November 8, 2004

Inspec Archive Added to Engineering Village 2

:: From Information Today Newsbreaks:

Elsevier Engineering Information, Inc. announced the availability of the IEE’s Inspec Archive to the Engineering Village 2 Web-based discovery platform. The Inspec Archive is the result of the digitization and enhancement of the Science Abstracts Journals, which date from 1898 and cover published literature in physics, electrical engineering, and computing and control. Inspec is a bibliographic database providing global coverage of scientific and technical literature in the fields of physics, electrical engineering, electronics, and computer science. Engineering Village 2 supports seamless searching of the Inspec Archive with the Inspec database. Combined, the collections contain more than 2.5 million historical records.

September 21, 2004

IEEE Title Change - Again!

:: George Porter notes the following title change (actually a split into two new titles). This is one of those "what the - ??" moments, that makes you wonder if someone at IEEE lost it for a moment when this decision was made regarding the timing. George suggests that this change could complicate OpenURL linking services. Consider the plight of the poor serial cataloguer as well, not to mention the headaches this will cause researchers trying to nail down a specific issue. And then there will be the citation screwups in article bibliographies...

IEEE has changed the title/website, mid-year/volume no less, of IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation to IEEE Transactions on Robotics. Same ISSN, though, which is bound to complicate many an OpenURL linking service. Here's a brief review of the historic run of this journal, arranged in reverse chronological order..

IEEE Transactions on Robotics
Fulltext v20(4)+ (August 2004+); ISSN: 1042-296X

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
Fulltext v5-20(3) (1989-June 2004); ISSN: 1042-296X

IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation
Fulltext v4 (1988); ISSN: 0882-4967

IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation
Fulltext v1-3 (1985-1987); ISSN: 0882-4967

- George Porter

Brian Quigley noted the new title that emerges from this mid-volume split is called:

IEEE Transactions on Automation Science & Engineering
Fulltext v1+ (July 2004+); ISSN: 1545-5955

The other annoying bit is that IEEE hasn't crossreferenced the title change from the existing page on IEL. In other words, the IEL page for Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions references earlier versions of the journal, but doesn't link to the new version, Robotics, IEEE Transactions on [see also Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on]. You will notice the See Reference from the new title to the previous version, but as well, there is no actual link to the previous incarnation from the this page. Does that make sense?

At the very least, IEEE might had a new ISSN assigned to IEEE Transactions on Robotics, to prevent future problems with online catalogues, software using ISSN's for linking, etc.

August 24, 2004

Developments at IEEE Xplore

:: New journal debuts on IEEE Xplore, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology & Bioinformatics. The ACM Digital Library version of this journal is not yet available.

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
Fulltext v1+ (2004+)
ISSN: 1545-5963

Unfortunately, there is still no indication that IEEE will be including two of the more recently introduced IEE journals in Xplore any time soon. Systems Biology is supposed to have its first issue released in Summer 2004. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing appears to date from 2000, although I've seen neither hide nor hair of it in Xplore nor seen any mention of it through the various IEEE alerting services.

- George Porter

July 29, 2004

Engineering Web Offers Specialized Information -- ResearchBuzz, July 28, 2004

ResearchBuzz posted the following resource today:

Engineering Web Offers Specialized Information

Engineering Web Offers Specialized Information Catalogs, application notes, patents, product announcements, and a whole bunch of other stuff is available for search at GlobalSpec's Engineering Web ( ), a search engine for engineers.

Most of the real estate on the front page is devoted to a browse/search of over 11,000 supplier catalogs. On the left, though, you'll see a search for the "engineering Web" (engineering Web sites, good for the most part, needs a wee bit of tightening, "Carol Burnett" got 54 results many of which were obviously out of place). There's also application notes (concrete got 824 results), material properties sheets (concrete got 1,826 results), patents (crawling three different patent databases from 1982-present), and tools & useful sites (set up sort of like a searchable subject index, with categories covering both engineering-specific topics and ready reference.) While these specific data collections are useful if you're trying to zero in on something, you might want to search everything. Note the search form at the top of the home page and all the other pages I looked at. A query box lets you search any one or all of the components on the site.

In addition to all these searches, the site also offers a newsletter, a toolbar, and job listings.

July 22, 2004

IEEE Presentation from Nashville SLA Conference Now Available

:: The slide presentation from the annual IEEE Customer Breakfast session on Jun8, 2004, at the Nashville SLA conference is now available for viewing. From the IEEE site:

IEEE Announces New Initiatives at Special Libraries Association Conference – Presentation Now Available Online

June 2004 – The IEEE announced several new initiatives in its online publishing program this month during a breakfast for the library community at the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Nashville.

The announcements made during the meeting include the launch of two new IEEE journals in 2005, a flexible new online collection designed for corporations, plans to grow IEEE's archival digital content and forthcoming updates to the IEEE Xplore online delivery platform.

Jonathan Dahl, Staff Director of IEEE Sales & Marketing, explained how IEEE measures the quality of its collections to the librarians in attendance. Beyond the traditional elements of price and citations, a statistical study reveals that patents are citing scientific information more than ever before, and that top patenting organizations cite IEEE more frequently than competitor's journals. To support the study, Dahl cited Qualcom's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology as a high-impact, patent that relied on IEEE publications for patent approval.

In addition, Barbara Lange, Director of IEEE Publications Business Development, reviewed several recently launched enhancements to the IEEE Xplore platform. Improved navigation features, among other enhancements, help to meet the varied needs of researchers. She also presented a preview of the enhancements planned for next year's IEEE Xplore 2.0 release.

IEEE is pleased to make this presentation available online.

Special thanks to Rachel Berrington for bringing this to my attention.

June 22, 2004

IEEE Support Site for Libraries

:: While at SLA in Nashville earlier this month, I learned of IEEE's great library support page. Divided into two sections, the page offers information about training for libraries, and tools for libraries. Selected items include an IEEE Xplore tutorial, precise instructions for implementing OPAC links, and 10 tips to encourage use of IEEE online products in your organization.

June 18, 2004

IEEE News from SLA

:: I attended the annual IEEE Breakfast at SLA last week in Nashville. Despite being semi-conscious from lack of sleep, I was able to scribble a few notes, and hope that I can translate them into something coherent for STLQ! Some of the items mentioned included:

  • IEEE has a new "warm failover" site, with a mini-IEL configuration; in the event of a disaster like the 2003 power outage, it could be online within an hour
  • While not new to some of the breakfast audience, it was noted that IEEE Xplore® upgraded to Release 1.7 on April 29, 2004. Included in this release was the Full-Text Search Prototype:
    IEEE Members and users at subscribing institutions now have the option to test full-text search capabilities in IEEE Xplore. The new Full-text Search Prototype allows you to search metadata fields (as before) and the associated full-text journal/transaction content from 1996 forward. This currently represents over 10% of the IEEE Xplore database. In the coming months, we will be expanding the full-text search capability to more documents in the database.
    The other significant upgrade with Release 1.7 is that reference links are now available for most IEEE periodicals:
    The recent addition of references in more than 20 IEEE Computer Society journal and magazine Abstract Plus records now allows you to link from most IEEE periodicals in IEEE Xplore. Like other content in IEEE Xplore, links will send users to documents within IEEE Xplore, to external publisher sites via CrossRef, or to the Ask*IEEE Document Delivery Service for immediate purchase of non-IEEE content. Reference lists are available for most IEEE periodicals starting from 1995 or 1996.

    Reference sections are not available for the following publications:
    • IEEE conference proceedings and standards
    • IEE journals, magazines, and conference proceedings

  • Release 2.0 is in development, with rollout expected to be early 2005. New features expected include a new graphical design, free basic search functionality for non-subscribers, and publication branding.
  • Beyond Release 2.0, IEEE is considering adding a profiling function, consolidating conference files, and integrating IEEE press book content. Open URL compliance is also being studied.
  • Consideration is being given to providing individual title usage statistics
  • We learned that as of February 2004, Google referrals are now just under 12% of IEL queries.
  • 38% of content of periodicals used in IEL has been published in the last three years
Further up the line, IEEE is thinking of adding more content, such as patents, author profiles, and tutorials, as well as non-traditional content, such as interactive mathematics, multimedia, and visualization tools. The slides from the breakfast presentation should be available on the IEEE web site sometime soon.

June 7, 2004

Report from SLA 1

:: I am in Nashville attending the annual SLA conference. A few items of interest:

May 19, 2004

What's New @ IEEE in Computing, May 2004


1. Aiding Seniors: From Mainframe Healthcare to Personal Wellness (and
2. Try the New Full-Text Search Prototype in Latest IEEE Xplore Release
3. DNA Computers Work as "Smart Drugs"
4. In the Eye of The Beholder: IEEE Spectrum Reports
5. New Standard Offers Systems Approach to Computer Battery Reliability
6. Budapest to Host Conferences on Fuzzy Systems and Neural Networks
7. New Web Page Helps Researchers Purchasing Articles Through IEEE Xplore
8. PERCOM Proceedings Address Seamless Mobility
9. 2005 IEEE Election Candidates Revealed
10. Zero or One: Just the Beginning?
11. Backscatter: The Collyers and the Web

April 28, 2004



Read this issue online:

1. IEEE Scores Victory for Scholarly Publishing with OFAC Ruling
2. Study Shows IEEE Journals Priced 39% Below Market Average
3. Journal Explores Link Between Music and Engineering
4. Attending SLA? Sign Up for IEEE Breakfast
5. New Proceedings Address Latest on Optical Technologies
6. Context Information Helps Solve Data Quality Problems
7. Hot Off the Press: Guide to Intellectual Property Law
8. Digital Libraries Conference Coming in June
9. National Electrical Safety Code Archive Collected on CD-ROM
10. Conference Calls for Papers Listed at New IEEE Web Page
11. 3-D Scanners Measure Up: IEEE Spectrum Reports
12. Getting to Know Your Customers
13. "Hidden Data" -- What Can It Reveal?

April 20, 2004

New Products and Services

:: Wiley has released a new database called Organic Reactions:

Organic Reactions is a comprehensive database of important synthetic reactions, together with a critical discussion of the reaction and tables that organize all published examples of the topic reactions. Chapters that focus on reactions of current interest are solicited bythe board of editors from leading chemists worldwide. The publication process entails a comprehensive peer-review process, ensuring the high quality and attention to detail for which this series is noted. The database currently consists of over 75,000 reactions, and will grow to over 135,000 reactions within the next two years.

:: Elsevier Engineering Information has launched a new service called Referex Engineering:

A specialized electronic reference product, Referex Engineering draws upon hundreds of premium engineering titles to provide engineering professionals with the answers and information they require, at work and in practice.

Referex Engineering comprises three carefully crafted collections combining key sources of reference material. Content ranges from broad based engineering titles to highly specialized professional reference texts, provided an extensive and detailed base of reference material to support researchers, academics, R&D engineers, technicians and corporate engineers alike in their diverse work processes.

Each collection includes:

  • Handbooks of engineering fundamentals
  • Situational reference
  • Titles focused on technique and practice
  • How-to guides
  • Highly specialized professional information
  • Scholarly monographs
Referex Engineering is available via the industry leading Engineering Village 2 platform, making it simple to find and utilize the information you need. All Referex Engineering titles are fully searchable, enabling users to drill down into extensive reference sources in simple steps and to pinpoint the specific information required to support and progress their work. Whether fueling innovation, discovery or simply providing the information necessary to get the job done right, Referex Engineering is an essential tool for all walks of the engineering community.
The three collections available are: Chemical, Petrochemical and Process, Mechanical and Materials, and Electronics and Electrical. It includes over 300 full-text electronic reference titles in PDF format. (via: NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest.)

April 15, 2004

IEEE Announces Plans for Upcoming IEEE Xplore Release

From an e-mail received this afternoon: In the coming weeks, IEEE will release IEEE Xplore 1.7, which will feature the following enhancements for institutional subscribers and IEEE Members:

  • Reference sections for IEEE Computer Society magazine and journal articles published since 1995 to the present will be incorporated into IEEE Xplore and will be accessible from Abstract Plus records.
  • IEEE will also deploy the first phase of a full-text search prototype. Accessible from a special link on the IEEE Xplore Search pages, users will have the option to test the new full-text search capabilities, or continue to use the "traditional search" of abstract records. At launch, approximately ten percent of the documents in the entire IEEE Xplore database will be full-text searchable. As more full-text content is indexed, the dataset of full-text searchable content will grow considerably throughout the year.
For questions about this release, please contact IEEE Online Support.

April 6, 2004

IEEE Scores First Amendment Victory for Scholarly Publishing

:: From the IEEE website:

5 April 2004 -- IEEE scored a victory for freedom of the press and the scholarly publishing community with the ruling it received Friday from the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The ruling exempts peer review, editing and publication of scholarly manuscripts submitted to IEEE by authors living in countries that are under U.S. trade embargoes, such as Iran and Cuba. OFAC determined that IEEE’s publications process is "not constrained by OFAC's regulatory programs.” Read the news release and the OFAC ruling.

March 24, 2004

Convex Optimization

:: Electrical Engineering professors Steven Boyd (Stanford) and Lieven
(UCLA) are publishing a new book on Convex Optimization. Issued in print by Cambridge University Press (ISBN: 0521833787), the authors retained online rights to distribute it themselves. (Via George Porter.)

February 26, 2004

IEEE Distributed Systems Is IEEE's First Free Online Publication

:: From What's New @ IEEE for Libraries, v6 n2 Feb 2004:

    "This year, IEEE Distributed Systems Online becomes the IEEE's first free Web-based publication. Published by the IEEE Computer Society, the journal is sponsored by IEEE Internet Computing and IEEE Pervasive Computing magazines. Original, peer-reviewed material from monthly issues will be available for free on the journal's Web site, as will educational, tutorial and information services. Launched in 2000, IEEE Distributed Systems will now contain more exclusive, original material, and will have a full schedule of special article series associated with conferences and workshops. The magazine's entire archive is available at its Web site, and will be available in IEEE Xplore at a later date. Visit:

December 10, 2003

Wiley Electrical and Electronics Engineering Dictionary

"The newly released "Wiley Electrical and Electronics Engineering Dictionary" from Wiley-IEEE Press offers almost 900 pages of definitions for a vast array of electrical engineering terms and acronyms used in today's literature. This reference text is organized to present the desired information in the place it is first looked up. This invaluable resource may be ordered by visiting:"

October 31, 2003


New: CINDAS (Purdue University's Center for Information, Numerical Data Analysis and Synthesis) LLC database has been released on CD-ROM or as a licensed web-based product. Read more from NewsFactor SciTech.

August 29, 2003

Soft Walls - Preventing Aircraft From Being Used as Weapons

:: In the wake of Sept 11, 2001, researchers in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley are studying ways to prevent aircraft from being used as weapons, with a project called Soft Walls. (From: The Scout Report)

    In brief, modern aircraft all have electronics on board that is involved with the control and navigation of the aircraft. Many of the newer planes have computers on board that mediate the commands issued by the pilot and translate those commands into action, for example to bank and turn to the right. It is possible to modify the software in the computers in such a way that an airplane will refuse to enter pre-specified regions. We call these regions “no fly zones” and we call the boundaries of these regions “Soft Walls.” If an aircraft is equipped with the Soft Walls system, then if the pilot attempts to enter a no-fly zone, the airplane will be diverted. This happens gently at first, but if the pilot does not cooperate, then the system becomes more assertive. The key principle is to give the pilot as much control over the aircraft as is consistent with the constraint that the airplane does not enter the no-fly zone.
The Soft Walls research study is part of The Ptolemy Project, which "studies modeling, simulation, and design of concurrent, real-time, embedded systems. The focus is on assembly of concurrent components."