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Science & Engineering Information News

New Exhibit: Long Live the Book!

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index The Science and Engineering Information Center (SEIC), located on the lower level of Lockwood Library, has a new exhibit that celebrates reading and the book.  Called “Long Live the Book!” it showcases books that staff librarians have recently read on topics in chemistry, physics, natural history, sociology, classics, and more, along with short reviews and associated artifacts.  The exhibit was curated by SEIC librarians Nancy Schiller, David Bertuca, Fred Stoss, Jill Hackenberg, and Ben Wagner, with support from Kim Wagner.

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Deadline to Apply for Training Program to Become a Climate Reality Leader

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crp_logoThe Climate Reality Project and former Vice President Al Gore will be conducting an intensive three-day training for new Climate Reality Leader activists on August 16–18 in Houston, Texas. The training will bring together pioneers, change agents, and leaders from across business, government, and civil society sectors.  The application deadline is July 11, 2016.  The website is at:


The Man Who Knew Infinity

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Based on the untold story of one of the greatest minds of his generation, the film The Man Who Knew Infinity charts the incredible life of Srinivasa Ramanujan (played by Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel, who also starred in the The Second Best Marigold Hotel), whose genius for mathematics takes him from the slums of India to Trinity College, Cambridge University, in the early 20th-century. Spurred on by his mentor G. H. Hardy (played by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons), Ramanujan overcomes racism and the rigidity of academia to revolutionize the field with his startlingly original theorems, which he attributed to divine inspiration. With no formal training, and in spite of the racism and culture shock he encountered, Ramanujan still managed to move mathematics forward much the way Sir Isaac Newton advanced the laws of physics, finding a formula for partitions that others thought was impossible. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918.

The film is based on the book The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel (in Lockwood Library, QA29 .R3 K36; see also Ramanujan: Twelve Lectures on Subjects Suggested by His Life and Work, by G. H. Hardy, Lockwood Library, QA29.S67 H3).

Watch the movie trailer and read a more detailed review.

Now playing at 4:30 pm, 7:15 pm, and 9:30 pm at the Dipson Theatres-Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main Street, Buffalo, NY.


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Science in the Time of Shakespeare

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The UB Libraries’ Science & Engineering Information Center and Map Collection have created an exhibit on “Science in the Time of Shakespeare,” an exploration of scientific discovery and scientific thinking in the Age of Shakespeare. It can be viewed in the lobby of Lockwood Library and continues on the lower level of the library (take the inside staircase to the left, one floor down).

The exhibit explores astronomy, alchemy, cartography, maps, and map-making, and profiles some of the major figures of the time, including Francis Bacon, who developed the scientific method, and the brilliant mathematician-astronomer Thomas Digges who championed the Copernican model of the universe, as well as early English navigators and explorers. Learn about Europe’s “Little Ice Age” and its connection to “Frost Fairs,” which took place on a frozen River Thames during this centuries-long cold spell.

The exhibit was researched, written and curated by Nancy Schiller, Fred Stoss, and David Bertuca.  Exhibit design by Kimberly Wagner. Image by Caitlin Russell, used with permission.

Other exhibits in the UB Libraries that are part of the Western New York-wide celebration of “400 Years Since Shakespeare” include:

•  Special Collections: The Rare & Special Books Collection holds Thomas Lockwood’s 17th century folio editions of Shakespeare’s works (1623). These rare Folios can be viewed by appointment only from April 19 through April 29, 2016 in Special Collections. Call 645-2918 for a reservation.

•  Music Library: “If music be the food of love: Shakespeare in the Music Library” from April 18, 2016 through May 31, 2016. Music provides a kaleidoscopic array of perspectives through which scholars can view the works and influences of William Shakespeare. This exhibit highlights some of the most significant topics with examples from the holdings of the Music Library.

•  Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection: A selection of books from the 17th to the 20th century are on display that focus on subjects such as life and death in Shakespeare’s London, Shakespeare and the influence of his physician son-in-law, Mr. John Hall, and William Shakespeare’s knowledge of medical and surgical practices and beliefs of that era. Surgical tools, representative of those used in Shakespeare’s England, are also on display.

•  Charles B. Sears Law Library: “Canst thou Spot the Issues?” On the Bard’s 400th Deathiversary, we ask, “What if Shakespeare’s plays were thy final exams?  Wouldst thou pass?” An issue spotter law exam based on select plays of William Shakespeare is on display from April 18 through May 6, 2016 on the 2nd floor of the Law Library. In the words of the great Bard, “If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.”

•  Lockwood Memorial Library: Browse through an array of books of all genres related to Shakespeare – from plays to retellings to fiction to criticism from April 18 through June 10, 2016.

•  UB Libraries Multimedia Collection: The Multimedia Collection in Silverman Library will showcase a selection of Shakespeare-related videos, including plays, documentaries, and adaptations from April 18 through June 10, 2016.

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UB Libraries Goes GREENR

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The UB Libraries recently added a new database to its collection that will be of interest to students, faculty, staff, and guests interested in data and information resources related to energy, the environment, and natural resources.   The topics and issues covered range across all disciplines, including the sciences, social sciences, engineering, health-related fields, law, business, medicine, political science, architecture, design and planning.

The URL to link to the database is:

GREENR (Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources) is a unique and interactive database and portal that provides international coverage of a broad spectrum of environmental and ecological issues, research, policy, and decision-making.  Among the topics covered are:

  • Global warming/climate change
  • Food safety
  • Economic development, population issues, and the environment
  • International relations
  • Environmental pollution
  • Agricultural & resource management
  • Green energy systems, jobs, building design, and engineering
  • Eco-friendly lifestyles and community planning & development

GREENR goes beyond traditional bibliographic content. It includes scholarly/academic journals, newspapers, and magazines, but also videos, podcasts, images (updated daily), primary source documents, statistical data, maps, case studies, organization profiles, surveys, conference notes, interviews, broadcast transcripts, book reviews, blogs, social networking sites, and more.

You can search by keywords. GREENR also offers interactive mapping features that allow you to easily browse the database’s contents by country, organization, or topic.

A series of video tutorials are available from the publisher at:




Knovel Academic Challenge: Let the Games Begin!

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The Knovel knove-challenge-logoAcademic Challenge is currently underway!

Knovel is an engineering database which the UB Libraries’ subscribes to.  It includes the full text of over 1,000 engineering handbooks as well as interactive data tables, equations, and graph plotters. Every year, Knovel has an Academic Challenge, where university science and engineering students answer a series of multiple-choice questions based on information in the database and become eligible for  prizes. New problem sets are posted each week on Monday at 12am.  Based on player performance, weekly and grand prizes are granted to the winning students.

The game began Sept. 28th but you can enter and play at any time.   The game ends on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

You must register to play, but registration is free.  To register and begin playing, go to:

 How do you play the game?

  • Every Monday at 12:00:00 AM PDT, new problem sets will go live in the game. Each week, students will log in with their Knovel Academic Challenge login and password once they have registered and solve 7-10 multiple choice problem-sets with direct links to Knovel accessible from within the game interface. Students have the option to exit and reenter the game anytime between problem-sets, and they have as much time as they need to answer each question, as long as they finish all problem sets each week by Sunday at 11:59:59 PM PST.
  •  Students have 3 attempts to answer each question correctly. If the question is answered correctly on the first attempt, they get 4 points; on the second attempt, 3 points; and on the third attempt, 1 point. Each week, students accumulate points to compete for weekly and grand prizes. Only grand prizes depend on total accumulation of points. The weekly prize only depends on points from that respective week.

What are the prizes?

  • Weekly Prize: The student with the highest points from that week will receive a $100 Amazon gift card
  • 1st Place Grand Prize: The student with the highest accumulation of points at the end of the challenge will receive an Apple iPad Air II with Wi-Fi 16Gb
  • 2nd Place Grand Prize: The student with the second highest accumulation of points at the end of the challenge will receive aSONOS PLAY:1
  • Challenge within the Challenge: The student with the highest score from each of the top ten schools will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Good luck!

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UB Libraries Science & Engineering Information Fair to be held Sept. 29th

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Food!   Prizes!   Librarians!

UB students are invited for food, fun, free stuff, and raffle prizes along with the opportunity to meet your science and engineering librarians at the Science & Engineering Information Fair in Lockwood Library, September 29th, from 11am to 3pm.

The fair will feature information tables staffed by UB’s science and engineering librarians as well as by trainers who will be visiting for the day from IEEE, SPIE, Scopus, and Engineering Village/Knovel. Come learn about library databases, e-books, and e-journals in all areas of science and engineering  — and qualify to win grand prizes donated by our co-sponsors.

Science & Engineering Information Center


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Open Access Publishing Options: American Chemical Society (ACS)

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Although known for its high quality subscription journals, the American Chemical Society (ACS) offers a number of open access (free-to-read) publishing options for its authors.

But first, why should researchers care about open access?

  • Many studies show that open access articles are downloaded twice as much and on average cited 8-50% more than equivalent articles locked behind subscription “pay-walls.” This can translate to higher citation metrics for tenure and promotion.
  • A U.S. Law passed in January 2014 mandates that virtually all federally funded research articles be openly available within 12 months of publication.
  • The social good of reaching (and the extra readership by) scholars and educators associated with smaller institutions and those in poorer countries that cannot afford expensive journal subscriptions should not be underestimated.

Although it is true that federally funded research articles must now have a free-to-read version available after 12 months, there are advantages to eliminating that embargo period via immediate open access including getting timelier, enhanced worldwide exposure for your research accomplishments.

ACS provides four main avenues for open access publication:

1)      The new ACS Central Science, a highly selective, peer-reviewed journal that is fully open access with no embargo.

2)      ACS Author Choice permits authors to pay a one-time article processing charge (APC) to make their article openly available upon publication.

3)      ACS Author Rewards, a fairly new program whereby the corresponding author of every ACS peer-reviewed article receives a credit of $1,500 that can be used in the subsequent year to pay the APC for any newly submitted or make any previously published subscription article open access.

4)      ACS Editors’ Choice, a composite on-line journal created by ACS editors picking one article to be made permanently open access each day of the year from across all ACS journals.

Details of these programs as of April 2, 2015 were published in a Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters viewpoint article, “ACS is Open”. However, the parameters of these programs may change in the future so scholars are encouraged to visit the ACS Author & Reviewer Resource Center for the most up-to-date information.

In addition, all publishers, including the American Chemical Society, must allow authors to comply with the new funding agency open access policies rapidly being implemented over the next few years.

American Chemical Society New Mobile App

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The American Chemical Society (ACS) recently released a mobile app, ACS2Go, for their highly used journal web site. The key feature is that, once a user accesses the journal site on campus, it automatically authenticates the device for use off-campus for 4 months, giving researchers the ability to read any subscription-based content without the need for an additional log-in step. ACS2Go can be accessed at on a tablet or smartphone.

Other features of ACS2Go include:

  • Compatibility with gestural commands to swipe and advance between articles and issues.
  • Ability to browse, search, and download journal articles.
  • Configurability tailored to the research interests and reading habits of the reader.
  • Share articles and links via email.
  • Compatible with devices running iOS, Android and Blackberry.

ACS2Go complements the previously introduced ACS Mobile app.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) All Access Database

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SUNYCentral has recently made a new electronic resource available to all students, faculty, and staff at SUNYConnect institutions. The NFCSS All Access database (UB Only) provides online access to every NFPA® code, standard, and handbook. The handbooks contain expert commentary and graphics to help clarify code concepts.

Among many other titles, the subscription includes:

  • NFPA 13: Automatic Sprinkler Systems Handbook, 2013, 2010 and 2007 Editions
  • NFPA 25: Water-Based Fire Protection Systems Handbook, 2014, 2011 and 2008 Editions
  • NFPA 70: NEC® Handbook, 2014, 2011 and 2008 Editions
  • NFPA 70E: Handbook for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, 2012 and 2009 Editions
  • NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Handbook, 2013 and 2010 Editions
  • NFPA 101: Life Safety Code® Handbook, 2012 and 2009 Editions
  • NFPA 58: LP-Gas Code Handbook, 2014, 2011 and 2008 Editions
  • NFPA 54: National Fuel Gas Code Handbook, 2012 and 2009 Editions

For more information, see the complete listing of the codes, standards, and handbooks and the Help Center for search help.