Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Updates to Web of Science @ UMass Libraries

The content in the UMass Libraries' subscription to Science Citation Index via Web of Science now reaches back through the year 1900, thanks to our purchase of a backfile.

Also, UMass now has access to the MEDLINE database through the Web of Science platform through this academic year, at least. (Our current method of access to MEDLINE has been through the free PubMed database.)

[Microbiology] New e-journal @ UMass Libraries

Microbiologists may be pleased to learn that the UMass libraries now offer the full text of Acta microbiologica et immunologica Hungarica from 1999 to the present. The science library also has this journal in print back to 1994. Enjoy!

Posted by Emily Alling to Microbiology at 11/22/2005 09:26:00 AM

[Chemistry] Chmoogle and ChemDB: free chemical information

This week saw the announcement of a new free chemistry information database: Chmoogle, by eMolecules Inc.

From their mission statement:
Chmoogle® is the leading open-access chemistry search engine. Chmoogle's mission is to discover, curate and index all of the public chemical information in the world, and make it available to the public for free. Chmoogle distinguishes itself by extremely fast searches, an appealing presentation of results, high-quality chemical drawings, and powerful advanced search capabilities like persistent hitlists and hitlist logic operations.
My librarian warning light went off a little at this item from their FAQ:
What are Chmoogle's sources?

Chmoogle discovers sources of chemical data by searching the internet, and receives submissions from data providers such as chemical suppliers and academic researchers.
A little more specificity would be nice ("the internet" is a tad bit broad).

In comparison, ChemDB, a new public database of small molecules based at UC Irvine, provides the following about their sources:
Chemical Vendors: All of the vendors who have supplied their chemical information catalogs that comprise the core data beneath ChemDB. The source information table includes a complete listing.
You can read more about the creation of ChemDB in this article, which has been accepted for publication in Bioinformatics.

Both of these new tools are certainly interesting in light of the recent discussions about open access to chemical data (cf. ACS, PubChem, etc.). I'd be interested to hear any chemists' reviews of Chmoogle and/or ChemDB...feel free to leave a comment below.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

ISEL Thanksgiving Week Hours

In addition to the normal Thanksgiving Week hours changes, there's been an additional change. ISEL will now be closed on Friday, November 25 due to an electrical upgrade in the Lederle Graduate Research Center. So, our hours changes for the week are:

  • Wednesday, November 23: 8 am - 5 pm

  • Thursday, November 24: CLOSED

  • Friday, November 25: CLOSED

  • Saturday, November 26: CLOSED

Normal hours resume on Sunday, November 27.

Have a wonderful break!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

SciFinder Scholar for Mac OS X now available!

Mac users who have been pining away for a native OS X version of SciFinder Scholar, your day has come! The download is available from the UMass Amherst Libraries' SciFinder page; just scroll down to "SciFinder Scholar for Mac OS X (10.2, 10.3 and 10.4)."

Please note that our license will only permit this software to be downloaded or used by on a computer with a UMass IP address. This means that you must be on campus or connected through a dial-up OIT connection in order to download or use SciFinder Scholar.


Learning Commons 24/5 starts 11/27/05

Stay up late at the (other) library! The Learning Commons at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library will start its 24/5 schedule on Sunday, November 27. The library will open at 11 am on Sundays and remain open 24 hours per day until 9 pm on Fridays. The library will open from 9 am to 9 pm on Saturdays.

The Procrasination Station (library cafe) will also feature expanded hours.

Be sure to check the libraries' Hours page for exceptions to normal operating hours, including the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Reasons *not* to reshelve....

You may have noticed signs in the library asking people not to reshelve books and journals after using them, but rather to leave them on a cart, or by the copier. Lots of people assume this is because we don't trust you to put things back in the proper order. While the Library of Congress call number system can indeed be a deep mystery to the uninitiated, there is actually a second and more crucial reason why we ask that you leave materials for us to reshelve.

Before we reshelve library materials left for us by our users, the library scans each item to indicate that it has been used. This usage data helps inform us when making decisions about whether to renew or cancel materials, or buy more items in a given subject area. (See, for example, the library's current review of journal titles costing more than $1000 per year.) So, *not* reshelving your favorite book or journal is actually a way of letting us know that it's important to you.

We pick up, scan, and reshelve materials at ISEL several times per day. If you ever have trouble locating an item in the library, please come see us at the Circulation or Reference Desks. We are often able to locate materials that seem hopelessly lost (another one of those great library mysteries).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Anyone have the Feb. '05 Scientific American?

ISEL never received our February 2005 issue of Scientific American, and we aren't able to get it from the publisher at this point. If anyone out there with a personal subscription to SciAm still has the February issue and wouldn't mind donating it to the Science Library, we'd be forever in your debt. Please contact John Caranci--caranci@library.umass.edu--if you can help.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

[Biochemistry] Clinical Biochemist Reviews now available via PubMed Central

Clinical Biochemist Reviews has been added to the PubMed Central archive from v. 26 no. 1 (2005) to the present.

Posted by Emily Alling to Biochemistry at 11/08/2005 10:49:00 AM

IEEE downtime, 11/15/05

From a recent email to the UMass libraries from IEEE:
On Tuesday, 15 November, IEEE will implement a maintenance release to the IEEE Xplore digital library.

As a result, users will experience approximately two hours of downtime on that date, between 10AM and 12Noon EST.

This update includes the following features:

* RSS feeds for newly published journal tables of contents.

* Non-indexed materials, such as editorials and book reviews, will now be available, free, to all users.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Journal review @ UMass libraries

The UMass Amherst libraries are undertaking a review of journal subscriptions that cost $1000 or more per year yet receive very little use. We are hoping to redirect the money spent on these journals toward resources that would be more useful to our patrons, such as journal titles that are frequently requested via Interlibrary Loan or other journals and databases that have been requested by our users.

Letters have been sent to the heads of all departments on campus to let them know about this review process, which has been endorsed by the Research Library Council.

It is important to note that this is not a journal cancellation project per se--money saved by cancelling little-used journals will be reallocated to other resources.

See the libraries' recent press release for much more information. Included is the list of journals being considered for cancellation--that is, those titles costing $1000 or more which have received 3 or fewer uses in the past year.

The sciences are quite heavily represented in this list. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact me anytime.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Science News Podcasts

There's a thread going on on Slashdot about science news podcasts....If you're looking to fill up your iPod or other MP3-playing device, you may wish to check it out. Some highlights: Nature is podcasting, and New Scientist is about to start.

More about podcasting (from Wikipedia).

[Chemistry] RSS Feeds to ACS Publications

You can now get tables of contents from several ACS journals delivered via RSS. Here are links to the feeds for participating journals:

Analytical Chemistry A
Environmental Science & Technology A Page Magazine
Environmental Science & Technology Online News
Journal of Proteome Research
Chemical & Engineering News Online

But wait--what am I seeing when I click on these links? Confused? These aren't links to actual content from the journal--rather, they are links you can use to subscribe to journal updates using your RSS reader of choice. You need to copy and paste these links into your RSS reader to subscribe. Popular RSS feed readers include Bloglines and MyYahoo.

Still confused? Let me know--in addition to being a science reference librarian, I'm increasingly becoming an RSS evangelist, and would be happy to help you get set up with an account.

via ACS Livewire

Posted by era to Chemistry at 11/02/2005 06:49:00 AM

Academic integrity in the news

Academic integrity is in the headlines these days, both on campus and in the world beyond. MIT associate professor of biology Luk Van Parijs was fired last week after admitting to falsifying data on several occasions. Ripple effects from this announcement have included an announcement from Cell Press, publishers of the journal Immunity, that they are in the process of re-examining the accuracy of three of Van Parijs' articles published in 1998-1999.

Closer to home, the Faculty Senate has taken up the issue of plagiarism on campus and is considering creating an ad hoc committee to deal with student plagiarism. One option being explored on campus is the use of plagiarism detection software. Since last spring, the library has been sponsoring a trial of TurnItIn.com, a Web-based service that allows professors to check student work against a database of documents including the public Web, content from several proprietary full-text article databases, and a huge compliation of student paper submissions. The issue of plagiarism and TurnItIn has received some media attention, including a 10/24/05 appearance on WFCR by Library Associate Director for User Services Anne C. Moore and coverage in the Daily Collegian.

The use of TurnItIn on college campuses has not been without controversy. In one high-profile lawsuit, a McGill University student successfully challenged the practice of compelling students to submit their papers to TurnItIn, arguing that the company was profiting by building a database in part from students' [copyrighted] original work. Others have objected that the use of tools like TurnItIn creates a negative climate by implicitly assuming students are guilty of plagiarism until proven innocent. It should be noted that both false negatives *and* false positives are possible with any automated plagiarism detection device.

Some of these concerns were addressed by Anne C. Moore at the faculty senate meeting on October 20. At UMass, the use of TurnItIn would be voluntary for both faculty and students. Moore also emphasized the potential to use TurnItIn not as a punitive tool, but as an educational opportunity to let students know where their work fails to meet academic integrity standards. Many students remain unaware of the gravity of plagiarism and other academic dishonesty; other times, plagiarism results from an unintentional failure to insert a citation; and some students come from cultures where using the exact words of others is considered honorific rather than dishonest. TurnItIn was hailed as one piece of a campus-wide solution to the plagiarism problem, along with [continued] faculty efforts to educate students about academic honesty AND strategies such as designing "plagiarism-proof" assignments.

If you have questions or comments about TurnItIn, please feel free to contact me personally or the library in general. You can also leave a comment on this blog if you have thoughts about academic integrity on campus or beyond.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Biology/genetics dashboard widgets for Mac OS X

Any biologists out there using Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) might be interested in these dashboard widgets from AbOrygen.
# The Amino Acid Table widget displays general information on amino acids (name, 3-letter code, 1-letter code, triplet and standard color code) conformed with the IUPAC-IUB recommendations.

# The Genetic Code widget displays the standard genetic code in a simple table showing the 64 codons and the amino acids each codon codes for.

# The Nucleic Acid Nomenclature widget displays general information on nucleic acids (symbol, meaning, complement and origin of designation) conformed with the IUPAC-IUB recommendations.

# The Rebase widget provides a quick access to the Restriction Enzyme Database.
Thanks to Science Library Pad.