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November 30, 2004

Of Google Scholar, Firefox, and OpenURLs

:: The following is from an e-mail sent to WEB4LIB, about a new Firefox extension that adds OpenURL links to search results from Google Scholar. The extension was written by my colleague, Peter Binkley, working three floors above me.

As a proof-of-concept I've built a Firefox extension that adds OpenURL links to the results lists in Google Scholar. It can be downloaded here: http://www.ualberta.ca/~pbinkley/gso/. The functionality is pretty basic but it shows what might be possible.

Ideally, Google will build this functionality directly into Google Scholar, and we'll be able to integrate Google Scholar fully with our local access systems. In the meantime, this extension is fun to play with. It is by no means perfect, but it is perhaps a taste of what we have to look forward to.

You'll need the latest version of Firefox to use it (1.0, not the 1.0 preview).


Peter Binkley
Digital Initiatives Technology Librarian
Information Technology Services
4-30 Cameron Library
University of Alberta Libraries
Edmonton AB Canada T6G 2J8
e-mail: peter.binkley AT ualberta.ca

Additional information in provided by Peter in WEB4LIB e-mails here and here.

IoP's Librarian Insider #2 Now Available

:: The latest issue of Institute of Physics Publishing's Librarian Insider is now available. A link to the issue is also available on the IoP Librarians page.

Knovel Updates Yaws' Handbook of Thermodynamic and Physical Properties of Chemical Compounds

:: Knovel has updated Yaws' Handbook of Thermodynamic and Physical Properties of Chemical Compounds. Sixteen new interactive tables (57,000 records) on thermodynamic, physical, and transport properties of organic chemical compounds have been added. Nine of these have Equation Plotter and almost all have name synonyms for chemical compounds.

The data was provided by Prof. Carl Yaws of Lamar University, Texas.

Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship - Fall 2004 Issue Available

:: Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship #41, Fall 2004, is available for viewing. Loading seems to be very slow. The theme of the issue is Nontraditional Reference Services, and features these articles:

  • The Arizona Instructional Atlas: A New Reference and Instructional Tool by Jeanne Pfander and Danielle Carlock, University of Arizona
  • "I Wouldn't Have Asked for Help if I had to go to the Library": Reference Services On Site by Jennifer Lee, K. Alix Hayden, and Don MacMillan, University of Calgary
  • Project: Information Oasis by Katherine Clemens, Emalee Craft, Jennifer Duvernay, Sheila Hofstetter, and Linda Shackle, Arizona State University
  • References as Knowledge Management by Erik Wilde, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
Refereed Articles
  • The 2003 STS Continuing Education Survey: Selected Analyses of Science Librarians' Interests by Marilyn Christianson, Auburn University
Database Reviews and Reports
  • Databases of the Academic Support Program of the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety CCOHS) by Ian Gordon and Kimberly Lee, Brock University

November 29, 2004

SLA Chem Div - ACS CINF Web Conference - Chemical Information Instruction

:: On CHMINF-L, William Armstrong posted the following about a forthcoming web conference on chemical information instruction:

The SLA Chemistry Division and the ACS CINF Division will be co-sponsoring a web conference to be held during the first full week of December, 2004. The conference, entitled "Chemical Information Instruction," will feature five posters originally presented at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in August, 2004, through the coordinating efforts of Erja Kajosalo of MIT. The discussions will take place on the SLA Chemistry Division Web Conference site at http://forum.lib.lsu.edu/slachem/, where each poster will not only be linked to the full presentation, but will have its own discussion forum moderated by the author/presenter.

The forums that will be offered are the following:
  • "Library and database assignments for undergraduate chemistry majors." - Ann D. Bolek
  • "Using poster sessions in a chemical information course." - F. Bartow Culp
  • "Experiments in teaching information skills to chemical & engineering students." - Erja Kajosalo
  • "The Printed Beilstein Handbook: An enduring resource in organic chemistry." - Philip Barnett
  • "Publishing in the Chemical Information Instructor feature of the Journal of Chemical Education." - Andrea Twiss-Brooks

The web conference will take place from December 6 - 12, 2004. The conference site will be open 24 hours a day and, as discussions are asynchronous, you are welcome to participate at times most convenient to you. Presenters/moderators will be happy to respond to any questions or comments you may have regarding their presentations. Registration is free and will be open beginning the first day of the conference. We look forward to "seeing" you there!

SLA Chemistry Division
ACS CINF Division

P.S. If you registered for the SLA Chemistry Division Web Conference this past summer, you do not need to register again; your old ID and Password are still valid.

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

November 26, 2004

API and the Technical Data Book - Petroleum Refining - A Standards Rant

These days, among other things, I am writing the book chapter on petroleum engineering and refining, for the forthcoming title, Using the Engineering Literature, to be published by Dekker sometime in 2004. One of the titles I want to include is the Technical Data Book – Petroleum Refining, a major work from the American Petroleum Institute, which is a “critically reviewed compilation of the physical and thermodynamic data and correlations that are of most interest to petroleum refiners for process evaluation and equipment design.” (from the 6th ed, 1997).

I was searching the API catalogue to verify if the 1997 volume is the most recent edition. What I found was this:

Electronic Version of the API Technical Data Book
Improve the overall design and operations in today’s highly complex petroleum refinery process systems with the API Technical Database. Version 1.0 of the API Technical Database replaces the printed format of the popular API Tech Data Book with a modern Windows® interface that is so unique it is patented. This single-screen approach provides access to the latest API physical property estimation methods and the software is critically reviewed and approved by the API Technical Data Committee. Included is a database of property data for nearly 900 components, characterization of petroleum fractions, and petroleum fraction distillation interconversions. Users can quickly determine petroleum fraction physical property data such as critical properties, vapor pressure, density, liquid enthalpy, gas enthalpy, heat of vaporization, liquid heat capacity, gas heat capacity, surface tension, liquid viscosity, gas viscosity, liquid thermal conductivity, gas thermal conductivity, and heat of combustion. Temperature-dependent properties can be tabulated and graphed over any range, and distillation interconversions are displayed graphically. This data can then be exported for use in simulation and engineering software programs.
Contact EPCON International at 281-398-9400
or visit the EPCON website at: www.epcon.com
That the API had decided to replace the Technical Data Book – Petroleum Refining, with a database is fundamentally fine with me. What is not clear, however, is whether this database, featuring over 130 API standard methods in pdf format, is being sold only as a product that may be downloaded to one computer. I have requested a demo download from EPCON, which has yet to arrive.

My feeling is that this is (yet) another example of an important standards developing organization (SDO) making a decision that benefits engineers, executives and technicians in industry, while ignoring their subscribers and users at universities and colleges, where future engineers, executives and technicians who will become many of their customers very soon, are being educated and trained. By moving this publication from print to a database that can be downloaded to one computer station, students are left out of the loop, essentially losing access to a valuable resource in engineering design, unless libraries can somehow run it on a local station. In the era of desktop delivery, this doesn't work anymore. Given that the only price I can find for the database is $5,000US/year, libraries would be very hard pressed on two fronts - accessibiity and cost - to justify its purchase.

On university, college and technical school campuses, we need online access to standards now. I am not interested in standards being made available on CD-ROM – it’s print or online only. CD-ROMs have quickly become impractical for many libraries. Often the licencing restrictions are suffocating. Some months back, we ordered and received the latest version of the Standards Library for Measurement and Control from ISA – The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society, available only on CD ROM, no longer in print. The disc sits in my office, because we discovered that it came “licensed for single user”, meaning we can’t even load it on our network and restrict it to one networked CD ROM station – it HAS to be a single, non-networked station. Well, duh. One of the sites I discovered selling the 1999 edition sums up the problem for librarians and students: "Designed for use in the office and on the shop floor...", but not the classroom or the library.

The question becomes, why do most major SDOs choose not provide online access to their standards? My take on it is this: there may be a fear that if institutions of learning are able to provide campus-wide access to online versions of industry standards, then one of two things will happen: 1) students will start downloading every standard they think they will use now and later when working in industry, and/or 2) every engineer on Planet Earth will come down to the library in droves to do exactly the same thing, thus depriving the SDOs of revenue to which they are entitled.

Where is the evidence that this might happen? If sets of standards were available online in our libraries, I do not think it would be feasible to expect local engineers and technicians to visit and start systematically downloading standards – most of them are too busy working! The engineering students on our campus have a tough enough time getting through their course assignments and project work rather than spend time planning and carrying out a downloading run of standards.

SDOs and standards resellers, justifiably worried about systematic downloading, must realize that the same thing can happen with any other product available online. However, it seldom does, and when it does, servers will shut down access. Servers can be programmed to watch for systematic downloading, and when it does happen, shut down a subset of IP addresses. This has happened on our campus a few times since the emergence of e-resources, and each time, those involved were identified, the issue (no pun intended) quickly resolved, the IP access restored.

IEEE seems to have it right, at least in the sense that when you subscribe to the IEEE/IEE Electronic Library, site-wide access to all their active standards in included. (Admittedly, this is not an inexpensive way to get to them, but still...) Has IEEE reported massive systematic downloading of their standards? I’ve heard nothing to that effect. (My only concern with IEEE's service is that access is provided only to active standards - this needs to change, as access to superceded and obsolete standards is critical for historical research, and as required when engineering work involving restoration or rehabilitation is undertaken, and superceded standards must be consulted accordingly.)

The ASME BPVC is another example – only Section II is (or seems to be) available online, via Knovel, and a few other providers. Design students most often need Section VIII, which in our library has been known to go on long vacations from the reference stacks, or suffer from pages mysteriously disappearing. The most absurd example of theft/vandalism was when we discovered recently that someone (something?) had removed all the standards from the binder in our reference collection of TEMA: Tubular Exchange Manufacturers Association. If the BPVC or the TEMA standards were available online, theft and vandalism would be non-issues.

For now, the hard copy of the two most recent editions of API's Technical Data Book - Petroleum Refining, will stay on our reference shelves. Unless API, through EPCON (and other companies, such as CHEMPUTE SOFTWARE, which leases the db for $5000US/year), decides to make the Technical Data Base available to instructors and students - their future customers - we will have to live with the 1997 edition.

The time is overdue for all critical industry standards to be made available online, and for the SDOs to give serious consideration to their customers-in-waiting: students who need access to their standards now, serving as a critical component of their education, on the way to becoming members of professions who will in turn be purchasing access to and using said standards in the field.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

November 25, 2004

Google Scholar - Commentary by Jay Bhatt

:: Jay Bhatt, writing on ELDNET-L, offers the following detailed analysis of Google Scholar. His comments are posted here with his permission, and are well worth the read:

There are (at least eight) areas that the present version of Google Scholar does not cover:
  1. It does not index online electronic books and handbooks such as those from ENGnetBASE, NEUROSCIENCEnetBASE, ENVIROnetBASE, INFOSECURITYnetBASE, MATERIALSnetBASE, and Knovel, etc. It becomes even more important to educate our students especially those working on Freshman and Senior Design Projects, to use electronic books and the books available in print when they need to develop sufficient background in their project areas before using Google Scholar. We want them not to carried away by Google Scholar so much that they ignore other important resources. Especially for design projects, scholarly interature is just a component of their research; not the only component.
  2. Conference papers indexed in Ei Village (Engineering Village) appear to be not yet available in Google Scholar. I did a search for 'Biomaterials', limiting to only conference articles in Engineering Village2. I found 507 articles in Engineering Village. I tried a few in Google Scholar but could not find any.
  3. We may not be able to download citations to Refworks to create your bibliography. Students will need to add them manually if they want to add them in Refworks. This will be time consuming.
  4. Advanced features such as searching within just Abstract rather than Full Text may not be available. Limiting search using advanced features avilable tends to increase relevancy of articles.
  5. Google Scholar does not provide what is being covered, what journals are indexed, what other databases are covered, so just relying on Google Scholar may not be helpful.
  6. Searching online codes (MAD CAD) is not available in Google Scholar. MAD CAD is very heavily used by our Senior Design students. "Subscription based MAD-CAD contains the building codes and knowledge based solutions and guidelines to meet the codes. MAD-CAD provides access to a comprehensive cross-referenced collection of building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire, maintenance codes from BOCA, SBCCI, ICBO, ICC, and NFPA; and state and local codes. This comprehensive set of codes in conjunction with the search engine and organizational tools provide an intelligent and efficient system for architectural, engineering and educational solutions.".
  7. Computer Science/IST - Books24x7, Safari, Lecture Notes in Computer Science - are important not yet available in Google Scholar. As the name implies ('Scholar'), they will not be available in future, too.
  8. One can not browse among different volumes/issues of a particular journal.

No doubt Google Scholar appears to be a great product, but we need to consider these limitations and promote them during our classes so that students will try to use other resources and simply not carried away by Google Scholar. I do like Google Scholar but I wanted to bring these issues. Lastly, there is a human component that Google Scholar can not provide.

Recently, I had our meeting with Freshman engineering faculty members to discuss planning for our Freshman engineering library sessions during the winter term.. I am including some important points that we discussed from the instructional perspectives. They liked our ideas of the multidisciplinary subject headings to address searching for biomedical engineering related information in several databases. Based on our discussion during the meeting, we are going to develop a one page hand out on examples of citations from variety of sources (one from handbook, one from a library book found using the catalog (print), one from encyclopdedia, one from website, one from journal article, and one from conference proceedings). This page will be used as a reference for students as they develop their bibliography.

Discussion on RefWorks was extremely well received. In fact, they all loved it. One faculty member suggested that we point out during the class that last year some students received poor grades because they did not co-ordinate well with their team members. Collaborating using Refworks in building a 'Group Bibliography' with each member of the team contributing, will be one way to improve co-ordination and co-operation among others. This suggestion was applauded by all faculty members present including us.

They are going to ask their students to follow the sample reference page and write their bibliography in that style. Either APA or MLA style will be used but students can use IEEE/ASCE style in Refworks. No decision has been made as yet if they are going to require students to use one style.

Interestingly, they all knew about Google Scholar; we argued and tried to convince them that it is NOT the only tool and that students need to look at other resources, ebooks, handbooks, library books, and conference papers for a complete search. They all agreed wholeheartedly.

Importance of building codes and specific material properties also came up (Google Scholar will not find them). They all agreed that we spend a few minutes in our talk to highlight our library resources, and in what situations Google Scholar is good, when it can be used, and when library subscribed other resources should be used. We will add one slide in our Powerpoint to address them. Importance of library consultations by students with librarians was again stressed by many faculty members. Two instructors are using webCT; we will plan to link our tutorial in those two faculty member's sections. This will be app. 8 sections out of the 27 sections.

Any other thoughts and ideas always welcome.

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

STS Signal Fall 2004 Issue Now Available

:: The Fall 2004 issue, v19 n2, of STS Signal, from the Science & Technology Section of ACRL, is available for viewing in PDF. Took a long time to load on my computer, but that could have been a local glitch.

November 23, 2004

EnCompassWEB™ Now Available

:: EnCompassWEB, the new platform from Engineering Information, is now available. Included are the databases, EnCompassLIT and EnCompassPAT, once known as ApiLIT and ApiPAT, when they were maintained by the American Petroleum Institute. From Ei Update:

This month, Engineering Information will release EnCompassWEB, its newest web-based discovery platform. Designed to meet the demanding information requirements for the downstream petroleum, petrochemical, natural gas energy and allied industries; EnCompassWEB will provide reliable access to worldwide scholarly literature, patents, business and economic news.

Designed with today’s end user in mind, EnCompassWEB offers subscribers easy to use features that users of Engineering Village 2, ChemVillage and PaperVillage 2 have become accustomed to. Combined database searching allows for controlled duplicate removal, linking options, designed to deliver the fastest route to full text content, and personalization options including saved record folders, search histories and email alerts. It will ensure that users can catalog their research.

Available sources include the two most targeted bibliographic databases available to the industry. EnCompassLIT, references 40 years of the most influential journals, trade magazines, conference proceedings and technical reports. EnCompassPAT, which is derived from global issuing authorities, contains over 360,000 hand selected patents. Both databases are updated on a weekly basis ensuring that users are kept abreast of the latest industry developments.

For additional information on EnCompassWEB, please contact our customer support team at eicustomersupport AT elsevier.com

I have trial access, and can report that the platform is virtually identical to EV2. Searches can be run on both dbs simultaneously, and results from each can be viewed independently, in addition to viewing all the results in one set. I would like to see detailed descriptions of both databases somewhere on Ei's web site; none seems to be available at the moment.

November 19, 2004

EEVL Announces New Subject Specific Ejournal Search Engines

:: Four new search engines, indexing freely available e-journals published in computing science, engineering, mathematics, and all three subjects together, are now available from EEVL, the "Internet Guide to Engineering, Mathematics and Computing." The four engines are:

A list of the journals indexed is here.

When looking for information of higher quality and utility, users are being offered more options to search the 'net than just Googling. These include EEVL's new search engines, Google Scholar, RedLightGreen, the Yahoo! toolbar with OCLC WorldCat searching capabilities, along with Scirus.

November 18, 2004

Nanotechnology Meets Knitting Yarn?

:: Scientists from U. T. Dallas and Australia Achieve Breakthrough by ‘Downsizing’ Ancient Technology - Scientists from U. T. Dallas and Australia Achieve Breakthrough by ‘Downsizing’ Ancient Technology:

RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 19, 2004) – Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) NanoTech Institute, along with an Australian collaborator, today announced they have achieved a major technological breakthrough by spinning multi-walled carbon nanotube yarns that are strong, tough and extremely flexible, and are both electrically and thermally conducting. Among other things, the futuristic yarns could result in “smart” clothing that stores electricity, provides ballistic protection and adjusts temperature and porosity to provide greater comfort.

The breakthrough, made possible by, in effect, downsizing ancient technology used for wool and cotton spinning to the nanoscale, resulted from a unusual collaboration involving UTD nanotechnologists Dr. Mei Zhang and Dr. Ray H. Baughman and a noted expert in wool spinning, Dr. Ken Atkinson of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an Australian national laboratory. The results of the group’s research are described in an article in the Nov. 19 issue of the prestigious journal, Science.

Potential commercial opportunities arising from the discovery will be enhanced by the hundred-fold lower cost of the spun multi-walled nanotubes compared with the single-walled nanotubes that are more commonly studied, according to Baughman, the article’s corresponding author and Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and director of the UTD NanoTech Institute. The latter are a single cylinder made of graphite, while the multi-walled nanotubes contain a concentric array of such cylinders, which look like the rings of a tree trunk when viewed in cross section. Nanotubes are many thousands of times thinner than a human hair.

UTD and CSIRO have filed a patent application (with more than 200 claims) to protect the carbon nanotube spinning technology and its extension to other semiconducting, metallic and superconducting nanofibers and nanoribbons. This pending patent provides invention embodiments for applications that include artificial muscles, supercapacitors, antiballistic vests, thermal heat pipes, electronic textiles, sensors, electron field emitters, ultra-high intensity lamps and three-dimensional micro-fluidic circuits for chemical laboratories that are the size of a computer chip.

“We believe that our nanotube yarns can be commercialized for important applications in less than five years, and a number of companies large and small are committed to help make this happen,” said Baughman. “Working together with CSIRO, companies and U.S. government laboratories, we are forging ahead to upscale the process and optimize properties of the materials for the initially targeted applications. The interesting fundamental chemistry and physics, such as giant stretch-induced densification and associated electrical and thermal transport property changes, complements the exciting application possibilities of these yarns.”

Some of the possible applications for the new yarns include:

  • * structural composites that are strong, tough and able to reduce mechanical vibrations.
  • * Protective clothing that provides antiballistic and static-discharge protection, as well as radio and microwave frequency absorption.
  • * Supercapacitors, batteries and fuel cells in the form of yarn structures that are weaveable into textiles for storing or generating electrical energy.
  • * Chemically or electrically powered artificial muscles for prosthetics and robots, morphing air vehicles and minimally invasive catheters with enhanced functionality for medical applications.
  • * Electrical wiring and distributed sensors for electronic textiles.
  • * Heat pipes that provide both structural reinforcement and heat dissipation.
  • * High intensity source of field-emitted electrons for intense fluorescent lights and displays, as well as X-ray sources small enough to fit in a medical catheter.
  • * Filaments for incandescent light sources with decreased susceptibility to mechanical damage because of yarn toughness and mechanical damping ability.
The UTD-CSIRO research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the United States Department of Defense, the Texas Advanced Technology Program, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, or SPRING.

To obtain a copy of the Science article, please contact the journal at 202-326-6440 or scipak AT aaas.org.

Google Scholar (Beta)

:: In case you haven't heard, Google has released its latest product, Google Scholar:

Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

Just as with Google Web Search, Google Scholar orders your search results by how relevant they are to your query, so the most useful references should appear at the top of the page. This relevance ranking takes into account the full text of each article as well as the article's author, the publication in which the article appeared and how often it has been cited in scholarly literature. Google Scholar also automatically analyzes and extracts citations and presents them as separate results, even if the documents they refer to are not online. This means your search results may include citations of older works and seminal articles that appear only in books or other offline publications.

Analysis and response has been swift, from Shirl Kennedy and Gary Price at Resource Shelf, and Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch, and comes only three days after OCLC and Yahoo! announced their free toolbar that allows searches of OCLC WorldCat as well as Yahoo! Search's web search engine.

November 17, 2004

BioMed Central Creates a Search Plugin for Firefox

:: Firefox 1.0, from Mozilla, has passed 4,093,000 downloads and counting, since November 9, 2004. Firefox offers a large number of extensions, or plug-ins, which you can add for enhanced functionality.

George Porter sent a note this morning, advising that Peter Suber has posted about the new BioMed Central Firefox search plugin:

The BioMed Central search plugin for Firefox adds BioMed Central to the list of search engines that are available in the quick search box at the top right of every Firefox browser window. Installing the the plugin takes only seconds - see below for details.
BioMed Central is hip like a zip!

Science In For A Rough Ride in USA?

:: As suggested in a post to CHMINF-L, "It might be a good idea to circulate this to other librarians with interests in the sciences." An article in Wired News suggests that the scientific community is expecting four more years of confrontation with the Bush administration. Article excerpts below list the major concerns of scientists:

Global Climate Change - Many scientists expect the White House to continue to disregard mounting evidence that human activity is contributing to climate change. And the administration is expected to continue to weaken regulations on polluting industries.

Renewable-Energy Research - President Bush has stated that his administration's goal is to make the United States "much less dependent on foreign sources of energy." But if the next four years are anything like the past four, his administration will continue to trim government involvement in renewable-energy projects while strongly encouraging research that favor the fossil-fuel industry.

Science Education - Science educators are bracing for another four years of fighting against anti-evolution crusaders who want to teach alternate theories of the origin of life, confusing students.

November 16, 2004

American Institute of Physics Announces "AIP Author Select" - A New Open Access Initiative for 2005

:: As posted to PAMNET on 15 November 2004

:MELVILLE, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 15, 2004 - The American Institute of Physics announced today that it will offer on a trial basis an open-access publishing option to authors contributing to three AIP journals: Journal of Mathematical Physics, Review of Scientific Instruments, and Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science. The initiative has been named "AIP Author Select."

Of the eleven journals published or co-published by AIP, these three titles were chosen for this experiment because they are important, high-impact journals that impose no page charges (other than a standard AIP charge for articles of excessive length). "This gives us a cleaner slate on which to judge whether the open-access model of up-front payment can provide suitable financial support for publishing in the physical sciences," said AIP's publisher, Dr. Thomas von

Beginning on January 1, 2005, JMP, RSI, and Chaos will permit authors (or their funding agencies) to pay a $2000 fee prior to publication, for articles that will be freely available to anyone on the Web. Such articles will be highlighted by an icon in the Table of Contents, in both print and online issues, to indicate the articles' "toll-free" availability online. During the peer-review process editors and referees will not be aware of whether an author has selected the open-access option. "The editors and their reliance on peer-review are the
only things that determine acceptability for publication," according to von Foerster.

AIP is familiar with the reactions among publishers and librarians to other models and experiments in open-access publishing. "In the so-called 'author-paid' model, some critics have focused on the amount of the author fee, but that's something that will best be determined in the marketplace," said Dr. Marc H. Brodsky, AIP executive director and CEO. "While it is not set unrealistically low, the AIP fee may well be adjusted over time based on author reaction and what we learn about the economics of free-to-the-user, article-level publishing. The main goals of this experiment are, first, to see if the idea of Open Access has any traction in the physical science community and, second, to see whether prepublication article payments produce enough
revenue to allow us to hold down, reduce, or, ideally, eliminate library subscription prices." While the AIP Author Select experiment will have no effect on subscription rates for 2005, AIP plans to reduce future online subscription prices proportionately to the percent of open-access articles published. If a quarter of the articles published in a given year are open access, then a future year's online subscription will cost 25% less than what it would cost

AIP is already considered a "green" publisher, in that it allows authors to post e-prints to their personal or institutional websites. At the same time, Brodsky has been highly critical of some claims made by Open Access enthusiasts with respect to the desirability and economics of some forms of this new model. As the current chair of the executive council of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers, Brodsky has also been vocal in opposition to government-mandated publishing models.

Nonetheless, "we have no problem with Open Access per se," said Brodsky. "Our interest is in supporting and maintaining the scientific record over time, which the subscription model has done remarkably well, at least until recently, when the growing amount of published research has collided with the diminishing ability of our best libraries to acquire that research."

"As publishers, we have engaged in the debates over Open Access with librarians, government officials, and well-funded publisher-enthusiasts," said von Foerster. "Now it's time to let our authors join the debate and decide for themselves." If the trial of AIP Author Select is successful - meaning that a significant fraction of authors choose this option - then AIP plans to expand it to other journals.

THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS is a not-for-profit corporation chartered in the 1930's to provide publishing services to scientific societies. Today, in addition to composition, printing, fulfillment, marketing, and other services, AIP fills its mandate by operating Scitation, the online home of more than 100 leading journals published by fifteen societies, including the American Physical Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and, beginning in 2005, the Institution of Electrical Engineers in the U.K. AIP also publishes Journal of Applied Physics, Applied Physics Letters, Physics of Plasmas, Physics of Fluids, and Journal of Chemical Physics, all of which are among the highest-impact journals in their fields.

For further information, please contact:

Thomas von Foerster
Publisher, American Institute of Physics
Two Huntington Quadrangle, Suite 1NO1
Melville, New York 11747-4502
Phone: 1-516-576-2406
Fax: 1-516-576-2450
Email: jrnlpub AT aip.org

ASEE Engineering Library Division Call For Award Nominations

:: Looks like it's an All Awards Tuesday in the engineering library world.

ASEE Engineering Libraries Division Awards Committee Call for Nominations

The ELD Awards Committee is seeking nominations for three annual awards. Nominations are an essential part of the awards process. The committee welcomes input from engineering librarians and other colleagues. The awards are listed below along with basic summaries and their respective requirements. A link to the ELD Awards web page is also included. Send all nominations via regular and/or e-mail to:

John C. Teleha
F.D. Bluford Library
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
1601 East Market Street
Greensboro, NC 27411
teleha AT ncat.edu

Please take note of the change in the deadline. Prior to this year, the committee began their work after nominations were received at the end of March. The change to the middle of February reflects the need to have the committee finish its work before March 1st.

1. HOMER I. BERNHARDT DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD - Each year at the ASEE Annual Conference, the Engineering Libraries Division presents an award, consisting of a plaque that recognizes work that contributes to the advancement and development of excellence in engineering libraries. Membership in ASEE is not a requirement for this award.

Award nominations must include the name, title, and contact information of the nominee and nominator, nomination rationale statement, and curriculum vitae of the nominee. The rationale statement should not exceed 700 words and should clearly indicate why the candidate is being nominated for this award. Letters of support from individuals besides the person making the nomination may be included.

Deadline for Nomination: February 8, 2005

2. BEST PAPER AWARD - The purpose of this award is to honor the best new paper in engineering information published during the year 2004.


1. Single or multiple authors are eligible. Works authored by Awards Committee members are ineligible during the members' term of service.

2. Paper must have been published during the year prior to the year in which the award will be made.

3. Paper should represent a significant contribution to the field of engineering information. Papers should be scholarly, show evidence of thorough research, documentation, and critical evaluation. It should be clearly written and well organized.

Deadline for Nomination: February 8, 2005

3. BEST REFERENCE WORK AWARD - The purpose of this award is to honor the best new reference work in engineering information.


1. Single or multiple authors are eligible. Works authored by Awards Committee members are ineligible during the members' term of service.

2. Reference works must have been published/released during the year prior to the year in which the award will be made.

3. Reference works should represent a significant contribution to the field of engineering information.

4. Works in all media are eligible.

Deadline for Nomination: February 8, 2005

The ELD Awards web page has detailed information on each award as well as a listing of past recipients.

Thank you all for your input.

John C. Teleha
Reference Librarian
F.D. Bluford Library
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
1601 East Market Street
Greensboro, NC 27411
(336)334-7783 fax
teleha AT ncat.edu

SLA-ENG: 2004/05 Elsevier Engineering Information/SLA Engineering Librarian Award

:: Should you be an award winner?

The SLA Engineering Division Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2004/2005 Elsevier Engineering Information/SLA Engineering Librarian Award. This award is offered annually to honor a member of the SLA Engineering Division. It is sponsored by Elsevier Engineering Information Inc. and highlights the accomplishments and contributions of members of the Engineering Librarian profession. Recognition comes in the form of a $1,000 stipend, a plaque and a presentation at the annual business meeting held during the annual SLA conference. Based on criteria developed jointly with Elsevier Engineering Information, the year 2005 winner will be selected by members of the Engineering Division's Awards Committee. Prospective candidates are encouraged to nominate themselves, or an associate may nominate them.

Now's the time!

Many of you may take for granted your work-related competencies and contributions, and not think of them as extraordinary. We'd like to be the judge of that. Please send your nominations to the Awards Chair at the address below. The Awards Committee must receive submissions by March 1, 2005.

Criteria for entry are:

Membership in good standing for one year in the SLA Engineering Division as of January 1, 2005.

Distinguished achievement in the engineering library profession, through an exceptional contribution on the job, within the SLA Engineering Division, or within the industry at large. This accomplishment should have taken place within the calendar year immediately preceding the nomination; however, in selected cases, based solely on the Award Committee's judgement, recognition may be given for an ongoing, long term contribution.

The 2003/2004 Elsevier Engineering Information/SLA Engineering Library Award Winner:

Kathy Nordhaus, Senior Librarian, North Bldg Library, Raytheon Company, Dallas, Texas was honored with the Elsevier Engineering Information/SLA Engineering Librarian Award for her many contirbutions to the profession. She is a leader in a number of company-wide initiatives including developing a corporate taxonomy, mentoring, benchmarking, knowledge management, Six Sigma training, marketing intelligence, etc. Kathy has been an active and vocal member of the Special Libraries Association since 1980 and holds leadership roles in the Engineering Division and the SciTech Division. She was elected Chair-Elect/Chair of the Engineering Division in 2004.

Nominations/More information:

Janifer T. Holt
Feldberg Library
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
603-646-2384 (fax)
janifer.t.holt AT dartmouth.edu

November 15, 2004

Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Db

:: Thomson Scientific has issued a white paper, entitled Open Access Journals in the ISI Citation Databases: Analysis of Impact Factors and Citation Patterns - A citation study from Thomson Scientific. Using the 2003 Journal Citation Reports, ISI re-examined the coverage and citation performance for open access journals. From the abstract:

The evolving environment of scholarly publishing includes additional avenues for making content openly available. Our findings suggest that over 55% of the journals and over 65% of the articles indexed in Web of Science® in 2003 are produced by publishers who permit some form of self-archiving, and could be made OA by author archiving.

November 12, 2004

Librarians Vs Technology

:: In the Nov-Dec 2004 issue of Information Highways, from the e-Content institute, is an interesting article on how librarians need to deal with the belief of so many people that if it isn't on Google, it doesn't exist. The article features comments from Rita Vine, Gary Price and Gwen Harris. Vine notes:"The three of us comment on how librarians can bring added value to the work of amateur researchers who live in a plug-in-the-keyword world." Price adds:

Note: I'm not a big fan of the headline. Librarians need to learn how to exploit available technology to best serve ourselves and our users. We also need to be doing much the same with info technology developers. I don't look at it as an adversarial situation -- one (librarians) versus the other (technology). Maybe our users see it this way (at least today), but here's where improving our marketing skills (both as a group and individually) can come into play and make a difference. Technology/web search, etc., offers our profession plenty of chances to use our teaching skills. It's all about learning to be relevant in the age of 24x7, "everyone is a searcher" technology.

Springer Survey

:: Springer has a user survey on their site. Send them feedback should you be so moved. (Thanks to Carol Hutchins on PAMNET.)

November 10, 2004

Emerald/MCB University Press Republishes 409 Papers Without Citing Original Source - Phil Davis, Cornell U

:: The XXIV Annual Charleston Conference was held last week in Charleston SC. Phil Davis, Life Sciences Bibliographer at Cornell University, presented a talk called The Ethics of Republishing: Should journal articles ever be republished? In the presentation, Davis revealed that he discovered 409 articles had been republished in 67 Emerald journals between 1989 and 2003, with 5 occurences of triplicate publication. Variations of this practice included simultaneous publication, delayed republication, same journal - different year, article reformat, copy editing, title modification, republishing "original research", and more.

Davis's article to follow, "The Ethics of Republishing. A case study of Emerald/MCB University Press Journals", will appear in Library Resources & Technical Services 49 no.2, forthcoming April 2005. Here is the abstract:

It is unethical to republish a journal article without citing the original source. Simple keyword searching of Emerald (formerly known as MCB University Press) online journals from the publisher’s web site has identified 409 examples of articles from sixty-seven journals that were republished without such notification from 1989 through 2003. Many of these articles were published simultaneously in journals within the same or similar subject disciplines. Five examples of triple publication were identified. In several cases, neither the editor nor editorial board members reported knowledge of this practice. This article will review the conditions of acceptable republishing plus document and provide examples of republication. It will discuss implications on the publication of record, and question whether this is a case of “let the buyer beware”.
From Davis's web site, the following are available for his paper: the draft manuscript, list of Emerald/MCB UP duplication examples in alphabetical order (updated to 7 Oct 2004), examples of MCB University Press republished articles in journal order (updated to 7 Oct 2004), and the aformentioned powerpoint presentation.

November 9, 2004

UK Gov't Passes on Opportunity To Support Open Access

:: As reported last year, the UK Science and Technology Committee has been conducting an inquiry into scientific publications. The Guardian had reported that the inquiry could put Reed Elsevier at risk. The final report of the Committee was released in July, 2004, and called on the UK government to support open access publishing.

On the CHMINF-L discussion group on November 8, Bill Town reported that the UK Science and Technology Committee has released its Fourteenth Report of Session 2003-04, entitled: Responses to the Committee's Tenth Report, Session 2003-04: Scientific Publications: Free for all?. From p7 of the report:

Conclusions and recommendations

1. It is clear to us that, in the Government Response, DTI has sought to neutralise some of views put forward by the Joint Information Systems Committee and other organisations and departments. This will prevent the Government from making any significant progress on this issue. (Paragraph 7)

2. Rather than engaging in the complex issues posed by the Committee�s Report, the Government has clearly decided against the author-pays model ahead of the further investigation that it was urged to pursue. This approach prejudges the issue. (Paragraph 8)

3. Following completion of the European Commission study into the market for scientific publications, to which the OFT response refers, we request that the Director General of Fair Trading agrees to write again to the Committee setting out the actions he proposes to take on the basis of the Commission�s findings and the concerns expressed in our Report. (Paragraph 10)

4. We are disappointed that the Government has missed the opportunity to take more decisive action in response to our Report. We recommend that the Government reconsider its position on this important issue in the light of the other responses to our Report published here; the forthcoming RCUK policy on the publication of, and access to, research outputs; and in view of the support for the Committee�s stance from the Wellcome Trust, an important research funder. In this context, we do not believe that Government should continue to refuse to provide the modest funds necessary to make institutional repositories workable, and to allow the experimentation necessary to properly test the feasibility of the author-pays publishing model. (Paragraph 12)

Richard Wray, writing in The Guardian, was quick to respond:
The government yesterday threw away an opportunity to carry out a thorough review of the way scientific research is disseminated. Instead of engaging constructively with the Commons science and technology committee and assessing the potential impact of moves towards "open access" to research, the government - led by the department of trade and industry - sided with the traditional subscriptions-based journal publishers
Wray also reported on the response of the Committee's members to the "obstructive" response of the UK Government.

David Goodman, Associate Professor, Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, offered this response:

If anyone has not been following this, the brief message is that the UK government has completely rejected essentially every substantive recommendation of the House of Commons Committee, in its 10th report earlier this year, and will not take any steps to requiring OA.

The UK government has elected to do nothing; I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about UK academic organization to know whether it leaves the individual funding agencies free to regulate. With the publication of their earlier report, it was the UK that appeared to took the lead in OA developments; it is now up to the US. If the US carries through the NIH proposal, weak though it is, I think other countries will follow, and the UK will regret its lost opportunity. If the US also defects, then it will be up to the academic community itself. Government requirements may speed thing up, but they are not necessary. The various medical and othe scientific independent foundations and charitable organizations remain free -- and I hope eager -- to require OA.

The Government response to the Committee is Appendix A of the report cited; it is analyzed by the Committee in the main body of this report. I see no real reason for adding my own comments. Just as the Committee's earlier report was notable in showing its understanding of the issues concerning scholarly publishing, so is the Government's response notable in showing its lack of understanding of both the basics and the details. I leave it for further discussion whether it represents true misunderstanding, or the motivated decision to deny the principles in favor of some obvious self-interested concerns of some of the parties.
Update: British Government Refuses to Support Open-Access Approach to Scientific Publishing, from Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov 10, "Today's News" (requires subscription).

November 8, 2004

Inspec Archive Added to Engineering Village 2

:: From Information Today Newsbreaks:

Elsevier Engineering Information, Inc. announced the availability of the IEE’s Inspec Archive to the Engineering Village 2 Web-based discovery platform. The Inspec Archive is the result of the digitization and enhancement of the Science Abstracts Journals, which date from 1898 and cover published literature in physics, electrical engineering, and computing and control. Inspec is a bibliographic database providing global coverage of scientific and technical literature in the fields of physics, electrical engineering, electronics, and computer science. Engineering Village 2 supports seamless searching of the Inspec Archive with the Inspec database. Combined, the collections contain more than 2.5 million historical records.

November 5, 2004

University of Alberta Names Mechanical/Metallurgical Engineer as New President

:: The University of Alberta has named a mechanical/metallurgical engineer as its new president for a five year term, beginning in June 2005. Dr. Indira Samarasekera is VP Research at the University of British Columbia, where she is the former Director, The Centre for Metallurgical Process Engineering, Professor, Department of Metals and Materials Engineering, Ph.D., P.Eng., F.C.A.E., F.R.S.C., and Dofasco Chair in Advanced Steel Processing:

Dr. Indira Samarasekera, Director and Professor in the Centre, specializes in the analysis of metals/materials processes in which the thermal and mechanical state of the material during processing profoundly influences the product. Her expertise in heat transfer and stress analysis has led to research of a number of processes with a major emphasis on the continuous casting and hot rolling of steel, and the growth of single crystals for electronic devices much of it done in close collaboration with Canadian companies.
As an inventor, she has created mathematical models which can predict the mechanical properties of hot rolled steel. Dr Samarasekera will be the 12th president of the University of Alberta, and the first woman to hold the post.

November 4, 2004

Scientific American Science & Technology Web Awards 2004

:: Scientific American's 2004 SciTech Web Awards were announced some time ago. Subcategories include engineering, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology.

November 3, 2004

Free Access to October 2004 Issue of IoP's Nanotechnology Extended to End of 2004

The October issue of IoP's Nanotechnology contains selected papers from the inaugural conference on Nanoscale Devices and System Integration (NDSI-2004) held in Miami, Florida, 15-19 February, 2004. Nanotechnology is a truly multidisciplinary endeavor at the frontiers of chemistry, physics, materials science, and chemical and electrical engineering. The conference focus was on fully realized devices and systems.

IoP Publishing customarily provides free access to articles for the first 30 days after they have been published online. Following my lament to SLAPAM-L on November 1, Dr. Nina Couzin, publisher of Nanotechnology, graciously arranged for free access to this issue for the remainder of the calendar year. - George Porter

U Hawaii Manoa Hamilton Library Flood Damage Update

:: Librarians at U Hawaii Manoa Hamilton Library have been posting flood updates to various discussion groups. The following was posted on ELDNET-L, by Bob Schwarzwalder of the U Hawaii Manoa Library:

The situation here is very bad. This last Saturday night, at about 8:30 Hawaii Time, we experienced a flash flood. We had heavy rains and a landslide sent a number of trees down Manoa stream, forming a dam and diverting a massive wave of water through campus. 35 buildings were affected, the Library receiving the worst damage. We had 12 feet of water in some places in the library with 7 feet through-out the ground floor. Library materials were scattered across campus. Interior walls were torn down. In large areas of the ground floor, there is nothing left standing. Fortunately no one was killed and injuries are few and minor.

We lost everything on the ground floor including government documents, maps, serials, cataloguing, acquisitions, the UH Library School, and our server room. On the first floor our sci/tech dept suffered minor damage, but our systems dept was flooded. As head of IT for the Library, and provider of catalog and proxy services for academic and several special libraries across the state, the losses were terrible. Our entire technical services division was on the ground floor -- nothing is left. But, we did have backups.

We are attempting to save unique items from our maps and government documents collections. Campus email has been restored and we in IT are working around the clock to restore services from exile in another facility across campus -- one that has power and networking. We may have our web site up tomorrow -- I will send a URL where you can see some photos and get more news. We have no idea of when power will be restored to the building and are still pumping water out of the Library.

We have been overwhelmed by outpourings of concern and offers of assistance. Our campus administration, state government, and colleagues in Hawaii, on the mainland, and in the Pacific region have been wonderful. We are on track and making progress, but the work is back-breaking, nasty and slow. Given our tropical climate, things are getting rather rank and we are concerned about the health and safety of our people.

I need to sign off now and send updates to some of our other UH campuses. Thank you all for your concern, please keep us in your thoughts.

Bob Schwarzwalder
Asst University Librarian for Library IT
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Sara Rutter, also of the Hamilton Library at UHM, posted the following on PAMNET:
hello all, just wanted to let you know that everyone at Hamilton Library is okay, just tired and muddy.

The Manoa stream jumped its banks and flowed through several buildings on the Manoa campus, including Hamilton Library on Saturday evening. The flash flood submerged the basement of Hamilton, which holds Government documents, the Maps collection, Systems, Cataloging and Acquisitions and attached to the library, the LIS program. The basement is covered in mud, and the collections held there are a mess. The LIS offices and classrooms are trashed. The maps of Hawaii and the Pacific, rare and unique maps are being rinsed and put into freezer shipping containers. Aerial photographs of Micronesia are being washed by hand and then put into cool conditions to halt the growth of fungus. We have 90,000 photos to save. Library staff are working in shifts, without electrical power, telephones, to salvage the collections and cpu's. The systems folks are working to salvage data from the cpu's. The community, both UH and town are volunteering, which is great.

The flood was apparently caused by a landslide near Manoa Falls (Manoa Falls is in the interior of the amphitheater shaped Manoa valley), that happened in the heavy rainfall, which then caused trees to topple into the stream. The Manoa stream winds its way through the valley, by the campus. The stream carried the trees until they created a dam, near the opening of the valley, where the campus is. The stream jumped its banks. I haven't heard that anyone was hurt in the sudden flood; near misses but everyone is fine, except some have ruined houses. There are still three cars suspended from trees overhanging the stream.

This event really brings home the importance and relevance of those disaster plans that we all put together when we are dry, clean and comfortable, never believing that decisions will have to be made so fast.


Sara Rutter
Hamilton Library
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI

November 2, 2004

IEEE To Cease Print Versions of Conference Proceedings in 2006

:: Christina Pikas reports that IEEE will cease publication of the print versions of their conferences, beginning in 2006. Availability will be online only. There is no "official word" about this from IEEE just yet, but expect a press release about it in the next few weeks. However, the (excellent) IEEE rep for our region confirmed in an e-mail to me today that "It is ABSOLUTE and TRUE that we are ceasing Conference Paper Print Packages in 2006--confirmed most definitely"

U Hawaii Manoa, Hamilton Library, Hit Hard by Flood

:: The University of Hawaii at Manoa, and its Hamilton Library (site down at the moment, duh!), suffered severe damage during a flash flood on October 31st. The basement of the Hamilton Library turned into a river as 90,000 maps and tens of thousands of archival photos were soaked. We have a large map collection in our library, with over 550,000 maps, and over 1,000,000 air photos, so this hits home hard!

Check these sites:

November 1, 2004

EBSCO Adding Full-Text Conference Papers, Open WorldCat Pilot User's Perspective

:: From today's NewsLink:

EBSCO Publishing has entered into an agreement with All Academic, Inc. that will provide researchers with access to a collection of full-text conference papers from scholarly societies. The partnership with All Academic will bring nearly 25,000 full-text conference papers into appropriate EBSCOhost databases including Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, and Communication & Mass Media Complete. The companies anticipate that approximately 20,000 records will be added to EBSCOhost databases on an annual basis beginning in 2005.
Also of interest from today's NewsLink is an good column by Nancy O'Neill, entitled Open WorldCat Pilot: A User's Perspective. This project was previously mentioned here and here. O'Neill conducted what she calls "unscientific tests", and in the end, concludes the following:
Grumble as we may, OCLC's Open WorldCat Pilot has the potential to achieve its goals and more. It may not yet have earned a standing ovation for its performance, but let's give a rousing cheer for the initiative — a special "hats off" to Google and Yahoo! as our new library partners — and encourage OCLC to move from pilot to permanent.

November ASC LiveWire Available

:: The latest issue of ACS's LiveWire, #5.9, November 2005, is available.