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January 31, 2005

Firefox Plugin for Searching the CISTI Catalogue

:: From Richard Ackerman's Science Library Typepad comes word of the creation of CISTI catalogue search engine plugins for Mozilla-based browsers such as Firefox and Netscape. The plugins are created by Stephen Anthony. I installed the CISTI Catalogue Keyword Search (English), which took all of a few nanoseconds to join the other plugins in my Firefox search window, and it works well. Stephen, thanks for this! Now, please create a plugin that searches for serial publications in the CISTI catalogue!

CISTI, The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, houses an extensive collection in the sciences, engineering, technology and health sciences, including over 50,000 serial titles. The CISTI catalogue searches its collection as well as that of CAL, the Canadian Agricultural Library.

January 28, 2005

The Literature of Chemistry: Recommended Titles for Undergraduate Library Collections

:: On CHMINF-L, Gary Wiggins posted information about a new book by Judith Douville, who is the Science & Technology Editor for Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. The book is called The Literature of Chemistry: Recommended Titles for Undergraduate Chemistry Library Collections. From the ALA site:

A comprehensive, annotated, guide to current books, Internet resources, and journals in chemistry designed for use by students, faculty, and researchers. Includes coverage of over 1,800 resources in all major fields, including analytical, physical, organic, inorganic, and environmental chemistry. Contains 11 chapters plus extensive index.
Gary added:
The comprehensive, annotated guide to over 1,100 core chemistry titles is divided into the following categories:

1. Basic Chemistry
2. Aplied Sciences Related to Chemistry
3. Analytical Chemistry
4. Physical Chemistry
5. Organic Chemistry
6. Inorganic Chemistry
7. Environmental Chemistry
8. Industrial Chemistry
9. Polymer Chemistry
10. Biological Chemistry
11. Internet Resouces in Chemistry.


There is also a section on Journals in Chemistry that reproduces the January 2004 American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training Journal List for Undergraduate Programs.

January 27, 2005

New Environmental Health and Toxicology Internet Resource Guides

:: Dana Roth, writing on CHMINF-L, reports the following:

NLM's Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) has released three new Environmental Health and Toxicology Internet Resource guides on the following topics:

Indoor Air Pollution: Links to information resources on the many sources of indoor air pollution found in homes and other buildings, including cleaning and maintenance products, building materials, tobacco smoke, mold, and poor ventilation.

Outdoor Air Pollution: Links to information resources on outdoor air pollution and its possible effects on health.

Toxicogenomics: Links to information on a new scientific sub-discipline that combines the emerging technologies of genomics and bioinformatics to identify and characterize mechanisms of action of known and suspected hazardous substances.

A complete list of Environmental Health and Toxicology Internet Resource Guides from SIS can be found at
http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/Tox/ToxSpecial.html and includes:

  • Arctic Health
  • Arsenic and Human Health
  • Biological Warfare
  • Chemical Warfare Agents
  • Children's Environmental Health Resources
  • Environmental Justice
  • Indoor Air Pollution
  • Outdoor Air Pollution
  • September 11th World Trade Center - Lingering Airborne Hazards
  • Toxicogenomics
  • West Nile Virus - Pesticides Used for Mosquito Control

January 26, 2005

Connotea - Social Bookmarking for Scientists

:: Connotea is a relatively new service that allows for social bookmarking, but with an emphasis on the scientific community.

Connotea is a place to keep links to the articles you read and the websites you use, and a place to find them again. It is also a place where you can discover new articles and websites through sharing your links with other users. By saving your links and references to Connotea they are instantly on the web, which means that they are available to you from any computer and that you can point your friends and colleagues to them. In Connotea, every user's bookmarks are visible both to visitors and to every other user, and different users' libraries are linked together through the use of common tags or common bookmarks.

Connotea was created by Nature Publishing Group's New Technology team. The ideas behind it come from del.icio.us, a general collaborative bookmarking service. Connotea takes this concept and adds some features to tailor it to the needs of scientists. CiteULike is a similar online academic bookmark management service based on del.icio.us, developed independently to Connotea. We're in close contact with CiteULike to ensure that our two systems work well together.

Currently there are 38 users only. Information about the creators of the site is not available, so I have no idea who's behind the project, but I think it's a good idea, another way to share sites and articles with like-minded researchers.

Eighteen Resources For Techie Librarians (All of Us, Really)

:: Michael Stephens, offers some basic words of advice for all librarians working in the Information Overload Age. First, Michael begins with Twelve Techie Things for Librarians 2005 (Updated):

In lieu of looking back at 2004, I thought I'd look ahead at some things librarians need to be aware of as we move into the middle of the decade. These are the things I would want a knowledgeable, tech savvy staff to be aware of and consider for their libraries. In strategic planning, long range plan meetings and the like I would hope an "in the know" librarian at the table could speak about these things.
Included in his list are toolbars for library users, RSS feeds from catalogue and library sites, OSS, and virtual communities for librarians.

Following that post, he lists Six Resources Every Techie Librarian Should Use (Updated):

Last week I wrote about 12 Techie Things for library folk to be aware of -- to be in the know about in planning meetings and staff meeetings. Nothing pains me more but a bunch of blank looks in a meeting room when someone says they learned about "mobblogging" at a recent conference.
Here he includes library-related blogs, using RSS readers, reading the Pew Reports, community participation, publishing, and using your brain! Good points all!

The challenge for me is trying to find a balance, to sort and sift through all the information flying at me at lightspeed, digest what I consider to be important, and embed that into my daily routine. While I consider myself to be relatively tech-savvy, I don't own a cell phone or a PDA.

When all of "it" comes at us at such a relentless, never-ending pace, we need to find downtime for processing, without feeling guilty that we will miss something, an important post on one of the 225 blogs we monitor daily. The downtime consideration is perhaps the one thing Michael might consider including in his lists. Without downtime, burnout sneaks up and bites us hard. Oh, and of course, some consideration must be given to our lives away from work. Simply put, we need time to stare at the wall, the sun, the tube, the movie screen, the musician or the actor we are watching perform, read our books, and listen to our CDs. Or go for a bike ride or a walk.

IEEE Xplore 2.0 Forthcoming

:: From the latest What's New @ IEEE For Librarias, January 2005:

COMING SOON: IEEE XPLORE 2.0
A major upgrade to the IEEE Xplore online delivery platform will soon offer researchers a more functional design, enhanced searching and usability, and an automated welcome page that recognizes users' subscriptions and access rights. The new system will provide subscribers with full-text searching of all content and will enable free, basic searches for all visiting researchers. Another new search option will enable subscribers to focus their search on only the latest content. IEEE Xplore 2.0 will be released early in the second quarter of 2005. For more information on the new features included with IEEE Xplore 2.0, click on the link below, or stay tuned to future issues of this newsletter:
<http://www.ieee.org/products/onlinepubs/news/0105_01.html>

January 24, 2005

WorldCat Speeds Up

:: Via Jenny Levine comes word from Lorcan Dempsey of a massive increase in processing power at OCLC:

OCLC Research recently acquired a 24-node (48-cpu) Beowulf cluster with 96 Gigabytes of memory. According to my colleague Thom Hickey, whose team has been working on the machine, the cluster speeds up most bibliographic processing by about a factor of 30. This means that what might have taken a minute now takes two seconds, what might have taken an hour takes two minutes, what might have taken a month takes a day. For jobs that will fit entirely in memory (e.g. a `grep' of WorldCat) avoiding disk i/o gives another factor of about 20, reducing 1-hour jobs down to 6 seconds. We can 'frbrize' WorldCat on the cluster in about an hour.

WorldCat is also now more mobile. Thom has a 40 gig iPod which can accommodate WorldCat on its disk with room left for 5,000 song tracks. Now, you can't do much with the data on the iPod, but you can certainly carry it around. Again, it takes about an hour to get it on and off the iPod.

I use (and like) OCLC WorldCat a lot, so this is great news for all searchers. I don't own an iPod, but the implications are huge. If users can carry around the entire WorldCat db on their iPods, when will the technology be available to download individual PACs? Or is it there already? I cannot find the instructions to download WorldCat to one's iPod, so I've asked Lorcan for more information.

January 20, 2005

Engineering Village 2 Upgrade

:: Engineering Information released its latest upgrades to Engineering Village 2 last week, on January 13th, 2005. The major enhancement was the introduction of Easy Search with faceted searching features. Easy Search presents the user with a small, single search box, similar to other search engines, with no options for limiting or qualifying your search. From the EV2 Help window:

Easy search is designed for very simple basic keyword searching. Search terms are entered into a single search box. Easy Search searches all databases your institution may subscribe to without limits applied.

Enter search terms in the search box. A search is performed on all indexed fields of all subscribed bibliographic databases, including Compendex, Engineering Index Backfile, Inspec, Inspec Archive, and NTIS. No limits are placed on the search.
Having tried a few search strategies on Easy Search (ES), I can say that generally, with some reservations, I like it, especially the faceted search function. As noted, when you begin a search on the ES page, you are presented with no options, only the search box, and tabs to other EV2 functions, like Quick Search and Expert Search. (The page appears to be almost blank, perhaps an intentional presentation by the EV2 staff. The user, with no options before the search, can only type the search question, and is offered a multitude after the search begins.) The user types in the term or phrase, and clicks on "Search". A link to Help is provided, which opens up a different window, and goes to the section of the Help page quoted above. Oddly enough, no explanation of the faceted search function is provided. My reaction is that perhaps Ei felt that an explanation might be too much information for the user, and lead to some confusion. Instead, let the user experience faceted searching without knowing that's what it's called.

On the results screen, records appear in citation format. The option to remove duplicates is available, as is the option to view the results from any one of the databases searched, i.e., if you wish to view the results from Compendex only, the option is there. Results are returned in relevance order, with other sorting options being date, author, source and publisher. New to EV2 is the aforementioned faceted searching - a right side column appears on the ES results screen, offering a array of options for further refining of search results. Categories include database, author, controlled vocabulary, classification code, document type, language, year, and publisher.

Once you choose an option from the Refine Results column, a "search path" is created, or as Ei calls it, a "breadcrumb" above the search results, which limits your search by combining the breadcrumb with your original results. In this example, I searched the phrase "hydrocarbon catalytic cracking". I restricted the search to results from Compendex, and chose "zeolites" and "paraffins" to further refine the search. The search path appears in ES as: [x]hydrocarbon catalytic cracking > [x]Compendex > [x]Zeolites > [x]Paraffins. Results were reduced to 23 records, a very manageable set. To eliminate a term, click on the red x, to the left of each term. Click on the term or phrase itself, and all subsequent terms are removed from the search path.


refine3.jpg



Faceted searching provides the user with the option to "dynamically navigate content", as described by Rafael Sidi, VP Publishing. The option to refine one's search with controlled vocabulary terms is a great feature - users may refine their searches with established and relevant subject terms from the Ei thesaurus (and the Inspec thesaurus, etc.) Without necessarily knowing they are doing so, users are creating a narrower but more relevant literature search result. The challenge to librarians is to get the word out to our users and encourage them to try it, and provide feedback. Well done, Ei!

Regarding "Relevance", or the option to sort results by relevancy, I have never been a fan of this feature, primarily because I could never find an explanation for what it meant on any database that offered it. However, EV2 does provide an explanation of their algorithm:

The relevance sort is based on an algorithm that takes into account the following:
  • Whether the words are found as an exact phrase or separately
  • When words are found separately, closer proximity ranks higher
  • The number of times that the word/phrase appears in the record
  • The word's location within the document (words found at the beginning of the field rank higher than words found towards the end)
  • Whether the words are found within fields designated as particularly relevant, i.e., the title field
  • How often the word appears in the database as a whole (words used often are less relevant than words that are less common)
With a better understanding of the algorithm used, I am more inclined at this point to give the benefit of the doubt to sorting results by relevance. I will try a few searches, and see where it goes. My experience is that researchers most often want the newest results, rather than one from 14 years ago that happens to include exactly the phrases and terms they just searched.

At long last, the ability to truncate to a single character, using the "?" symbol, is now available (*applause*)! Other new features that add to the integrity of the product include the elimination of drop-down menus, and the ability to resort from the results page, both welcomed enhancements.

As for a few reservations, I will qualify that here. These are a few suggested changes I'd like to see implemented, or at least considered, for future EV2 enhancements:
  1. Extend the faceted search function to Quick and Expert Search modes. (This is coming!)
  2. Allow the user to switch display formats without having to choose individual citations, or all on the page. Let the option default to the entire set if none is chosen.
  3. The "Refine Search" option needs, well, to be refined further, and I am not referring to the faceted search column that appears on the ES page. Within the ES results page, the user can click on "Refine Search". However, the search box is even smaller than the one first seen by the user choosing ES - it is approximately 25 characters wide. Click on "Refine Search", and your initial search query reappears in this smaller window. Add a search term or phrase, and you cannot read your entire search strategy, because it won't fit in the window. This isn't a big deal, but it would make search refining a little easier if the user could see what was being added.
  4. Provide a link to the explanation of "Relevance", whenever this option is available to the user. A better understanding of its meaning may encourage its use.
  5. Regarding Search History, the only option at the moment is to clear every query in the set - if you have 20 search statements, they all stay or they all go. The option to clear selected statements would help searchers when refining a strategy.
I'm exhausted, and I have a session in one hour with 60 graduate students in Engineering Management. They will get a brief look at Easy Search. Wish me luck.

POSTSCRIPT: It's Friday morning, 21 Jan 2005. Yesterday evening I presented an information resources session to graduate students in Engineering Management, and highlighted the new ES and faceted search function of EV2. The class was impressed, and a number of students mentioned they would try using it in the near future.

January 19, 2005

Special Libraries Association, Elsevier Announce Education Partnership

:: This news release appeared on the Reed-Elsevier discussion list this morning, as well as the SLA website.

Support from World-Leading STM Publisher Will Help Establish SLA Online University

Alexandria, VA, USA, December 13, 2004 - The Special Libraries Association (SLA) and Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific and medical information, today jointly announced their collaboration in a partnership to support the establishment of the SLA Online University.

At a special briefing today at SLA Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, Elsevier announced that it has made a one-time gift to the SLA Campaign for Professional Development. The contribution will be used specifically to develop the SLA Online University, thereby significantly advancing the professional development of SLA's over 12,000 members.

Janice R. Lachance, Executive Director of SLA, believes Elsevier's commitment sets a standard for the information industry. "We are thrilled with the support Elsevier has shown for our Campaign for Professional Development and, in particular, our Online University. By helping us deliver on the important need of accessible and affordable professional development opportunities, they are directly aiding the growth of information professionals while enhancing the value of membership in SLA."

Inspired by SLA's strategic focus on learning, the concept for the SLA Online University is to serve the continuing education needs of information professionals worldwide. Because of reduced budgets for professional development and travel, many SLA members around the globe lack the ability to participate in person at learning events. Using a technologically advanced learning system, the SLA Online University will give information professionals access to course libraries focusing on development of critical business skills. In addition, the curriculum will comprise custom-designed courses on competencies that are crucial to the profession, such as content management, competitive intelligence, and identifying client needs. SLA also expects to enhance the offerings of the Online University by including discounted access to online learning courses from many leading universities.

Commented John Regazzi, Managing Director, Market Development and CEO for Elsevier, Inc.: "We at Elsevier are very pleased to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with SLA and its membership in this way. The innovative technology approach SLA is taking in bringing the Online University to fruition is right in line with our own emphasis on supporting and investing in new technologies, and our "Founding Partner" role in this initiative goes straight to the heart of Elsevier's firm commitment to supporting our customers as true partners."

January 18, 2005

E-Streams

:: Nuts. I've missed mention of the last two or three issues of E-Streams, the YBP-sponsored online review journal of new reference works in engineering, science, agriculture and medicine. My bad. For users of GOBI 2, YBP has added an ISBN link from E-STREAMS entries to the GOBI 2 login page. A Baker & Taylor link is also provided.

January 14, 2005

Searching for US Military Standards

:: I received a request from a graduate student in materials engineering, who is looking for a number of reports and standards, including these two MIL-STD's: MIL-STD 202 Method 208, and MIL-STD 883 Method 2003. I did a Google search, and found the weibull site, which provides links to the full-text of military handbooks and standards related to reliability.

Next, I sent an e-mail to the ELDNET-L and SLA-ENG discussion lists, asking for help. The response was amazing, as 33 librarians responded to my request for assistance, proving once again that these two discussion groups rock! :-)

The following sites were indentified as the major sources for military handbooks and standards:

  1. ASSIST Quick Search - "provides direct access to Defense and Federal specifications and standards available in the official DoD repository, the ASSIST database." ASSIST is the Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System. The site stipulates that you must register for free access to the database. However, I did some searches using the Quick Search feature, and obtained documents without any problems.
  2. DODISS: DoD Index of Specs & Standards - via Public STINET (Scientific & Technical Information Network, from the Defense Technical Information Center: provides a fielded search engine, with full-text documents available for downloading. Some specifications and standards cancelled before 1986 may not be available. If you click through the STINET site, check DoD Index of Specs & Standards (DODISS) and uncheck the other databases. The fielded search is the most flexible. (Thanks, Charlotte!)
  3. Index of DSCC Mil Specs & Drawings - Defense Supply Center Columbus: this site provides links to documents managed at the DSCC, including US federal standards, handbooks, military standards and specifications. Also features a search engine.
Other links that direct users to some of the above sites include Online Documents (Specs & Standards on the Web), from the Defense Standardization Program, and the Find a Document page from the Defense Technical Information Center.

January 13, 2005

Article Duplication in Emerald/MCB Journals - Update from Phil Davis

:: As reported some time ago, Cornell U Life Sciences Librarian Phil Davis, through simple keyword searching, identified 409 articles from 67 journals published by Emerald that had been republished between 1989 and 2003, without notification. Davis' initial study will be published in v49 n2 Spring 2005 issue of Library Resources & Technical Services

Davis is now reporting that the duplication is more extensive than first reported. He has submitted a letter to the editor of LR&TS, expected to be published in the v49 n4, Summer 2005 issue. The draft manuscript is available on his web site:

Article duplication within Emerald/MCB publications is more extensive than first reported. It has now been identified in 73 journals spanning a period from 1975 to 2003. This letter will address updates to the initial findings and react to Emerald’s response. It will investigate the relationships between Emerald, MCB and Barmarick Publications, and shed light on possible conflicts of interest in management functioning simultaneously as owners, editors and authors. Is this a case where commercial interests have outweighed editorial independence?
Further information is available from the Library Journal Academic News Wire: January 11, 2005, available to subscribers only. Thanks to Bob Michaelson at Northwestern for this information.

January 12, 2005

The Future of the Internet

:: From Pew Internet & American Life Project: The Future of the Internet.

:: My thanks, again, to Mary-Ann Tyrell at Michigan State U Libraries, for advising me that Bloglet was not sending out updates to the 175+ subscribers to STLQ via that service. I have no explanation as to why Bloglet arbitrarily decides to stop recognizing that STLQ is alive and well. I will be more vigilant in checking STLQ's status on Bloglet.

DOE/OSTI's E-Print Network Selected as SPARC Partner

:: SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, has announced that the E-Print Network has been choses as a SPARC "Scientific Communities" Partner. From the press release:

Washington, D.C.—SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced that the E-print Network, a free service of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), has been chosen as a SPARC “Scientific Communities” partner. The selection recognizes the contribution of the E-print Network to expanded availability and use of open-access scientific and technical research on the Internet.

The E-print Network reveals a wealth of valuable research mainly in physics but also in chemistry, biology and life sciences, materials science, nuclear sciences and engineering, energy research, computer and information technologies, and other disciplines. The E-print Network utilizes a unique deep Web search capability that combines full-text searching through PDF documents residing on e-print Web sites with a distributed search across e-print databases. The Web search pulls to the desktop documents that are often hard to find.

Users of the E-print Network, which was first launched as PrePRINT Network in January 2000, can perform full-text searches on over 16,000 Web sites and in 39 major databases of e-prints from around the world. All this content—close to 20 million pages of full text—is available to users at no charge. The E-print Network also offers a weekly alert service that provides patrons notification of new documents, as well as links to 2,300 scientific societies.

“The E-print Network takes all these isolated islands of information and pulls them into a searchable whole,” said Dr. Walter Warnick, director of OSTI. “The result is enhanced search, expanded audience, ease of scientific collaboration, and advancement of science. We are pleased to become a partner in SPARC's endeavor to encourage scholarly communication and to disseminate research.”

“The E-print Network is a pioneer in harnessing open-access research across the Internet,” said Rick Johnson, director of SPARC. “Besides contributing to more efficient information sharing and accelerated discovery, the E-print Network gives us an eye-opening glimpse of the vast extent of open archiving today.”

The resources available via the E-print Network are located on a wide range of sources residing at academic institutions, government research laboratories, scientific societies, private research organizations, and the Web sites of individual scientists and researchers. The Network facilitates access to these resources as well as communications between researchers. When a document is displayed or downloaded, the patron actually downloads the e-print directly from the Web site where the document resides. The document is not stored or maintained by the E-print Network. From the author's Web site, the user can rapidly access supporting documents, background material and contact information.

E-prints are scientific or technical documents circulated electronically to facilitate peer exchange and scientific advancement. Having e-prints in the network increases awareness of research and promotes the dissemination of information to a broader audience.

To find out how to add e-prints to the E-print Network, contact Dr. Dennis Traylor by phone, 865-576-3327, or by mail:

Dr. Dennis Traylor
Office of Scientific and Technical Information
U.S. Department of Energy
P.O. Box 62
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

OSTI's mission is to advance science and sustain technological creativity by making R&D findings available and useful to DOE researchers and the American people. OSTI has been delivering science information since 1947. With its suite of Web tools, OSTI has proved to be a leader in government science search.

###
Posted: January 11, 2005

For more information, contact:
Alison Buckholtz, SPARC, alison AT arl.org
Susan Tackett, OSTI, tacketts AT osti.gov

January 11, 2005

Tsunami Disaster Mapping Portal

:: A new interactive website, Tsunami Disaster Mapping for Indian Ocean Regions, has been created that provides current and historical spatial data for those working on both short- and long-term relief efforts in the tsunami-devestated regions in southeast Asia. From the report on GeoCommunity:

Ottawa, ON, January 10, 2005 - DM Solutions Group Inc., a leading Web mapping solutions company, and the University of Ottawa, today announced the release of the Tsunami Disaster Mapping Portal (DMapP) - a Website to help aid workers coordinate their work during the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Indian Ocean Basin.

This interactive, Internet-based infrastructure provides free access to urgently needed current and historical spatial data for planners and workers – both for short-term emergency needs as well as post-disaster supplies distribution, rehabilitation planning, and infrastructure restoration. "This initiative provides an opportunity to connect, in a very effective way, the vast amount of data accumulating around the world with the people who need it most," said Dave McIlhagga, DM Solutions Group’s president.

Collaborators on the site included researchers and scientists from the Laboratory for Applied Geomatics and GIS Science (LAGGISS), University of Ottawa, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Pathumthani, Thailand, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and Media Center, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.

Another site with detailed "before and after" satellite photos is available here.

January 10, 2005

Speed Up Adobe Acrobat Files

:: This is too cool, and needs to be mentioned. Via SearchEngineWatch via Anil Dash comes word of a utility created by programmer Joe Cox, called Adobe Reader SpeedUp:

Adobe Reader SpeedUp is a simple application that was created to help make the loading time of Adobe's Acrobat/Reader software bearable for everyday use. AR SpeedUp only needs to be used once (a process taking only a few seconds) and then your 'Reader will be transformed forever. There are also some tweaking options available. "w00t!", as the young kids say.
I downloaded and installed it in less than a minute, and now my .pdf files load in a few seconds, instead of the usual half-minute. Joe Cox, wherever you are, we salute you.

January 7, 2005

International Libraries and the Internet Archive Collaborate To Build Open-Access Text Archives

:: This is old news from The Internet Archive, on December 15, 2004, but important nonetheless. From the press release:

Today, a number of International libraries have committed to putting their digitized books in open-access archives, starting with one at the Internet Archive. This approach will ensure permanent and public access to our published heritage. Anyone with an Internet connection will have access to these collections and the growing set of tools to make use of them. In this way we are getting closer to the goal of Universal Access to All Knowledge.

By working with libraries from 5 countries, and working to expand this number, we are bringing a broad range of materials to every interested individual. This growing commitment to open access through public archives marks a significant commitment to broad, public, and free access. While still early in its evolution, works in dozens of languages are already stored in the Internet Archive's Open-Access Text Archive offering a breadth of materials to everyone.

Over one million books have been committed to the Text Archive. Currently over twenty-seven thousand are available and an additional fifty thousand are expected in the first quarter of 2005. Advanced processing of these multilingual books will offer unprecedented access.

New Journals from PLoS - Public Library of Science

:: George Porter, writing on various listservs, reports the following:

PLoS has posted a press release with additional details about the three new journals to be introduced in 2005.

PLoS Computational Biology
Fulltext forthcoming June 2005
http://ploscompbiol.org/
Print ISSN: 1553-734X | Online ISSN: 1553-7358

PLoS Genetics
Fulltext forthcoming July 2005
http://plosgenetics.org/
Print ISSN: 1553-7390 | Online ISSN: 1553-7404

PLoS Pathogens
no start date or website yet at PLoS
Ulrich's indicates September 2005 -- Print ISSN: 1553-7366

ACS Livewire

:: Issue 6.1, January 2005, of ACS's LiveWire is now available.

January 6, 2005

Release Date of EV2 Upgrade: 13 January 2005

:: Details of the impending upgrade to EV2 are available in an e-mail sent today to Engineering Village 2 customers:

As announced in December 2004, a significant new release of Engineering Village 2 is coming. The January 2005 release of Engineering Village 2 will be implemented on January 13th, 2005. This latest release contains exciting new enhancements that you should be aware of, as they will impact how you and your users interact with Engineering Village 2. While changes are intuitive product improvements, it is recommended that you read this announcement carefully to remain abreast of these changes.

The January 2005 enhancements include:

Beta introduction of Easy Search with faceted searching. A new search tab titled “Easy Search” will be made available and consist of a single ‘web-like’ search box. . Searches will be performed against all fields of your institution’s subscribed bibliographic databases. Users are then presented with results including a sidebar of “facets” or “clusters,” displaying groupings of terms present within the result lists. Users will be able to view groups of results clustered by data fields and further refine their searches by selecting clusters to explore further. Among the fields available for clustering are Database, Author, Controlled Vocabulary, Classification Code and Document Type. The introduction of Easy Search with faceted searching provide users with deeper disclosure into their result sets and offers simple tools for further search refinement.

As Easy Search with faceted searching is being released as a beta version, we encourage users to provide their thoughts and feedback.

The database select drop down menu has been replaced. To accommodate the growing list of available data sources available on Engineering Village 2, the database select drop down menu on the “Quick Search” and “Expert Search” screens has been replaced. Check boxes will appear at the top of these search forms, allowing users to select the entitled bibliographic sources they wish to search. This new layout more readily presents users with their database choices and makes it easier to select additional databases for multiple database searching.

Data sources linked to through Engineering Village 2 (including IHS Standards, GlobalSpec, Scirus, USPTO) can now be reached via a list of “More Search Sources” appearing at the bottom left hand side of the Quick Search and Expert Search search screens.

The “Ask an Expert” tab replaces the “Reference Services” tab. By default customers will continue to have access to “Ask an Engineer” and “Ask a Librarian” services under this new heading. Library customers may now choose to have user questions redirected to their own reference desk instead of the experts at Ei.

The January 2005 release of Engineering Village 2 also contains the following customizations which can be implemented by contacting Ei Customer Support at eicustomersupport AT elsevier.com or 1(201)356-6824:
  • A default beginning search year may be set for all subscribed databases. Currently the system uses 1990.
  • Default setting for sorting
  • Up to two local holding links will be allowed at the search results level. For example, a library can provide one link to their OpenURL resolver and another to a document delivery service. As many links as needed can be used at the Abstract or Detailed level.
  • Subscribers can now select what page they will be taken to when they enter www.engineeringvillage2.org. (Easy Search, Quick Search Expert Search, Referex Engineering, Thesaurus) Quick Search will continue to be the default page.
  • The Easy Search tab with the faceted searching feature can be suppressed.
Additional enhancements found in the January 2005 release include:
  • The number of saved searches per Personal Account including e-mail alerts has been raised from 25 to 125.
  • Users will be able to re-sort their results from the results page. Options will include relevance, date, author, source or publisher.
  • Browse Index radio button in both Quick and Expert Search are replaced by hyperlinks.
  • Searches may be saved and e-mail alerts created directly from the results page.
  • The question mark “?” has been added to specify a single unknown search character.
  • Proximity operators NEAR and ONEAR have been added to allow searchers to specify within how many words two words phrases may fall from one another or to specify the order and distance that search terms fall within.
Each of the enhancements listed will be implemented as of January 13th. To receive a live guided tour of this new release prior to January 13th, please contact us at eicustomersupport AT elsevier.com. Ei Librarian, Karen Berryman will provide online guided tour of the coming product, detail the available options and answer any questions you may have. Demonstration sessions last about one-half hour and are free of charge for all Engineering Village 2 customers. These demonstrations provide you with the opportunity to take an advance look at the new and exciting changes coming on Engineering Village 2.

Additional detail on this release can be found in the most recent issue of the Ei Update electronic newsletter at www.ei.org\eiupdate.

As always, questions and concerns should be directed to Ei Customer Support at eicustomersupport AT elsevier.com or +1(201)356-6824.

Cites & Insights, Ethics & Zines

:: The v5 n1 January 2004 (pdf) issue of Cites & Incites: Crawford At Large, is now available. Walt discusses an interesting thread on ethics and librarians who blog, first raised by Karen Schneider at Free Range Librarian. In her first post on the subject, Schneider wrote:

For some time I've grumbled and groused about the practices of librarian bloggers. Too many of us want to be considered serious citizen-journalists, when it suits us, but fall back on "hey, it's only a blog" when we'd rather post first and fact-check later, present commentary as "news," or otherwise fall short of the guidelines of the real profession of journalism. (This is doubly ironic, considering how librarians squeal when people without library degrees claim to practice "librarianship.")
My reaction: I do not in any way, shape or fashion, consider myself a serious citizen-journalist, and while I don't tend to fact check much, that's because most of the stuff posted here hasn't required me to do so. That said, I am careful as I can be not to post information that might be considered irrelevant those who visit this site, nor would I post something I thought might include incorrect information or data. Karen continues in another post:
I'll repeat my concern that librarians, in particular, need to be very cautious when they blog. This is a meta-ethical issue: when you blog as a librarian, even as a librarian "just goofin' around," you are representing what people think about librarians. Yes, that weight IS on your shoulders. You know how you hate it when we're represented as frumpy, meek shushers? I'm with you, but I hate it even more when our own kind represents us as clueless, sloppy, and uninterested in the ethical issues related to the world of information and how it is represented. In the same vein, I love it when I read a blog such as Tame the Web or Shifted Librarian, where I can catch the enthusiasm, real-world observations, and yes, opinion of Michael Stephens and Jenny Levine, presented with a minimum of typos, a maximum of style, and a certain je ne sais quois--that friendly, fact-based, service-oriented approach--I'd call "library flavor."
While reactions to Karen's posts have been divided, I appreciate that she has raised an issue that is at the very least, a reality check for those of us who blog on behalf or, and thus representing, our profession.

In an unrelated note, Walt discusses the beginnings of Cites & Incites, and how at the time, he termed it a "zine":

I started calling Cites & Insights a “zine” because it isn’t a newsletter, it’s certainly not a blog, and it fits my own historic definition of a zine (based on the old days of science fiction): a nonprofessional or semi-professional periodical based on one person’s (or small group’s) enthusiasms and reflecting that person’s style.
I was pleased that Walt referenced the term "zine", or more correctly, "fanzine", for purely selfish reasons. I published my first sf fanzine in 1969, and confess that I've been less than thrilled with the co-opting of the term "zine", to reflect amateur publications of a literary or artistic nature, as Walt mentions subsequently. Fanzines as published by sf afficianados can be traced back to the 1930s. (Fact check: don't believe me? Check out The Immortal Storm by Sam Moskowitz, which chronicles the rise and history of science fiction fandom in the 1930s.)

OK, now back to posting stuff of interest to science and technology librarians...

January 4, 2005

The ACM Reports on Blogging

:: The December 2004, v47 n12, Communications of the ACM was a special issue devoted to "The Blogosphere." From the introduction by Andrew Rosenbloom:

Weblogs are a relatively new form of mainstream personal communication, like instant messaging, email, cell phones, and Web pages. They're also a new voice for traditional mass-market newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters.

A blogger needs only a computer, Internet access, and an opinion. It also helps to have a personal obsession and total confidence in your own voice. In need of someone else's opinion, the options are equally open ended.

Less than 10 years ago, practically all media was still a one-way street. Then early self-published online journals, or Weblogs, began to let bloggers bypass the corporate media gatekeepers to say and show practically anything they could think of to tens of millions of computer users around the world. Having to please no one but themselves, these bloggers began enthusiastically linking and cross-linking to and referencing one another's sites and commentaries. These links drove development of blog technology, as well as user curiosity and ultimately creation of the worldwide blogosphere. In contrast, today's generation of bloggers mainly wants to be heard or seen—instantly, throughout the Internet—even as they tend to ignore everything else.

The issue features five articles on blogging, covering stucture and evolution, semantic blogging, reasons why people blog, the impact of blogs on the online community, and how blogs contribute to filtering of information, and what the consequences might be in a democratic society.

New Open Access Journal on Probablility

:: Writing on PAMNET (among others), George Porter notes:

Probability Surveys is the second new journal to debut on Project Euclid this month. It is also only the second title to be distributed on Project Euclid as an Open Access journal, the first being Annals of Mathematics.

Probability Surveys is a joint effort of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Bernoulli Society. The journal is operating with Open Journal Systems software from the Public Knowledge Project.

Probability Surveys
Fulltext v1+ (2004+)
http://ProjectEuclid.org/ps
http://www.vtex.lt/ejournals/ps/index.php
ISSN: 1549-5787

Submitting News Items to Engineering Journals

Writing on ELDNET-L, Barbara Shader of the Robert E Kennedy Library, posted the following query:

One of our editors for the College of Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has compiled a list of engineering journals that she alerts whenever there is anything newsworthy in the College of Engineering at Cal Poly. She has asked me to look over this list for completeness. I have added some additional titles but I would like to check with the membership to see if any of you have similar lists and if so, would you be willing to share your list. I will be glad to share our list upon request.

Also, our editor is wondering if any of you have developed a method for feedback whenever anything you send to these journals is actually published. Our editor has asked the journals for this information but it is rarely supplied and she only discovers that pieces have been used when a faculty member takes the time to alert her to the news item.

Thanks in advance for your help, Barbara

Barbara Schader
Librarian for Science, Math & Engineering
bschader AT calpoly.edu

ACRL STS Research Forum - Call for Proposals

ACRL STS Research Forum -- Chicago 2005

The ACRL Science and Technology Section's (STS) Research Committee invites submission of abstracts of research papers to be given at the STS Forum for Science & Technology Library Research in Chicago on Sunday, June 26, 2005, from 3:30-5:30 pm at the ALA Annual Conference. The Research Forum provides an excellent opportunity to share recent research addressing issues in science and technology librarianship in its broadest sense. Two proposals will be selected through a blind review process on the basis of timeliness, evidence of scholarship, and relevance to science and technology librarianship.

ABSTRACT: An abstract not exceeding 250 words should convey the title and purpose of the project, its scope, methodology, conclusions, and relevance to science and technology librarianship. Priority will be given to papers that indicate research analyses, either quantitative or qualitative.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS: January 10, 2005. Papers will be selected at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston by the STS Research Committee.

PAPERS: Acceptance of proposals reflects a commitment by the author(s) to provide presentations of no longer than 30 minutes at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

SUBMISSIONS: Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail to Karen Grigg at grigg012 AT mc.duke.edu, Co-Chair of the STS Research Committee. Be sure to include your name, institution, phone, fax, and e-mail address.

STS Research Committee