October 24, 2005

Petroleum Journals Online

.: Jay Bhatt on STS-L and Roddy MacLeod in the Internet Resources Newsletter have reported on a new open access initiative regarding petroleum engineering. Petroleum Journals Online is a new publishing initiative involving a number of open access journals covering a variety of topics in petroleum engineering:

Petroleum Journals Online (PJO) publishes the first fully refereed e-journals of petroleum engineering. The publications cover the following main areas of petroleum engineering namely: petrophysics, production geology, drilling, production, reservoir engineering, and petroleum management and economics. Content and editorial board composition are international in scope. Articles are accepted on the basis that they will make a lasting contribution to technical literature. Information regarding scope, policies and author guidelines specific to each of the e-journals can be found by visiting the "About" section within the relevant journal's website.
So far, only one issue is available, that being v1 n1 2005 of the e-journal of reservoir engineering.

Of interest are the many "Reading Tools" available with each article, including links to author bios, "capture the citation", Dublin Core metadata, "add comment to the item", and links to related items such as other works by the author(s), quotations, book reviews, etc.

May 10, 2005

Ovid Adds Petroleum Abstracts

:: From Information Today:

Ovid Technologies (, a provider of electronic medical, scientific, and social sciences information solutions, announced that Petroleum Abstracts’ TULSA database is now available through the Ovid Web Gateway. Ovid is an operating company of Wolters Kluwer Health, a division of Wolters Kluwer, the multinational publishers and information services company.

Petroleum Abstracts (PA) is a service of The University of Tulsa. Its TULSA database contains more than 800,000 records dating back to 1965. The references are derived from more than 300 journals published worldwide, proceedings from 250 annual petroleum conferences, patent gazettes, books, dissertations, government reports, and other sources. Approximately 500 new entries are added weekly; more than 25,000 are added annually. The TULSA database is indexed by petroleum engineers and geoscientists using PA’s controlled vocabulary of index terms from the Petroleum Abstracts Exploration & Production Thesaurus and Geographic Thesaurus. Each entry also includes a PA accession number, which can be used to order a full-text copy of any available document from the Petroleum Abstracts Document Delivery Service (PADDS).

[Editor’s Note: TULSA is also available on the Dialog and Questel•Orbit online services.]
Source: Ovid Technologies, Inc.

Petroleum Abstracts has always been an index and database of contradictions: great content combined with poor accessibility, either through its print indexes, CD-ROM, or the current platform it offers, which allows no printing, downloading, selection of records, etc. Hopefully moving it to Ovid will change that.

October 5, 2004

Energy Information Administration - Example of a Great Web Site

:: I've been meaning for some time to sing the praises of the web site of the Energy Information Administration: Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government. When I work with chemical engineering design students, inevitably some of them will require oil and gas prices while working on their design projects. On my Resource Guide for Chemical Engineering, I created a section called Chemical and Petroleum Industry: Statististics, Prices and Production, where as many good sources for chemical and petroleum/energy prices of which I am aware are listed.

I discovered the Energy Information Administration serendipitously in September, while checking for updates on the Natural Gas Annual. As I began to investigate the site more thoroughly, I became more impressed with each clickthrough.

The site seems to have been designed by a person or persons well versed in creating user-friendly web sites with an nod towards rock solid usability. Visit the site, and you are greeted with two sets on menus: one asks, "How do you want to access energy information?", giving the options: by geography, fuel, sector or price. The other menu asks, "Or would you like to access specific subject areas?", and offers process, environment, forecast and analyses options. Immediately, you can consider how you want to navigate the site to find your data.

The types of energy for which data are provided include: petroleum, electricity, renewable energy (including solar thermal, alternative-fueled vehicles, wood, photovoltaic cells), natural gas, and coal.

Often our students are searching for historical data, including crude oil prices from years past. The page with links to US Petroleum Data is outstanding. Historical data is available in .xls format, which permits users to export the data to spreadsheets for further analysis. Check weekly crude oil spot prices back to January 1986 in Excel format. In addition, links are provided to papers providing analyses of market outlooks, prices, trends, and so on.

It gets better. Find a publication in which you are interested, and the site tells you when it was posted, and when the next update will be. For example, the Monthly Energy Review: as of this posting, the September 2004 issue is available. The page tells us it was posted on September 28, 2004, and the next issue will be posted in the last week of October, 2004. Basic and brilliant. Not sure of which aspect of your chosen energy source you are interested? Scan by topic - petroleum topics, for example. The site isn't restricted to US data. International data and information are provided.

Applying web site evaluation criteria, including usability, accuracy, currency, authority, scope, objectivity and purpose, and the conclusion is: this site rocks.