Thursday, December 29, 2005

Intersession @ ISEL

It's mighty quiet here at ISEL this week--a good time to come by & get some research done without battling the hordes! Here are our hours for the rest of 2005 and for January Term:

Tues. Dec 27 - Fri. Dec. 30: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat. Dec 31-Mon. Jan 2: CLOSED

During January Term (Jan. 3 - Jan. 29), we'll be open M-F, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm and closed on weekends.

Full hours are always available on the library website.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Journal Citation Reports now available to UMass community

The library is now able to make access to ISI's powerful Journal Citation Reports available to all current UMass faculty, staff, and students. To access JCR, just visit the library's homepage, choose Databases, navigate to J, and click Journal Citation Reports.

JCR provides crucial information about journal titles indexed by ISI: impact factor (the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the JCR year); immediacy index (the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published); cited half-life (the median age of the articles that were cited in the JCR year), and more.

It's also possible to generate lists of the journals in a particular discipline that have the highest impact factors, immediacy indexes, etc. (In fact, I'm spending my evening at the ref. desk reviewing the library's holdings for the highest-impact journals in each of my liaison departments. So far, we're doing pretty well!)

If you have any questions at all about using JCR or any other library resource, feel free to contact me.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Recommended journals for freshman science majors?

There's an interesting discussion going on on CHMINF-L about science periodicals that are appropriate to recommend to freshmen/lower division undergraduates as a means of keeping current and becoming familiar with their fields. The importance of critically evaluating information and distinguishing between popular and news sources vs. scholarly, peer-reviewed sources has come up more than once, as well.

Here are the titles that have been brought up so far.

  • American Scientist

  • Astronomy

  • BioScience

  • Chemical &Engineering News

  • Environment

  • JAMA

  • Natural History

  • Nature

  • New England Journal of Medicine

  • New Scientist

  • Physics Today

  • Science

  • Science News

  • Scientific American

  • Sky and Telescope

Have anything to add? Reactions to any titles on the list? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Incidentally, more and more science magazines and journals are offering a weekly podcast, or audio recording, summarizing highlights of the current week's issue. Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, and New Scientist are just a few of these. Maybe something our iPod generation would be quick to latch onto?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nature blogs! and science in the Web age

Nature Publishing Group has launched three new blogs:

Action Potential
Action Potential is a blog by the editors of Nature Neuroscience - and a forum for our readers, authors and the entire neuroscience community. We'll discuss what's new and exciting in neuroscience, be it in our journal or elsewhere. We hope for spirited conversation!

Free Association
Welcome to Free Association, the Nature Genetics blog. Check here regularly for links and editorial comment on research and news in genetics, as well as reader feedback.

Nature Publishing Group's blog on web technology and science.
Nascent points to an editorial and series of articles from this week's Nature that discuss issues involved with doing science and sharing data in the Web age. (UMass users can access the full text of Nature by going through the library catalog.)

Putting science to song in the classroom

Wired Magazine recently ran an article on Greg Crowther, a lecturer at the University of Washington who has set some of the concepts he teaches to music and sings them to his students (to mixed appreciation). Songs include takes on the Archies ("Glucose / ah, sugar sugar / You are my favorite fuel / from the bloodborne substrate pool"), Talking Heads ("Take Me to the Liver," about cholesterol metabolism), and Andrew Lloyd Webber ("The Phantom of the Copper Coil").

Many more song titles, with lyrics, can be viewed at Crowther's personal homepage. Crowther also makes MP3 downloads and sheet music available for some titles. And, if those don't satiate your appetite for science songs, Crowther also maintains an online database of over 2000 science-related songs called MASSIVE.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thomson ISI Web Citation Index

In an exciting development for the open access and repository movement, Thomson Scientific has announced that it is teaming with NEC and several other agencies to create a Web Citation Index, which will become part of the Web of Knowledege platform.

The Web Citation index will do for open access documents, including pre-prints and items in institutional repositories, what Thomson's other citation indexes currently do for peer-reviewed journal literature. Researchers will be able to follow citations to open-access documents backwards and forwards, and citation frequency and trends will be recorded.

More coverage is available from Information World Review and Open Access News.

(via KnowledgeSpeak Newsletter)