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March 17, 2008

Roddy MacLeod: New Resources Help Engineers

.: I am as usual way behind in making mention of this, but nonetheless: From the February/March 2008 issue of Research Information:

"Roddy MacLeod gives an overview of the latest engineering research information in 2007 and looks at what 2008 promises to offer in this discipline"
Not much I can add to that summary. Thanks for the good work, Roddy!

May 9, 2006

TechXtra - A New Resource for Searching in Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing

.: Roddy MacLeod, Senior Subject Librarian at Heriot Watt U in Edinbugh, sent the following press release announcing TexhXtra (pronounced Tech-Extra) a new initiative from the creators of the Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library, EEVL, which itself is about to undergo a major change. From the press release:

TechXtra suite of free services simplifies access to technology information

http://www.techxtra.ac.uk

Finding technology information just became easier!

TechXtra is a suite of ten freely available services which simplify access to a multitude of different types of technology information from a host of different sources.

TechXtra facilitates immediate access to the freely available full-text content of hundreds of thousands of eprints, technical reports, theses, articles, news items, job announcements and more. In cases where the full-text is not freely available, TechXtra provides links to vendors for pay-per-view options. TechXtra searches a combination of digital repositories, journal databases, technical reports servers, web information, news sources and more, all with a focus on technology information.

Anyone looking for information in technology will find TechXtra useful, especially researchers, academics, students and practitioners.

Continue reading "TechXtra - A New Resource for Searching in Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing" »

January 23, 2006

Engineering: The Changing Information Landscape - Roddy MacLeod

.: The latest issue (.pdf) of FreePint, #198, 19th January 2006, features a short piece by Roddy MacLeod, titled “Engineering: the changing information landscape”. Excerpt:

My first FreePint article on engineering portals appeared back in issue No. 66 (6th July 2000). Quite a number of things have changed since that time. The first part of this article revisits some of the resources I shared back then. The second section is an analysis of some useful engineering-related digital repositories which have emerged over the past five years. Finally, the third section comments on the changing engineering information landscape.
One observation that fascinated me is how the major engineering domains of the past have changed or disappeared altogether. This is definitely worth the read.

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.

Continue reading "Research Patterns of Engineers - Different by Discipline?" »

December 8, 2005

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

May 3, 2005

Engineering Design Classes - Jeanine Williamson

:: Jeanine Williamson, Engineering Librarian at Hodges Library, U Tennessee, recently surveyed other engineering librarians regarding resources they use when preparing for and instructing in engineering design classes. Here is her report:

Design Classes

Often different teams in a design class have different information needs. It may be best to talk with team leaders one on one.

One library assigns LIS graduate students to each design group to help them with their information needs.

Types of information used include patents, standard databases like IEL, INSPEC, e-books, and data handbooks; industry standards, trade catalogs, handbooks, demographics.

Sites to look at:

www.library.ualberta.ca/subject/chemicaleng/chemguide/index.cfm
www.library.ualberta.ca/subject/materialseng/materialsguide/index.cfm
(Randy Reichardt, University of Alberta)
http://sirsi-rooms.bucknell.edu/rooms/portal/media-type/html/user/anon/page/ChemicalEngineering.psml/js_pane/P-fe20781409-10402
(Jim Van Fleet, Bucknell University)
http://web.library.uiuc.edu/grainger/top.asphttp://web.library.uiuc.edu/grainger/top.asp
(Linda Ackerson, UIUC)
http://g118.grainger.uiuc.edu/engdesign
(William Mischo, UIUC)

Patents, Industry Standards, Trade Catalogs, Handbooks, Demographics (population, consumption, market data),
(Sharon Shafer, UCLA)

Patents
http://patents.uspto.gov/index.html
USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office
http://www.freepatentsonline.com
FreepatentsOnline
http://ep.espacenet.com
European Patent Information (US/WO/JP Patents Search)
http://www.depatisnet.de/
DEPATISnet information:
http://www.surfip.gov.sg/sip/site/sip_home.htm
SurfIP

Industry standards
http://www.global.ihs.com/

Trade Catalogs
e.g. McMasterCarr etc.
http://www.mcmaster.com/
GlobalSpec
http://www.designinfo.com/
industrial ebay (http://business.stores.ebay.com/)

Demographics

LexisNexis Statistical
MarketResearch.com
RAND
STAT-USA
TableBase
World Development Indicators (CD-ROM)
Indicators Online

www.library.ubc.ca/scieng/toolkit
(Kevin Lindstrom, University of British Columbia)

My guess is that this is just the tip of the iceberg of resources developed and used by engineering librarians throughout the continent. Thanks to Jeanine for allowing me to post her results here.

April 27, 2005

Survey: Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computer Sciences and Technology Reference Tools

:: Diane Kovacs has posted the following message to a number of discussion lists, and is looking for input:

Dear Colleagues,
I've posted this survey to LIS-Scitech, STS-L, ELDNET-L, publib,
libref-l, LIS-LINK, DIG_REF, ERIL-L, Buslib-L, Govdoc-L, and
livereference. Please feel free to forward to your local or regional
discussion lists or individuals that might be interested:

Physical Sciences - http://www.kovacs.com/surveys/physscicoresurvey.html
Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology -
http://www.kovacs.com/surveys/engtechcoresurvey.html

These are updates of the core reference surveys I've been doing every
other year or so. I will post the data I gather back to the lists I
post the surveys to for everyone to share. I am revising and will
post additional reference subject core tools surveys well.
http://www.kovacs.com/misc.html

Thank you very much for your thoughtful assistance.
Cordially,
Diane
--
Diane K. Kovacs, Web Teacher

April 21, 2005

Engineering Design Classes - Jeanine Williamson

:: Jeanine Williamson, Engineering Librarian at Hodges Library, U Tennessee, recently surveyed other engineering librarians regarding resources they use when preparing for and instructing in engineering design classes. Here is her report:

Design Classes

Often different teams in a design class have different information needs. It may be best to talk with team leaders one on one.

One library assigns LIS graduate students to each design group to help them with their information needs.

Types of information used include patents, standard databases like IEL, INSPEC, e-books, and data handbooks; industry standards, trade catalogs, handbooks, demographics.

Sites to look at:

www.library.ualberta.ca/subject/chemicaleng/chemguide/index.cfm
www.library.ualberta.ca/subject/materialseng/materialsguide/index.cfm
(Randy Reichardt, University of Alberta)
http://sirsi-rooms.bucknell.edu/rooms/portal/media-type/html/user/anon/page/ChemicalEngineering.psml/js_pane/P-fe20781409-10402
(Jim Van Fleet, Bucknell University)
http://web.library.uiuc.edu/grainger/top.asphttp://web.library.uiuc.edu/grainger/top.asp
(Linda Ackerson, UIUC)
http://g118.grainger.uiuc.edu/engdesign
(William Mischo, UIUC)

Patents, Industry Standards, Trade Catalogs, Handbooks, Demographics (population, consumption, market data),
(Sharon Shafer, UCLA)

Patents
http://patents.uspto.gov/index.html
USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office

http://www.freepatentsonline.com
FreepatentsOnline

http://ep.espacenet.com
European Patent Information (US/WO/JP Patents Search)

http://www.depatisnet.de/
DEPATISnet information:

http://www.surfip.gov.sg/sip/site/sip_home.htm
SurfIP

Industry standards
http://www.global.ihs.com/

Trade Catalogs
e.g. McMasterCarr etc.
http://www.mcmaster.com/
GlobalSpec
http://www.designinfo.com/
industrial ebay (http://business.stores.ebay.com/)

Demographics

LexisNexis Statistical
MarketResearch.com
RAND
STAT-USA
TableBase
World Development Indicators (CD-ROM)
Indicators Online

www.library.ubc.ca/scieng/toolkit
(Kevin Lindstrom, University of British Columbia)

My guess is that this is just the tip of the iceberg of resources developed and used by engineering librarians throughout the continent. Thanks to Jeanine for allowing me to post her results here.

March 3, 2005

Stuff You Don't Learn in Engineering School

:: Carl Selinger, an independent consultant in various industries including aviation and transportation, has written a timely book for engineering students called Stuff You Don't Learn in Engineering School: Skills For Success in the Real World 1. He is also a contributing editor to IEEE Spectrum, writing the career strategy column for the magazine. Twelve of his career strategy columns were subtitled with the same title as his book, as part of a professional development series for younger engineers.

Stuff You Don't Learn In Engineering School covers a lot of ground for a 178-page book, and is designed to help the new graduate prepare for life in the corporate engineering world. Its purpose is to help new engineers learn the important "soft skills" they will need to succeed and grow in the workplace and beyond. Topics covered include writing, speaking and listening, making decisions, getting feedback, setting priorities, being effective in meetings, understanding yourself and others, working in teams, learning to negotiate, being creative, workplace ethics, developing leadership skills, adapting to the workplace, coping with stress, and having fun.

What's missing, of course, is research and information gathering skills. Are such skills not critical to the success of the new engineer, or simply not considered "soft skills"? Words like "library", "database, and "research" do not appear in the index. Mr Selinger holds two engineering degrees, and has extensive college teaching experience, and as such, must be aware of the major research tools of the engineering profession. I wonder why he chose to exclude this important component of the engineer's professional career from his book? Stuff You Don't Learn in Engineering School is peppered throughout with quotations from engineers Mr Selinger has met through his seminar series. The first quotation reads:

What you don't know will hurt you and hold you back. - Consulting engineering at Cooper Union Seminar
My question to that engineer is: would "what you don't know" include a lack of knowledge and awareness of major engineering information and research resources? Ron Rodrigues, in his article, "Industry Expectations of the New Engineer" (requires subscription to view), lists numerous reasons why developing strong research skills and expertise in using online databases would help the engineering working in industry 2. These include finding licensable technologies, checking to see if an experiment has been done already, identifying research frontiers, locating and creating patents and other intellectual property, developing new products or upgrading existing ones, improving processes, solving equipment-failure problems using root cause analysis, and many more.

Perhaps Mr Selinger does not consider research and information gathering skills to be "soft", and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt until informed otherwise. However, new engineers need to be aware of the information resources that serve their profession, and how to use them. In his 2001 article, Mr Rodrigues notes that "Engineering literature is growing exponentially and beginning to move more quickly towards a digital future." In 2005, this is a reality, as publishers are making their indexes and abstracts, for decades available only in print, now available online back to Year 1 of publication. These include Compendex, Inspec, SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts), NTIS, and many others.

If and when Mr Selinger decides to publish a second edition of his very timely and useful book, I hope he decide to include a chapter on research and information gathering skills. Meanwhile, do consider adding this title to your engineering collection. Since first becoming aware of it, I have mentioned the book in every information resources session I teach in mechanical, chemical and materials engineering.

1. Selinger, Carl. 2004. Stuff You Don't Learn in Engineering School. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press; Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Interscience.

2. Rodrigues, Ron. 2001. "Industry expectations of the new engineer." Science & Technology Libraries 19(3/4): 179-188.

January 4, 2005

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

November 19, 2004

EEVL Announces New Subject Specific Ejournal Search Engines

:: Four new search engines, indexing freely available e-journals published in computing science, engineering, mathematics, and all three subjects together, are now available from EEVL, the "Internet Guide to Engineering, Mathematics and Computing." The four engines are:

A list of the journals indexed is here.

When looking for information of higher quality and utility, users are being offered more options to search the 'net than just Googling. These include EEVL's new search engines, Google Scholar, RedLightGreen, the Yahoo! toolbar with OCLC WorldCat searching capabilities, along with Scirus.

September 17, 2004

Paranoid Engineers

:: We received a copy of Essays on the History of Mechanics: In Memory of Clifford Ambrose Truesdell and Edoarda Benvenuto in our library this week. The book is published by Birkhuser, and edited by Antonio Becchi, Massimo Corradi, Federico Foce, and Orietta Pedemonte. I began leafing through it before adding it to the collection, and started to read the first essay, "Truesdell and the History of the Theory of Structures", by Jacques Heyman, of the University of Cambridge. I don't know anything about mechanics, or about Truesdell or Benvenuto, but was fascinated to read the abstract of the article:

There is an established heirarchy in the field of physical science: the mathematician tops the physicist who in turn tops the engineer. Further, the historian of science knows that he is operating on a higher plane than those whose history he is studying. This is not a view shared by working scientists, and Truesdell was aware of the contempt he was in danger of arousing by defecting from his proper work to study its history. But mathematics developed so rapidly that only a practising mathematician such as Truesdell, not a professional historian, can give a proper description of, for example, the work of Euler.
That certainly got my attention, so I continued to read the first paragraph, which noted that:
All engineers suffer from paranoia: but even though an engineer is paranoiac, he may in fact be low man on the totem pole. Certainly a physicist knows that he is measurably superior to the engineer - so much so that engineering problems are hardly worth the physicist's attention. Indeed, the problems are so trivial that they are, for the large part, invisible to the physicist. In the same way the mathematician knows that the problems of physics, if only they were properly formulated, could be solved without ugly recourse to real experiment, or without the need for virtual experiment by computer.
I wasn't aware of this pecking order. I wonder if there are jokes along the lines of, "An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician are in boat, and ..."

September 13, 2004

Indexing of ASEE Proceedings in Compendex

:: Much discussion has ensued recently on ELDNET-L, regarding the coverage of the annual proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education. The 1997 and 1998 proceedings are in Compendex, but some editions have not been indexed yet. Rafael Sidi, of Elsevier Engineering Information, Inc, responded on ELDNET-L:

ASEE Conference Proceedings are an intended part of the Compendex coverage, but due to acquisition hurdles, some editions (2003,2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1996) have not been indexed. We place a high priority upon adding ASEE Conference Proceedings and are currenty in the process of acquiring the missing years. The content will appear in Compendex shortly.

Sincerely,
Rafael Sidi
VP, Publishing Engineering :: Elsevier Engineering Information, Inc. ::
r DOT sidi AT elsevier DOT com

August 24, 2004

Communication Patterns of Engineers - Review by Christina Pikas

:: Christina Pikas, who maintains On Christina's Radar, has written a concise, informative review of the book, Communication Patterns of Engineers, by Carol Tenopir and Donald W King. The review appeared in the online journal, E-STREAMS Vol. 7, No. 7 - July 2004. The review is a reminder to read the book, which continues to sit on my desk, staring at me, daring me to open it...

August 20, 2004

Palm PDA Resources for Engineering

:: Matthew Miller, professional engineer and creator of palmsolo's Life with PDAs , has compiled a list of engineering applications which are compatible with a Palm powered PDA.

August 10, 2004

Engineering Information Retrieval Pilot Tutorial

:: In July, Jay Bhatt, Information Services Librarian (Engineering), Hagerty Library, Drexel University, posted a message to SLA-ENG about a tutorial designed to assist undergraduate engineering students at Drexel in the use of Engineering Village 2. From the tutorial introduction:

Welcome to the Engineering Information Retrieval pilot tutorial. The result of a collaboration between the Drexel University's Hagerty Library and Elsevier's Engineering Village 2, it is meant primarily for undergraduate engineering students facing their first big research project.

The tutorial covers in turn a general review of information sources, how to develop a search strategy, where to find relevant articles, how to arrange to receive article updates, and patent searches. The Table of Contents visible on the left hand part of the screen allows you to jump from topic to topic. You can also use the Next and Previous buttons in the upper right hand corner of the frame to move from topic to topic.

Where there are multiple pages on a specific topic, a new set of buttons entitled Click here to continue and Click here to go back will appear in the four corners of the main content frame, as appropriate. You can also use the browser Back and Forward buttons if desired. After maneuvering through a topic or two you will become quite comfortable with the navigation.

Jay is interested in feedback, and is encouraging others to examine the tutorial. To do so, go to the My Evolve site.

The username and passwords is: jmeyer01. Under 'My Courses', click "Engineering Information Retrieval". Click "Course Material" button under the 'Announcements' button. Under "Engineering Information Retrieval Course", click on "Click to Launch". It may take a few seconds before it is launched.

Please send feedback to Jay at bhatt AT drexel DOT edu.

July 21, 2004

Full-Text of Proceedings - What's Available?

:: At SLA in Nashville in June, I learned that Materials Research Society has made their proceedings available online, from their 2000 MRS Spring Meeting. SPIE offers the SPIE Digital Library, which includes all proceedings from 1998, #3245 to the present. IEEE offers their conferences online back to 1988 via the IEEE/IEE Electronic Library.

As far as I can determine, other associations such ASME or ASCE are not offering this service. Does anyone know of other associations or societies which are making their conferences or proceedings available online? I'll add your responses to this post, and I will post this message to ELDNET and SLA-ENG.

June 14, 2004

The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century [and] Communication Patterns of Engineers

:: The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century, has been released by The National Academies Press. The book can be purchased, but also read online for free (as can >3,000 other NAS titles). The book is from the National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies. Seems like a lot of academies to me. From p2 of the Executive Summary:

This report is the result of an initiative of the National Academy of Engineering that attempts to prepare for the future of engineering by asking the question, "What will or should engineering by like in 2020?" Will it be a reflection of the engineering of today and its past growth patterns or will it be fundamentally different? Most importantly, can the engineering profession play a role in shaping its own future? Can a future be created where engineering has a broadly recognized image the celebrates the exciting roles that engineering and engineers play in addressing societal and technical challenges? How can engineers best be educated to be leaders, able to balance the gains afforded by new technologies with the vulnerabities created by their byproducts without compromising the well-being of society and humanity. Will engineering be viewed as a foundation that prepares citizens for a broad range of creative career opportunities? Will engineering reflect and celebrate the diversity of all the citizens in our society? Whatever the answers to these questions, without doubt, difficult problems and opportunities lie ahead that will call for engineering solutions and the talents of a creative engineering mind-set.

:: Also worth a mention is the recent title by Carol Tenopir and Donald W King, Communication Patterns of Engineers. Tenopir and King were present at SLA to autograph copies of their book, published recently by Wiley. About the book:
Communication Patterns of Engineers brings together, summarizes, and analyzes the research on how engineers communicate, presenting benchmark data and identifying gaps in the existing research. Written by two renowned experts in this area, the text:
  • Compares engineering communication patterns with those of science and medicine
  • Offers information on improving engineering communication skills, including the use of communication tools to address engineering departments concerns about the inadequacies of communication by engineers
  • Provides strong conclusions to address what lessons engineering educators, librarians, and communication professionals can learn from the research presented

May 19, 2004

Engineering Librarians Collaborate on Three Mile Island Book

:: Word just came by that TMI 25 Years Later: The Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Accident and its Impact, by Bonnie Anne Osif, Anthony J. Baratta, & Thomas W. Conkling, has been published by Penn State University Press. From the publisher's web site:

Three Mile Island burst into the nations headlines twenty-five years ago, forever changing our view of nuclear power. The dramatic accident held the worlds attention for an unsettling week in March 1979 as engineers struggled to understand what had happened and to bring the damaged reactor to a safe condition. Much has been written since then about TMI, but it is not easy to find up-to-date information that is both reliable and accessible to the non-scientific reader. TMI offers a much needed one-stop resource for a new generation of citizens, students, and policy makers.

The legacy of Three Mile Island has been far reaching. The worst nuclear accident in U.S. history marked a turning point in our policies, our perceptions, and our national identity. Those involved in the nuclear industry today study the scenario carefully and review the decontamination and recovery process. Risk management and the ability to rationally and understandably convey risks to the general population are an integral part of implementation of new technologies. Political, environmental, and energy decisions have been made with TMI as a factor, and while studies reveal little environmental damage from the accident, long term studies of health effects continue. TMI presents a balanced and factual account of the accident, the cleanup effort, and the many facets of its legacy twenty-five years later.

The authors bring extensive research and writing experience to this book. After the accident and the cleanup, a significant collection of videotapes, photographs, and reports were donated to the University Libraries at Penn State University. Bonnie Osif and Thomas Conkling are engineering librarians at Penn State who maintain a database of these materials, which they have made available to the general public through an award-winning website. Anthony Baratta is a nuclear engineer who worked with the decontamination and recovery project at TMI and is an expert in nuclear accidents. The book features unique photographs of the cleanup and helpful appendixes that enable readers to further investigate various aspects of the story.

Continue reading "Engineering Librarians Collaborate on Three Mile Island Book" »

May 6, 2004

Science and Engineering Indicators 2004

:: Science and Engineering Indicators 2004 has been released:

The Science and Engineering Indicators, a biennial report series published by the National Science Board, is designed to provide a broad base of quantitative information about U.S. science, engineering, and technology for use by public and private policymakers. Because of the spread of scientific and technological capabilities around the world, this report presents a significant amount of material about these international capabilities and analyzes the U.S. position in this broader context. [via ResourceShelf]

April 6, 2004

Ephemera for Engineers and Scientists

:: This interesting article by Donald Christiansen, from the Feb 2004 issue of IEEE-USA Today's Engineer, discusses Ephemera for Engineers and Scientists. Excerpt:

The problem manifests itself in other ways. Many technical articles now include references to Internet addresses, as opposed to hard-copy resources. Authors and readers alike complain that many of these URL-identified references seem to vaporize with time. A study led by Robert Dellavalle of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center revealed some startling numbers. Summarized in Science magazine, it reported that in one dramatic instance, 108 of 184 Internet addresses became inactive within four years. In tabulating the combined results from articles that appeared in three major journals Science, JAMA, and NEJM the study team reported that 3.8 percent of Internet references were inactive three months after journal publication, 10 percent after 15 months and 13 percent after 27 months.

March 29, 2004

GlobalSpec Introduces The Engineering Web

:: From Information Today:

March 29, 2004 GlobalSpec, a specialized online resource for engineering, has launched a new interface, added more powerful search functionality, and has introduced a specialized search engine it is calling The Engineering Web, which it says provides engineering context and relevancy and access to Hidden Web resources. The newly introduced engine searches more than 100,000 engineering and technical Web sites and provides searching of specialized content the company says is not available on any other search engineapplication notes, patents, material properties, and standards.
This is an interesting site which of which I was not aware. In addition to "The Engineering Web", you can also search for:

March 9, 2004

New Information Literacy SIG for Engineering

:: A new information literacy discussion group has emerged:

ELD-ILit is an electronic discussion list addressing issues related to information literacy and library instruction within engineering libraries or engineering disciplines. ELD-ILit is sponsored by the Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Subscription to the list is open to ASEE/ELD members and non-members alike.

February 17, 2004

Reviews of Three US Government Databases/Info Services

Gerry McKiernan (Iowa State U) has made available self-archived copies of reviews from The Charleston Advisor of three important US federal databases/information services:

1) Energy Citations Database

Review: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gerrymck/EnergyCitations.pdf

2) Science.gov

    Science.gov is a gateway to authoritative and reliable science and technology information produced by major U.S. Government agencies selected by the representatives of the respective agencies. It was developed by the science.gov Alliance, a federal interagency working group of 16 scientific and technical information organizations from 11 major science units.
Review: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gerrymck/Science.gov.pdf

3) TranStats - The Intermodal Transportation Database

    Launched in September 2002, TranStats: The Intermodal Transportation Database is a "new [Web portal] * for transportation researchers and analysts, aimed at providing 'one stop shopping' for transportation data". Although aimed at governmental and nongovernmental transportation specialists, planners, and consultants, TranStats will also be of value to government documents librarians and other information specialists, and the worldwide transportation community and educated public.
Review: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gerrymck/TranStats.pdf

The Charleston Advisor provides free and subscriber-based access to "Critical Reviews of Web Products for Information Professionals"

February 9, 2004

News from IOP

The information below regardings developments to the Institute of Physics' (IOP) Electronic Journals service was received in an e-mail from the IoP.

    *Electronic Journals Quick Guide*
    A new step-by-step guide to our Electronic Journals service is now available online. A good introduction for new users and a useful refresher for existing ones, the Quick Guide runs through all of the key features of the service including searching, clustering, e-mail alerting and reference linking (forwards and backwards).

    The Quick Guide has been prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint so it can be used in a number of ways: you and your library users can work through it onscreen (in 'slide show' mode); the slides can be used for presentations or training sessions and/or they can be printed out and distributed as handouts.

Continue reading "News from IOP" »

January 7, 2004

ACS President Weighs In On Soaring Journal Prices and Open Access

:: ACS President Charles P Casey is featured in the 5 Jan 2004 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. His column, Challenges for Chemists, Chemistry, and ACS, addresses a number of issues, including rising costs of journals, and the open access movement:

    I think that the solution to soaring library costs does not lie with open-access publishing but rather with electronic journals from scientific societies that are made available at reasonable costs. The solution will also require scientists to exert pressure on commercial publishers. The time has come for chemists who are editors or editorial board members of commercial journals to use their considerable influence to strongly urge publishers to greatly reduce their prices. I believe it is also time for chemists to consider whether they will continue to support exorbitantly priced commercial journals by serving as editors, editorial board members, authors, and referees!

January 2, 2004

Elsevier to Close Three End-User Portals

:: From Infotoday: "December 29, 2003 An in-house employees newsletter, Elsevier Today, dated Dec. 3, revealed that a company review of portal operations had decided that the contribution of this form of marketing to S&T's [science and technology] current business is not sufficient to continue the associated high investments. Therefore, Elsevier plans to discontinue operation of its three end-user portalsBioMedNet (http://www.bmn.com), ChemWeb (http://www.chemweb.com), and ElsevierEngineering.com. Some current activities will migrate to the main Elsevier.com site, which may have some redesign." - Barbara Quint

:: Geoff and Randy wish all our readers a very Happy New Year!

December 19, 2003

Engineering Information announces electronic backfile dating to 1884

:: Engineering Information, a division of Elsevier, has announced the forthcoming availability of the Engineering Index Backfile. As of December 2003, the backfile will be available exclusively via the Engineering Village 2 platform.

Backfile subscribers will have desktop access to a breadth and depth of engineering literature coverage never before available to aid in their research. The Engineering Index has been the premiere information source abstracting and indexing engineering literature for over a century and forms the foundation of Compendex®, the world's most widely accepted bibliographic database covering the engineering field. Each volume of the Engineering Index, dating from 1884 through 1969, will be digitized to comprise the complete backfile.

The Engineering Index Backfile contains close to 2 million records and references major engineering innovations pioneered throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Citations for articles on the first internal combustion engine, the foundations of aviation, telecommunications and computing are among the advances contained within the backfile.

December 9, 2003

CSA Hot Topics

:: Cambridge Scientific Abstracts produces monthly Hot Topics, which they describe as "Comprehensive information on current issues with an overview of the subject, key citations with abstracts, and links to web sites." The two most recent Hot Topics are the Columbia Shuttle Tragedy and Dimethylsulfide Emission: Climate Control by Marine Algae?

November 27, 2003

New Web Sites of Interest

:: New and interesting web sites, featuring descriptions from the EEVL Catalogue.

    Ethics in Computing. "Ethics in Computing is a guide to topics such as privacy, intellectual property, computer abuse, commerce, social justice and speech issues. It also covers basic ethical issues such as whistle-blowing. The site has annotated links to useful sites, which include case studies, articles and news stories, and provides a study guide and discussion questions."

    EngNet Engineering Directory. "EngNet is a directory, search engine, and buyers guide service aimed specifically at the engineering industry enabling them to source engineering products, services, and companies. The directory can be searched and browsed by products, companies, or brandnames. A glossary of terminology, technical information and design tools are also provided."

    eFluids. "eFluids is a speciality web portal designed to serve as a one-stop web information resource for anyone working in the areas of flow engineering, fluid mechanics research, education and directly related topics. The site contains an events listing, and also a gallery of fluid flow images. In addition, an education section lists tutorials, educational tools and materials, and students competitions, as well as departments, laboratories and institutes and centres. Further sections cover publications, a buyers guide (and brief glossary), jobs, who's who, companies and vendors, research, professional societies and consultants. Links to sites of related interest are also provided."

November 19, 2003

SME SourceTM and NanoGuitars

:: ebrary and SME Launch Worlds Largest Full-Text Database of Publications in Manufacturing Engineering. The new database is called SME Source, and includes:

    4,000 books, journals and technical papers in manufacturing engineering, including the nine-volume Tool and Manufacturing Engineers Handbook series, current and all back volumes of Journal of Manufacturing Systems and Journal of Manufacturing Processes.

:: As a guitar player of some 37+ years, I was interested to see this news release about the new, Flying V NanoGuitar. It falls under the category of NEMS (Nanoelectromechanical Systems), which is two orders of magnitude smaller than MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems).

The original "nanoguitar", about the size of a blood cell, was developed in 1997.

I'm looking forward to the first CD release of nanoguitar music!

Continue reading "SME SourceTM and NanoGuitars" »

November 9, 2003

EEVL Announces OneStep Industry News and OneStep Jobs News

From EEVL, The Internet Guide To Engineering, Mathematics and Computing, comes word of two new services for scanning industry news and jobs announcements.

    EEVL: the Internet guide to engineering, mathematics and computing, is delighted to announce the launch of two new, free services which will make it much easier to scan the latest industry news and jobs announcements from top sources in engineering, mathematics and computing. The new services are so easy to use that they have been named OneStep Industry News, and OneStep Jobs News.
Both services employ RSS (Rich Site Summary, aka Really Simple Syndication) to gather together, or "aggregate", the latest headlines in news and careers in engineering, computing, and math.
    Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology, the OneStep services aggregate the very latest headlines and announcements from top sources and present them in an easily accessible format. Only the very latest industry and news headlines are included in the OneStep services, and by following direct links, the complete full text is available from participating publishers' own websites, in 'one step'.
Sources used for One Step Jobs are limited to UK sites, but more sources are to be added in the future, hopefully including those in North America.

October 8, 2003

Stuff You Don't Learn In Engineering School, and What To Expect Beyond

:: The Sept 2003 issue of IEEE Spectrum features the first of a series of articles by Carl Selinger, called "Stuff You Don't Learn In Engineering School." As John Dupuis suggests, there is a role that engineering librarians can play in teaching some of that "stuff", including research and library skills. Yesterday I spent 50 minutes with 155 Mechanical Engineering 465 design students, and did my best to impress upon them the importance of developing these skills for use beyond their capstone design projects, i.e., in the field, when they are employed as full-time engineers.

One approach I take is to highlight examples of why they will need research skills, such as failure analysis, technology integration, developing new products or upgrading existing ones, developing intellectual property, confirming existence of studies or experiments to avoid duplication of effort, locate licensable technologies, etc. This information, and more, is extracted from the following article, which I distribute to each student in their handout package. I recommend it highly if you are interested in getting engineering students to begin thinking of life beyond the classroom.

September 17, 2003

Engineers and Weblogs

:: Karen Auguston Field, Chief Editor of Design News, describes Why Every Engineer Needs a Weblog.

August 5, 2003

Engineers Without Borders - International

:: "Engineers Without Borders - International constitutes a network of several humanitarian organizations ... that have emerged over the past 20 years or are emerging in several countries around the world. All these organizations share the same mission, which is to help disadvantaged communities improve their welfare, livelihoods, quality of life, and dignity through implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students and engineering professionals. The network creates links between like-minded organizations and cuts across national borders". In Canada, the group is called Engineers Without Borders (Canada) - Ingnieurs Sans Frontires (Canada).

July 11, 2003

Sci-Tech and Engineering Resources, and Ed Krol

:: Remember Ed Krol? I do, I bought an early edition of The Whole Internet - it still sits on my shelf, and was written during the pre-browser days. Ed's retired now and enjoying life.

:: I just discovered SciTechDaily via the Sci Li Ref blog (Loyola). It is published in association with Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future (from PBS). SciTechDaily does its best to "link to the most thought-provoking, well researched online items in the world of science and technology."

:: Have you read the Sci-Tech Library Newsletter by Stephanie Bianchi? "The Sci-Tech Library Newsletter is a monthly publication produced by Stephanie Bianchi of the National Science Foundation, which is based in the United States. The newsletter highlights new and important web sites in the areas of science, technology and engineering."

:: Heard about AVEL - Sustainability Knowledge Network? "AVEL Sustainability Knowledge Network is a portal and brokerage service for engineers, other professionals and researchers concerned with sustainable systems. It is also a resource for students in senior secondary and tertiary education." AVEL = Australasian Virtual Engineering Library.

"By creating the Sustainability Knowledge Network, the AVEL team is leading the development of a global network called the Virtual Engineering Library for Sustainable Development (VELSD). The International Council for Engineering and Technology (ICET) initiated the VELSD project."
:: Geoff is off to the east coast for the next two weeks, and I've gone to Winnipeg for a short break, so new entries may be less frequent during that time, if at all. Thank you for visiting our site, feedback is always welcome.