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December 30, 2004

TRN's Technology Research Advances of 2004

:: TRN Technology Research News has released its list of Top Picks for Technology Research Advances of 2004. Areas covered include biotechnology, communications, computing, engineering, energy, security, nanotechnology, applied physics, and the Internet.

December 20, 2004

The Role of RSS in Science Publishing - Syndication and Annotation on the Web

:: The v12 n10, December 2004, issue of D-Lib Magazine features an article by Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, and Ben Lund, three members of the Nature Publishing Group. The article, The Role of RSS in Science Publishing, discusses Really Simple Syndication, (or Rich Site Summary, or RDF Site Summary, depending on the hour of the day), and how its use is growing within science publishing. From the introduction:

The bastion of online publishing is under threat as never before. RSS is the very antithesis of the website. It is not a 'home page' for visitors to call at, but rather it provides a synopsis, or snapshot, of the current state of a website with simple titles and links. While titles and links are the joints that articulate an RSS feed, they can be freely embellished with textual descriptions and richer metadata annotations. Thus said, RSS usually functions as a signal of change on a distant website, but it can more generally be interpreted as a kind of network connector—or glue technology—between disparate applications. Syndication and annotation are the order of the day and are beginning to herald a new immediacy in communications and information provision. This paper describes the growing uptake of RSS within science publishing as seen from Nature Publishing Group's (NPG)

FreshPatents - Track US Patent Applications Before Final Decision is Made

:: Thanks to Rafael Sidi at Elsevier Engineering Information, who sent a note about this interesting site. FreshPatents.com lists the latest US patent applications each week, in advance of the USPTO decision to grant or deny the patent. Registration is free. Features include:

  • Monitor Keywords: enter up to ten keywords or phrases; digests, or summaries of all matches, will be e-mail on Monday
  • Location: if you are interested in tracking patent applications from Gilsdorf, Luxemborg, or New York City, you can search by location. All data is current from August 2004.
  • Inventor or Agent: If you know the name of an inventor or an agent, you can track his or her patent application submissions.
  • Industry: Track applications by industry, including computer hardware, software, displays/optics/imaging, electronics & electrical, entertainment/recreation, firearms/explosives, food & beverage, industrial tools/resources, medical, health & biology & drug, security/law enforcement, telecommunications/radio, agriculture & animal, apparel, fashion, beauty, accessories, business services, chemistry, chemicals and physics, construction & real estate, energy, engine/transmission, environment & waste management, home & building tools/resources, minerals, metals & materials, packaging & paper, printing & media/publishing, textiles, transportation.
Regarding the Industry tracking, RSS has been implemented in most, if not all, of the subcategories of the subjects listed above. Interested in patents on chemistry of carbon compounds, alloys or metallic compositions, musical instruments, or optical waveguides? Plug the XML feed for each category into your RSS reader, and you're on your way. Kudos to FreshPatents for this implementation; what needs to be done next is to expand the RSS feeds into the other search options, such as location and inventor.

For those whose research and development involves awareness of the work of others in the same or related field(s), this is one way to (try to) stay ahead of the rest of the pack.

Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Announces CSA Illumina

:: From the CSA Press Release:

CSA Illumina Debuts
New platform offers state of the art Web-based bibliographic and full-text searching

BETHESDA, Maryland, USA (16 December 2004) -- CSA has just released CSA Illumina, its new platform for online bibliographic and full-text searching.

“CSA Illumina is the result of more than 18 months of planning and development,” said Matt Dunie, president of CSA. “Our customers and users have told us what they want, and CSA Illumina delivers it.”

CSA Illumina features a totally re-designed user interface as well as enhanced search capabilities. Other notable enhancements include:

    * Easier to use “Quick Search”
    * Improved navigation
    * Improved integration of help files
    * Online tutorials
    * New custom default options
    * Multi-language interface options
    * Search Tools including Combined Search
    * Dynamic de-duplication of records with show/hide duplicates option
    * Hyper-linked descriptor terms for quick execution of new search queries
    * QuikBib bibliography creator
    * New library administration module
    * Improved linking capabilities
    * ADA and SENDA compliance

More than one hundred bibliographic and full-text databases published by CSA and its publishing partners are available through the service. Notable examples include CSA Sociological Abstracts, the SAGE Full-Text Collections, CSA Materials Research Database with METADEX, BioOne, PsycINFO, CSA Technology Research Database, and ARTbibliographies Modern.

CSA Illumina interface will be offered in parallel with the existing CSA Internet Database Service interface through January 2005. Current subscribers can gain access to CSA Illumina by going to http://preview.csa.com.

An FAQ about CSA Illumina is also available from the preview site. Customers having support issues with the service should contact support AT csa.com.

For further information, contact Michael Miyazaki, Marketing Manager, CSA (Tel. +1 301 961 6761 / E-mail: mmiyazaki AT csa.com).

Engineering Index Backfile Completed

:: From the v2 n6, Dec 2004 Ei Update:

After more than 18 months of development, the Engineering Index Backfile, the electronic alternative for accessing hard to find historical information has now been completed.

Engineering Index Backfile users will have access to over 1.7 million historical references that cover virtually every major engineering innovation from 1884 through 1969. When the Engineering Index Backfile is combined with the Compendex Database it will provide the most comprehensive overview of the last 120 years of engineering literature.

Access to the Engineering Index Backfile will provide users with references that have never been available electronically. For example, a reference from September 24, 1896 gives an account of a new bridge linking Brooklyn, NY and Manhattan. From December 1, 1901, Wilbur Wright addresses the difficulties regarding the building of the first plane.

The Engineering Index Backfile is available exclusively on Engineering Village 2. For additional information including trialing the product, please contact the Ei Customer Support Team at eicustomersupport@elsevier.com.

December 17, 2004

Scholarly Journal Prices: Selected Trends and Comparisons - New Report from LISU

:: Joe Kraus, on the ReedElsevier listserv, writes:

I read in the SLA rag, Information Outlook, that the Library and Information Statistics Unit (LISU) of Loughborough University in Leicestershire, UK had written a report -- Scholarly Journal Prices: Selected Trends and Comparisons. "This report, published with the permission of Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, documents the results of the Journals Pricing Analysis project, undertaken by LISU for OUP."



Take a look at "Fig 2.5 Median journal prices - science" on page 15 of the PDF. This is particularly interesting. But, Elsevier does have /somewhat average/ median price per page, (see page 20 of the PDF), but Elsevier is still the highest for "Fig 2.12 Median price per point of impact factor 1993-2003" on page 23 of the PDF.

Of course, there is a lot more to consider and read from this 122 page report than my very short synopsis.

The issue of Information Outlook of which Joe writes is the December 2004 number, which, predictably, I have yet to receive, being in Canada. (Update: The issue is Information Outlook, v8 n12, December 2004, p7.) The report is written by Sonya White and Claire Creaser, and is LISU Occasional Paper No. 34. In the executive summary, the authors highlight the following issues which emerged from their work:

  • Median overall journal prices vary widely between the publishers studied and range from Ł124 (Cambridge University Press) to Ł781 (Elsevier) in 2004.
  • The range of price increases over the period 2000 to 2004 also varied considerably, from 27% (Cambridge University Press) to 94% (Sage).
  • Median values for prices of Humanities and Social Sciences titles tend, on the whole, to be lower than those in other subject categories. It is notable that Elsevier has the highest median price in every subject area.
  • Median biomedical journal prices range from Ł186 (Johns Hopkins University Press) to Ł731 (Elsevier) in 2004. Biomedical journal price increases over the period 2000 to 2004 ranged from 27% (Johns Hopkins University Press) to 92% (Sage).
  • Increases in median prices of biomedical journals over the period 1993 to 2004 ranged from 80% (Taylor & Francis) to 352% (Sage).
  • OUP displayed the lowest median price per page of biomedical titles from 2001 to 2004, with only Cambridge University Press lower in 2000. In 2004 the median price per page for OUP was 31 pence; in the same year the highest median price per page was 98 pence (Taylor & Francis).
  • At 25%, Springer displayed the lowest increase in median price per page of biomedical journals from 2000 to 2004. This compares with the highest increase of 69% for the same period (Taylor & Francis).
  • The range of biomedical journal impact factor values is quite wide both within and between publishers. Within publishers, the greatest range in 2002 (the latest year for which data were available) was from 0.333 to 32.890 (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins).
  • Mean impact factor values of biomedical journals ranged from 1.47 (Kluwer and Springer) to 4.84 (Nature) in 2002.
  • Overall, there is little evidence of a relationship between impact factor and price of biomedical journals. Examination of the data reveals that the few correlations which exist appear to be very weak and all indicate that higher prices tend to be associated with higher impact factors.
  • With one exception, there has been an overall increase of between 22% (Kluwer) and 77% (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) in mean impact factor values of biomedical journals over the period 1992 to 2002. The exception is Taylor & Francis, which recorded a fall of 4.1%.
  • On the basis of price per point of impact factor of biomedical journals, OUP displayed the lowest median with a cost of Ł156 compared with the highest, Kluwer, at Ł525 for the most recent year.
  • The increase in price per point of impact factor of biomedical journals for the period 1993 to 2003 ranged from 40% (Springer) to 183% (Taylor & Francis).
  • No evidence was found to suggest that different rates of price increases had prevailed in the 1990s compared with those experienced after 2000.
  • There is some evidence of the application of ‘blanket’ price increases by some publishers across the range of titles and subjects.

December 16, 2004

Enhancements Coming to EV2

:: The latest version of Engineering Village 2 is scheduled for release in mid-January 2005. Details of the forthcoming enhancements are available at Librarian's Corner, at Ei Update. The major change is the introduction of Faceted searching - from the "Corner":

Once you have search results, you will be able to refine your search based on facets. The facets that will be available are database, author, controlled vocabulary, classification code, document type, language, publication year and publisher. In faceted searching, the information from the search results is presented in clusters (facets) with the terms having the largest number of hits shown first for each cluster. From these clusters, you will be able to determine the most prolific authors, the most used controlled vocabulary, the most common classification codes, the number of results for each database as well as the most common document types, languages, years of publication and publishers.

With this feature, you will have new ways to look at and explore your results. The information provided in the clusters may suggest new avenues to explore. Faceted searching brings the information behind the records in front of your eyes. Used intelligently, the information provided in the clusters should bring more insights to your search area.

Faceted searching has emerged as a hot new area in the field of information technology fueled by the ever increasing power in search engines. Rather than refining a search by adding keywords or other fields, faceted searching provides a dynamic visual way to refine results and explore what is available in the database. Faceted searching builds on the value added indexing and classification of data common to bibliographic databases such as Compendex, Inspec and NTIS. The information in fields formatted by the database producers, such as author names, controlled vocabulary, publication year, publisher, etc, lends itself to faceted searches.

Another change is Easy Search - this will now consist of a single search box, allowing searching across all indexed fields of all bibliographic databases without limits.

I'm looking forward to seeing a more robust and user-friendly version of EV2. Other changes scheduled for 2005 include:

  • Limit by Year Default - Customers can set their default beginning search year to the earliest supported in the database
  • Auto-Stemming - Customers can request this default to be on or off
  • Wildcards - New multi-character wildcards will be supported
  • Database Selection Redesign - In Quick and Expert Searches, the database select pulldown will be replaced with checkfields and external content links
  • Sorting - Customers will be able to set their pre-search default to Date or Relevance via a backoffice option
  • Full Text Links at the Citation - Customers can provide text or graphical Local Holdings or OpenURL links to Ei for deployment at the citation level. This includes links to OPAC's or OpenURL link resolvers
For more information, please contact Rafael Sidi at r.sidi AT elsevier.com.

December 15, 2004

ACS Division of Chemical Information - Highlights from 228th Meeting, Philadelphia, August 2004, Of Interest to Librarians

:: The 228th ACS National Meeting was held in Philadelphia in August, 2004. A selection of slide presentations from some of the 98(!) sessions of the Division of Chemical Information are available for viewing on the web site. On the ReedElsevier discussion list, Joe Kraus noted that Karen Hunter of Elsevier gave a presentation on open access:

CINF 31: Elsevier: A commercial publisher's perspectives on Open Access Karen Hunter, Elsevier, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, k.hunter AT elsevier.com

Abstract: The publishing industry, academia, and scientific research itself, have gone through a tidalwave of change since the emergence of the internet. During the early days of the transition to online publishing, many perceived a revolution of science in the making. Today, usage of scientific journals online has doubled year on year, indicating that scientific information is reaching users like never before. At the same time, library budgets continue to be reduced and libraries are forced to make difficult decisions about collection development and access. Various forms of "pay to publish" models are surfacing, as well as alternative distribution models. Now once again, revolution is in the air. This presentation will include proprietary Elsevier research and focus on Elsevier's view, as a commercial publisher, on Open Access and related activities, such as Open Archiving and institutional repositories, as well as the general outlook for the future.

Dana Roth commented on Hunter's presentation:
Thanks to Joe for this 'heads up'. It is interesting to see the cost/article for varying from $10K down (Science) to $3.8K (estimated STM mean cost).

One suspects that Science is dividing their total cost of production by the number of research articles.

The AIP is offering 'open access' for $2K (in 2005 for J. Math. Phys., Rev. Sci. Instrum. & Chaos), in contrast with Springer's charge of $3K.

Acta Crystallography is offering it at $800 (450GBP), which includes "editorial and production costs of editing, markup, hyperlinking, validation and assembly of an article and any associated supplementary materials".

Optics Express is charging $450 (for 6 pages or less)and $800 (for 7-15 pages), but is specifically not offering copy editing.

**It would be nice to have a tabulation of journals and 'open access' charges so, if you have info on others, please post.

Dana also noted in a subsequent e-mail:

Here are two more.

Tom McIlrath of the APS gives a figure of $1500 for the cost of a Phys. Rev. article.

In Lorrin Garson's article in Accounts of Chemical Research, 'Communicating Original Research in Chemistry and Related Sciences' Acc. Chem. Res., 37 (3), 141 -148, 2004, he states that "The production cost per manuscript for ACS journals in 2002 was $1544 exclusive of paper, printing, and distribution, which is remarkably close to PLoS's $1500 fee." This figure was taken from: Bovenschulte, R. D. Costs of Publication. Presented at The National Academies Symposium on Electronic Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journal Publishing and its Implications, Washington, DC, May 19-20, 2003.

David Goodman added:
With respect to the APS, I have received conflicting information: there is the $1500 you mention, but AIP estimates it at $2000, and since they do the production for APS, it is a little puzzling. ACS has given higher estimates in the past, as well.
Other presentations of interest from the ACS Division of Chemical Information meeting, featuring a number on open access issues (no pun intended), include:

December 14, 2004

Harvard Libraries and Google Announce Pilot Digitization Project

:: The rest of the title reads: "...with Potential Benefits to Scholars Worldwide." I hope the use of "Scholars" doesn't upset ACS. ;-) Harvard is the first in what could become a series of major libraries to collaborate with Google:

Harvard University is embarking on a collaboration with Google that could harness Google’s search technology to provide to both the Harvard community and the larger public a revolutionary new information location tool to find materials available in libraries. In the coming months, Google will collaborate with Harvard's libraries on a pilot project to digitize a substantial number of the 15 million volumes held in the University's extensive library system. Google will provide online access to the full text of those works that are in the public domain. In related agreements, Google will launch similar projects with Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library. An FAQ detailing the Harvard pilot program with Google is available at http://hul.harvard.edu and on the Harvard home page.

The Harvard pilot will provide the information and experience on which the University can base a decision to launch a large-scale digitization program. Any such decision will reflect the fact that Harvard's library holdings are among the University's core assets, that the magnitude of those holdings is unique among university libraries anywhere in the world, and that the stewardship of these holdings is of paramount importance. If the pilot is deemed successful, Harvard will explore a long-term program with Google through which the vast majority of the University's library books would be digitized and included in Google's searchable database. Google will bear the direct costs of digitization in the pilot project.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, noted that "we dreamed of making the incredible breadth of information that librarians so lovingly organize to be searchable online.":
"Even before we started Google, we dreamed of making the incredible breadth of information that librarians so lovingly organize to be searchable online. Today we're pleased to announce this program with these prestigious libraries to digitize their collections so that every Google user can search them instantly," said Larry Page, Google co-founder and president of products.

Page continued, "Our work with libraries further enhances the existing Google Print program which enables users to find matches within the full text of books, while publishers and authors monetize that information. Google's mission is to organize the world's information, and we're excited to be working with libraries to make even more of it available to Google users worldwide."

Now begins another round in the ongoing series of speculations and musings about Google and its place in the world of libraries and reference and collection work and information retrieval. Wait a minute - Google is swallowing our online catalogues! What happens next? Will these collections also appear in Google Scholar? (Will Google Scholar change its name to Google Educated, or Google Learned?)

If Google starts adding digitized collections the size of Harvard, what are the copyright implications? How might the option to access full-texts of millions of titles via Google affect book sales?

December 12, 2004

American Chemical Society Files Complaint Against Google Re: Use of "Scholar"

:: Chemical & Engineering News reported on Friday that the American Chemical Society has filed a complaint in US District Court in D.C.:

The ACS complaint contends that Google's use of the word scholar infringes on ACS’s SciFinder Scholar and Scholar trademarks and constitutes unfair competition. SciFinder Scholar, a desktop research tool designed for academic scientists, was launched six years ago. ACS’s Chemical Abstracts Service estimates that about 1,000 colleges and universities have bought the service, which provides access to all of CAS’s databases, including information on journal and patent references, substance information, regulated chemicals, chemical reactions, and chemical supplier information.
A discussion began almost immediately on CHMINF-L: see entries in the December archive by topic, under "ACS Sues Google..."

December 10, 2004

Hot Topics Survey 2004 Results

:: The STS Continuing Education Committee has made available the preliminary results of the 2004 Continuing Education Committee. STS collaborated with ASEE's Engineeering Libraries Division and SLA's Sci Tech Division. Results are grouped by which conference respondents are expected to attend in 2005. While there are interesting data in the survey, I find the presentation on the web page rather cumbersome. Results are shown as: "Likert-like scale total points for all respondents, Questions 1-21. Arranged by descending median score. Within each median arranged by descending location of inter-quartile range." Er, what? OK, so I'm not statistically savvy.

December 9, 2004

The Camtasia Library Tutorial at UBC Library's Science and Engineering Division

:: Aleteia Greenwood is a librarian at the Science and Engineering Division of the University of British Columbia Library. Earlier this year, with the assistance of the Centre for Instructional Support at UBC'S Faculty of Applied Science, and using Camtasia software, she designed and recorded the "Guide to Using UBC'S Library Catalogue." I asked Aleteia for background information on the tutorial, and she writes:

The modules are made using Camtasia. I went with this software because the video captures real time visuals and the voice over makes it possible to talk and demonstrate at the same time. (I'll admit though that lack of interaction is a drag). So it is really just a show and tell device.

Total time of the videos is around 29 minutes. (the time duration of each module can be seen in the bottom right hand corner).

Camtasia is great because it is possible to manipulate it in the post production stage. For example, you can zoom in on one part of the screen. It is very easy to make the video, once you have downloaded the software you pull up the screen you want to start with, through Camtasia, press F9 to start the video going and F10 to stop it. I am not so clear on the post production component as we are unable to download software onto our work computers. Jim Sibley from Applied Science did post production. He assures me that it is not complex.

Something to watch out for: there are default settings that I was a little slow in noticing (for example in one of the modules you can hear the keys of the computer, they sound like an ancient typewriter, that can be switched off. I thought I'd redone all the videos that had that sound!)

One thing I would like to have done is to have closed captioning (for those who are hard of hearing, whose first language isn't English, who don't have sound on their computers).

There are 13 modules in the 29-minute presentation. Viewers can choose which module they want to view, or watch the entire presentation at once. The presentation can be paused, stopped, and can be "rewound" or "fast forwarded", so to speak. Notice that the cursor, which moves about the screen, is surrounded by a small yellow circle, making it very easy to follow the cursor as it moves about the screen.

This type of presentation could work well for distance learning. I'd also like to see if a Camtasia tutorial on a specific subject area or resource would be useful to students working in that area.

AZoNano Launch Online Open Access Journal of Nanotechnology

:: A new, open access journal on nanotechnology is forthcoming:

AZoM.com Pty. Ltd. Sydney Australia and the UK-based Institute of Nanotechnology are pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of the Online Journal of Nanotechnology.

The Online Journal of Nanotechnology is based on a free access publishing model, coupled with what is believed to be a unique development in the field of scientific publishing – the distribution of journal revenue between the authors, peer reviewers and site operators.

The Online Journal of Nanotechnology at AZoNano.com will publish high quality articles and papers on all aspects of nanotechnology and related scientific, social and ethical issues. All the contributions will be reviewed by a world class panel of founding editors who are experts in a wide spectrum of nanotechnology science.

Via On Christina's Radar.

Information Literacy Standards for Science and Technology (DRAFT)

:: The ALA/ACRL/STS Task Force on Information Literacy for Science and Technology has made available the draft of Information Literacy Standards for Science and Technology:

Based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, five standards and twenty-six performance indicators were developed. Each performance indicator is accompanied by one or more outcomes for assessing the progress toward information literacy of students of science and engineering or technology at all levels of higher education.

This document is intended to be a living document with future opportunities for input from the community and is published here for broad professional review of this initial version.

Virginia Baldwin, Task Force Chair, welcomes any feedback you may have: vbaldwin AT unlnotes.unl.edu

December 8, 2004

Why We Deserve A Hug

:: William R Brody, President of Johns Hopkins University, reminds us, those of us who work as librarians, why we rock:

...You see, our library has the most effective search engines yet invented — librarians who are highly skilled at ferreting out the uniquely useful references that you need. Rather than commercializing the library collections, why not export to the public market the most meaningful core of Hopkins' intellectual property — the ability to turn raw information into useful knowledge.

I hope by now you realize that any talk of taking our library public is simply to emphasize the point missing in all this Google mania: Massive information overload is placing librarians in an ever more important role as human search engines. They are trained and gifted at ferreting out and vetting the key resource material when you need it. Today's technology is spectacular — but it can't always trump a skilled human.

Have you hugged your librarian today?

PĂ©ter JacsĂł on Google Scholar (Beta)

:: Thanks to George Porter, via Peter Suber's Open Access News, for bringing this following to my attention. PĂ©ter JacsĂł has written an extensive and detailed review of Google Scholar Beta. Definitely worth a read.

December 6, 2004

The Indexing of SAE Publications in Compendex - The Ongoing Discussion

:: Recently, a thread began on ELDNET-L, regarding the lack of indexing of SAE publications in Compendex. Please note that for all ELDNET-L posts listed below, permission has been obtained from each author to do so. One post, part of a response to it, are not included, at the request of the originating author.

The discussion began with the following post from Richard West from the Wendt Library at U Wisconsin Madison.

We think this is a problem that should be called to the attention of the engineering library community.

In June, 2004, staff at the Kurt F. Wendt Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered a problem in Engineering Index in citations to the series of Special Publications from the Society of Automotive Engineers. Somehow EI has used an incorrect ISSN in many cases involving the SAE SP series. Since the SFX linking software that is used on our campus searches for the ISSN, patrons are taken to the wrong record in our OPAC.

For example, search for author “Humphrey, Kevin B.” in EI. There is one citation to his article “Review of European steering column technology” in SAE Special Publications v. 1307, Nov., 1997, pp. 1-6. This citation erroneously gives the ISSN as 1054-6693, but that is for another series entirely (though also from SAE), Sensors & Actuators. The patron will therefore be misdirected to something that does not have the article that was cited. There are many more such citations to the same incorrect ISSN.

The problem was compounded when we found that there were two legitimate ISSNs for the SAE SP series. We reported this duplication in July to the National Serials Data Program, and by October (after a lot of work) they had sorted out this knotty matter. NSDP took the unusual step of cancelling one of the ISSNs. OCLC record #10648576 has now been edited to be a very good serial record for the SAE SP series. This now has the proper ISSN 1533-6204 in field 022 subfield a, while the cancelled ISSN 0099-5908 is in a subfield z in the same field. We are very grateful to NSDP staff at the Library of Congress, particularly Regina Reynolds and Hong Ta, for putting in the time and effort to correct this problem.

We are now in process of consulting with staff of Engineering Index to edit their database to use ISSN 1533-6204 in all their citations to SAE Special Publications. This will allow SFX, or any other linking software, to find the matching serial record in an OPAC.

Richard C. West
Kurt F. Wendt Library
email: west AT engr.wisc.edu

Richard followed up with this additional information:
I should add that I've heard from Engineering Index this morning and they expect to have the correct ISSN in the affected records in the next 3 weeks (which I think is pretty good going). Unfortunately, they also tell me that EI is no longer allowed to index SAE publications, which I hadn't realized. But at least the records that are already there will be correct. Many thanks to EI for taking care of this.
When I read that Ei no longer indexed SAE publications, I wrote back, "Ei is no longer allowed to index SAE publications? That is bizarre! Any explanation?" The following series of posts resulted from that question.

Tom Volkening, Michigan State U:

Bizarre but true. I confirmed it with the SAE academic representative, Diane McGuire (724-772-4002, dmcguire AT sae.org), when she visited MSU in May. As for a reason, I would guess money. They seem to want to be the sole vendor for their product. Maybe if they receive enough feedback, they might reconsider their position.
volkenin AT msu.edu
Richard West:
I'm afraid I wasn't quick enough on my feet to think to ask. Perhaps someone on this list from Ei or SAE can comment.

My guess, however, is that this is probably related to SAE having its own website, SAE Digital Library, which has full text from year 1998 on. Perhaps, then, the SAE staff might prefer that people use their own SAE DL rather than any other website?

Still, I would suggest that it would benefit everybody if SAE pubs were at least indexed in other appropriate places such as Ei, so that people searching any such databases would know the material existed. In the case of my campus, we subscribe both to Engineering Village and to SAE Digital Library. If our patrons found an SAE pub in Compendex that was of interest, the linking software we use (SFX) would take them to the corresponding record in our OPAC, and that record would tell them both if we had it in print format and also hotlink to the online version in SAE DL.

Larry Thompson, Virginia Tech:
But, it seems that if it was money, that there would be an advantage to having Ei index the materials. Because, even if Ei indexes the material, SAE still owns the content, so SAE could still be the sole vendor for the full text.

Most of the requests we get for SAE technical papers come as a result of people finding citations in journal articles, etc. Because SAE is not dexed in Ei, SAE is getting no full text requests from people doing subject searches and finding papers as a result of that. Why would SAE be so short sighted to restrict the way that people can discover their publications? Don't they realize that they're marginalizing themselves?

Does anyone know if SAE has any bibliographic info accessible through Google? Probably not.

What about the new CSA database that deals specifically with automotive / transportation issues? Are SAE pubs indexed in that?

As Tom said, this is bizarre.
larryt AT vt.edu

Randy Reichardt, U Alberta:
Tom: I think we need to lobby SAE to reverse this decision. I'll let Diane know my feelings about this, and I encourage other librarians who use SAE Digital Library and/or Compendex to do the same.
Alice Trussell, Kansas State U:
This reminds me far too much of the proprietary philosophy that was staked out by Apple in the early years. By insisting that they tightly controlled "access" to software products that worked in their computers, they lost a lot of ground that was gained by Microsoft and the PC platform because a variety of software could be developed. Even though Apple was & is superior in many technical respects, Microsoft gained dominance by allowing easy access to their systems.

SAE is very short-sighted and will lose ground, not gain it, through this marketing strategy. alitrus AT lib.ksu.edu
Tom Volkening:
1) In response to Alice Trussell: I think notifying faculty about this situation is a good idea, especially those faculty who write for SAE publications. People who write for them may have more clout with SAE than we do.

2) In response to Larry Thompson: Diane McGuire could tell you for sure but I don't think SAE makes the bibliographic information about their publications available to anyone.

Randy Reichardt:
I agree with Larry's comment. I did a seach on CSA's Mechanical & Transportation Engineering Abs, restricted the search to PB=(("society of automotive engineers") or sae), restricted to 1995-2004, and the resulting set had 2,114 hits, as recent as June 2004.
Alice Trussell:
After reflecting on this a bit, I also realized that we really need to inform and involve our faculties in this information exchange. They will be among the first trying to find SAE information, & would be perplexed that they can't find it in Compendex. I'm notifying my faculty of the problem and encouraging them to voice their concerns.
Mel DeSart, U Washington:
Unfortunately, this is NOT a new problem, and I've mentioned it to Diane McGuire at SAE and to a number of folks at Ei in the past. There was apparently something of a falling out between SAE and Ei some years back, and is seems it still isn't settled. Unfortunately for Diane, I don't believe she had started at SAE until well after whatever rift between them and Ei resulted in SAE pubs not being indexed in Compendex, so I don't know how much history she has on the issue.

Just fyi . . .

The last issues of SAE's Automotive Engineering International indexed by Compendex are two issues from 2000 (#s 3&4). The fact that many of the issues from 1998 through 2000 that ARE indexed have "Automotive Engineering (Warrendale Pennsylvania)" rather than "Automotive Engineering International" in the serial title field (since according to our catalog the title changed with vol.106 in 1998) is a whole 'nother problem.

The last issues of Aerospace Engineering indexed are from 1999. And the last SAE SP's that are indexed appear to be from 1998.

If memory serves, that's well before SAE came out with their Digital Library, although perhaps NOT before they had a searchable index of their own pubs up on their Web site (not sure about that one).

Regardless of the historical reasons that contributed to the rift between SAE and Ei, I agree entirely with the sentiment that it benefits NO ONE, be they with SAE, Ei, engineering librarians, or members of our user population, to not have SAE pubs indexed in Compendex. desart AT u.washington.edu

Christine Taft, Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology, Kansas City, in response to a previous e-mail which I cannot locate:
I may be showing some ignorance here but can a publisher deny an indexer the right to index their publications? At some time in the past I thought there was some discussion of what counts as information vs. copyrighted content. Is the article title, journal name, issue, date etc., a significantly small portion of the whole. Sort of like publishing a directory.
Taft: Obviously they can refuse to provide them the material for free, which makes the indexing a much more expensive proposition. taftc AT lindahall.org
Charlotte Erdman, Purdue:
It might be best to ask SAE why they no longer want to have their publications indexed. I've encountered times when papers from major societies were inconsistently indexed. I don't remember whether SAE was one of those societies. erdmann AT purdue.edu
Randy Reichardt:
Mel: If Ei had to pay for everything they indexed, the third potential consequence would be that Compendex would increase in price geometrically, I still think SAE is shooting themselves in the foot by not being indexed in Compendex.
Mel DeSart:
OK, just so we don't pick entirely on SAE and their relationship with Ei, please take note of the following.

Go into your version of Compendex and look for ASME's journal "Mechanical Engineering". To make it simple, and to avoid hits from titles that have the phrase "Mechanical Engineering" in the serial title (there are actually a bunch of them) but that aren't actually the journal "Mechanical Engineering", I searched by ISSN, which is 0025-6501.

Search each year individually from 2004 back through 1999 and see how many records you turn up and how much content from each year is indexed. Fair warning - you're not gonna like what you find.

Now search any of the few years earlier than '99 to see what a normal year's worth of content should look like.

OK, for those of you who don't want to do all of the above yourself, here's what I found (we have Compendex on EV2).
  • In 2004, there's only a single issue (February) and a supplement indexed - 25 records total.
  • In 2003, there are three issues (June, October, and December) and a supplement indexed - 35 records total.
  • For 2002 back through 1999, there is _nothing_ indexed - ZERO records for the entire four year span.
  • For any year between 1995 and 1998, the number of records falls in the 80s, and most, if not all, issues seem to have been covered.
Anybody besides me find that to be a tad problematic???
Mel DeSart, in response to a post not included here, so I have edited it slightly:
And while I agree ... that the automotive industry supplies SAE with the vast majority of its members and authors, most all of those members and authors start by going through a college or university system somewhere. And as it stands now, if those students are searching for an automotive topic in the last five years or so in one of the two most common general engineering databases (Compendex, Technology Research Database), they will find content . . . but virtually NONE of it will be from any SAE publications. What does it say about SAE and its pubs when a student can find all kinds of content in those databases from other journals and conference proceedings, but almost nothing published by SAE? Where's the importance that SAE pubs should be registering with those students in their first exposures to looking for content on a particular topic?

Here at UW, we're buying SAE journals and papers, but not the SAE Digital Library. Unless a student specifically asks us where to search to find SAE content at the paper level (the SAE Web site), they're missing out on a large chunk of valuable content simply because it isn't in the most common engineering databases that we've directed those students to in the past.

Deborah Kegel, U Washington:
Mel DeSart:
I talked with Diane McGuire at SAE on Friday. She's meeting today with someone at SAE about this situation and has been forwarding these e-mails up the ladder to those in a decision-making capacity within the organization. I also suggested she send me a list of titles from other comparably sized engineering societies. I in turn looked each one up in Compendex and fed her back the number of records in the database from each title in the period from 2001 to date. She was going to use those numbers in her meeting to show how well other society pubs are indexed within Compendex, while SAE pubs don't show up at all during that same time period. My impression from my conversation with her on Friday is that she'll post something to ELDNET-L on this topic in the next day or two.

I also just heard from a former employee of Ei on what his remembrance is of what led to this situation between SAE and Ei to begin with. However, it's up to him whether he wants to share his recollection with the list or not.

Dana Roth, CalTech:
This is really an appalling situation, that is probably not unique with Ei.

Librarians reasonably expect that 'chemistry' journals will be indexed in Chem. Absts. and 'physics' journals in INSPEC, etc.
This should also be true for engineering journals in Ei.

For Ei to have 'dropped' SAE publications is really inexcusible and raises the question of other possible 'obvious' engineering titles that are missing.

An example is Mechanical Engineering (which Mel has reported to have less than 500 records in Ei since 1995). ISI for example has nearly 4500 records for the same time period, with the latest issue being October 2004.

Would it be unreasonable to ask Ei for a 'missing' list .. with omission dates??

As an aside, was the Ei database used as a resource for 'Scopus'??

P.S. ISI indexed Automotive Engineering only from 1974-1985.
dzrlib AT library.caltech.edu

Matt Marsteller, Carnegie Mellon:
Years ago I stumbled into this situation between Ei and SAE with a search on hypocycloid gear mechanisms for the diesel research lab at the Federal Energy Technology Center. Most of my searching was on Dialog, but I would venture onto STN and, on occasion, Orbit. The hypocycloid gear mechanism search took place not long after my Dept. of Energy Performance Monitor complained to my boss about the slight increase in costs of database searching. When I looked at my costs, some of the increase was due to using the then new features of Dialindex and its counterparts. Some of it was due to the then new ability to do multiple file searching. One could say that I was searching ... oh perhaps a bit too far and wide when I was doing a search that the scientist or engineer expected to be comprehensive. My boss and my performance monitor met with me and directed me to be a bit more picayune with the databases ... to cut back a bit.

Well, then along came the hypocycloid gear mechanism search. I think I searched Compendex and the DOE Energy Science & Technology database ... perhaps ISMEC and a couple of others. Did I worry about the odd little files unique to STN or Orbit? No.

To make a long story short, our diesel research lab spent about $30,000 doing unnecessary research that was only indexed by the SAE database. When they presented their research at a conference, someone let them know that it had all been done before. They were mortified. The lead researcher came to me - only about six foot nine and easily a trim 275 pounds (all muscle - maybe 0.003 percent body fat). I have to hand it to him ... he kept his cool (barely) ... and we retraced my steps. He showed me the paper that we had missed. Using Dialindex I found that it was nowhere to be found on Dialog. I then went through all of the engineering files on STN and Orbit looking for files that were both unique and related to automotive engineering (or just engineering). Since we knew the paper was one published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, we both knew which database I shouldn't have skipped when we saw it. The ONLY paper unique to the database at that time was the one that I had missed. Interestingly, it was the only one coauthored by a woman.

I called SAE to let them know that perhaps they had left it out when transferring data to Compendex. That's when I learned that first, the mistake (if it was one) would not be corrected, and second, they no longer released their indexing and abstracting data to other publishers. Well, I apologized profusely to the researcher - at least 275 times - one for each pound. I couldn't take back his embarrassment (and as a librarian I certainly didn't want to pay for the waste of taxpayer dollars), but I had at least demonstrated that I found my mistake and that I would never EVER do another search in that discipline and skip the SAE database. I think he took with him a deep appreciation for what a librarian puts up with. He always reminded me to search it after that though.

Of course I went back to my boss and my Performance Monitor and let them know what had happened. I expected at least a letter of reprimand or worse ... termination, or maybe even 12 rounds with the researcher. They talked it over for a few minutes and then asked me what I thought I'd done wrong. I started into a description of database choice and that there was absolutely no reason that I shouldn't have used every database suite available to me ... I could have gone through all of the database lists by hand to choose the databases ... They stopped me after a couple of minutes. The Performance Monitor simply said - "your mistake is that you listened to us. Never listen to us again! Go back to your old/new way of choosing databases. So you missed one database ... very likely because we put you in a mind set for failure."

Maybe you'll all remember my tale of woe and that if you ever need to be comprehensive in automotive engineering (or locomotive/diesel engine research) you will not forget the databases of SAE. I also feel that if all of our patrons were six foot nine and weighed 275 pounds that customer service would never be a problem! matthewm AT andrew.cmu.edu

Diane McGuire, SAE:
First, let me confirm the worst, that SAE documents have not been indexed in Compendex, CSA, or most other databases for at least 5+ years. The only places you can get SAE bibliographic information currently are directly from SAE or through STN.

That said, however, I really value your comments and feedback. Hearing stories like the one Matt Marsteller shared are painful to read, but they provide much needed input from you, our customer. On the positive side, I have had an initial meeting with one of our Directors and am encouraged by his receptiveness. One of his top priorities is to make SAE more vital for younger members, which certainly includes those at universities.

Since this is a battle that needs to be waged at the highest levels here at SAE, I don't anticipate a quick response. However, please know that your comments are vital to help make any changes here at SAE, so I encourage you to continue to post them to the list or email them to me directly. I will continue to forward them all to the appropriate people internally so your input _will_ be heard. Comments from your faculty and students should also be encouraged, especially anyone actively involved in SAE.

I appreciate all the help many of you continue to give me, especially educating me on your needs. Bob Schwarzwalder is correct in that SAE has historically developed resources to meet the needs of the corporate user, not academia. The good news is that we have recognized this as a shortcoming, which is why my position was created several years ago.

Thanks again and keep fighting the good fight! dmcguire AT sae.org

Rafael Sidi, Elsevier Engineering Information, Inc
Recently there have been a number of postings on ELDNET-L regarding gaps in Compendex coverage of SAE and ASME publications. On behalf of Engineering Information, I'd like to offer some clarification.

Some on this listserve have raised the question of SAE abstracts in the Compendex database. Unfortunately the use of SAE abstracts was the subject of a lawsuit brought by SAE against Ei in 2000. The suit was subsequently settled under confidential terms. Since 2000, Ei has repeatedly requested permission to include SAE abstracts in Ei database products and has to date been refused. We regret the situation, and believe that inclusion of SAE abstracts would be beneficial, but cannot proceed against SAE's wishes.

Ei cooperates with more than a thousand publishers who value having their publications abstracted, indexed and included in Ei databases. Fortunately, it is extremely uncommon for a scholarly publisher to restrict coverage of their publications in abstracting and indexing services. We are hopeful that the SAE will reconsider their position and we are eager to cooperate toward the goal of abstracting and indexing SAE publications in Elsevier database products once again. We remain convinced that inclusion of SAE publications in Ei databases will best serve the engineering community.

With regard to coverage of publications from the ASME, Engineering Information acknowledges the gaps in coverage of ASME publications that were identified. We have been working with the ASME to correct this situation on both a retroactive and forward moving basis. We consider resolution of this problem a top priority and remain committed to providing the highest quality and most comprehensive databases of engineering literature available.

Please feel free to contact me directly should there be additional questions about Ei coverage and our policies. R.Sidi@elsevier.com, 201-356-6845

Dana Roth:
I understand the importance of the abstracts, but did the 'secret' agreement also preclude indexing the bibiographic information?
Richard West:
...I had a phone call from someone at Ei last week. I'm afraid I've forgotten her name, but what she said was Ei had discovered that many of their records (and also those in other bibliographic databases) used the ISSN for SAE SP that was just cancelled. That is, the citations use one of the two ISSNs that had been assigned to SAE SP (rather than the ISSN for a completely different title, Sensors and Actuators, that was used in some citations), and they happen to use the one that was cancelled rather than the one that was retained. She said that NSDP was re-investigating the matter, so the decision could be reversed.

It occurred to me afterwards that -- should this matter? Both the current and the cancelled ISSN are in an 022 field in the OCLC record (#10648576), in different subfields to indicate which is current (1533-6204 in subfield a) and which is cancelled
(0099-5908 in subfield z). So, they're both searchable, and I think they should both be, um, link-able. But I'm waiting to hear what NSDP says.

As of this writing, I am waiting to hear from one or two others who posted to ELDNET-L about this topic, before adding their comments to this long but very interesting entry. What I think is especially valuable is that Diane McGuire at SAE and Rafael Sidi at Ei have taken part in this discussion, and are aware of the dilemma facing librarians and instructors regarding this issue.

The corporate vs academic mindset of some vendors concerns me greatly, and I agree with Mel's comments about this. It's a problem that extends to the standards organizations as well - SAE, and other producers of major subject-specific databases and standards, relying on industry more than academia, must be more aware that their customers of the future are preparing for their careers on campuses of our universities, colleges and technical schools. By not providing access to their product, or making access cost-prohibitive by either charging outrageous rates or insisting on restricting access to one stand-alone computer, the message being sent to students is that they don't matter, until they are working in industry. The problem is, how can students expect the best education possible when access to the information they need to do this isn't available?

"Chemical Information Instruction" web conference now open

The SLA Chemistry Division and the ACS CINF Division cosponsored web conference, "Chemical Information Instruction," is now open for registration and participation. Links to the full text of the presentations are provided on the main conference page and at the beginning of each discussion forum.

To register,

  • a) go to http://forum.lib.lsu.edu/slachem/. The first box directly under the main title will say, "SLA Chemistry Division Forums." Within this box on the left side, there is a link to "Register." Click on this.
  • b) Fill in the appropriate information, including your email address, choose your own User Name and password, then submit.
  • c) Final step: Activate your account. Following submission of your registration information, an email will automatically be generated by the Forum and sent to you requesting that you activate your account by clicking on the link contained within the email. Once you do this, you're set to go and may now freely participate.
For those who have previously registered with us for the summer conference, your User Names and passwords are still valid. If, however, you have forgotten your password, just click on the Log-in button at the upper right side of the screen, and a message will appear allowing you to click on a link which will enable you to reset your password. Just follow the instructions on that page.

The sponsoring organizations thank you all in advance for your interest and participation, and hope that you enjoy your conference experience.

If you have any technical questions or difficulties with the conference site, don't hesitate to email me.

Bill Armstrong

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

December 2, 2004

Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, First Series

:: Reading through the December issue of Choice, I stumbled upon a rare gem of early American scientific publishing. Using an IMLS grant, the Ewell Sale Stewart Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences has digitized the entire first series of Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Fulltext First Series v1-8 (1817-1842)
ISSN: 0885-3479

The website provides details on the techniques used in the digitization in addition to the historical and scientific bounty of the journal proper. Whether one's research interests run to ornithology, entomology, ichthyology, or botany, American scientific luminaries of the first half of the 19th century wrote major pieces in this early giant of American scholarly communication. The article which caught my eye initially is John James Audubon's prospectus for his monumental Birds of North America. - George Porter