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

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" »

August 10, 2005

Plagiarized Math Title Withdrawn From Publication by AMS

:: An interesting item upon which I stumbled today (which may be old news to some.) The book, History of Mathematics from a Mathematician's Vantage Point, ostensibly "written" by Greek mathematician Nicholaos K. Artemiadis and published in 2004 by the American Mathematical Society, has been "outed" as a largely plagiarized work, based on respected author Morris Kline's Mathematical Thought From Ancient to Modern Times, Oxford University Press, 1972. Seth Braver, Dept of Mathematical Sciences, U Montana Missoula, writes in the v52 n8 August 2005 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society:

The AMS, one of the most important mathematical organizations in the world, has recently put its imprimatur on a shoddily written and ineptly plagiarized version of Morris Kline’s Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times. This ostensibly new book is entitled History of Mathematics from a Mathematician’s Vantage Point. Nicholaos K. Artemiadis claims to be the author.
Braver continues, comparing passages from each work, and noting "These two paragraphs are isomorphic."

Continue reading "Plagiarized Math Title Withdrawn From Publication by AMS" »

February 9, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 8, 2005

Guide to Information Sources in Mathematics and Statistics

:: Catherine Lavallée-Welch posted information on the new reference book by Martha Tucker and Nancy Anderson. The book is called Guide to Information Sources in Mathematics and Statistics:

This book is a reference for librarians, mathematicians, and statisticians involved in college and research level mathematics and statistics in the 21st century. We are in a time of transition in scholarly communications in mathematics, practices which have changed little for a hundred years are giving way to new modes of accessing information. Where journals, books, indexes and catalogs were once the physical representation of a good mathematics library, shelves have given way to computers, and users are often accessing information from remote places. Part I is a historical survey of the past 15 years tracking this huge transition in scholarly communications in mathematics. Part II of the book is the bibliography of resources recommended to support the disciplines of mathematics and statistics. These resources are grouped by material type. Publication dates range from the 1800's onwards. Hundreds of electronic resources-some online, both dynamic and static, some in fixed media, are listed among the paper resources. Amazingly a majority of listed electronic resources are free.
Purchasing this for our collection is a no-brainer; without seeing it, I know the book will be of the highest quality.

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.

May 14, 2004

Commentary: The Crisis In Scholary Communication, by George Porter

The crisis in scholarly communications is now well into its third decade by many accounts. I was discussing journal cancellations with a faculty member when we touched on Henry Barschal's seminal analysis of commercially and society published journal prices. Stanford and Yale have collaborated to document the entire case of Gordon & Breach v. American Institute of Physics and American Physical Society.

Library-publisher dynamics have not changed greatly in the intervening years, but the broader awareness and concern with the topic has undergone a sea change in the last few years.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) petition did not result in a massive boycott of journals. PLoS did make a significant splash with coverage in the broader news media at the time. The emergence of PubMed Central, BioMed Central, and PLoS as publishers has not gone unnoticed, perhaps due to the sensitization of faculty and the media through the earlier effort.

Continue reading "Commentary: The Crisis In Scholary Communication, by George Porter" »

April 16, 2004

Compositio Mathematica moves to new publisher; cuts price 1/3

:: Gerard van der Geer provides wonderful background on the history of Compositio Mathematica (CM) in an Opinion piece in the May 2004 issue of Notices of the AMS.

The article is available free, which is a nice touch. CM moved from Kluwer to London Mathematical Society/Cambridge University Press. Backfiles remain with Kluwer -- Fulltext v105-139 (1997-2003). Current material is on Cambridge -- Fulltext v140+ (2004+). Subscriptions are required for the fulltext access, though. No word yet on whether new subscribers will receive access to the backfiles or whether Kluwer will transfer the material to CUP.

Much like the analysis by Donald Knuth which led to the editorial board revolt at Academic Press' Journal of Algorithms, van der Geer "... became worried about the regular price increases that Kluwer Academic Publishers... imposed. These price increases threatened the orderly systems that had governed publishing in mathematics (and other sciences as well) for many years."

van der Geer and the Foundation Compositio Mathematica are to be commended for their awareness of the dangers to scholarly communication caused by unchecked journal subscription price increases and for having the willingness and fortitude to examine their options and to take action. - George Porter.

December 12, 2003

MathSciNet Enhancements, Largest Known Prime Number Discovered

:: AMS has made some enhancements to MathSciNet, including multilingual interfaces.

:: Speaking of numbers, in case you missed it, the largest known prime number was recently discovered by a 26-year old chemical engineering student. The number is 220,996,011-1, and is 6,320,430 digits long. It is a "Mersenne prime", which takes the form, 2P-1

December 5, 2003

Max Planck Research Awards 2003 Presented

:: "As part of the efforts to promote international cooperation in science, the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation presented the Max Planck Research Award for 2003 on November 26, 2003 at 5:30 PM to 12 scientists and researchers in an award ceremony at Harnack-Haus in Berlin-Dahlem. Each award is endowed with EUR 125,000 and gives highly qualified German and foreign scientists and researchers the opportunity to initiate, deepen, or expand mutual projects with the goal of achieving maximum scientific performance on the international scene."