Thursday, February 23, 2006

Trial sub for ISI Proceedings

The UMass Amherst Libraries have a trial subscription to ISI Proceedings, a database of articles published in "more than 60,000 conferences" in two segments which can be searched simultaneously, Science & Technology (STP) Database and Social Sciences & Humanities (SSHP) Database. The date range goes back to 1990 for both segments.

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:
  • Books
  • Journals
  • Reports
  • 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

"Pity the Scientist who Discovers the Discovered"

An article in today's New York Times (registration required) discusses scientists who publish research that's....already been published. By others. Sometimes more than once. The problem? Poorly constructed or lacking literature searches! Don't let this happen to you! Librarians can help!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

National Academies report on maintaining science & technology competitiveness in the 21st century

The National Academies was asked by Senators Lamar Alexander and Jeff Bingaman to respond to the following questions:
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:
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.
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.

Easier access to Chronicle at UMass Amherst

Good news for UMass Amherst readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education: You can now access the Chronicle online without needing to enter a username or password. As with most of our other ejournals, you should be able to get right in and read articles in the Chronicle from any computer with a UMass Amherst IP address (i.e., on campus or through OIT dialup).

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 "" 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.