Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peak Beta catalog has been updated

The new Peak Beta catalog has been updated.
Now, you can login to the system using your campus login and password. This is your DUID number and your Passcode. After you login, you can then tag your books. For example, faculty can mark the books they recommend for classes using a class number, such as Chem101 or INTS4999. Students can tag books by genre. Groups of people can mark books relevant for a group project. One can also easily limit by the format that is needed. Looking for a DVD? Easy, just limit your search to DVD/Video using the "refine" area on the left hand side.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pop quiz -- How many authors are there for this paper?

Take a look at the author list for this IOP journal article -- "The ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider." How many authors are there?

Thanks to the folks at the scholarly kitchen for noting...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another great video

Here is another good video that is about the Creative Commons...

Got this from the Travelin' Librarian.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Science Commons explained in just two minutes

Got a Boing Boing Blog pointer to this HD video via Jambina.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hubble Image Advent Calendar

This is a really cool Hubble astronomical image advent calendar. Thanks to Charles Early at NASA Goddard for finding this.

Chemists -- Don't party too hard...

CAS Registers 40 Millionth Substance

azulenobenzofuran derivative rel-(1R,2aR,5aR,7S,10bR,10cR)-1,2a,3,4,5,5a,6,7,8,9,10,10b-dodecahydro-1-phenyl-7,10c-epoxy-10cH-azuleno[4,5,6-cd]benzofuran

"On November 21, CAS Registry Number 1073662-18-6 was assigned to the azulenobenzofuran derivative at right. CAS REGISTRY, the world's most authoritative collection of disclosed chemical substance information, now includes 40 million organic and inorganic substances. More than 100 million CAS Registry Numbers have been assigned to organic and inorganic substances and biosequences.

The 40 millionth substance was identified by CAS scientists in a journal article published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition:

* Oh, C.H.; Lee, J.H.; Lee, S.J.; Kim, J.I.; Hong, C.S. Intramolecular Huisgen-Type Cyclization of Platinum-Bound Pyrylium Ions with Alkenes and Subsequent Insertion into a Benzylic C-H Bond. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 7505-7507."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ithaka's 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education

This report was published a couple of months ago. The blurb below was modified from OCLC's press release.

The report (PDF Format), based on a survey of faculty members to determine their attitudes related to online resources, electronic archiving, teaching and learning and related subjects, suggests a number of specific lessons for libraries:
  • The library is in many ways falling off the radar screens of faculty.
  • In a networked world, scholarship increasingly occurs across disciplinary or institutional boundaries, challenging the ability of any individual node to alone support this work.
  • For a campus or its library to create a viable information strategy for a competitive environment, it must develop and maintain a thorough understanding of the needs of its important constituents.
  • Despite the growing significance of information to scientists, the role of the library is diminishing in importance fastest among this group.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Engineers Rule | Forbes Magazine Article

"At American auto companies, finance guys and marketers rise to the top. Not at Honda.

Of all the bizarre subsidiaries that big companies can find themselves with, Harmony Agricultural Products, founded and owned by Honda Motor, is one of the strangest. This small company near Marysville, Ohio produces soybeans for tofu. Soybeans? Honda couldn't brook the sight of the shipping containers that brought parts from Japan to its nearby auto factories returning empty. So Harmony now ships 33,000 pounds of soybeans to Japan."
Read on for more...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Libraries are still a critical resource

I just read this in the new issue of the November ASEE Prism magazine, p. 10.

Lyle D. Feisel, Dean Emeritus, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, State University of New York at Binghamton, former president of ASEE wrote:
"Library Still a Critical Resource"
(ASEE members will need to login with your ID/password combo.)

"As usual, Henry Petroski provides serious food for thought, this time in his article expressing concern about the passage of the print library. As one who has long enjoyed the pleasures of unexpected discoveries while wandering the stacks of a great – or even a minor – library, I share his concern. It is not clear to me, however, that this will significantly change the nature of scholarship or of engineering problem solving."

[A buncho stuff deleted so I don't get trouble with the copyright police...]

"While that means they must give up some space, I’m sure they will continue to be a critical resource for engineers and the rest of the campus community, aided now by the increasingly ubiquitous computer."
For the most part, I think it is a good article, but he ignores the librarians who work in that space. Access to electronic resources is not provided in a vacuum. We figure out what books, journals, ejournals, databases, publishers, platforms, vendors and other resources are available with the money that is provided. We teach the students (and faculty) how to find, use and evaluate all of that data and information. In short, it is the people (librarians) who help the students and faculty turn all that stuff into knowledge.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

LibQUAL Survey Responses for Science Libraries

This is a particularly interesting report that was presented at the ARL/CNI Fall Forum, "Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future," October 16-17, 2008. In short, all science library patrons think they are short on electronic resources, it isn't just us.

LibQUAL+® in the Sciences

Highlights LibQUAL+® survey responses from faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in science/math, engineering/computer science, and health sciences across 302 libraries (including 53 ARL libraries). Reports library users’ perceptions and expectations of service quality and information literacy outcomes, such as contribution of the library to advancing in a discipline. Also reports use of the library premises, Web site, and non-library information gateways. Notably, ratings of information literacy outcomes have risen since 2004 across all user groups.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Great World Wide Star Count

Schoolchildren, families, and citizen scientists around the world will gaze skyward after dark from October 20 to November 3, looking for specific constellations and then sharing their observations through the Internet. The Great World Wide Star Count, now in its second year, helps scientists map light pollution globally while educating participants about the stars.

The event, which is free and open to everyone who wants to participate, is organized by the Windows to the Universe project at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), in conjunction with planetariums and scientific societies across the country and abroad. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation.

"The star count brings families together to enjoy the night sky and become involved in science," says Dennis Ward of UCAR's Office of Education and Outreach. "It also raises awareness about the impact of artificial lighting on our ability to see the stars."

The 2007 star count drew 6,624 observations taken on all seven continents, and organizers expect the number of participants to double this year. UCAR used last year's observations to generate maps of star visibility across the United States and around the world. The results show a strong correlation between development and a lack of night sky visibility. Next year, the star count will be included in a cornerstone project of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to promote interest in astronomy.

-----How the count works-----

Participants in the Northern Hemisphere will look for the constellation Cygnus, while those in the Southern Hemisphere will look for Sagittarius. They will then match their observations with
magnitude charts downloaded from the Great World Wide Star Count Web site (see below). The site contains instructions for finding the constellations and other event details, and it links to background about astronomy on the Windows to the Universe Web site.

Participants may make observations outside their homes or go to less developed areas where more stars are visible. Those in overcast areas who cannot see stars will be able to input data about cloud conditions instead.

Bright outdoor lighting at night is a growing problem for astronomical observing programs around the world. By searching for the same constellations in their respective hemispheres, participants in the Great World Wide Star Count will be able to compare their observations with what others see, giving them a sense of how star visibility varies from place to place. The observers will also learn more about the economic and geographic factors that control light pollution in their communities and around the world.

"Last year's results showed a strong correlation between dense development, where there is a lot of light, and a lack of star visibility," Ward says. "Without even being aware of it, many of us have lost the ability to see many stars at night. Part of our goal is getting people to look up and regain an appreciation of the night sky."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Open Access Day

Hope you all have a great Open Access Day. If you are interested, submit a blog post so you can enter a contest and win lots o' swag. It is simple, just answer the following questions in your post:
  • Why does Open Access matter to you?
  • How did you first become aware of it?
  • Why should scientific and medical research be an open-access resource for the world?
  • What do you do to support Open Access, and what can others do?
For more info on Open Access, take a look at posting from Peter Suber and John Wilbanks. You should also take a look at some of the great journals that are in the Directory of Open Access Journals. The Open Access Wiki is another great place to start.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The 2008 Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded!

The 2008 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded last night at the 18th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Recorded video is posted for your viewing pleasure, displeasure or indifference. Here is a list of the "winners".

Two interesting articles

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor, The Telegraph
"An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists."

Advancing Science through Conversations: Bridging the Gap between Blogs and the Academy -- PLoS Biology, 6(9): e240
"Scientific discovery occurs in the lab one experiment at a time, but science itself moves forward based on a series of ongoing conversations, from a Nobel Prize winner's acceptance speech to collegial chats at a pub. When these conversations flow into the mainstream, they nurture the development of an informed public who understand the value of funding basic research and making evidence-based voting decisions. It is in the interests of scientists and academic institutions alike to bring these conversations into the public sphere."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lots of new things today

Welcome back to school. The Penrose Library has lots of new things for the Fall Quarter.

1) We are pleased to announce the launch of a new home page! This redesign affects only the home page and is intended to feature our new tools for searching the catalog and article databases. The same content is still available on the home page and your old bookmarks and links to pages within our site will still work. Please let us know if you have trouble finding what you need on the new home page. Stay tuned for a complete Web site redesign this year!

2) Be sure to try out the new discovery tool, Encore, to search the catalog. Penrose has branded Encore as “PEAK Beta”, and made it the default catalog search. You can still search the “old” way by selecting “PEAK Classic” from the drop down box or going to the “Advanced Keyword Search”. Students love PEAK Beta’s more intuitive searching, refinement options, and tag clouds. Peak Beta’s relevancy-ranked results are more useful to most searchers. Peak Beta even corrects your spelling! For more precise searching, you will still have access to PEAK Classic and the “Advanced Search.”

3) The Book Drop Cafe is now open for business.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 26th Server Upgrades -- Very Limited Access to Databases and Peak

There will be no off-campus access to our databases on Tuesday, Aug. 26 because of server upgrades. Limited access to our databases may be available from on-campus via Database & Article Search. During this time, the Peak catalog will also be down. You may check the library’s holdings through Prospector. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chemistry Journal Use at the University of Denver

The article that Rachel Hansen and I worked on was finally published today. The title of it is -- "Local Evaluation of Chemistry Journals."
This paper reports on the evaluation of local usage statistics of a specific set of chemistry journals at the University of Denver in Colorado, USA. The objective of the study is to demonstrate that commercial publishers in chemistry charge considerably more for their journals than those from the non-commercial sector. There are three variables that are considered in this research: institutional cost of the journal, cost per Thomson Scientific Impact Factor (IF), and cost per article downloaded. In the defined set of 65 journals, it is found that commercial publishers charge more for their journals by a ratio of 2.59. Commercial publishers cost more per impact factor by a ratio of 3.20 and significantly more per local article download by a ratio of 6.16. This research demonstrates that local usage statistics should be used as part of the journal evaluation process.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century

The Council on Library and Information Resources has released a new report.

It is
No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century

Abstract -- How should we be rethinking the research library in a swiftly changing information landscape? In February 2008, CLIR convened 25 leading librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists to consider this question. Participants discussed the challenges and opportunities that libraries are likely to face in the next five to ten years, and how changes in scholarly communication will affect the future library. Essays by eight of the participants—Paul Courant, Andrew Dillon, Rick Luce, Stephen Nichols, Daphnée Rentfrow, Abby Smith, Kate Wittenberg, and Lee Zia—were circulated to participants in advance and provided background for the conversation. This report contains these background essays as well as a summary of the meeting.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Games in the Library

We will be getting some recreational board and video gaming systems for the library soon. What kind of recommendations do you have for game titles (board or video)? We do plan on getting either Rock Band or Guitar Hero. We will be getting a Wii, too! What would you like to play?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Full Text Dissertations

We can now access the full text (in PDF format) from over 900,000 dissertations from the United States and Canada.
With more than 2.4 million entries, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. UMI offers over 2 million titles for purchase in microfilm or paper formats. More than 930,000 are available in PDF format for immediate free download, and an average of 2,000 new PDFs are added to the database each week.
Note that some of the documents are HUGE. This dissertation in astrophysics from Princeton is about 54 MB.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unconference at DU for Librarians

I will be helping to organize an un-conference here at DU on Friday, October 10, 2008. It is officially called the Library Camp of the West. Here is more information about it.


Stop on by if you get a chance.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Databases

We recently signed up some new databases.

Knovel Library. There are over 1,000 ebooks in this collection. It covers chemistry and engineering sources for the most part.

Columbia Gazetteer of the World. Derived from the 3 volume set.

Columbia Earthscape. This is "a comprehensive aggregation of resources in the Earth and Environmental Sciences".

Monday, June 30, 2008

Two articles in the DU Magazine

There are two new articles that focus on DU Faculty...

The Trouble with Tamarisk"The problem with tamarisk is that it's able to establish itself and effect other changes to the ecosystem that are harmful to the original plants and animals," says Sher, who also directs research, herbaria and records at the Denver Botanic Gardens. "It changes the structure of the forest." Imported from Asia in the 1800s as an ornamental, tamarisk spread from gardens to natural waterways, boosted along the way by planting programs to control erosion. It spread across the West, and concentrations are now found on an estimated 2 million acres throughout the Western and Southwestern U.S.The People ProblemAccording to U.S. Census Bureau projections, Colorado is on track to add a million more residents by 2015. The population is expected to grow by still another million by 2025, bringing the total number of residents to 6.4 million. Much of that population will gravitate to cities, particularly those in the sprawling Front Range.

Wiley InterScience - now back online

Wiley logo
Wiley InterScience recently completed the transition of Blackwell content to the new platform. Penrose staff have now updated most/all of the records to reflect the new web-based location of the content. Please let us know if you have any problem accessing a Wiley or a Blackwell journal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Educational Benefits Of Social Networking

Educational Benefits Of Social Networking Sites UncoveredScienceDaily (June 21, 2008) — In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered the educational benefits of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. The same study found that low-income students are in many ways just as technologically proficient as their counterparts, going against what results from previous studies have suggested.Go to the site for more info...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Firefox and LibX

If you downloaded the new Firefox version 3.0, make sure that you also update to the new version of LibX for Firefox, too.

New Journal Citation Reports

The rumor is true, the new Journal Citation Reports is out with data from 2007 publications. Hence, the new journal "Impact Factors" are available.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another good graduation speech

Got this from the Blue Skunk Blog, which I found from Stephen Abram.

Everything I know in 15 minutes -- Everything I have learned about education and life over the past 55 years summed up in 15 or 20 minutes. (Graduation address for Nova Southeastern University June 7, 2008)

"I've been asked to give a commencement address tomorrow down in Ft. Lauderdale. Here are my current thoughts about what I'm addressing. My solemn pledge is not to go longer than 20 minutes.

Congratulations graduates of the Fischler School of Education and Human Resources. You have demonstrated intelligence, perseverance, and great tolerance for uncomfortable chairs for long periods of time. Many of you completed much of your coursework before laptops and wireless connectivity allowed you to endure tedious lectures by multi-tasking and updating your Facebook page. To all of you, my deepest admiration."

Etc., etc., etc....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Timely thoughts for new graduates

Here is a bit of inspirational verbiage from the venerable Denver Post -- "Please don't change the world."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Google Scholar’s Coverage of the Engineering Literature

Interesting article by John J. Meier and Thomas W. Conkling, Google Scholar’s Coverage of the Engineering Literature: An Empirical Study, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, May 2008. Google Scholar’s coverage of the engineering literature is analyzed by comparing its contents with those of Compendex, the premier engineering database. Records retrieved from Compendex were searched in Google Scholar, and a decade by decade comparison was done from the 1950s through 2007. The results show that the percentage of records appearing in Google Scholar increased over time, approaching a 90 percent matching rate for materials published after 1990.Thanks to Mel DeSart at the U of Washington for noting this.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Library budgets, open access, and the future of scholarly communication

This is a new article in College & Research Libraries News. May 2008, Vol. 69(5):271- Fact one -- We need to begin with a fundamental fact—the cost of scholarly journals has increased at 10 percent per year for the last three decades. This is over six times the rate of general inflation and over two-and-a-half times the rate of increase of the cost of health care. Between 1975 and 2005 the average cost of journals in chemistry and physics rose from $76.84 to $1,879.56. In the same period, the cost of a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline rose from 55 cents to $1.82. If the gallon of gas had increased in price at the same rate as chemistry and physics journals over this period it would have reached $12.43 in 2005, and would be over $14.50 today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

World Wide Telescope

This service was launched about an hour ago!

The World Wide Telescope is a "single rich application portal that blends terabytes of images, information, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a seamless, immersive, rich media experience. Kids of all ages will feel empowered to explore and understand the universe with its simple and powerful user interface."

Looks cool, but you need some serious hardware and software -- here are the requirements...

  • Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum), Windows® Vista® (recommended)
  • PC with Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster, recommended
    1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM; 2 GB RAM recommended
  • 3D accelerated card with 128 megabytes (MB) RAM; discrete graphics card with dedicated 256-MB VRAM recommended for higher performance
  • 1 GB of available hard disk space; 10 GB recommended for off-line features and higher performance browsing

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chance to win a $50 gift certificate

Please take a couple of minutes to tell Quick Copy your views on the services offered at the Quick Copy Center in the Penrose Library, and the University Mail Services. Your opinions will help us ensure that we fulfill your needs, and feel free to make suggestions also. As a token of our appreciation, after you have submitted the surveys, sign up to win one of four $50 DU Bookstore gift certificates or a $20 Stick-e-Star gift certificate! Please fill out the surveys online by Friday, May 16th.

The Quick Copy Center survey is at https://taurus.cair.du.edu/ir/quickcopy/
and the Mail Services survey is https://taurus.cair.du.edu/ir/mailservices/

Use of Technology in Education

Are we using enough technology to teach our students? Maybe -- maybe not. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Information Resources in High-Energy Physics

This is an interesting article -- Information Resources in High-Energy Physics: Surveying the Present Landscape and Charting the Future Course by Anne Gentil-Beccot, Salvatore Mele, Annette Holtkamp, Heath B. O'Connell, Travis C. Brooks Abstract: Access to previous results is of paramount importance in the scientific process. Recent progress in information management focuses on building e-infrastructures for the optimization of the research workflow, through both policy-driven and user-pulled dynamics. For decades, High-Energy Physics (HEP) has pioneered innovative solutions in the field of information management and dissemination. In light of a transforming information environment, it is important to assess the current usage of information resources by researchers and HEP provides a unique test-bed for this assessment. A survey of about 10% of practitioners in the field reveals usage trends and information needs. Community-based services, such as the pioneering arXiv and SPIRES systems, largely answer the need of the scientists, with a limited but increasing fraction of younger users relying on Google. Commercial services offered by publishers or database vendors are essentially unused in the field. The survey offers an insight into the most important features that users require to optimize their research workflow. These results inform the future evolution of information management in HEP and, as these researchers are traditionally "early adopters" of innovation in scholarly communication, can inspire developments of disciplinary repositories serving other communities.
The PDF of the preprint is here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


There is a new student video contest, courtesy of Student Life.

Do you have an experience, a story, an opinion or an idea that you think first year students at DU need to hear? Make a DUtube video about...

Diversity at DU
Gender Violence
sexual assault, dating violence,
domestic violence, stalking
Alcohol on campus
Marijuana on campus
Dealing with stress
Life at DU

What faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work through their institution

This is a good report from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) -- "OPEN DOORS AND OPEN MINDS: What faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work through their institution," A SPARC / SCIENCE COMMONS WHITE PAPER (April 2008) Overview: The Internet has brought unparalleled opportunities for expanding availability of research by bringing down economic and physical barriers to sharing. The digitally networked environment promises to democratize access, carry knowledge beyond traditional research niches, accelerate discovery, encourage new and interdisciplinary approaches to ever more complex research challenges, and enable new computational research strategies. However, despite these opportunities for increasing access to knowledge, the prices of scholarly journals have risen sharply over the past two decades, often forcing libraries to cancel subscriptions. Today even the wealthiest institutions cannot afford to sustain all of the journals needed by their faculties and students.Be on the lookout for the University of Denver Institutional Repository, coming in the near future. The PDF is available here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Writing, Technology and Teens

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has produced another great report - "Writing, Technology and Teens", 4/24/2008, by Amanda Lenhart, Sousan Arafeh, Aaron Smith, and Alexandra Rankin Macgill Summary -- "Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their emails, instant and text messages as writing. This disconnect matters because teens believe good writing is an essential skill for success and that more writing instruction at school would help them."The full 83 page PDF version is available here, and this is their press release.

Thanks to Stephen Abram for finding this.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

RSC Website will be worked on

Here is some information concerning the Royal Society of Chemistry downtimes.
  • Monday 28th April – Journals search will be unavailable all day 2:00am – 11:00am, MT.
  • Tuesday 6th May – Website unavailable from 3:00am – 11.00am MT -- FTP & AutoPDF will also be unavailable from 2:00am – 11:00am MT
  • Monday 12th May – Website Unavailable from 2:00am to 8:00am MT.

  • I am pretty sure that the times are pretty accurate. The reason for the downtime? -- "In order to expand the RSC’s web offering we need to update our web infrastructure to newer technologies that we believe will enable us to provide a more reliable service to our customers. This has been a project that has been on going for about a year and we’re now at the stage to move our web systems into the new infrastructure."

        Wednesday, April 23, 2008

        Penrose Website received an honor

        The Penrose Library Website was voted as the "College Library Web Site of the Month" from the College Libraries Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

        Tuesday, April 22, 2008

        Added the CITI Program Today

        The University of Denver now has access to the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program.

        This is a web-based training program in animal and human research subjects protections. It includes basic courses covering subjects such as: biomedicine, social and behavioral topics, refreshers, good clinical practice, Health Information Privacy and Security (HIPS), laboratory animal welfare, and the responsible conduct of research. When you register, please select the University of Denver as your home institution.

        Thursday, April 17, 2008

        SciFinder Scholar available on the Web???

        It looks like CAS has finally developed a basic level web-based search platform for the commercial SciFinder product. Maybe they will have an interface for SciFinder Scholar ready soon, too. [It should be ready sometime in August, 2008 according to an email I received from their customer support.] More information can be found here and a flash demo is here. Thanks to Randy Reichardt at the University of Alberta for finding this.

        "Web 2.0 and Libraries" -- Colorado Alliance meeting

        I am going to the "Colorado Alliance Round Table -- Web 2.0 and Libraries" meeting tomorrow. I will try to report on all of the new things that I've learned.

        We created a wiki for the meeting.

        Tuesday, April 15, 2008

        Carl Zimmer Presentation

        The presentation by Carl Zimmer went well. Here are the blogs that he writes and mentioned at the talk.

        The Loom
        Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium

        Good to see that DU got a plug at the Loom.

        He also posted a New York Times article concerning the topic of his new book.

        Wednesday, April 9, 2008

        Evaluation of the Penrose Library

        Please help us evaluate the Penrose Library by filling out a LibQual survey. (Here is more information about LibQUAL.) Thousands of academic libraries across the country use this survey instrument, so we can easily compare our evaluations with other similar academic libraries. Here is a good article that covers some of the background -- "We Did LibQUAL+ Now What? Practical Suggestions for Maximizing Your Survey Results," College and Undergraduate Libraries, Vol 14(3):75-84.

        Tuesday, April 8, 2008

        Spring Research Workshop on RefWorks

        Spring 2008 Research Workshops
        RefWorks and RefShare (presented by Carrie Forbes)
        Friday, April 11, 1-2 PM
        Research Instruction Room, Main Level

        Is trying to figure out how to make a bibliography or works cited page giving you a headache? Come learn how to use RefWorks, a Web-based bibliography manager. Participants will learn how to keep track of books, reports, journal articles, and Websites and then create finished bibliographies in APA, MLA, or Chicago styles. RefShare, a program that allows users to share bibliographies with others in RefWorks, will also be shown. Please RSVP for the Refworks Workshop.

        Other Workshops will be presented on the Penrose Facebook Page, Creating and following Blogs, and on the "Three Googles" later in the Quarter.

        New Environmental Database -- GreenFILE

        GreenFILE offers well-researched but accessible information covering all aspects of the human impact on the environment. "Topics covered include global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more. GreenFILE is multidisciplinary by nature and draws on the connections between the environment and a variety of disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology."

        You will be also able to find the database in the "Environmental Studies" category of Database and Article Search and within the Environmental Science Resources handout.

        Friday, April 4, 2008

        Government hearing concerning Second Life

        The house Committee on Commerce and Energy held a hearing concerning virtual worlds on Friday, April 4th. Here's a video of it.

        One of the speakers is Philip Rosedale, found of Linden Labs and Second Life, and he presents a video about Second Life.

        Friday, March 21, 2008

        New Journals from SPIE

        DU students, staff and faculty can now access the six journals from the SPIE. They are:

        Journal of Applied Remote Sensing
        Journal of Biomedical Optics
        Journal of Electronic Imaging
        Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS
        Journal of Nanophotonics
        Optical Engineering

        Take a look at the Peak records for more info.

        Wednesday, March 19, 2008

        New term -- "Science Churnalism"

        What is the role and value of embargoes in science journalism? I would think faculty, students and the general public would want scientific information sooner than later. In the new e-post age, there should be no need to wait until the printed copy comes out...

        Tuesday, March 18, 2008

        iGoogle Gadget from Penrose

        Here is a cool little tool. We now have an iGoogle Gadget so that you can easily search the Penrose Library catalog, Peak from your Google feeds. WorldCat has an iGoogle gadget, too.

        Monday, March 17, 2008

        Scientific American Article -- Science 2.0: Great New Tool, or Great Risk?

        This is a good article covering new venues for scholarship (wikis, blogs, etc.), particularly in the sciences."The explosively growing World Wide Web has rapidly transformed retailing, publishing, personal communication and much more. Innovations such as e-commerce, blogging, downloading and open-source software have forced old-line institutions to adopt whole new ways of thinking, working and doing business.

        Science could be next. A small but growing number of researchers--and not just the younger ones--have begun to carry out their work via the wide-open blogs, wikis and social networks of Web 2.0. And although their efforts are still too scattered to be called a movement--yet--their experiences to date suggest that this kind of Web-based "Science 2.0" is not only more collegial than the traditional variety, but considerably more productive."

        Friday, March 7, 2008

        The Growth of Open Access and How it Increases Research Citation Impact

        Another interesting article from an IEEE source -- "Ten-Year Cross-Disciplinary Comparison of the Growth of Open Access and How it Increases Research Citation Impact," by Chawki Hajjem, Stevan Harnad, and Yves Gingras. Summary -- In 2001, Lawrence found that articles in computer science that were openly accessible (OA) on the Web were cited substantially more than those that were not. We have since replicated this effect in physics. To further test its cross-disciplinary generality, we used 1,307,038 articles published across 12 years (1992-2003) in 10 disciplines (Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Health, Political Science, Economics, Education, Law, Business, Management).... Comparing OA and NOA articles in the same journal/year, OA articles have consistently more citations, the advantage varying from 25%-250% by discipline and year.

        Thursday, March 6, 2008

        Generation Y and NASA

        This blog links to an interesting presentation given to NASA "bigwigs" trying to convince them that NASA needs to market to younger people in more relevant ways."A few months ago a few of us had a chance to participate on a 'strategic communications committee' at Johnson Space Center that was convened to discuss NASA’s strategic communications strategy released in ‘07. After a few meetings on the committee, we asked if we could share our perspective with the group on why we think an entire generation isn’t connecting to NASA."

        Wednesday, March 5, 2008

        The Amazonification of articles?

        There is an interesting article in the IEEE Spectrum magazine...

        "People Who Read This Article Also Read," Greg Linden. "The recommendation systems that suggest books at Amazon and movies at Netflix will soon bring you personalized news.... The newspaper, that daily chronicle of human events, is undergoing the most momentous transformation in its centuries- old history. The familiar pulp-paper product still shows up on newsstands and porches every morning, but online versions are proliferating, attracting young readers and generally carving out a sizable swath of the news business."Thanks to Gary Price for noting at his blog.

        Monday, March 3, 2008

        Euclid Prime set of journals

        We can now access the "Euclid Prime" set of journals from Project Euclid. Here is a list of the journals in that collection and others from Euclid.
        • Abstract and Applied Analysis
        • Advances in Theoretical & Mathematical Physics
        • Asian Journal of Mathematics
        • Bulletin of the Belgian Mathematical Society-Simon Stevin
        • Communications in Information & Systems
        • Communications in Mathematical Sciences
        • Current Developments in Mathematics, 1995-
        • Experimental Mathematics
        • Homology, Homotopy, and Applications
        • Internet Mathematics
        • Japan Journal of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
        • Journal of Applied Mathematics
        • Journal of Symplectic Geometry
        • Kodai Mathematical Journal
        • Methods and Applications of Analysis
        • Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic
        • Publicacions Matemàtiques
        • Real Analysis Exchange
        • The Review of Modern Logic
        • Revista Matemática Iberomericana
        • Tokyo Journal of Mathematics
        "The Euclid Prime Collection, launched by Cornell University Library, provides full-text access to over 20 scholarly serial titles along with reference linking and interoperability through the Open Archives Initiative."

        Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project...

        Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester, edited by Nancy Fried Foster and Susan Gibbons, Association of College and Research Libraries, ALA, Chicago 2007"This book provides a view into the groundbreaking application of ethnographic tools and techniques to the understanding of undergraduate students and their use of information. The publication describes findings of the work at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries and provides insight into how academic librarians might use these techniques on their own campuses."

        Thursday, February 28, 2008

        Happy Anniversary to Physical Review Letters

        The 50th anniversary retrospective of Physical Review Letters <http://prl.aps.org/50years/milestones>."As part of the celebration of PRL's 50th anniversary, we will be presenting throughout 2008 a series of milestone Letters that made long-lived contributions to physics, either by announcing significant discoveries, or by initiating new areas of research."

        Wednesday, February 27, 2008

        Institute of Physics Journals Enhancements

        Here is an update on new developments to the IOPscience platform for February. You can begin to benefit from these immediately:

      • Be alerted by e-mail -- Set up an HTML Table of Contents alert for any journal and have new papers delivered direct. You can also manage your alerts from My IOPscience.

      • Export article details --They have added the option to export article abstracts, references and citations from the article page. You can also export to RefWorks from the article page and the 'Export Search results' page.

      • Discover highly cited articles -- They have updated their 'most cited' lists. These now show Top 10 articles from the last two years, based on internal data.

      • Monday, February 25, 2008

        Are You a Facebook "Fan" of Penrose?

        The Penrose Library now has a Facebook Page. Please let your students know they can become a "fan" of the Penrose Library. This way, they can receive automatic updates concerning major resources and events.

        1,250 Journals from Springer

        After double checking some of the journal titles, we now have access to most of the journals from Springer through SpringerLink going back to 1997 in most cases.

        Thursday, February 21, 2008

        LibX plugins for IE and Firefox

        We have created LibX plugins for Internet Explorer and for Firefox.

        What are the cool things this plugin can do? See this explanation.

        Science Author Carl Zimmer coming to campus

        Event Info: Carl Zimmer, Author Series Lecture
        Carl will discuss his recent book, Soul Made Flesh, his working process, and the art of writing about science.

        Host: Penrose Library - University of Denver
        Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2008
        Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
        Location: Community Room, Craig Hall (Social Work)
        Street: 2148 S. High Street
        City/Town: Denver, CO
        Contact Info Phone: 303.871.3016
        Email: jabrams@du.edu

        One can also register for the talk on the Penrose Library Facebook Event Page.

        Description -- The Penrose Library, in association with the Univeristy of Denver Provost's Office, cordially invites you to attend the Second Annual Penrose Library Author's Lecture by acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer, who will discuss his work, his working process, and the art of writing about science. The program is free and open to DU students, faculty, staff, and community members. Refreshments will be served.

        More about the book -- "The subtitle doesn't do justice to this illuminating book, which transcends the 'history of X and how X changed the world' genre with a deep and contextualized exploration of two millennia's worth of human theories about consciousness and the soul. Zimmer, a columnist for Natural History and author of the highly praised Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, is interested in how philosophers and scientists moved from a view of the human soul as immaterial and residing in the heart to the common explanation of thought as having a material grounding in the brain and nervous system." [From Amazon / Publishers Weekly]

        New Royal Society of Chemistry journals

        We now have access to a bunch more journals from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). We can access most all of their journals going back atleast 10 years. Some of the added titles are the Analyst, Annual Reports Sections A, B, and C, Journal of Environmental Monitoring, Natural Product Reports, Molecular BioSystems, New Journal of Chemistry, and Soft Matter. There are many others, but those listed above are the most requested titles.

        We are currently working on a license for the archive going back to the 1800's, and we have "trial" access while the deal is being worked out.

        The records for the journals are not in the Peak catalog yet, but we should be able to have the records available within the next month.

        National Engineers Week

        You guessed it -- this week is National Engineers Week. It runs February 17-23rd.

        Tuesday, February 19, 2008

        Yet even more on the Harvard OA Plan

        Library Journal Academic Newswire -- This Week's News
        * A Shot Heard 'Round the Academic World: Harvard FAS Mandates Open Access
        * After Harvard, the Open Access Deluge?
        * Shieber: Librarians Very Involved with Harvard OA Motion

        Open Access News
        Here are some comments on the Harvard OA mandate. They are from Paul Courant at Au Courant, Jonathan Eisen at Tree of Life, and Peter Murray-Rust at The CML Blog.

        Harvard To Collect, Disseminate Scholarly Articles For Faculty
        "In a move to disseminate faculty research and scholarship more broadly, the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted today to give the University a worldwide license to make each faculty member's scholarly articles available and to exercise the copyright in the articles, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit...."

        Friday, February 15, 2008

        A Few Thoughts on the Google Books Library Project

        "A Few Thoughts on the Google Books Library Project"
        Charles Edward Smith
        EDUCAUSE Quarterly
        Volume 31, Number 1, 2008Only by transforming knowledge contained in print to new and easily accessible digital formats can we guarantee its survival.

        A curious amount of unease surrounds Google's initiative to scan thousands of books in major research libraries and make them available online. Although I understand the concerns, I don't entirely sympathize with them. About ten years ago, while writing a dissertation, I also started research on an article that CAUSE (now EDUCAUSE) published in 1999.1 It was no easy task because the Internet at the time had just begun to show its promise. Nonetheless, performing my first real research on the Internet for that article provided a window through which I could see at least some small part of the future.


        Thursday, February 14, 2008

        2008 Horizon Report is now out

        There are six “Key Emerging Technologies” for higher education profiled in the 2008 Horizon Report. "In defining the six selected areas for 2008—grassroots video, collaboration webs, mobile broadband, data mashups, collective intelligence, and social operating systems—the project draws on an ongoing discussion among knowledgeable individuals in business, industry, and education, as well as published resources, current research and practice, and the expertise of the NMC and ELI communities. The Horizon Project’s Advisory Board probes current trends and challenges in higher education, explores possible topics for the report, and ultimately selects the technologies to be profiled."

        Wednesday, February 13, 2008

        New Models of Scholarly Communication

        Title: Talk About Talking About New Models of Scholarly Communication
        Author: Karla L. Hahn
        Journal of Electronic Publishing
        Winter 2008

        Here is another interesting article. Abstract: Although many new forms of scholarly exchange have reached an advanced state of adoption, scholars and researchers generally remain remarkably naïve and uninformed about many issues involved with change in scholarly publishing and scholarly communication broadly. It is increasingly important that dialogue at research institutions involve a much wider group of researchers and scholars. Only active engagement by those undertaking research and scholarship can ensure that the advancement of research and scholarship takes priority in the development and adoption of new models. Research libraries have led in educating stakeholders about new models and are expanding their outreach to campus communities. In considering the effects of recent change, and looking to emerging trends and concerns, six dangers of the current moment are considered along with six topics ripe for campus dialogue.

        More on the Harvard Opt-in plan

        Here is an article from Inside Higher Ed.

        "Harvard Opts In to ‘Opt Out’ Plan" Harvard University’s arts and sciences faculty approved a plan on Tuesday that will post finished academic papers online free, unless scholars specifically decide to opt out of the open-access program. While other institutions have similar repositories for their faculty’s work, Harvard’s is unique for making online publication the default option.... Thanks to Robert Michaelson at Northwestern U. for noting.

        Tuesday, February 12, 2008

        Harvard Proposal to Publish Free on Web

        This looks like an interesting NY Times article.

        At Harvard, a Proposal to Publish Free on Web
        By PATRICIA COHEN "Publish or perish has long been the burden of every aspiring university professor. But the question the Harvard faculty will decide on Tuesday is whether to publish — on the Web, at least — free.

        Faculty members are scheduled to vote on a measure that would permit Harvard to distribute their scholarship online, instead of signing exclusive agreements with scholarly journals that often have tiny readerships and high subscription costs."

        Etc., etc., etc.
        See also this article in the Crimson.

        Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century

        With input from people around the world, an international group of leading technological thinkers were asked to identify the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. Return to the website on February 15, 2007 at 2PM EST to learn their conclusions.

        Monday, February 11, 2008

        Information Seeking Behavior of the Researcher of the Future

        This is an interesting report from the UK. They note that:"A new study overturns the common assumption that the ‘Google Generation' – youngsters born or brought up in the Internet age – is the most web-literate. The first ever virtual longitudinal study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web.

        The report "Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future" also shows that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now becoming the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors."

        Thursday, February 7, 2008

        Generation Y and Libraries

        This report is just in from the Pew Internet & American Life Project -- "Information searches that solve problems : How people use the internet, libraries, and government agencies when they need help". "The survey results challenge the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the internet age. Libraries drew visits by more than half of Americans (53%) in the past year for all kinds of purposes, not just the problems mentioned in this survey. And it was the young adults in tech-loving Generation Y (age 18-30) who led the pack. Compared to their elders, Gen Y members were the most likely to use libraries for problem-solving information and in general patronage for any purpose.

        Furthermore, it is young adults who are the most likely to say they will use libraries in the future when they encounter problems: 40% of Gen Y said they would do that, compared with 20% of those above age 30 who say they would go to a library."

        Tuesday, February 5, 2008

        E-books from Morgan & Claypool

        We now have 79 ebooks from Morgan & Claypool. This list will grow to over hundreds of titles in the next couple of years. "Synthesis is an innovative information service for the research, development, and educational community in engineering and computer science. The basic components of the library are self-contained short electronic books that synthesize important research."

        Monday, February 4, 2008

        The Future of Academic Libraries

        This is a very interesting post and presentation at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference -- "My Job in 10 Years: The Future of Academic Libraries."

        Friday, February 1, 2008

        FIRST Robotics Competition coming to DU!

        I plan to go to this great robotics competition at the end of March, 2008. This is a regional competition as part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program.

        Changing study habits of engineering students

        This is from ASEE Prism magazine, January 2008, page 24.

        "Laptops, WiFi and online catalogues make the traditional library obsolete."
        By Henry Petroski

        Our engineering library used to be crowded with students studying and doing homework. Toward the end of the semester, with project deadlines and final exams approaching, every seat at every table would be occupied well into the extended hours. Lately, however, the library has been so empty that there is talk of folding this once-busy branch into the newly expanded main library.


        Some students used to be driven to the library to get away from loquacious roommates, raucous parties or loud music that was not to their liking. Now, with their own favorite music downloaded into their iPod or similar device, they can blast it into their ears and so mask all other noise. Also, since libraries seem to have become increasingly tolerant of food and drink on the premises - the aroma of coffee, which has replaced that of cigarette smoke in the atmosphere, is seldom absent - all of a student's senses can be occupied and so exclude all distractions.


        But not every student with an open laptop in class has tuned out the lecture. On more than one occasion I have had a student volunteer information that I did not have at my fingertips, showing my PowerPoint presentation to be as offline as I was. The student was following along - perhaps even anticipating the next slide - and was supplementing what I was saying with what is available on the Web. Sometimes what the student had found in the digital library was so relevant and revealing that it had to be projected for the entire class to see.

        There can be no question that the personal computer has changed the way students and every wired citizen works and learns. It should be no wonder that the traditional books-and-and bookshelves library is a threatened species. In just a couple of decades, the once-staid institution has found its catalogues completely digitized and its books and jounrals increasingly so. The library is trying hard to keep up with the way today's students study and do research, not to mention how professors and other users now work. I know that my way of doing research has changed: I do not visit th engineering branch library nearly as often as I used to. With my laptop connected to the Internet, I do not have to.

        Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. His most recent book is The Toothpick: Technology and Culture.

        Wednesday, January 30, 2008

        Open Access from BMC

        Thinking of Open Access, the Penrose Library will pay for your articles when they are submitted to BioMed Central journals. We currently have a positive financial balance with them, so if you want to submit an article or two for a high impact and open access publication, this may be the place.

        The Right to Research

        SPARC has released an interesting new brochure...

        The Right to Research

        "You know first hand that students are expected to cite articles from scholarly journals when they write research papers.

        You’ve probably used journal articles in your coursework. You’ve probably also encountered journal articles that you wanted to read — potentially important articles — but couldn’t get access to.

        It doesn’t have to be this way.

        OPEN ACCESS — the principle that research should be accessible online, for free, immediately after publication — is improving the way scholarly information is shared."

        Etc., etc., etc.

        Thursday, January 17, 2008

        Genome Island: An Experiment in Teaching Science at Second Life

        I plan to go to this talk on Friday. It sounds really cool.
        Genome Island was created at Second Life as a laboratory-intensive environment for teaching genetics online. Students or other visitors to the island will encounter a series of genetic objects. Most of the objects are interactive and will generate a data set according to basic principles of genetics. Genetic models on the island include Mendel’s peas, cats, rabbits, fruit flies and bacteria. One section of the site features the human genome. Data can be analyzed and used to test hypotheses suggested in the background information provided with each object. This semester one of my genetics classes helped me to test the island as a teaching environment. Come and hear about the pleasures and pitfalls of teaching science at Second Life.

        Wednesday, January 9, 2008

        Science stays in JSTOR

        "We are pleased to announce that the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and JSTOR reached an agreement at the end of 2007 under which Science will continue its participation in JSTOR. Science will be available with a 5-year moving wall and new participating organizations will receive Science legacy content as part of the Health & General Sciences collection. In addition, we expect to introduce more opportunities within the JSTOR site for users to link directly to Science's website from Science legacy content located in JSTOR. We are very pleased to be able to continue and extend this relationship and to assure the community that future issues of Science will be preserved in JSTOR."

        IOPScience Database for Physics Research

        We now have access to all 56 current and backfiled journals available from the Institute of Physics (UK). The content coverage goes back to 1874.

        NIH Open Access Mandate

        In case you have not heard...

        The NIH policy is "an Enormous Step Forward" noted Executive Director Heather Joseph of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

        See: http://www.libraryjournal.com/info/CA6518133.html?nid=2673#news2 and

        Wednesday, January 2, 2008

        New Math Resources

        We now have access to the SIAM Locus backfile, and the Project Euclid Prime database. We should be getting access to the complete package of the current SIAM journals pretty soon.