Thursday, November 09, 2006
As with any new library resource, if we decide it is valuable, we will need to figure out how to fund it, and weigh the options against the utility of the new resource, so please be clear about how useful it is, what priority you would give it.
You can also access this trial through our Database Trials webpage on the Library's website. From the Library homepage, www.library.umass.edu, click on the tab for Services, then from that list, select Research Help and Support. On the left side of that page, there is a link to the Database Trials page.
Thanks in advance for your help in evaluating CSH Protocols.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
In the months to come, we are also changing the way the contents of the Library's Website are organized, so that behind the scenes, it will be contained in a "content management system." While we hope that this change will be invisible to our patrons, we also believe that it will allow the content to be more current, since global changes will be easier to make.
The new online library catalog, mentioned above, has 'gone live' as they are saying over in Du Bois, and it is not without problems. This gigantic piece of software is really called an 'integrated library system' or ILS. An ILS not only contains the catalog of our materials and electronic resources, it also includes the circulation system and all the transactions, patrons, holds, bills, etc., and the acquisitions module - this tracks all the library materials we order and purchase. On top of that, this one system is shared by five separate institutions, the Five Colleges; so you can see that glitches are inevitable in the implementation of something so massive. We beg your patience and understanding.
That said, please do let us know when you encounter a problem. You might be the first one to notice something awry. Do also let us know if you find something that you like - though at this juncture I'm not holding my breath!
Wish us luck!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The software will make searching for information easier. For example, it will permit online searching of all libraries simultaneously, foreign language searches, focusing searches on specific research areas, and limiting searches to a particular collection or format (i.e. book, CD, journal, etc.). It will now be possible for users to set up personal accounts to receive email notifications of new arrivals in designated subject areas, and to review personal searches and borrowing histories.
As part of the transition, the five-college request function and self- renewal features will be temporarily suspended from August 19 until the week of August 28, 2006 and the virtual catalog request function has been suspended through January 2007. Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery will continue to operate normally and users can continue to submit requests.
ALEPH was created by a team of librarians, systems analysts, and programmers to provide an automated library system that was efficient, user-friendly, and multilingual. Other libraries using the ALEPH software include Harvard,
Staff here at the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library and at Du Bois will be available if you need help navigating the new features, or to speak to your classes about the new system and the libraries in general. As always, feel free to call me with any questions.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
From the About page of the Create Change site:
"Create Change is an educational initiative that examines new opportunities in scholarly communication, advocates changes that recognize the potential of the networked digital environment, and encourages active participation by scholars and researchers to guide the course of change.
"Create Change was developed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and is supported by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)."
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Science is experiencing revolutionary changes thanks to digital technology, with computers generating a flood of valuable data for scientists to interpret.(read entire article)
But that flood could drown science.
Data from experiments conducted as recently as six months ago might be suddenly deemed important, but researchers might never find those numbers — or if they did, might not know what the numbers meant. Lost in some research assistant's computer, the data are often irretrievable or an indecipherable string of digits. That's a scenario increasingly familiar to scholars, says James M. Caruthers, a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University.
"We are starting to die from data," he says bluntly.
To vet experiments, correct errors, or find new breakthroughs, scientists desperately need better ways to store and retrieve research data, Mr. Caruthers says, or "we are going to be more and more inefficient in the science that we do in the future."
Dealing with the "data deluge," as some researchers have called it, will be among the great challenges for science in the 21st century. Many in the field say that scientists should not be left to manage the data on their own.
Instead, librarians will have to step forward to define, categorize, and archive the voluminous and detailed streams of data generated in experiments. Already, librarians on some campuses — among them Purdue, the Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California at San Diego — are beginning to take on that role.
Color Patterns of an Iron Extraction Time Series, Andrew Altevogt, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
More about the Art of Science competition.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
A couple of interesting items regarding scholarly publishing have been making their way across the wires today.
(1) ACRLog points to some recent discussions about journal impact factors, including a Wall Street Journal article that discusses impact factor inflation and a Chronicle of Higher Education article (subscription required; UMass users can follow link) on problems quantifying impact in the humanities.
(2) Nature is hosting a web focus, including an online debate, regarding peer review in the scientific publication process:
Peer review is commonly accepted as an essential part of scientific publication. But the ways peer review is put into practice vary across journals and disciplines. What is the best method of peer review? Is it truly a value-adding process? What are the ethical concerns? And how can new technology be used to improve traditional models?(via Science Library Pad)
These are issues that are definitely on people's minds here at UMass Amherst, as the campus undergoes a research benchmarking process and begins to explore the creation of an institutional repository.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I found this on another blog, From Your Science Librarian's Desk , and thought it might interest people. What do you think of this characterization of research, and what do you think is behind it? I wonder about the effect of this kind of measurement of on the future of scientific learning.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Recently, I've come across a few other examples of innovative scientific/scholarly writing projects for undergraduates, which I'd like to share here.
First, from the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology comes Animal Diversity Web, "an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology." Many of the species articles in Animal Diversity Web are written by undergraduates, and articles go through an editing and peer review process. From their website:
An essential feature of the ADW is student authorship of species accounts. Students learn considerable detail about the biology of a species, then share their work with users worldwide by making it part of our permanent database...Instructors and ADW staff review and edit accounts before they are added to the site. Classes at a number of universities contribute to the ADW project, and the resulting growth of the database makes us even better for inquiry learning.Secondly, I saw a great presentation at this year's NERCOMP conference that described a collaborative writing project in the sciences at Vassar College. A professor teamed with educational technologists, a science librarian, and a writing center staffer to create an assignment whereby teams of students collaboratively wrote scientific review articles on topics in protein chemistry. The presentation focused on both the pedagogical and technological aspects of the project--students used an open-source content management system called Plone as a platform for collaborative writing and bibliography assembly. The end result was a series of very impressive scholarly review articles on topics including the pharmacogenetics of HIV/AIDS, chemical biology and cell cycle control, the metabolomics of mad cow disease, and proteomics and Vioxx.
Finally, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is launching a student-run, peer-reviewed journal, the Wisconsin Undergraduate Journal of Science. The creation of the journal strives to meet the following goals (from their "About" page):
* To integrate peer-reviewed writing into the undergraduate science curriculum
* To assist students in finding research opportunities both on and off campus
* To allow students to be directly involved in the publishing process
If you or your department is involved in an innovative project to introduce undergraduates to writing in the sciences, feel free to leave a comment below!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Comparisons are already being drawn with Google Scholar, another major initiative by a search company aimed at indexing scholarly literature. (UMass Amherst has partnered with Google Scholar to make materials that we license accessible to our users. Microsoft will be working with libraries in the weeks to come to achieve something similar.)
Microsoft is fairly explicit about which content they are indexing.
Windows Live Academic is still brand new, and it will be interested to see how it is received by the academic community in the days to come. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment on this post or contact the library.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Fibs: poetry based on the Fibonacci sequence, a famous mathematical series (via Slashdot)
The Periodic Table of Poetry: click on an element to read a poem about it. Poems contributed by readers! Feeling inspired? There are several elements that still don't have poems.
(As I write this, I notice that my colleage Stephanie Willen Brown, aka CogSci Librarian, has just posted links to some poetry podcasts.)
Sunday, April 02, 2006
The deadline for the survey is Friday, April 7.
If you have questions or comments about the proposed digital repository, please contact Marilyn Billings at email@example.com or (413) 545-6891.
Monday, March 27, 2006
If you'd like to get updates from ALL ISEL blogs in one feed, rather than subscribing to them individually, you can now do so by subscribing to the following feed:
This uber-feed was created using a free tool called RSS Mix. RSS Mix lets you roll any number of individual RSS feeds together into one feed, which you can then subscribe to. Very handy!
We'll be adding blogs for more departments as time goes on...watch this space!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
- Web of Science’s Century of Science makes available 850,000 older, twentieth century scientific journal items in one place for the first time from 262 journals. This comprehensive collection is fully searchable, with complete bibliographic data, cited reference data and navigation, and direct links to the full text. Century of Science provides comprehensive backfile and cited reference data from 1900 to 1944. This important tool allows researchers to discover which articles were highly cited during that time period, what journals they were published in, and trace a topic through over one hundred years of research literature.
This is actually just the extension of our Science Citation Index subscription back to 1900, a great thing, but not a separate title. So now you can find out that Albert Einstein's 1935 article in Physical Review, v. 47, no. 10, p.777-780, has been cited at least 2,698 times, and by whom!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Anyone who will be involved with gathering benchmarking data for academic departments here at UMass Amherst is invited to attend one of several workshops in March sponsored by the UMass Libraries. Workshops will be held on:
March 13 11:00 am at the Science Library, 2nd Floor, Lederle Low Rise
March 14 3:00 pm in the Du Bois Library Room 1620
March 15 Noon in the Du Bois Library Room 1620
March 16 2:00 at the Science Library, 2nd Floor, Lederle Low Rise
March 27 Noon in the Du Bois Library Room 1620
Sessions will cover: how to efficiently and effectively gather faculty publication data for your own department as well as your benchmark institutions. Different sources and strategies can be employed to make this process as quick and painless as possible! Librarians Emily Alling and Steve McGinty will demonstrate some searching techniques using databases like Thomson/ISI's Web of Science and other discipline-specific resources.
Bring your department's indicators & benchmark institutions--there will be opportunities for hands-on practice and individual consultations. Follow-up appointments are also possible.
Please contact Emily Alling (firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-545-6740) or Steve McGinty (email@example.com; 413-545-1871) for more information.
The event features three notable authors from the area-Norton Juster, Sabina Murray, and Ilan Stavans, a champagne and hors d'oeuvre reception with Celtic harpist Sarah McKee, and a gourmet feast. Tickets are $125 per person or $200 for two (of which $90 is tax-deductible, $130 for two).
Last year, attendees and sponsors raised over $16,000 for the Library. This year, all proceeds will benefit the expansion of the Learning Commons.
View invitation flyer (PDF).
For more information, contact Emily Silverman at the UMass Amherst
Library at (413) 545-0995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
ISI Proceedings is a product of the same company that brings us Web of Science, the combined citation indexes (Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, Arts and Humanities Citation Index). But ISI Proceedings' records do not include "Times Cited" information. They do include the references cited in each paper, and where those cited articles are journal articles included in the Web of Science database, they are linked to their records in WoS.
According to their database description, ISI Proceedings includes items from the following sources:
- Series produced by publishers or societies
- Sets of preprints (when preprints are the only publications from a conference)
- International proceedings (includes papers published in English and other languages)
If you have any questions about the database or the trial, please contact one of the ISEL librarians at 545-1370, or email Naka Ishii.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal policy-makers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st Century? What strategy, with several concrete steps, could be used to implement each of those actions?A diverse commission of 20 people was convened to address these questions, and the resulting report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm; Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,has been published by The National Academies, and is available on their Website for reading online, downloading or purchase. From the description:
This report has already been incorporated into legislation entitled PACE (Protect America's Competitive Edge) and this promises to be wide-ranging in its effects. It remains to be seen whether execution will match inception.In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas. This congressionally requested report by a pre-eminent committee makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation's needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy:
1) Increase America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education;
2) Sustain and strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research;
3) Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the U.S. and abroad; and
4) Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation.
Some actions will involve changing existing laws, while others will require financial support that would come from reallocating existing budgets or increasing them.
If you'd like to read the Chronicle from off campus, be sure to go through the UMass Amherst library catalog to access it. You'll be prompted to enter your OIT username and password. (If you just type "chronicle.com" into your browser, you won't be recognized as coming from UMass and you won't have access to subscriber-only content.) Once you log in, you should have full access to all online Chronicle content.
Any RSS users (Bloglines, My Yahoo!, FeedDemon, etc.) out there may also be interested in subscribing to one of the Chronicle's RSS feeds. They offer a daily news feed, a "Wired Campus Blog," and career feeds for dozens of job categories.
We hope you enjoy this easier access. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the library--we'd be happy to try to help.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Apologies for any inconvenience....hopefully, this changeover will result in the improved performance & reliability of these services!