Entries for January 2006

January 31, 2006

Thomson Gale Adds Podcast Feeds to Database Resources

Database vendors are starting to recognize the current advantages and future possible growth in podcasting. On November 8, 2005, Thomson Gale announced that several of their database products will now include podcasts.

"With the number of colleges and universities handing out iPods, and the ever-increasing number of students and adults buying these and other MP3 devices, we have the responsibility to provide content to our users in ways that fit into their everyday lifestyle,” said Gordon Macomber, president of Thomson Gale. “Podcasts are now available for a number of premier content sources. It is our goal to find the ones that make sense in a school or library setting, and make them available as a supplement to traditional reference and periodical content."
I hope other information providers also look to add podcasts to indexing services, since their content may be just as valuable as traditional print materials.
Subscribe to the Bibliocasting listserv for more announcements like this.

January 30, 2006

Tax Forms

Are you looking for tax forms? The Kelvin Smith Library has collected the various tax-related web sites into one easy to use directory.

Electronic Literature Organization

Electronic Literature Organization was established to facilitate and promote the writing, publishing, and reading of literature in electronic media. It has been collecting related news articles since July of 2000.

[About the ELO]

The Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1999 to promote and facilitate the writing, publishing, and reading of electronic literature. Since its formation, the Electronic Literature Organization has worked to assist writers and publishers in bringing their literary works to a wider, global readership and to provide them with the infrastructure necessary to reach one another.
(Highlighted by the The Internet Scout Report, January 6, 2006, Volume 12, Number 1)

January 29, 2006

Chemistry Information Software

The EngLib blog shared an announcement of some new software for chemistry information.

  • Elsevier MDL and TEMIS launched the Chemical Entity Relationship Skill Cartridge, a software application that "identifies and extracts chemical information from text documents."
  • ChemAxon announced the lauch of a free cheminfomatics toolkit, a "FreeWeb" package to "provide its chemical editing, viewing, search, property calculation and database management toolkits at no cost to freely accessible web resources being operated for non-commercial purposes".

January 27, 2006

Congressional Research Service Report from the Open CRS Network

The Open CRS Network is an attempt to collect the various Congressional Research Service reports. The reports are not available to the public until released by a member of Congress. The Open CRS Network highlights various other CRS report collections that exist. If you have requested a report from your congressman, you can add it to Open CRS Network's collection by a web form.

January 26, 2006

Ben Franklin Web Portal - Powered by Clusty

Thanks to the recent Research Newsletter (January 19, 2005) of the CASE Office of Student Projects, we get word of a new Ben Franklin web portal.

Ben Franklin Web Portal Brings the Man to the Masses (NSF Press Release 06-006, January 9, 2006)

In time for the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth, a Web portal (http://ben.clusty.com) based on clustering technology is offering a new method to separate useful Franklin facts from the normal flood of online information.
Franklin was an important figure not only in U.S. history, but also for science and engineering. From studies of electricity, weather and ocean currents to his development of the lightning rod, double spectacles (bifocals) and the odometer, many of his innovations and discoveries were groundbreaking.
The NSF release talks about the web portal's development with information on Vivisimo, Clusty, and the related NSF grant.

January 25, 2006

Figures and Tables Omitted from Online Periodical Articles

Xiaotian Chen wrote Figures and Tables Omitted from Online Periodical Articles: A Comparison of Vendors and Information Missing from Full-Text Databases in Internet Reference Services Quarterly (Volume 10, Issue 2, pages 75-88, 2005). The article compares the manner in which vendors of full-text databases deal with charts, diagrams, figures, and tables that were originally part of the periodical articles in print. The variations between the databases explored was drastic, and the same database accessed through different interfaces could have different text results.

The Case community can access the article from the E-Journal Portal.

January 24, 2006

Trends from the Entertainment Industry -Translate to Libraries?

Aaron Shaffer brought my attention to a very interesting article, called The Long Tail (Wired Magazine, Issue 12.10, October 2004). Most of us believe that the entertainment industry is driven only by the hits, probably due to all the award shows, rankings, etc. The "long tail" is all of the other albums, songs, movies, and books that account for a super large volume of sales if provided to the public. Examples like Amazon, Rhapsody, NetFlix, and eBay show that people are interested in and will buy the non-#1 materials if the resources are available to see reviews, get recommendations, and have easy access.

I think this article has long reaching consequences on libraries. First, what role does copyright have in the development of future library resources and services? I believe the intentions of copyright, that "Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries" (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8), is very important. As copyright protection limits are continually increased in length, are will still protecting "progress" or just monetary interests? Someone would argue that economic numbers demonstrate progress, but are we using this measure at the death of future educational, cultural, and scientific discoveries? Just look at the article I shared on the KSL Reference Weblog for an example.

It appears that the "long tail" examples also counteracts the statements by book and journal publishers that open access materials would mean death to their sales. The article showed that increased access, free or very cheap, only boosted sales drastically. As people gained access, they always wanted more and more.

I think in libraries we are seeing a similar fate with Google and other Internet resources. While people are going to Google first for their questions, it results in only more questions and curiosity. The type of questions I see in the library are becoming more complicated in nature and more inquisitive on the user's part.

I think the academic libraries in Ohio have been very lucky with OhioLINK. It has allowed individual libraries more freedom (i.e. money) to maybe focus on what could be considered items that fall into the "long tail." In addition to consortia, libraries need to find the other processes that allow users access to everything and anything. It appears CASE is headed in the right direction with the increasing amount of electronic resources and collections, such as Digital Case.

Digitization of AMNH's Scientific Publications

The American Museum of Natural History Library announced the digitization of the museum's roster of scientific publications. They are freely available and searchable through a DSpace platform.

So far the following publications are available:

  • American Museum Novitates
  • Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History
  • Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
  • Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History

(Courtesy of the Rowland Institute Library Blog and the American Scientist Open Access Forum)

January 23, 2006

Disappointing Year for R&D Funding

Thanks to the recent Research Newsletter (January 19, 2005) of the CASE Office of Student Projects, we get word of poor R&D funding for 2006.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Report:
Congress Finishes FY 2006 Appropriations, Caps a Disappointing Year for R&D Funding

On December 30, nearly three months into the fiscal year, President Bush signed the last two FY 2006 appropriations bills into law, bringing the FY 2006 appropriations process to a close. AAAS estimates that the federal R&D portfolio totals $134.8 billion in 2006, a $2.2 billion or 1.7 percent increase. But 97 percent of the increase goes to just two areas: defense weapons development and human space exploration technologies. Funding for all other federal R&D programs collectively will barely increase, and will fall nearly 2 percent after adjusting for inflation.
[About AAAS]
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, ”Triple A-S” (AAAS), is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide.

Annual List of Top 10 Organizations Receiving Most U.S. Patents

On January 10, 2006, the United States Patent & Trademark Office released the Annual List of Top 10 Organizations Receiving Most U.S. Patents. International Business Machines Corporation was #1.

(Courtesy of the ResourceShelf, January 11, 2006.)

January 20, 2006

Online Socializing can have Unintended Consequences

Think Before You Share - Students' online socializing can have unintended consequences By BROCK READ
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Volume 52, Issue 20, Page A38

Brock Read shares the details of several incidents where student information was found freely on the internet and used against them. For example, Penn State football fans arrested after running on to the field after a victory over Ohio State based on pictures in Facebook. Facebook is one of several social networks that is rapidly growing on the internet.

As blogs, web sites, and social networks continue to grow with various forms of personal data available for all to see, students and other users must be aware of the related dangers: cyberstalking, criminal prosecution, discrimination, etc.

The Case community can access the full article from the E-Journal Portal. Several of the sources have a one month embargo before the article is available.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers - Only Online in the Future

The Thomas Industrial Network has announced that it will discontinue the publication of its print directories. The two major publications to cease after 2006 will be the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers and the Thomas Register Regional Buying Guides. The full information from these publications, and much more, will continue to be available free-of-charge at ThomasNet.com.

The Kelvin Smith Library does have a copy of the 2005 edition in its Reference Collection.

Wikibooks Offers Free E-Textbooks

Wikibooks is a Wikimedia project, set up on July 10, 2003. Volunteers have written over 12,000 book modules in a multitude of books.

Wikibooks's goal is to create a free instructional resource—indeed, the largest instructional resource in history, both in terms of breadth and depth, to become a reliable resource. It's an ambitious goal which will probably take many years to achieve.

January 19, 2006

Impact of Electronic Publishing

In Impact of Electronic Publishing by John Savarese (article originally appeared in the 1/1/2006 Issue of Campus Technology), we learn how far electronic publications have progressed. Some highlights include:

See the article for more examples and resources to explore.

Libraries Introducing Public to New Technology

Research and Markets issued a report called Best Practices of Public Library Information Technology Directors (February 2005). The report costs 70 Euros, but the summary of key findings is worth the free read.

The report is based on interviews with information technology directors and other critical staff involved in IT decision-making from the Princeton Public Library, Minneapolis Public Library, Evansville Public Library, Santa Monica Public Library, Boston Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and the Denver Public Library.

January 18, 2006

New Blog - Physics Information Fluency

Patricia T. Viele, Physics & Astronomy Librarian at Cornell University, has started a new blog, Physics Information Fluency. The goal of her blog is to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas about adding information fluency to physics curriculum.

January 17, 2006

Wikipedia's co-founder eyes a Digital Universe

CNET News reported that Wikipedia's co-founder eyes a Digital Universe. Larry Sanger, who is no longer involved with Wikipedia, has been brought on to work with the Digital Universe project. Sanger described the Digital Universe as the "PBS of the Web" and it will be the "largest reliable information source on the Web", due to the experts it will employ.

[What is the Digital Universe?]

The Digital Universe is an intuitively organized, multimedia Web that will inform, educate, engage and involve people worldwide. The mission is to realize the Internet’s potential as an open, non-commercial medium that inspires creativity, communication, collaboration and education.

January 16, 2006

Instant Messaging, Literacies, & Social Identities

In Reading Research Quarterly (v.40, no.4, Oct/Nov/Dec 2005, pp.470-501), Cynthia Lewis and Bettina Fabos explored Instant Messaging, Literacies, and Social Identities. The fulltext is available.

Bibliocasting Listserv with Archives

From the Theoretical Librarian blog:

The bibliocasting listserv is dedicated to a discussion of streaming media in the library environment. This list grows out of the increasing popularity of "Podcasting," or the use of RSS and the Internet to download audio programs (like audio blogs) to computers and MP3 players.

You can get the listserv in two ways. The first is through e-mail. To subscribe to the list send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.syr.edu with the entire message (no subject line):
subscribe bibliocasting FirstName LastName

We have also set up a podcast for the list...that's right, you can listen to the list. Each post is transformed from text-to-speech, and syndicated using RSS.

The archive is available at http://iis.syr.edu/archive/bibliocasting/.

January 13, 2006

The Scientist - Now with a Blog & Podcasts

The Scientist, available to the Case community in print through the Health Center Library (HCL), now offers various improvements at The Scientist web site. Thanks to the Science Library Pad blog we have word of new podcasts and blog.

January 12, 2006

Science's 10 Most Beautiful Experiments

Make: Technology on Your Time blog announced the 10 Most Beautiful Experiments web site that introduces, with descriptions and animations, the items that are beautiful to physicists.

While there, you can explore the information and animations of various physical processes that are demonstrated.

Podcast Search Engine Launched - Driven by Speech Recognition Software

The next generation of a podcast search engines was shared on LISNews.org. PODZINGER allows a user to search a podcast for the exact occurrence of a word or phrase. The user can than play the entire podcast or can click on any of the words in the transcript to start replay at that point.

For example, I searched for "chemical engineering" and sorted the results by relevancy. I was able to jump right into a Science Friday show from National Public Radio (NPR) and hear a chemical engineering professor from MIT get introduced; or listen to a podcast created during the National Chemistry Week of the American Chemical Society.

Once a user conducts a search, they can subscribe to the search parameters by RSS and get new results as they arrive. Users can subscribe to the podcast web site's xml feed, download the entire contents of the single podcast, or subscribe in iTunes or Yahoo.

If you create podcasts, you can add the search functionality to your web site, and also register your podcast feeds for others to see.


PODZINGER is a podcast search engine that lets you search the full audio of podcasts just like you search for any other information on the web.

What is the difference between PODZINGER and other podcast search sites?
Most podcast search sites provide directories of podcasts by subject, category, or they search only the metadata provided by the creator of the podcast. PODZINGER takes search a step further by searching the spoken words inside the podcast in order to find more specific and relevant results. The text-based search results include snippets from the audio to help you figure out if the result is relevant. You can even click on the words to listen to the audio from that point.

How does PODZINGER work?

PODZINGER creates a text index of the audio data, using the industry's leading speech-to-text technology from BBN Technologies, to enable search within a podcast, not just within the metadata.

What formats and languages are supported by PODZINGER?

PODZINGER will index, search and reference podcasts in English (language tag in RSS file must begin with "en"), formatted as MP3 or WAV files.

January 11, 2006

Observations on Blogging

I subscribe to Planet Case, Blog@Case Comments, and various RSS feeds from Case blogs and other blogs from several subject areas (library & information science, technology, engineering, etc). I am surprised by some of the activities I have seen on some blogs.

  • Copying word for word materials written by others, which would be a violation of copyright
  • Copying all or a portion of a material written by others without citing the original source
  • Posting an item, allowing extensive discussion to occur in the comments section, and than changing the original post so the commentators look like idiots
  • Allowing commenting to occur, than deleting comments you do not agree with
  • Not linking to the source that you are commenting about, so others can form their own opinions
  • On and on...
Many bloggers probably do not think of actions like this, because it is so easy to cut-and-paste or press a delete button. Actions like this happen on web sites all of the time, but unless cached by Google, the WayBack Machine, or other services it might not be visible to the casual reader. Email holds more accountabilty, because once you send an item you cannot recall it. The blogosphere falls in between these two realms. Changes, deletions, updates, etc. on blogs probably go unnoticed all the time, unless the blog owner makes a statement in their entry. RSS feeds though increase the level of accountabilty of blogs. Once a subscriber receives a RSS item in their reader or aggregator, it is no longer in control of the original blog owner. If someone follows a certain blog closely, especially by utilization of RSS, the writer's habits, changes, or style of writing now have gained a history outside of the blog owner's control.

I like the Bloggers' Code of Ethics that was created by CyberJournalist.net. And in a related note, CyberJournalist shared the New York Times view on blogging.

January 10, 2006

The Patent Librarian

Michael White has started a new blog, called The Patent Librarian. The blog was started in November and I look forward to watching it grow. One of the neat features is Michael's posts that show just how busy the USPTO is during a given time period. His sidebar of patent links is also a great resource.

January 09, 2006

NRC ratings of doctoral programs

Thanks to Robert Michaelson on the CHMINF-L listserv for sharing the announcement that the U.S. National Research Council will be starting a new assessment of doctoral programs. Michaelson pointed out the last rankings were in 1995, and that several new fields will be included.

Read the Inside Higher Ed article (November 23, 2005) for more information.

[About National Research Council]

The National Research Council is part of the National Academies, which also comprise the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology and health policy advice under a congressional charter. The Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of further knowledge and advising the federal government.

January 08, 2006

Professor Fired For Blogging?

Meg Spohn, a professor at Devry University in Westminster, Colorado, has been fired, she says, for some "water-cooler kvetching" about the institution on her blog. See the entry at The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog and the Denver Post article for more information and commentary. She posted that she was given no warnings before the firing, and Colorado is an “at-will” state so they can fire with no reason given. To this day she still does not know what entries may have caused her firing.

Microsoft Announces MSN Book Search

On October 25, 2005, MSN Search announced its intention to launch MSN Book Search, which will support MSN Search’s efforts to help people find exactly what they’re looking for on the Web, including the content from books, academic materials, periodicals and other print resources. MSN Search intends to launch an initial beta of this offering in 2006. MSN also intends to join the Open Content Alliance (OCA) and work with the organization to scan and digitize publicly available print materials, as well as work with copyright owners to legally scan protected materials.

[What is the Open Content Alliance?]

The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content.

January 07, 2006

OhioLINK - Your Story and Its Story

OhioLINK is looking for user stories in order to provide a clear picture of the value of OhioLINK. Please share your story about your success.

Watch This Is OhioLINK: An Introductory Video (RealPlayer) to learn more about OhioLINK.

6th Annual Symposium on Intellectual Property

Sixth Annual Symposium on Intellectual Property
June 14-16, 2006

Sponsored by the Center for Intellectual Property at University of Maryland University College

"Copyright at a Crossroads: The Impact of Mass Digitization on Higher Education"

Two full days of seminars and discussions June 15-16.
Pre-symposium seminars the afternoon of June 14.

UMUC Inn and Conference Center
Adelpi, MD

Details forthcoming at http://www.umuc.edu/cip

January 06, 2006

UK Directory of Educational Podcasts

Russell Educational Consultancy and Productions (RECAP Limited) produces the first UK directory to list podcasts for educational use.

The podcasts are suitable for use by children and young people at school, college and elsewhere. With more and more audio and video podcasts on the Internet, we only select and list the quality podcasts using our published criteria. All of 2000+ podcasts in our directory are "family friendly" and our latest additions list is regularly updated.
They have classified the podcasts by subject area, or someone can locate podcasts for educators or by educators.

Updated: Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Comments Are NOW Being Collected from January 4, 2006 through February 2, 2006

The LibraryLawBlog shares information about the current solicitation for comments about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The purpose of this proceeding is to determine whether there are particular classes of works as to which users are, or are likely to be, adversely affected in their ability to make noninfringing uses due to the prohibition on circumvention of access controls.

6th Annual Weblog Awards, The 2006 Bloggies

It's now the sixth year of the world's most established weblog awards, the Bloggies. Personal Web publishing never stops growing, and that means this year the public will have more contenders than ever to select from when choosing the year's best weblogs.

Nominate your favorite blogs. I cannot way to see who the winners are, so I can find some more exciting blogs to read.

Gender Differences in Federal Research Grant Funding

The RAND Corporation conducted research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study gender differences in federal research grant funding. The report called Gender Differences in Major Federal External Grant Programs looked at the funding activities of NSF, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Agriculture.

No major differences were discovered in most cases. The major exception was funding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The funding summaries provided from the NIH from 2001-2003 showed that women only received 63% of the funding provided to male applicants. One cause was that men received the largest awards. If that was ignored, women still only received 83% of the counterparts funding. Another problem was that NIH does not keep information of co-investigators, only the principal applicant. Also, women are less likely to apply with the same organization again.

Please read the full report for more numbers and conclusions.

[About RAND]

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world.

January 04, 2006

Patent Information Users Group Annual Meeting (2006)

The Patent Information Users Group (PIUG) has put out a call for papers for its 2006 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, May 20-25. Formed in 1988, PIUG is a volunteer organization for patent information professionals dedicated to the improvement of the retrieval, analysis and dissemination of patent information worldwide.

One of the themes of this year's conference is the role of patents in academic research, teaching and technology transfer. In the last 20 years the number of patents granted to universities and public research institutions has increased dramatically. The National Science Foundation notes in its Science and Engineering Indicators 2004 that while the output of scientific publications has been relatively flat in the U.S. since 1992, the number of academic patents and citations to patents in scholarly articles has increased ten-fold. Although there is much debate on the value of patents as a means of disseminating scholarly research, patents are increasingly important to the worldwide academic community. This session will explore how patent information is being used by university researchers, instructors, librarians and technology transfer officers.

Possible topics include:

  • Patent information services and collections
  • Profiles of academic patent information users
  • Collaboration and cooperation between university libraries and tech transfer offices
  • Patent information education, training and tutorials
  • New tools and technologies for delivering patent information, e.g. in-house databases, RSS feeds, Blogs
  • Searching patents in literature databases such as SciFinder Scholar
  • Academic patenting, licensing and commercialization philosophies

I encourage you to submit a proposal for this or any other session. Instructions for submitting a proposal are at the end of this message. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about PIUG or the scope of the session. The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 30, 2006.

Thank you,
Michael White
Co-Chair, Patent Information in Academia - 2006 PIUG Conference

Michael J. White, Librarian for Research Services, BA, MLIS
Engineering and Science Library
Douglas Library Bldg., Room 516
Queen's University
93 University Ave., Kingston, Ontario K7L 5C4
(613) 533-6785 / (613) 533-2584 (fax)

Continue reading "Patent Information Users Group Annual Meeting (2006)"

January 03, 2006

Los Alamos Technical Reports on the Federation of American Scientists Web Site

Thousands of unclassified technical reports that were published on the Los Alamos National Laboratory web site and then removed from public access have now been reposted on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) web site.

The Los Alamos reports were archived by researchers Carey Sublette and Gregory Walker. Over the past year FAS has added more and more of the collection, which comprises an enormous 8.5 gigabytes of data, to the website.

Many of the documents have enduring if narrow scientific value, judging from the requests we regularly receive for various titles. Others are principally of historical value. Still others hold both scientific and historical interest.

For example, the 1947 study entitled "Blast Wave" (LA-2000, a 19 MB PDF file) includes original scientific papers by Hans Bethe, John von Neuman and Rudolph Peierls -- but also by Klaus Fuchs, who would be convicted in 1950 of spying for the Soviet Union.

[About Federation of American Scientists]

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was formed in 1945 by atomic scientists from the Manhattan Project. Endorsed by nearly 60 Nobel Laureates in biology, chemistry, economics, medicine and physics as sponsors, the Federation has addressed a broad spectrum of national security issues of the nuclear age in carrying out its mission to promote humanitarian uses of science and technology.

January 02, 2006

Merriam-Webster Offering Open Dictionary

Merriam-Webster announced the "Open Dictionary," which they describe as "a real-time chronicle of new words and senses based entirely on contributions from its users."

Trust & the Internet

Consumer Reports WebWatch has issued the results of a poll called Leap of Faith: Using the Internet Despite the Dangers.

Among the latest findings from the Consumer Reports Web Watch poll:

  • Four in five Internet users are at least somewhat concerned someone could steal their identity from personal information on the Internet.
  • Nearly nine out of ten users have made at least one change in their behavior because of this fear.

The full report is available for your viewing pleasure, and includes findings of how people have changed their Internet usage.

From a librarian's perspective, I found the section on search engines quite interesting.

More people today (44%) have heard or read about search engines being paid fees to list some sites more prominently in their search results, compared with 39 percent in 2002. However, the majority (56%) still has not heard of this common practice.