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Science & Engineering Information News

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.

See VGo the Robot tomorrow, March 24

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The UB Libraries invite the UB campus community to come meet VGo, the robot. VGo came to UB for the Digital Challenges Technology Fair a couple weeks ago and will be on campus again tomorrow March 24 from 2-4p, visiting Lockwood Library’s Science and Engineering Information Center (first floor).  Terry Connor from Verizon will be on hand to demonstrate the multiple educational and clinical applications for VGo.  The Vice President for VGo will also be there, through teleconferencing, to answer any questions folks might have

See you there!

Database Snapshot: ACM Digital Library

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The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Digital Library provides access to bibliographic information, abstracts, reviews, and selected full-text for articles and papers appearing in ACM publications including journals/transactions, magazines, conference proceedings and newsletters for 1947-present. It also provides access to selected works published by affiliated organizations.

Tips for using ACM Digital Library

Enter your terms in the upper search box. In the results list, full-text is noted with PDF or HTML icons. Refine your search using the left column of refine options. Bibliometric information is given for each item.

Database Snapshot: Lecture Notes in Computer Science

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Full-text of the popular Springer book series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) includes Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics (LNBI). Most volumes are conference proceedings. Major areas covered in this database are computer science, engineering, math, biology, statistics, GIS, information science, informatics, communication science, physics, bioinformatics, multimedia, and medical imaging. The database includes volumes from 1973-present. Some LNCS volumes in print are owned by the UB Libraries. Users can also refer to the LNCS/AI/BI Conference Acronym Index.

Tips for using Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Enter your terms in the search box in the blue bar (not the upper one). In the results list, full-text is noted with “Download PDF”. Refine your search using the left column of refine options. References for articles and related content are given on the item page.

Massive, New E-Book Collection – ebrary Academic Complete

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We are pleased to announce that the UB Libraries now subscribe to ebrary Academic Complete, a dynamic collection of over 120,000 e-books across a wide variety of academic disciplines. About one quarter of them are sci/tech/medical titles. Included are hundreds of titles from publishers such as the National Academies Press, Wiley, Oxford, MIT Press, World Scientific, IOS Press, and Cambridge University Press.

There are four very important points regarding this resource:

1)     These titles will NOT appear in our library catalog since titles will move in and out of this subscription service. We will not have access rights to any of these books beyond our three-year contract.

2)     These titles can be searched via the default “Everything” search box on the library home page or as a separate database.

3)     Ebrary Academic Complete is a cost-effective approach to providing access to many more e-books than we could ever afford to purchase outright.

4)     Downloading and printing restrictions are listed clearly on the details page of every e-book.  Most e-books allow for unlimited simultaneous use and as such are appropriate for use in courses.

UB Science & Engineering Students! Take the Knovel Academic Challenge and be eligible to win prizes!

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knove-challenge-logoEvery year, the Knovel Academic Challenge allows students to compete for prizes while learning how to use Knovel, a research tool and e-book database that the UB Libraries subscribes to; Knovel can help you complete assignments as well as research topics and find properties data, equations, and more.  This year, Knovel asked engineering professors to help them develop questions that would test your knowledge while providing real-life examples of problem sets they assign students.

The Dates: The contest starts February 2, 2015, and ends March 30, 2015.  REMEMBER TO PLAY WEEKLY!

The Prizes: There are both weekly and end-of-contest prizes! Answer correctly and you could win an Apple iPad Air II, Bose in-ear headphones, Amazon gift cards, and more…

START PLAYING NOW!   Connect from on-campus via

Please note that Knovel has assured us that student email addresses will not be distributed in any way and that the only emails students who register to play the game will receive will contain problem set solutions and other things pertaining to the challenge. After the 8-week challenge, emails to students will cease. Moreover, students can unsubscribe from any Knovel emails at any time.

Let the Games Begin!