Friday, December 28, 2007

Most Literate U.S. Cities: Denver is 4th...

This in from Yahoo News.

Most Literate U.S. Cities: Minneapolis and Seattle

Residents of Minneapolis and Seattle are the most bookish and well-read, according to results from a new survey released today of the most literate American cities.

The survey focused on 69 U.S. cities with populations of 250,000 or above. Jack Miller of Central Connecticut State University chose six key indicators to rank literacy. These included newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources.

Overall, the top 10 most literate (and wired) cities included:

1—Minneapolis, Minn.
2—Seattle, Wash.
3—St. Paul, Minn.
4—Denver, Colo.
5—Washington, D.C.
6—St. Louis, Mo.
7—San Francisco, Calif.
8—Atlanta, Ga.
9—Pittsburgh, Pa.
10—Boston, Mass.

Etc., etc., etc....

Monday, December 24, 2007

Norad tracks Santa


ARL Report -- Agenda for Developing E-Science in Research Libraries

Agenda for Developing E-Science in Research Libraries

From the Executive Summary -- "E-science has the potential to be transformational within research libraries by impacting their operations, functions, and possibly even their mission. Recognizing this potential, the ARL Steering Committees for Scholarly Communication and for Research, Teaching, and Learning jointly appointed a task force in 2006 to address the emergent domain of e-science. The Joint Task Force on Library Support for E-Science focused its attention on the implications of trends in e-science for research libraries, exploring the dimensions that impact collections, services, research infrastructure, and professional development. Priorities of government funding agencies further shaped the task force’s work."

"Open Access & Science Publishing" report

Open Access & Science Publishing
Results of a Study on Researchers’ Acceptance and Use of Open Access Publishing
Thomas Hess / Rolf T. Wigand / Florian Mann / Benedikt von Walter
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - This Management Report summarizes the main descriptive results of a study on researcher’s acceptance of Open Access publishing. The study was conducted in 2006 by the Ludwig-Maximilans-University Munich, Germany, in cooperation with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The main focus is centered on the question if and why scientists decide or do not decide to publish their work according to the Open Access principle without access barriers and free of cost to readers. With the responses from 688 publishing scientists it could be demonstrated that the general attitude toward the Open Access principle is extremely positive. However, many seem to be rather reluctant to publish their own research work in Open Access outlets. Advantages like increased speed, reach and potentially higher citation rates of Open Access publications are seen alongside insufficient impact factors, lacking long-term availability and the inferior ability to reach the specific target audience of scientists within one’s own discipline. Moreover the low level of use among close colleagues seems to be a barrier towards Open Access publishing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two new articles/reports

Here are some new articles/reports from the Open Access Blog.

1) Future of Scholarly Communication: Building the Infrastructure for Cyberscholarship. ("Institutional repositories were the stated topic for a workshop convened in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this year (April 17-19, 2007) by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United Kingdom's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). While in their report on the workshop, Bill Arms and Ron Larsen build out a larger landscape of concern, institutional repositories remain a crucial topic, which, without institutional cyberscholarship, will never approach their full potential.")

2) Mike Rossner, Heather Van Epps, and Emma Hill, Show me the data, Journal of Cell Biology, December 17, 2007. (Excerpt: The integrity of data, and transparency about their acquisition, are vital to science. The impact factor data that are gathered and sold by Thomson Scientific (formerly the Institute of Scientific Information, or ISI) have a strong influence on the scientific community, affecting decisions on where to publish, whom to promote or hire, the success of grant applications, and even salary bonuses. our knowledge, no one has independently audited the underlying data to validate their reliability....)

Monday, December 17, 2007

New report from EDUCAUSE and the New Media Consortium

The Horizon Report provides a time line of future Web 2.0 technologies. There are many implications for academic libraries."The focus of the Horizon Project centers on the applications of emerging technologies to teaching, learning, and creative expression, and the format of the Horizon Report reflects that focus. Each topic includes an overview to familiarize readers with the concept or technology at hand, a discussion of the particular relevance of the topic to those activities, and examples of how the technology is being or could be applied."

More about SCOAP3

Here is some more info about SCOAP3 from Symmetry Magazine.

Free for all -- "Forget about paying for journal subscriptions. If a new proposal takes hold, particle physics journals would get their funding from labs, libraries, and agencies that sponsor research, and readers could peruse them for free." By Glennda Chui

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Visit to the American Geographical Society (AGS) Library

After I was done with Ammi Hyde Interviews in Milwaukee, I went to the American Geographical Society (AGS) Library which is housed within the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
"Background -- The AGS Library is one of North America’s foremost geography and map collections. Formerly the library and map collection of the American Geographical Society (AGS) of New York, it was transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries in 1978 following a nationwide selection process by the Society. The Society was formed in the early 1850's to promote the collection and diffusion of geographical and statistical information and to establish and maintain a library with a collection of maps, charts and instruments. By 1870, this library was already recognized as the “largest and most valuable” of its type in the United States."
Neato library -- I am glad I was able to visit for a little while.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Study of social science PhDs recommends changes for 21st century

This just in from

"The first multi-disciplinary study to examine the status of doctoral students in the social sciences at least five years after receiving their degree concludes that doctoral programs need to be brought into the 21st century."

For example, they found that "The average graduate student is not an 'unencumbered young man.' Schools need to confront the work-family tension that exists in doctoral careers, both for men and women, more than half of whom are married and in their early to mid 30's by the time they receive their PhD. Women reported making more compromises in juggling work and family than men."


SCOAP3 is short for the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics. It looks like an interesting organization.

"The Open Access (OA) tenets of granting unrestricted access to the results of publicly-funded research are in contrast with current models of scientific publishing, where access is restricted to journal customers. At the same time, subscription costs increase and add considerable strain on libraries, forced to cancel an increasing number of journals subscriptions. This situation is particularly acute in fields like High-Energy Physics (HEP), where pre-prints describing scientific results are timely available online. There is a growing concern within the academic community that the future of high-quality journals, and the peer-review system they administer, is at risk."

Friday, November 16, 2007


We now have GeoScienceWorld, and the 30+ journals that are contained within it. GSW is an unprecedented collaboration of six leading earth science societies and one institute.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG),
American Geological Institute (AGI),
Geological Society of America (GSA),
The Geological Society of London (GSL),
Mineralogical Society of America (MSA),
Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), and
Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

Design News Magazine Article

"Second Life: A Virtual Universe for Real Engineering," By applying SL building tools, engineers are facilitating a paradigm shift in computer-aided design, Matthew J. Traum, Contributing Editor -- Design News, October 22, 2007

"First there was the drafting table and the pencil. Then there was 2-D CAD; next came 3-D drafting utilities like SolidWorks and ProEngineer. Now, San Francisco-based Linden Lab has evolved computer-aided design to its next plateau, offering free access to a computer-generated alternative universe called Second Life (SL) where users can build anything."

ScienceDirect Backfiles

The records for over a thousand new e-journals in the ScienceDirect backfiles collection are now cataloged in Peak.

For example, we now have The Lancet going back to 1823, Physica to 1934, Physics Letters to 1962, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) to 1947 [it then split into 13 sections in 1964], and many, many more.

Here is a list of over 2,000 records for the ScienceDirect journals.

The New Librarians

The New Librarians -- Meet the risk-taking scholars who are shaking things up while they build tomorrow’s academic library.

"With its faded orange carpet, rows and rows of dusty stacks, and old-school study carrels, McMaster University’s H.G Thode Library of Science and Engineering looks like a place purposed with preserving the 1970s."
Bet you thought this was description of Penrose at first, huh? But, this is an interesting article from a Canadian perspective, eh.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Teaching Information Evaluation and Critical Thinking Skills in Physics Classes

This is a good article in The Physics Teacher, Vol. 45, No. 8, pp. 507–510, November 2007, and it is written by Adriana Popescu and James Morgan of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ.

"Not long ago, researching a school paper was a process that involved only one step: visit the library. These days students might not ever walk into a library since they have an immense amount of information at their fingertips (literally). In the end this may turn out to be an even more daunting task than browsing books in the library stacks or going through reels of microfilms of newspapers. There is a lot available, but how do you select, evaluate, and use what you find to best address the research question or to achieve the goal or task at hand? How will the “Millennial” generation (born 1980s–2000s) learn these skills? Can these skills be taught, and if yes, when and how should they be taught?"

Etc., etc., etc.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ghoulish Science Fun This Halloween

Stephanie Bianchi of the National Science Foundation Library always has an interesting set of links concerning how science and Halloween intermingle...

Criticism of the High Salaries of American Chemical Society Executives

This is reported in Sourcewatch. Essentially, the article claims "that executives at the American Chemical Society receive bonuses based on the profitability of the society's publishing division. These bonuses are approved by the Committee on Executive Compensation which was chaired by Bill Carrol." The article also explains why the ACS is against "Open Access" principles, since it would reduce the profitability of their journals. It also explains why they support the work of Eric Dezenhall and the rediculous "Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine" coalition. See Peter Suber of Earlham College has a point by point rebuttal of the PRISM coalition's stance in his Open Access News.

New Training Resources for SciFinder Scholar

I got a note from the CAS that they have some new training materials. The new how-to guides might be useful, and I've taken some of their e-seminars.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal

I received a notice that the IAU has a new online journal -- Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal. As I was browsing through some of the new articles, I noticed that DU was mentioned in the article, "Astronomy in Second Life: A User’s Perspective" by Adrienne J. Gauthier. (See

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chronicle of Higher Ed Article

The Chronicle has a new article, "Young Librarians, Talkin' 'Bout Their Generation: Up-and-comers discuss what will change and what needs to change." Too bad I don't fit into their demographic -- I just turned 40 this summer.

"Most people are familiar with the stereotype of librarians. They are twenty- or thirtysomethings, with tattoos, cat's-eye glasses, and vintage clothes, schmoozing with famous authors, and playing DJ at parties in Brooklyn.

Wait, that's just the stereotype in The New York Times. Last summer the newspaper declared young librarians hip — and, in the minds of some librarians, actually reinforced the other stereotype: that older members of their profession are reclusive bookworms and cranky old ladies."

Etc., etc., etc.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Librarians Protest Science's Departure From JSTOR

Have you heard the news that the AAAS will no longer contribute their articles from Science to JStor as of 2008? This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education covers the controversy.

As far as DU is concerned, we will keep our 1880-2002 archive in JStor, and we will continue to get the current issues from the AAAS from 1997-present. We are not planning on double purchasing the backfile from the AAAS.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Open Access Articles from PhysMathCentral

PhysMathCentral from BMC has just been launched -- The Penrose Library strongly supports BioMed Central and the Open Access Movement.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Safari Books Online (O'Reilly and others)

We now have over 1,500 books from O'Reilly and other CS publishers available online. Go ahead and take a look. We have a relatively expensive "2 user at a time" account. So, please log out when you are done with your session. We have access to the most recent 2-3 years of their ebooks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

IEEE Xplore Toolbar

If you would like a quicker way to search the IEEE literature, give this toolbar a try.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DU presence in Second Life

DU has been ramping up its presence in second life. The Physics and Astronomy Department plans to take advantage of the educational posibilities starting in 2008. See the recent articles in the July/August 2007 issue of Technology Review, Inside Higher Ed , and the Rocky Mountain news on Monday, September the 17th. Science Friday on NPR invites virtual observers and questions via SL at the DU Science School. I was able to ask a question that was nationally broadcast on September the 14th. Thanks to one of the DU Researchers, we now have a way for Second Lifers to contact the Penrose library with research questions. Just touch the sign (in the Olin Building of SL) to be redirected to the "Ask a Research Question" form.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Elsevier gives away journal articles?

Elsevier has figured out a way to give away some of their journal articles -- by harvesting the email addresses of medical doctors and by selling advertising space to pharmaceutical companies. Read on in this NY Times article.

A Medical Publisher’s Unusual Prescription: Online Ads

Published: September 10, 2007
By some measures, the medical publishing world has met the advent of the Internet with a shrug, sticking to its time-honored revenue model of charging high subscription fees for specialized journals that often attract few, if any, advertisements.

Over the weekend, went live. But now Reed Elsevier, which publishes more than 400 medical and scientific journals, is trying an experiment that stands this model on its head. Over the weekend it introduced a Web portal,, that gives doctors free access to the latest articles from 100 of its own pricey medical journals and that plans to sell advertisements against the content.

etc., etc., etc.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Plagiarism in Papers Posted on Physics Server

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "Turkish Professors Uncover Plagiarism in Papers Posted on Physics Server"

"Dozens of academic papers containing apparently plagiarized work have been removed by moderators from arXiv, the popular preprint server where many physicists post their work before publication, Nature is reporting (subscription required). According to the article, 67 papers by 15 physicists at four Turkish universities were pulled after an examination of their content revealed that they 'plagiarize the works of others or contain inappropriate levels of overlap with earlier articles.'"

One of the accused authors, Mustafa Salti, has written for many prominent journals, so some of these articles might be plagiarized, too.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Science and Engineering books

Here are the new science and engineering books that we received in August.

Science books in the Q's
Engineering books are in the T's.

We keep a list of the most recent new books received over the last three to four months.

Nature Titles

I was considering starting institutional subscriptions to the print versions of Nature Physics, Nature Materials, and Nature Methods. (Trying to get sitewide electronic access is a pain.) But, at the total 2008 price per year of $7,400 for the three magazines, that is just too much buck for the bang. So, if you want an article from one of these three, you can get it pretty quickly through Interlibrary Loan or through Article Linker / Citation Linker.

SciFinder Scholar 2007

If you want the new verison of SciFinder Scholar, please go to, you will need to log into Portfolio to download the Zip file.

Some new ebook resources

We have recently added Safari Books Online and the Morgan & Claypool set of online books. These vendors provide thousands of books in engineering and computer science.


I'd like to use this blog to send out announcement of stuff that might be of interest to science and engineering students and faculty at the University of Denver.