Every year, the Knovel University 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 September 9, 2013, and ends December 1, 2013. REMEMBER TO PLAY WEEKLY!
The Prizes: There are both weekly and end-of-contest prizes! Answer correctly and you could win Roku Media Players, Pebble Smartwatches, Samsung Chromebooks, and more…
Dates and Times: Monday, September 16, from 3:00-4:30 pm AND Thursday, September 19, from 12:00-1:30pm
Location: Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd Floor, Silverman Library, Capen Hall
Come get a brief overview of EndNote, software freely provided by the library for UB students and faculty that helps you save, manage and format your references for use in writing papers. The overview will be followed by an opportunity for you to talk one-on-one with an EndNote expert on our staff who can answer questions and help you solve problems you may be having with EndNote.
The University at Buffalo Libraries, Undergraduate Academies, and Office of Sustainability are pleased to announce a book talk with local author Tom Rivers. Tom, a Batavia (NY) newspaper reporter, will join us in University Libraries Special Collections, 420 Capen Hall, from 5-6pm on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 to discuss his book, Farm Hands. Farm Hands is a chronicle of Tom’s experiences and observations working migrant worker farm jobs. The book was selected for UB’s 48 Good Books project.
In addition to the talk, copies of the book will be available for purchase at the UB Sustainable Living Fair being held on the same day from 10am-2pm in the Student Union. Tom will be signing copies of the book at the fair from 10am-12noon and 1pm-2pm.
Both events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!
Thanks to some year-end money, we have been able to acquire nine new journal titles and two collections of electronic books requested by faculty in our departments. Access to all but one (noted below) has been activated. In some cases, the full-text of older volumes was already available to our university, but now we have access right up to the current issue.
American Mathematical Monthly
Cryptography and Communications
Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision (not yet active due to delay in publication of current volumes)
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Nanoscale (Royal Society of Chemistry)
Systems and Synthetic Biology
The two most recent collections of Synthesis (Morgan and Claypool) books; these are “born-digital” books, ranging from 50 to 100+ pages in length, written by experts which synthesize important research and development topics in engineering and science.
Thanks to our colleagues at the Health Sciences Library, we now have subscriptions to the following additional journals:
Thomson Reuters Research Analytics has just released a new edition of its Journal Citation Reports (JCR) providing impact factors and other citation and influence metrics for more than 10,000 journals from 83 countries. The University Libraries provides a site-wide license to this database. The citation data comes from the Web of Science, one of the largest and oldest citation databases. JCR is issued in two editions: Science (& Technology) and Social Sciences.
According to the Thomson Reuters press release, a total of 379 journals received their first Journal Impact Factor. Additionally, 37 journals were suppressed due to questionable citation activity. Note that Thomson is now referring to the new edition as 2013 (based on the year that it was released), but all the data is from 2012. In the Journal Citation Reports interface, it is still referred to by the year the data was collected; i.e., the 2012 edition.
Alternately, there are now a number of free web sites that evaluate the impact of journals including Eigenfactor, SCImago, and Google Scholar Metrics for Journals. Consulting these sites is useful in order to cross-check to JCR rankings and in cases where a journal is not covered by JCR.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation creating the U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS) on March 3, 1863, shortly after establishment of the Land Grant Colleges, under the 1862 Morrill Act. These two events provided the U.S. a strong foothold from which American scientific achievements were born. Since then, the National Academy not only promoted excellence in science through its publications (report series and the acclaimed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences-PNAS) and its elected body of scholars into The Academy; the National Academy elevated the quality of scientific, engineering and medical achievements to the most prestigious places worldwide.
From its humble beginnings, additional entities were spawned and created an even more robust atmosphere celebrating and driving America’s scientific achievements. President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order in 1918 that paired science and public policy through the National Research Council, which works in concert with the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering (created in 1964)and the Institute of Medicine (in 1970).
Among the celebratory remarks about the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Academy, Robert Cicerone, NAS President, elaborated on the goals and mission of the Academy in an editorial in the March 19th issue of PNAS. They include a concise inventory of the Academy’s current mission (read his full editorial):
Validate scientific excellence,
Enhance the vitality of the scientific enterprise,
Guide public policy with sciences, and
Communicate the nature, values and judgments of science to government and the public.
The Reports of the National Academies and the National Research Council are published by the National Academies Press (NAP). NAP publishes roughly 200 reports per year, all of which are entered into the UB Libraries collection of E-book Resources with many of their titles also acquired in their print formats. They are often used as supplemental readings for classes in the sciences, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. It is interesting to note that among publishers, NAP is the first self-sustaining publisher making its reports available on the Web for free, in an open access model.
The 15-year old winner of the 2012 Intel Science & Engineering Fair, Jack Andraka of Maryland, said he relied on open-access articles to develop a five-minute, $3 test for pancreatic cancer. The project earned him first place and $75,000 in last year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Quoting Mr. Andraka, a Washington Post article noting the recent White House open access mandate for nearly all federally funded research reported: “I kept running into these paywalls where articles cost $30,” said Andraka. He then searched for similar, but freely available, information. “Open access was absolutely critical. I couldn’t have done my project without it.”
“After a close family friend died from pancreatic cancer, I turned to the Internet to help me understand more about this disease that had killed him so quickly. I was shocked to discover that the current way of detecting pancreatic cancer was older than my dad and wasn’t very sensitive or accurate. I figured there had to be a better way! I soon learned that many of the papers I was interested in reading were hidden behind expensive pay walls.”
Can any better case be made for open access publishing that this story? Open access really does make possible major scientific advances that can benefit all of humankind by anyone in the world, even a 15 year old high school student.
National map topographic data from the USGS are now available on mobile devices that are using the Android or iOS operating system.
Android and iPhone users can now use their mobile devices as digital topo maps, leveraging USGS maps together with the power of GPS to zoom in on their precise location while hiking, biking, running, or any other activity that benefits from precision navigation. The type of data that are available includes USGS imagery and topographic maps from The National Map, as well as road and contour layers.Currently, two Android applications are using USGS data, OruxMaps (http://www.oruxmaps.com/index_en.html) and AlpineQuest (http://alpinequest.psyberia.net/). These apps include USGS services in the list of available online maps.For users that may be navigating in an area that is outside of cell phone coverage, Mobile Atlas Creator (http://mobac.sourceforge.net/) is allowing users of this desktop application to build small “mobile atlases” with USGS data. These “mobile atlases” can be built over any area of interest at multiple scales, and when completed, the small file is moved to the phone. The “mobile atlases” enable GPS applications on both iPhone and Android mobile devices. By storing this small amount of data on the phone, these “mobile atlases” ensure the topographic data is available even when cell coverage is not.
Users of mobile devices can use USGS data on their GPS-enabled phones to track their adventure or workout. This capability is new, and promises to increase awareness and use of USGS data and services, as well as increase demand for US Topos.
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols is an interdisciplinary monthly journal of step-by-step research methods in cell, developmental and molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, protein science, computational biology, immunology, neuroscience and imaging. All protocols are up-to-date and presented in a consistent, easy-to-follow format.
Protocols is fully searchable by keyword and subject, and has several novel features including subject categories (including but not limited to antibodies, DNA delivery/gene transfer, electrophoresis, High-throughput analysis, imaging/microscopy, kits, laboratory organisms, plant biology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), RNA interference (RNAi)/siRNA, and stem cells) as well as a full listing of “recipes” for preparing solutions and biological reagents.
This announcement comes to you on the “Diamond Celebration” of the 60th Anniversary of one of biology’s greatest accomplishments. Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics is a new online database offered by the Wellcome Library in London. It provides a historical glimpse into the race to deduce the chemical structure of the DNA molecule. The crux of this resource is the April 25, 1953 landmark paper published by James Watson and Francis Crick in the journal, Nature, where they reported the chemical structure of DNA, a feat that stimulated a biological revolution that is still unfolding.
Codebreakers brings together more than one million photographs, sketches, notes, and essays related to the Watson & Crick investigation of DNA’s chemical structure. Future plans call for adding resources from 20 smaller collections, 650 digitized images and 500,000 additional pages of text. This $5.88 million dollar project is one of the world’s most comprehensive sources for a cross-disciplinary look at one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. Additional information is found at: http://wellcomelibrary.org/using-the-library/subject-guides/genetics/makers-of-modern-genetics.