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December 22, 2005

Taking A Christmas Break

.: There will be no posts from 17 Dec 2005 until 3 January 2006, as I will be taking a two week Christmas break. See you in 2006, and wishing you all the best of Christmas and Holiday Season. Thank you for reading STLQ. - Randy

December 16, 2005

An STLQ Update

.: A note to all that I will be away from the office from 17 December 2005 to 2 January 2006. Postings on STLQ will be few to none.

.: The problems I have been having with RSS feeds continue unabated, and the frustrations are unending. Those who have subscribed to STLQ using Bloglines now find their feed pointing to my personal blog, the pod bay door. I have contacted Bloglines, and continue to wait to see if they can solve the problem. They did respond once, indicating that the feeds had been reset for both blogs, but nothing has changed. I apologize to everyone for this continuing and very annoying glitch.

If you wish to resubscribe, please use this feed:

December 13, 2005

Nature Archives Move Back to 1960

.: Today's Knowledgespeak announced that Nature has moved its archives back to 1960. Excerpt:

Nature Publishing Group (NPG), UK, has announced the addition of another decade of Nature issues to its online archive at www.nature.com/nature/archive. This includes 53,069 articles from 522 issues published between January 1960 and December 1969. Nature is presently digitising archives back to 1950. The content is being released in instalments of 10 years until its completion in late 2006. Once completed, the Nature archive will contain nearly 154,500 articles from 2,399 issues.

December 12, 2005

Research Patterns of Engineers - Different by Discipline?

.: Joe Kraus, Science Library at Penrose Library, U Denver, is writing a book chapter covering how engineers do research, and is investigating whether or not research patterns differ between the various engineering disciplines. From his e-mail sent to various discussion groups:

I am writing a chapter covering how engineers do research. It is pretty difficult to generalize research patterns of scientists, since the disciplines have marked differences in the way they go about researching in their fields, but is that true for the various areas of engineers?

Do civil engineers perform research that much differently from electrical engineers, and from aerospace, from chemical, from mechanical? I have not read anything that really distinguishes the research patterns of the different types of engineers.

For example, I'll bet that electrical and computer engineers tend to use a much higher percentage of conference literature than mechanical engineers, but I can't find a source that /clearly/ differentiates information use patterns between the types of engineers. Does one group use patents more than others? Does one group use standards or technical reports more than others?

I've looked at a number of sources, such as King's Communication Patterns of Engineers, Pinelli's chapter on the "Information-seeking behavior of Engineers" (Encyclopedia of library and information science, vol 52, page 167-), Information Sources In Engineering, etc., but I can't find anything that says aerospace engineers use X% patents, y% journal literature, Z%conference lit, etc.

C.D. Hurt in his book, Information Sources in Science and Technology, does make some general distinctions between electrical, mechanical, civil etc.engineers, but he does not give any data to show that mechanical engineers rely more on handbooks than some of the other types engineers. It is just apparent from his bibliography that mechanical engineers use a lot of handbooks, because of the number that are published.

Anybody know of a source, or is this the beginning of a good research project?

I will summarize and send back to the lists, if I get a good bibliography.

Joseph Kraus Science Librarian
Univ. of Denver 2150 E. Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80208
v.303.871.4586 fax.303.871.2290
jokraus AT du.edu

December 9, 2005

Update On Engineering Information Sources - Roddy MacLeod

.: Roddy MacLeod presented a session on engineering info resources recently at Online Information 2005 in London. The slides from his presentation, Update on Engineering Information Resources, are available, along with a complete list of resources cited within. Roddy covers news resources, blogs, newsletters, and the latest developments from the major engineering db producers, and publishers of important engineering titles.

December 8, 2005

Survey: Science/Engineering Librarian Participation In Professional Organizations

.: Edited from an entry on STS-L and other discussion groups:

Please share your experiences in participating in professional organizations with us!

We are collecting information for a study on the role participation in professional organizations plays in the mentoring, recruitment and retention of science and engineering librarians. The survey should take between 5 and 10 minutes and should help us learn more about the benefits and challenges of sci-tech librarian participation in professional organizations. Results of the study will be published in a future issue of Science & Technology Libraries.

Please click on the following link to go to the survey:

We will collect responses until December 23. Thank you for your help and participation!

Jeanne Davidson
Physical Sciences Librarian
The Valley Library, Oregon State University
Voice: 541-737-7275
E-mail: jeanne.davidson AT oregonstate.edu

Cheryl Middleton
Acting Head of Public Services
The Valley Library, Oregon State University
Voice: 541-737-7273
E-mail: cheryl.middleton AT oregonstate.edu

Engineering-Related OA Journals Published by Hindawi

Hindawi Publishing Corp. publishes a dozen Open Access journals, 10 of which are directly applicable to engineering.

- George Porter

December 7, 2005

Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources

.: OCLC has released a report that may be of interest to you. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) "summarizes findings of an international study on information-seeking habits and preferences."

With extensive input from hundreds of librarians and OCLC staff, the OCLC Market Research team developed a project and commissioned Harris Interactive Inc. to survey a representative sample of information consumers. In June of 2005, we collected over 3,300 responses from information consumers in Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Perceptions report provides the findings and responses from the online survey in an effort to learn more about:

  • Library use
  • Awareness and use of library electronic resources
  • The Internet search engine, the library and the librarian
  • Free vs. for-fee information
  • The "Library" brand
The findings indicate that information consumers view libraries as places to borrow print books, but they are unaware of the rich electronic content they can access through libraries. Even though information consumers make limited use of these resources, they continue to trust libraries as reliable sources of information.
.: BTW, I need to advise that I am having major difficulty untangling problems with the RSS feeds from this site, which currently point to my personal blog. I am working to try to solve this, and ask for your patience in the meantime.

Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship Seeks Your Opinion!

.: From an e-mail on STS-L:

Librarians are never short on opinions. Consider sharing yours by submitting a piece for the Viewpoints column in a future Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, STS' highly-read open access electronic journal.

The next issue of the journal is scheduled for February. Interested authors should send a draft (or proposal) of their column to the column editor via email by January 6. Topics should be timely and of interest to librarians and information specialists in science and technology. Topics do not have to match the issue's planned theme.

For more information see the ISTL author information page:
http://www.library.ucsb.edu/istl/viewpoints.html. Everyone is looking forward to reading what you have to say!

David Flaxbart
ISTL Viewpoints Editor
flaxbart AT uts.cc.utexas.edu

December 5, 2005

The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia - Brief Review

.: The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia, is an ambitious three-volume set published by ABC-CLIO. This encyclopedia is a "major expansion of the RUSA-award winning predecessor", History of the Internet: a Chronology, 1843 to the Present, by Christos J.P. Moschovitis, Hilary Poole, Tami Schuyler, and Theresa M. Senft. The 312 page title was one of the ALA's Reference and User Services Association's 2000 Outstanding Reference Sources. Rather than increase the size of the previous single volume, the editors and authors chose to separate the issues, history, and biography components into their own volumes for the 2005 edition.

Volume I: Biographies, was written by Laura Lambert, and contains 41 entries on 44 personalities critical to the development of the internet. Those chosen for inclusion are not limited to pioneers associated with technological developments only: for example, Lambert includes biographies of science fiction writers William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, lawyer and professor Lawrence Lessig, and of course, Marshall McLuhan. Other entries include noted hackers John T. Draper (Cap'n Crunch) and Kevin Mitnick, Napster founder Shawn Fanning, and the usual suspects: Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee, Marc Andreesen, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, et al. Each entry is from 4-7 pages, and includes suggestions for further readings, works by the subject if available, books and articles about the subject, and related websites.

Volume II: Issues, was written by Chris Woodford, and has 35 entries on a wide range of topics, including: Activism and the Internet, Cookies, Cyberterrorism, Data Mining, Digital Libraries, E-books, Education and the Internet, Hackers, Internet Broadcasting, Online Communities, Open Source, P2P Networks, Spam, and Wireless Internet. At 283 pages, this is the largest of the three volumes, with entries between six and ten pages in length. For each entry, Woodford provides background, a brief history, trends, and controversies and responses. Sidebars include additional information. For example, the E-books entry includes sidebars on E-ink and SmartPaper, and E-book Horror Stories. Blogs did not warrant their own entry, but instead are included in the section, Journalism and the Internet. I was surprised that social software components such as instant messaging, social bookmarking and tagging, wikis, photo sharing, online interest groups, social networking, user forums, RSS, and even search engines such as Google and Yahoo, receive little coverage in this volume.

Volume III: Chronology, was written by Chris Moschovitis and five other authors, and covers the same time period as the earlier edition, 1843-present. The history is divided into eight chapters, ending in 2004. In the early 1800s, Charles Babbage worked on designs for his Difference Engine (also the title of a novel by Gibson and Sterling), and by 1840, proposed a design for his Analytical Engine. 1843 is chosen as the opening date for the Internet's prehistory, the year that Sketch of the Analytical Engine by Charles Babbage appeared. Written by LF Menabrae, the report was translated by Ada Lovelace, who, according to the authors of this volume, quadrupled the manuscript's length by adding her own analysis and commentary. Slightly dated Internet statistics and a bibliography of online resources to Internet history are also provided.

In each entry in the Biography and Issues volumes, further reading from within these two volumes is also suggested, if appropriate.

The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia
is a great place to start when looking for biographical, social, and historical information about the Internet. At US$285, it is expensive, but worth the price if your library needs a current and detailed reference tool covering this topic. I like the organization of the encyclopedia: each volume is relatively small in size, and the concise, brief entries make it easy to sift through the set, find a topic or biography of interest, and start reading from there, rather than have to read each volume from beginning to end.

Of note, the ABC-CLIO site includes a preview of the E-book version of this title, which, as of this writing, seems to include the entire encyclopedia!

December 2, 2005

OA Librarian - New Collaborative Open Access Blog

.: Andrew Waller, U Calgary, posted an e-mail to Jerome-l regarding a new collaborative blog on open access issues, called OA Librarian. From his e-mail:

OA Librarian is a new, cooperatively produced weblog, which combines a pathfinder function with news and commentary on open access and librarianship. Please visit us here: http://oalibrarian.blogspot.com/

Under OA Resources on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll find links to free open access resources in Library and Information Science: the LIS journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, and two open archives for LIS: E-LIS and D-LIST. There are also links to bibliographies and advocacy tools.

Postings vary widely: news items pertinent to librarians, relevant conference presentations, and other blogs or resources about open access developed by librarians.

One theme of OA Librarian is highlighting the work of librarians who advocate for Open Access. Recent articles focus on Antonella de Robbio, the originator of E-LIS; Anita Coleman, the driving force behind DLIST; and Charles W. Bailey, Jr., the author of the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints
and Open Access Journals.

Blog team members are:

  1. Marcus Banks, New York University School of Medicine
  2. Anita Coleman, University of Arizona School of Information Resources & Library Science: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~asc/
  3. Lesley Perkins, Blogmaster
  4. Andrew Waller, University of Calgary
  5. Heather G. Morrison, British Columbia Electronic Library Network: http://www.poeticeconomics.blogspot.com/
Please visit OA Librarian: http://oalibrarian.blogspot.com/.

December 1, 2005

NetSpeed 2005 Presentations Available

.: NetSpeed 2005 was held in Edmonton, Alberta, from 19-21 October 2005. Each NetSpeed conference focuses on the newest technological developments in the library world. The presentations from the 2005 conference are now available at the conference website.