Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Environmentalism at Oberlin

All things environmental at OC is the overarching goal of a brand new web site created by Annika Sullivan, Sustainability Literacy Intern (also one of the many dedicated student assistants in the science library).  Annika observed that this is a work in progress and will change as groups form, issues change and new initiatives emerge.  Feedback is welcome.  It looks great so far!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Visualizing Photons @ MIT's Media Lab - the Camera Culture Group

Visualizing Photons in Motion at a Trillion Frames Per Second.  Remarkable!  The investigators offer these observations for the possible applications of their work: "Beyond the potential in artistic and educational visualization, applications include industrial imaging to analyze faults and material properties, scientific imaging for understanding ultrafast processes and medical imaging to reconstruct sub-surface elements, i.e., 'ultrasound with light'. In addition, the photon path analysis will allow new forms of computational photography, e.g., to render and re-light photos using computer graphics techniques."

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Annual Reviews on your mobile device

This comes from Annual Reviews, Inc., publisher of some of our favorite titles in the library and now more convenient than ever!  Connect to the Annual Reviews mobile site before leaving campus for winter break, and you will be able to access anything on the site while you are away.

The mobile site includes articles formatted for personalized browsing, searching, and provide a reading experience optimized for a variety of mobile devices.  You can also download articles for offline reading and easily share article abstracts and links via email and social networks.

Visit annualreviews.org/page/about/mobile for more information.

While there, search "oberlin college" - an interesting list results, from personal narratives of scientists whose lives were influenced in some manner by Oberlin to in-depth review articles by past and present faculty members. Classic papers, such as Norm Henderson's Human Behavior Genetics, J. Milton Yinger's study on Ethnicity, and Birdsey Renshaw's early review on Nerve and Synaptic Transmission are followed by more recent reviews by Bruce Simonson on spherule layers and Daphne John on the division of household labor.

Whatever your research interests, there is an Annual Review title that undoubtedly includes an excellent article, written by a leading expert in the filed, that provides historical context, critical analysis of peer-reviewed literature and thoughtful conclusions to spur new investigations in that subject.  We no longer receive the volumes in print, so the web site is our best access point.  Take full advantage of all of the features now offered!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Predatory, open-access publishers

Beall's List of Predatory, Open-Access Publishers has been updated, including publishers who are essentially fraudulent in their claims of scholarly peer-review and others who are launching far too many journals to adequately ensure a quality editorial process.  Extraordinary author fees for manuscript submission do not guarantee an ethical, reliable scholarly communication cycle.  Some are hardly more than vanity presses, according to Jeffrey Beall, academic librarian at the University of Colorado Denver.  Researchers are forced into the position of "buyer beware" if sending a manuscript to one of these publishers, and, even more to the point for undergraduate students, readers must be very discerning to understand which papers have been given a rigorous peer-review by knowledgable scholars in the discipline of the article in question.

Journals from some of these publishers are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, which strives to list "quality controlled" scientific and scholarly journals.  Inclusion in the DOAJ may help assure the reader of peer-review, but does not preclude predatory practice by the publisher to garner as many authors' manuscripts as possible, at the highest price, in a process that may undermine the goals of scholarly communication.