Friday, October 28, 2011

Royal Society opens its archives and launches Open Biology

Royal Society of London Open Access
Open access news from the Royal Society of London is very welcome.  Read more about the recently launched Open Biology, "a journal run for scientists by scientists." The Royal Society says that the editors and editorial board intend to "ensure a fair and speedy review process without recourse to unnecessary rounds of revision,"  It is very new, so check back often for more publications.

The Royal Society open archive announcement coincides with Open Access Week, and celebrates free access to any article  published more than 70 years ago. This is remarkable, considering the historically significant research findings published by the Royal Society.  Try the advanced search at the Royal Society site, and you'll find that the publication date range extends back to 1665. There are not many (any?) other sites on the Internet where you can find such an authentic and rich archive of scientific discovery. Explore!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

PLoS Blogs: Making Science Understandable and Accessible

Today on one of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Blogs is an interesting account of gathering sediment cores from tropical mud, to document changes in precipitation over thousands of years by measuring amounts of hydrogen ions in the sediment.  What's so great about mucking around in the tropics to measure hydrogen ions?  As author Conor Myhrvold of MIT SciWrite explains, it gathers "physical evidence of recent manifestations of tropical climate change several thousand years ago to make sure the parameters in the [climate change] models are grounded in reality."  Reading this will give insight into what it takes, physically, to amass reliable data for understanding climate change, and a deeper appreciation for climate scientists' assessment of those data.  At the very least, it's a good way to balance what you may have heard from certain politicians. 

While at the PLoS Blogs site, take a moment to see all of the other perspectives offered there and link to the many wonderful open access PLoS journalsOpen Access Week ends soon - take this open access challenge and find an article that interests you (try DOAJ for a start) to forward to a friend or colleague, confident that he or she will also be able to read it in its entirety.  No subscription required.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going away for Fall Break? Need access to journal articles?

Information on remote access to the library's resources is here.  In a nutshell, do this:

  1. Download the VPN Client (Cisco) from the CIT website.
  2. Launch the client and login before trying to search library databases or download articles.
  3. Be sure the barcode on the back of your OCID has been input into the library's circulation system, if you will be requesting any items on the OhioLINK library catalog.  We can do that over the phone, if needed.  440-775-8310.

Problems?  Questions?  Contact or chat with us on Meebo IM.

Have a great break!  The library will be open all week, Mon-Fri, 9-noon and 1-4:30, if you're staying on campus.

PubMed Central 10th Anniversary Video

PubMedCentral (PMC) celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2010, and this commemorative video was posted by NCBI NLM in July 2011.  Just 12 minutes long, and definitely worth viewing despite the time elapsed since the video was distributed.  Establishing the open access archive was one of the most important developments in scientific communication in the past decade, and the video chronicles its rapid rise to prominence and influence on other repositories of scientific articles.  In addition to its role as an archive, PMC leads directly to NCBI and PubMed databases, with links to protein or nucleotide data or citing articles beyond those in the PMC, among other options.  See this 2009 article co-authored by biology professor Michael Moore and explore some of those linking options:
Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 March 10; 106(10): 3853–3858.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Committed to Biodiversity? Go Swim with Sharks!

Shark Tourism is a growing business with a helpful purpose that may not be entirely clear to thrill seekers in wet suits - preserving the diversity of predators essential for maintaining ecosystem balance.  Listen to this great segment on Living on Earth, October 14, 2011, featuring Samuel “Doc” Gruber, a marine scientist at the University of Miami, who has been studying lemon sharks for 20 years from the beachfront lab he started on Bahamas’ Bimini island.

If you're considering a dip with sharks (or would prefer to appreciate them from afar), check out this magnificent reference book on our new book shelf:  The Sharks of North America / José I. Castro ; color illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles.  New York : Oxford University Press, c2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PubMed: access to free medical articles online is unmatched
Open Access Gem of the Week:
For rapid, effective and entirely free (to the user) indexing to open access medical literature, PubMed can't be duplicated or surpassed.  If you need to limit your search to medical articles that are freely available, PubMed is simply the best.  Do any search and notice on the far right of the results screen a link to "Free Full Text" -- there are many other limits and very powerful search options, but this is one of the most obvious and helpful for the public.

Medline, the database underlying PubMed, can be simultaneously searched with Chemical Abstracts in SciFinder; with BIOSIS and the ISI citation indexes in Web of Knowledge; and with a whole host of databases in EbscoHost.  There are excellent reasons to search Medline in those different platforms, but none of them are freely accessible by the public, world-wide, and offer the same ease of quickly linking to free articles online.  PubMed:  our tax dollars at work, and worth every penny.  Try the advanced search interface with its "search builder" and be amazed at the options for creating a well-focused search.   PubMed Mobile provides access from just about anywhere, anytime.  Thank you, NCBI.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Cool Citation Tracking Tools @ the Geek Fest - Oct. 11

Come to the library's Geek Fest on Tuesday October 11 and have fun following citations.  Truly, it will be fun!

  • Easily find Oberlin faculty members whose research has been referenced (cited) by hundreds of other authors in the past twenty years.  
  • See who has cited any published paper that interests you, from any discipline or time period, using the Web of Science - and, in one more step, find all of the papers related to those citing papers with the shared reference feature.  
  • Leaping (linking) from one citation to the next in mere milliseconds, all within the context of millions of scholarly articles indexed in the Web of Science - including Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and the Science Citation Index.  Plus Conference Proceedings!

Once you've mastered the Web of Science, visit other stations around Azariah's Cafe, set up to delight you with new ways to find, store, organize and use information.  Food, beverages, friendly librarians, fellow students, writing tutors, prizes!  Mark your calendar...  be there!