:: In July, Jay Bhatt, Information Services Librarian (Engineering), Hagerty Library, Drexel University, posted a message to SLA-ENG about a tutorial designed to assist undergraduate engineering students at Drexel in the use of Engineering Village 2. From the tutorial introduction:

Welcome to the Engineering Information Retrieval pilot tutorial. The result of a collaboration between the Drexel University's Hagerty Library and Elsevier's Engineering Village 2, it is meant primarily for undergraduate engineering students facing their first big research project.

The tutorial covers in turn a general review of information sources, how to develop a search strategy, where to find relevant articles, how to arrange to receive article updates, and patent searches. The Table of Contents visible on the left hand part of the screen allows you to jump from topic to topic. You can also use the Next and Previous buttons in the upper right hand corner of the frame to move from topic to topic.

Where there are multiple pages on a specific topic, a new set of buttons entitled Click here to continue and Click here to go back will appear in the four corners of the main content frame, as appropriate. You can also use the browser Back and Forward buttons if desired. After maneuvering through a topic or two you will become quite comfortable with the navigation.

Jay is interested in feedback, and is encouraging others to examine the tutorial. To do so, go to the My Evolve site.

The username and passwords is: jmeyer01. Under 'My Courses', click "Engineering Information Retrieval". Click "Course Material" button under the 'Announcements' button. Under "Engineering Information Retrieval Course", click on "Click to Launch". It may take a few seconds before it is launched.

Please send feedback to Jay at bhatt AT drexel DOT edu.

August 4, 2004

E-Books in Engineering Reference Work

:: Paul Teague, National Editor of Design News, writes in a 19 July 2004 column of how Knovel is changing the way engineers are using reference books. Teague notes:

Knovel's move is an extension of what other engineering websites have done. GlobalSpec (www.globalspec.com), for example, leads engineers to 10,000 catalogs, 40,000 material data sheets, and 50,000 application notes, while www.thomasnet.com has 67,000 product categories on its website. Kellysearch (www.kellysearch.com), with about 1.2 million visitors per month worldwide, includes listings from about 765,000 U.S. companies. But Knovel actually has the reference books' contents directly on its site. Among the titles: McGraw-Hill classics such as The Electromechanical Design Handbook, Dimensoning and Tolerancing Handbook, and Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain, as well as books from Elsevier and material from professional associations, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The company says the contents add up amount to about $142,000 worth of material—the amount of all the hard-copy books.
I agree with Teague - the Knovel package is a good one, and many engineers, researchers, scientists and students on our campus are still learning about the database.

Many of Knovel's titles include productivity tools, including features such as interactive tables, tables with equation plotters, graph digitizers, tables with graph plotter, chemical structure search, spectra viewer, phase diagram viewer, and excel spreadsheets. Teague notes this as well:

Knovel also points to the interactive nature of the content as a big plus. For example, all the graphs are interactive. View the content in HTML or PDF form, then put your mouse on a curve, and you get the data point. Tables are interactive too; click on them and they morph into a form you can merge into a spreadsheet. And equations solve themselves when you enter the variables. One reviewer compared the experience to a computer game, saying it was actually fun to do the calculations.

I would add that for high quality content, the CRCnetBASE databases such as ENGnetBASE, ENVIROnetBASE and CHEMnetBASE are of comparable importance. Libraries able to afford both Knovel and one or more CRCnetBASE dbs are providing their users with a large majority of the major handbooks in engineering and related disciplines.

One way to increase the use of important e-reference books is to embed them into resource guides. Examples of guides I've created, into which I've embedded selected e-reference books, include mechanical engineering, materials science & engineering, chemical engineering, and nanoscience & nanotechnology.

August 3, 2004

Information Commons in a SciTech Library

:: Writing in STS-L, Janice M. Jaguszewski, U Minnesota, writes:

I am looking for examples of library-based information commons, or learning commons, that focus specifically on the physical sciences and/or engineering. If you have anything to share in response to the following questions, I would very much like to hear from you.

1. What unique "science-oriented" features do you offer? Visualization facilities? Scientific software? Group workstations for engineering design projects?
2. Is the space flexible for multiple uses or is it devoted to stationary workstations?
3. How is the commons funded?
4. Who staffs it?
5. Is it for students only or is it also intended for faculty and/or researchers?
6. Anything else you would like to share.

Please reply directly to Janice Jaguszewski, j-jagu AT umn.edu, and I will summarize for the group.

If your scitech library has an info commons, feel free to contact Janice with the details.