Skip to Content
ublogo print

University at Buffalo Libraries

Oscar A. Silverman Library

Science & Engineering Information News

October Workshops in the Science & Engineering Information Center

Posted on: |

This October, the UB Libraries’ new Science & Engineering Information Center on the 2nd floor of Silverman Library is offering two hands-on workshops for UB science and engineering students, faculty, and staff.

Workshop #1:  Electronic Books in Science & Engineering

When:  October 23, 2013, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Where:  Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd floor, Silverman Library, Capen Hall (back by the windows)

What:   There are thousands of electronic books in science and engineering that the UB Libraries have purchased for your use in your coursework and research.  These are not necessarily textbooks, though many of them do offer an introduction to topics as diverse as applied mathematics, finite element method, calculus, Java scripting, and more, while others provide in-depth coverage of specialized topics in chemistry, biology, computer science, all areas of engineering, geology, physics, mathematics, and statistics.  Come and learn how to find, search, print from, download, take notes in, cite, and build personalized virtual bookshelves of electronic books in science and engineering.

What You Need to Do:  Just show up!

Highly Recommended:   Bring your laptop/tablet.  We will start with a short formal presentation and then work with you individually.


Workshop #2:   Get Cited or Perish:  Citation Metrics for Tenure, Promotions & Grants

When:  October 29, 2013, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Where:  Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd floor, Silverman Library, Capen Hall (back by the windows)

What:  Increasingly, citations to one’s publications are being used as part of the evaluation of dossiers, departments, and grants. Hence, it is important to not only figure out where to publish, but also how to get cited and accurately count those citations. This workshop will give you insight into tools such as Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar Citations so that you can better understand the contribution your research has made to the scientific literature. You will learn how to find specific metrics like the h-index and journal impact factors.

What You Need to Do:   Just show up!

Highly Recommended:   Bring your laptop/tablet.  We will start with a presentation that includes live demos, which you can follow on your device. Then our staff will work with you individually or in small groups.

Questions?  Contact Nancy Schiller, Engineering Librarian, Science & Engineering Information Center, 2nd Floor, Capen Hall,, 716-645-1338


American Chemical Society on Campus – Chemistry Department / Libraries Student Event

Posted on: |

On Tuesday, September 24th, the University Libraries’ Science & Engineering Information Center hosted a career and scholarly publishing event funded by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The event, ACS on Campus, was an outreach program that gave over 130 students, postdocs and professionals the information they need to advance their careers.

Welcoming remarks were given by Austin Booth, Vice Provost of the University Libraries, and Dr. Michael Detty, Chair of the UB Chemistry Department.

Attendees learned how to get published in top journals, write research proposals, and prepare resumes.  Presenters also discussed careers outside academia, ethics in scholarly communication, and the job search. The panel on alternate careers in chemistry at the end of the day was especially informative. The full agenda and speaker bios can be viewed at ACS on Campus University at Buffalo.

ACS on Campus was the inaugural event for the reconfigured Science & Engineering Information Center on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Silverman Library in Capen Hall, North Campus. The Center has study space and offers scheduled drop-in clinics. The services and collections primarily support the research and teaching missions of the UB College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. A team of five subject specialist librarians, with offices on the 2nd floor, serve students, faculty, and staff in the science and engineering departments on campus.



Posted in News | Comments Off

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

Posted on: |

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…

START PLAYING NOW!   Connect from on-campus via

Let the Games Begin!

knovel 2013 challenge logo


Bring Your EndNote Questions to Us!

Posted on: |

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.

We recommend that you bring your laptop with you and that you load the EndNote software for it in advance from: 

All are welcome!

UB Welcomes ‘Farm Hands’ Author Tom Rivers!

Posted on: |


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!

New Sci/Tech Resources Acquired

Posted on: |

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.

  1. American Mathematical Monthly
  2. Cryptography and Communications
  3. Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision (not yet active due to delay in publication of current volumes)
  4. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  5. Nanoscale (Royal Society of Chemistry)
  6. Systems and Synthetic Biology
  7. 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:

  1. Biometals
  2. RNA Biology
  3. Science Signaling

Journal Impact Factors – New Edition Covering 2012 Data

Posted on: |

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.

NAS Celebrates 150 Years of Service to U.S. Science

Posted on: |

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.

Why You Should Make Your Articles Free-to-Read

Posted on: |

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.”

He also is quoted in Why Science Journal Paywalls Have to Go blog entry as saying:

“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.

Posted in News | Comments Off

USGS Topo Data on the Go

Posted on: |

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 ( and AlpineQuest ( 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 ( 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.