Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Physical Review Letters

The 50th anniversary retrospective of Physical Review Letters <>."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

    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.