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Dana Roth on "Using the Mathematics Literature", edited by Kristine K Fowler

:: Dana Roth sent the following comments about the new book, Using the Mathematics Literature, edited by Kristine K. Fowler:

As a 'chemistry' librarian, I am obviously not qualified to give a complete review of 'Using the Mathematics Literature', edited by Kristine K. Fowler.

However, I would like to express my appreciation and admiration for the excellent introduction she (and Molly White) provided in Part I (Tools and Strategies).

Kristine offers a very informative and instructive introductory chapter on the 'Mathematics Culture', which is followed by a chapter on 'Tools & Strategies for Finding Mathematics Information. Molly White's chapter on 'Tools and Strategies for Searching the Research Literature' completes Part 1.

The chapter on 'Mathematic Culture' certainly helped this librarian develop a new appreciation for the unique world of mathematicians and the recurrent themes in mathematics. Writing vs doing, creativity vs deduction, beauty, art vs science, pure vs applied, truth, discovery vs invention are a sample of the topics developed. Kristine also provides an extensive list of both print and online resources for further reading.

The second and third chapters provide an annotated listings of basic works that all science librarians should become familiar with.

Kristine's chapter is especially helpful, with sections covering common reference questions, such as: definitions, finding tables of integrals, biographical information, interpreting references, finding English translations, finding/verifying quotations & anectodes, and recreational mathematics.

Molly White's chapter is an excellent review of the various online and print indexes, followed by a discussion of web based resources and current projects and concluding with examples of how to find a specific reference.

These three chapters should be essential reading for all science librarians.

I thank Dana for the brief review, and note the coincidental timing of this post, only a day after the entry about the new book by Martha Tucker and Nancy Anderson. My guess: both books are of the highest quality, and worth adding to your collection if your library includes a substantial mathematics collection.


I liked Kris' book, too: http://e-streams.com/es0711/es0711_3720.html ! Can't compare with the Tucker and Anderson title as I haven't seen it yet.

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