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July 29, 2005

Christina Pikas on Using Blogs for Information Management

:: Christina Pikas is a Research Librarian at the R.E. Gibson Library and Information Center, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel Maryland, and a fellow scitech library blogger. On June 29, 2005, as part of the Emerging Information Technologies Lecture Series at the Welch Medical Library at JHU, she presented the lecture Using Blogs for Information Management.

In her presentation, Christina used screenshots from STLQ to highlight standard weblog and individual blog post components and characteristics. (Thank you, Christina!) In addition to her lecture handout and lecture slides, you can watch a video of her 30-minute presentation. Together with the handouts, this is a nice package to offer someone who wants a detailed but concise introduction to using blogs for managing information. Christina's post on her presentation is here.

Interesting News From Outer Space

:: A couple of interesting news items from the solar system:

  • Ice Lake Found On The Red Planet: "A giant patch of frozen water has been pictured nestled within an unnamed impact crater on Mars.

    The photographs were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board Mars Express, the European Space Agency probe which is exploring the planet.

    The ice disc is located on Vastitas Borealis, a broad plain that covers much of Mars' far northern latitudes."

    More information available from the European Space Agency site.

  • Distant Object Found Orbiting Sun: "Astronomers have found a large object in the Solar System's outer reaches. It is being hailed as "a great discovery".

    Details of the object are still sketchy. It never comes closer to the Sun than Neptune and spends most of its time much further out than Pluto.

    It is one of the largest objects ever found in the outer Solar System and is almost certainly made of ice and rock.

    It is at least 1,500km (930 miles) across and may be larger than Pluto, which is 2,274km (1,400 miles) across.

July 28, 2005

STS Poster Handouts and Presentations from Chicago ALA Now Available

:: From a post by Paul G St-Pierre on STS-L this morning (which for some reason, doesn't appear on the Archives of STS-L web site, as the July postings aren't available there):

PowerPoint presentations from the STS program in Chicago, and some supplementary materials from the poster session, are now mounted on the STS website. They can be accessed from here.

July 27, 2005

IOP Participates In The LOCKSS Program

:: From a posting on PAMNET, among other discussion groups:

Institute of Physics Publishing (IOP) and LOCKSS are pleased to announce that the first of IOP's journal titles have been released for preservation via the LOCKSS system. Members of the LOCKSS Alliance are now able to add the following two open-access titles from IOP to their local digital collection:IOP and LOCKSS continue to work towards the release of IOP's subscription-based titles.

Initiated by Stanford University Libraries, LOCKSS (for "Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") is open source software that provides librarians with an easy way to collect, store, preserve, and provide access to their own local copy of the authorized content they purchase. IOP recognizes the importance of ensuring the longevity of journal material in the digital age and is proud to support libraries in their efforts to preserve online content

Proceedings of the IEEE Adds 25 Years of Backfiles to IEEE Xplore

:: IEEE has added the years from 1963-1987 of the the Proceedings of the IEEE to the IEL Database. All articles from v51, 1963 to the present are now available in full-text .pdf format. More details here.

July 26, 2005

Reproducible Research: A Bioinformatics Case Study

:: Via the Faculty of 1000, an article that may be of interest to readers. Reproducible Research: A Bioinformatics Case Study1, by Robert Gentleman, of Harvard University, suggests a new approach to scholarly publishing as follows:

While scientific research and the methodologies involved have gone through substantial technological evolution the technology involved in the publication of the results of these endeavors has remained relatively stagnant. Publication is largely done in the same manner today as it was fifty years ago. Many journals have adopted electronic formats, however, their orientation and style is little different from a printed document. The documents tend to be static and take little advantage of computational resources that might be available. Recent work, Gentleman and Temple Lang (2003), suggests a methodology and basic infrastructure that can be used to publish documents in a substantially different way. Their approach is suitable for the publication of papers whose message relies on computation. Stated quite simply, Gentleman and Temple Lang (2003) propose a paradigm where documents are mixtures of code and text. Such documents may be self-contained or they may be a component of a compendium which provides the infrastructure needed to provide access to data and supporting software. These documents, or compendiums, can be processed in a number of different ways. One transformation will be to replace the code with its output -- thereby providing the familiar, but limited, static document.

In this paper we apply these concepts to a seminal paper in bioinformatics, namely The Molecular Classification of Cancer, Golub et al (1999). The authors of that paper have generously provided data and other information that have allowed us to largely reproduce their results. Rather than reproduce this paper exactly we demonstrate that such a reproduction is possible and instead concentrate on demonstrating the usefulness of the compendium concept itself.

From the Faculty of 1000 page, the following comment on the article, by Daniel Weeks, U Pittsburgh2:

This article illustrates an important new paradigm for publishing scientific manuscripts in a radical new manner: as a compendium that is a mixture of code, data and text, all in a navigable document. This method of publication would provide dynamic documents where results and computations can be explored, reproduced, and altered on the reader's own computer. This proposed 'reproducible research' paradigm has great promise in terms of improving communication about the increasingly complex computations and statistical analyses involved in genetics and genomics papers. For the abstract of this paper, please see http://www.bepress.com/sagmb/vol4/iss1/art2/ .
  1. Gentleman R. Reproducible Research: A Bioinformatics Case Study. Stat Appl Genet Mol Biol 2005 4:article 2
  2. Daniel Weeks: Faculty of 1000, 8 Jul 2005 http://www.f1000biology.com/article/nonpub113933/evaluation
My thanks to Geoff for bringing this to STLQ's attention.

July 25, 2005

SUNY To Create First On-Line Engineering Bachelor's Degree

:: Three SUNY Schools of Engineering: the University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, and Binghamton University, are involved in the creation of the first online bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. From the SUNY site:

SUNY Receives Prestigious Sloan Foundation Award

June 09, 2005

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor John R. Ryan today announced that the University is the recipient of a $300,000 grant award from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support the creation of the world’s first online bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

The award announcement represents the culmination of eighteen months of planning and collaboration among three SUNY Schools of Engineering: the University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University, and Binghamton University; the extraordinary efforts of their respective deans, Mark Karwan, Yacov Shamash, and Charles R. Westgate, and the Office of Learning Environments, part of the System Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“The State University of New York very much appreciates the continuing generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for our distance learning programs,” said Ryan. “SUNY’s position as a national and world leader in distance learning is clearly demonstrated by our continuing growth in online enrollment, the increasing number and variety of courses and degree programs offered online, and through the recognition and financial assistance provided by independent organizations such as the Sloan Foundation.”

July 21, 2005

"Better Understanding Your Users: - An SLA Chemistry Division Web Forum

:: The Chemistry, Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics, and SciTech Divisions of SLA are co-hosting the web conference, "Better Understanding Your Users", a SLA Chemistry Division Forum. The posters were originally presented at the SLA Annual meeting in Toronto, June 2005.

IEEE Xplore Upgrade Provides New Tools for Researchers

Access to IEEE Standards, Publications, and Bibliographies Enhanced in IEEE Xplore 2.1

21 July 2005 -- Piscataway, NJ -- IEEE today released several new research options for its IEEE Xplore online delivery platform.

IEEE Xplore is the online delivery system which powers IEEE online subscriptions for organizations and individuals, including collections like the IEEE/IEE Electronic Library. It contains more than 1,100,000 documents from IEEE journals, magazines, transactions, and conferences, all active IEEE standards, and journals and conference proceedings from Europe's Institution for Electrical Engineers (IEE).

"This release of IEEE Xplore 2.1 incorporates feedback that we have received from users since the launch of IEEE Xplore 2.0," said Barbara H. Lange, IEEE Publications Product Line Management and Business Development. "The new features enhance the bibliographic information both for individuals and institutional subscribers."

New features available through IEEE Xplore 2.1 include:

  • The metadata of all current book titles from Wiley-IEEE Press and Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Press are now available to all users as an optional search criteria. Books located through this search may be purchased through a link to the John Wiley and Sons web site.
  • The display of bibliographic information has been enhanced on various pages throughout the site. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and part numbers (identifies periodicals issues and conference proceedings volumes that have multiple parts) are now displayed on all tables of contents, search results, Abstracts, and AbstractPlus pages.
  • Individual IEEE Standards are now available for purchase and immediate download directly through IEEE Xplore.
  • A new, downloadable OPAC list of journal and conference details contains the start date, end date, ISBN and ISSN for all titles, and will be updated regularly.
For full information on these and other features of IEEE Xplore, visit: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/guide/g_oview_notes.jsp

July 20, 2005

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship - Announcements

:: From an e-mail sent today by Andrea Duda:

: I have a number of announcements about Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship (www.istl.org).
  • We are pleased to welcome Deborah Huerta of Colgate University as the newest member of our editorial board.
  • We have established themes for our upcoming issues:
    • Fall 2005: Facilities (e.g., new buildings; consolidated libraries; renovated facilities; living with outdated facilities; incorporating technology, etc.)
    • Winter 2006: Outreach and Marketing (e.g. publicity, blogs, reaching/teaching people who seldom come into the library)
    • Spring 2006: Assessment (Assessing all aspects of library collections and services)
    • Summer 2006: All topics
    • Fall 2006: E-resources (Decision making, user statistics, evaluation, a librarian's wish list for publishers)
    More information about writing for ISTL is available at www.istl.org/authors.html. We'd be happy to talk over article ideas with you and we encourage newer authors to work with us on publications.

  • We need reviewers.
    • Book reviewers: If you would be interested in reviewing books for us contact Norma Kobzina (nkobzina@istl.org) with information about your interests and areas of expertise.
    • Journal reviewers: If you would be interested in reviewing either individual journals or journal packages contact Nestor Osorio (nosorio@istl.org). Tell him which journals or packages you would like to review.
    • Database reviewers: If you would like to review a database, contact Nestor Osorio (nosorio@istl.org). We are interested in both reviews of particular databases as well as comparisons of the same database from different vendors. Nestor can work with you in obtaining trial access to databases if needed.
  • Refereed articles. We always welcome your submissions for this part of the journal. Please note that refereed articles can be on any topic and do not have to relate to the theme of a particular issue. For more information see http://www.istl.org/guidelines2.html or contact Buffy Choinski, the refereed articles editor (bchoinski@istl.org).
  • Viewpoints. In the Spring 2005 issue we started a new column called Viewpoints. Its purpose is to provide a forum for informed opinion and editorials by and for our readers. There is no shortage of opinions among librarians, and we hope that those expressed in this column will be provocative and interesting, and will spark ideas and reactions. For more information on writing for this section see http://www.istl.org/viewpoints.html or contact David Flaxbart, the Viewpoints editor (dflaxbart@istl.org).

July 19, 2005

Scopus Gets Enhanced

:: From the latest InfoToday, reported by Paula Hane:

July 18, 2005 — Scopus, the abstract and indexing (A&I) database of scientific, technological, and medical research information developed last year by Elsevier, has apparently beat all expectations for the success of its market adoption. In June, 6 months after its launch, the company announced it had signed its 500th customer. And, following an agreement with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC; http://www.jisc.ac.uk), more than 60 universities in the U.K. are now taking part in the introductory offer for Scopus. Today, July 18, Scopus is announcing a range of new updates and features that further its mission of providing an easy-to-use, comprehensive system for conducting scientific research. The product is not viewed as a stand-alone, but rather as one that fits within the research process and supports the workflow by seamlessly integrating third-party research tools. New features being introduced include close integration with RefWorks, the bibliographic management tool from CSA; interoperability with the chemical structure searching in MDL’s CrossFire Commander; and several content integration enhancements.

In November 2004, Elsevier launched Scopus, its ambitious project designed in close collaboration with librarians and researchers that promised to be the most comprehensive STM database. (See the launch report at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb041115-2.shtml and a NewsBreak on the announcement of the new service at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb040315-1.shtml.] At the time, Elsevier said that it aimed to make the Scopus service “as easy to use as Google,” with fewer clicks to the full text than any service available. Since then, Scopus has been building on its foundation and adding enhancements to accelerate and simplify the research experience.

Paula's report continues on the InfoToday page.

July 18, 2005

Journal of Biomedical Science -- Publisher Change & Free Content

:: Interesting entry from George Porter on the perils of what can happen when an online journal changes publishers in midstream:

Journal of Biomedical Science moved from Karger to Kluwer (now Springer) at the beginning of 2005. Karger provides free access to much of the backfile and provides a link forward to the current website. Springer is not reciprocating, leaving users wondering whether/where the previous years of the journal may lurk on the web.

Journal of Biomedical Science
Fulltext v5-10 (1998-2003); v11 (2004) [subscription required]
Fulltext v12+ (2005+) [subscription required]
Print ISSN: 1021-7770 | Online ISSN: 1423-0127

There's an easily identifiable industry best practice for journals which change publishers, regardless of the contractual issues of what to do with the backfiles.

Best Practice: When an online journal title is transferred from one publisher to another, certain obligations are incumbent upon the former publisher and the current publisher.

The former publisher must acknowledge, from the same URL as previously used to deliver content:

  • that they published the journal for a specific period (volumes and years).
  • where new material may be found by providing a link.
  • in the event the former publisher no longer provides access to the actual content, what provision has been made (transfer to new publisher, transfer to owning society, etc) for current access to the material which they did publish.
The new publisher must acknowledge, from the same URL used to deliver new/current content:
  • the former publisher and the specific period issued from said publisher(s).
  • where older material may be found by providing a link(s).
  • in the event the new publisher does not provide access to the actual earlier content, what provision has been made (retention be former publisher, transfer to owning society, etc.) for current access to the earlier material which they did not publish.
- George Porter

CSA Launches Multisearch

:: As reported by Paula Hane at InfoToday, CSA has launched its new federated search program, MultiSearch:

July 5, 2005 — In a move that illustrates the growing library demand for federated search solutions, CSA (http://www.csa.com) has partnered with MuseGlobal (http://www.museglobal.com) to launch MultiSearch. The new federated search capability operates within the CSA Illumina framework and provides connectors for more than 2,000 target sources. Targets may be Web servers, Z39.50 servers, XML gateways, SQL, or other information sources. Federated searching solves the problems of multiple interfaces, many different search engines, multiple databases, and multiple search results. CSA MultiSearch provides a unified framework for accessing multiple resources.

CSA MultiSearch provides single sign-on for authenticated access to sources, hiding the complexity of searching multiple repositories. MultiSearch, which uses the CSA Illumina interface, offers a Google-like search box. A pull-down menu lets users select databases by subject. The service provides organized, integrated results. The merged results set presents the top citations from each database searched (the default is 10 from each, but this can be customized). Users can request additional results and can choose to “remove duplicates” and examine or hide the set of duplicates as desired. The service then provides full-text linking to results using any OpenURL resolver. MultiSearch provides direct links to the native source for further searching, viewing, and browsing.

July 14, 2005

Knovel's "MindMap"

:: Knovel has created a simple one-page description of the Knovel Library. From the latest Knovel News:

Knovel has developed a new 1-page description of the Knovel Library service specifically for potential users of the service. Laid out in "mindmap" format, it answers questions like, 'What is Knovel Library,' 'Who Uses It,' 'Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Use It' and more. Download the file now (PDF format) and share it with others in your organization. Help spread the good news about Knovel!
Links within the .pdf file are active. This could be of use as an additional handout when lecturing to upper undergrads and graduate students.

July 13, 2005

Ei Update v3 n2 July/Aug 2005 now available

:: The latest issue of Ei Update, v2 n3 Jul/Aug 2005, is now available. Reports cover new features including: faceted searching now available in Quick and Expert Search modes, new Blog This functionality, new titles added to Referex, and more. The improved faceted search and blogging features will be available in the July 18 2005 EV2 release.