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The Libraries now have access to Scopus!

It indexes more than 19,000 titles and provides citation analysis and h-index calculation.

If you have questions, feel free to get in touch!

New SAE Digital Library

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When searching the SAE Digital Library lately you may have noticed a new, giant red box along the right hand of the screen:


If you click on that you can search their newly designed database...same content as we had before, but with an interface that really facilitates successful searching.

New Copyright Website

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The Libraries have a new site to highlight information and resources regarding copyright.  It has been put together by our Copyright Librarian, Nancy Sims.


The site is framed around two questions...Can I Use This? and What Do I Own?  There are also quick links to register for some of the copyright-themed workshops offered at the library.

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Drop-In Hours for Peer Research Consultants Have Started

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Peer Research Consultants: one-on-one support for library research now available for students

Drop-in hours are now available for the Peer Research Consultants!  Students can sit down and get personalized help with writing papers, selecting their topics, and doing library from their own peers. The PRCs are extensively trained on Library and academic literature research.

Please encourage students to stop by our walk-in hours at 4 locations (Walter Library, Wilson Library, Appleby Hall, Magrath Library).  We have openings and our consultants are available Monday through Friday.  For more information visit:

Check the schedule for exact times and locations.

This service is a great tool for undergraduates to work with their peers to find higher quality information.  If you work with Undergrads (or are an Undergrad yourself!) please spread the word!

Pecha Kucha: Libraries Collaboration

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20by20.jpg On November 11, my colleague, Kate Peterson, and I gave a Pecha Kucha Presentation on the collaboration tools that the Libraries offer and support, as part of the Office of Information Technology's 20 By 20 Event.

The format of Pecha Kucha gives the presenter 20 slides, each timed at 20 seconds.  So it's a quick (about 6.5 minutes) introduction to a lot of tools.

If you're interested take a look.  If you want to learn more about any of the tools and services mentioned in the presentation, feel free to be in touch.

Learn More About the Library Course Page (video)

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To see more library video's check out the U of M Libraries YouTube channel.

Trial Subscription to SPIE Digital Library

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The library has purchased a one-year subscription to the online content of the SPIE. To gain access, select from the e-journal list on the the library website or use this direct proxy link:

The SPIE Digital Library is the most extensive resource available on optics and photonics, providing unprecedented access to more than 275,000 technical papers from SPIE Journals and Conference Proceedings from 1990 to the present. More than
17,000 new research papers are added annually. (Note that SPIE now includes some eBooks, but they're not included in our subscription.)

Since we're treating this subscription as a "trial" for this year, I'd appreciate any feedback you have on this subscription.

Library Course Page Gets a Facelift!

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For the past two academic years I've been creating webpages to provide course-specific suggestions of library tools and resources. Those pages looked something like this:


Recently the libraries have developed a new model of course-level support which we're calling the Library Course Page.


Some new features include:

  • Tabbed structure that brings together course resources and reserved readings in one spot

  • A chat box to ask a reference librarian a question

  • Easy navigation to other course pages

Take a look at the new can view them on the libraries homepage.


If you're interested in customizing a page for an upcoming class or want to learn how you can put items on reserve (books, articles, homework solutions) just send me an email!

Working Off-Campus

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(Image from davesag via Flickr.  CC.)

From Engineering Librarian, Jan Fransen:

Suppose you'd like to review some article citations and you're off campus. If you're feeling lucky, you can just search Google Scholar and find PDFs of the articles you want. But what if full text isn't freely available online?

If University Libraries has purchased access to the journal you want, you can go to the Libraries website and either find the journal in the E-Journals list or fill in citation information with the Citation Linker. In either case, you'll be prompted for your X.500 credentials and recognized as an affiliate once you get to the publisher's website.

But if you prefer to go straight to IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Elsevier ScienceDirect, or another publisher site, just drag the bookmarklet below to your browser toolbar. When you're on a publisher's webpage, click the UMN Access button. The code will update links on the page to use the University Libraries's proxy and you'll be able to download full text just as if you were on campus,

UMN Access

The idea and code for this bookmarklet came from Daniel Feldman, a graduate student in Software Engineering. Thanks, Daniel!

Patent Searching: A Tutorial

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We've recently created a new tutorial to assist you with your patent searching.

Patent Searching Tutorial.jpg

So if you're looking for patents and are stuck on getting started...give this a look.

I'm also happy to assist and answer any questions you may have.

Check out our other tutorials (including our Patents and Patentability Tutorial)

Are there any tutorials that you think would be especially helpful in conducting library research. Leave a comment or send me an email.

SciFinder Scholar Now Available Online

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If you're a SciFinder user than you know that in the past you've had to download client software onto your desktop to search SciFinder's database and use VPN if you wanted to access it off-campus.

Now SciFinder has recently made an online version available to UMN Library users.

To use SciFinder online you'll have to set up a SciFinder's the steps that our Chemistry Librarian, Meghan Lafferty sent out:

- Log in to
- Click on (or paste it into the address bar in your browser).
- If you come to an Access Denied page, click on the "Please login..." link.
- Use your e-mail address when filling out the registration form, .
- Because only current University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff are permitted to use SciFinder Scholar, please do not share registration/log-in information.

For those of you who currently use the client software, it will continue to work...but they are planning on phasing it out in late 2010.

We only have a limited number of SciFinder seats so please make sure to log out when you are finished using it.


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The library purchases a lot of books that are available on in an electronic format via Springer E-Books.

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Here are some books that have recently become available via our subscription. If you're affiliated with the University of Minnesota then you can access these books from anywhere that you have an Internet connection.

This database is a great resource!

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Modelling Dynamics in Processes and Systems
Edited by Wojciech Mitkowski

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Multifunctional Metallic Hollow Sphere Structures
Edited by Andreas Ochsner

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Networked Control Systems: Theory and Applications
Edited by Fei-Yue Wang

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Quasi-Gas Dynamic Equations
By Tatiana G. Elizarova

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Advanced Microsystems for Automotive Applications 2009: Smart Systems for Safety, Sustainability, and Comfort
Edited by Gereon Meyer

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Advances in Robotics Research: Theory, Implementation, Application
Edited by Torsten Kroger

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Analytical Methods in Fuzzy Modeling and Control
By Jacek Kluska

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Applications of Intelligent Control to Engineering Systems
Edited by Kimon P. Valavanis

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Applied Scanning Probe Methods XII: Characterization
Edited by Bharat Bhushan

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Automotive Development Processes: Processes for Successful Customer Oriented Vehicle Development
By Julian Weber

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BAIL 2008 - Boundary and Interior Layers

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Combustion Noise
Edited by Anna Schwarz

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Computational Fluid Dynamics 2006
Edited by Herman Deconinck

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Computational Fluid Dynamics 2008
Edited by Haecheon Choi

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Computational Kinematics
Edited by Andres Kecskemethy

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Convection in Fluids
By R. KH Zeytounian

Design Computing and Cognition '06
Edited by John S. Gero

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Design of Observer-based Compensators
By Peter Hippe

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Diesel Engine Transient Operation
By Constantine D. Rakopoulos

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Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems 8
Edited by Hajime Asama

This list is just a selection of the many, many titles available on Springer E-Books. I'll try to bring a new selection periodically, but the site is great for searching and browsing.

Library Resources For Your Courses

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ME CourseLib.jpg

I've gone through and made a page of course-related resources that may help as you do research for any Mechanical and/or Industrial Engineering class that you're taking. These pages link to resources like our Knovel E-Book Collection (that allows you to search and read entire engineering reference books online) and RefWorks (a citation manager you can use for free).

You can search for these pages by course number at

Sometimes the vast number of resources the library subscribes to can be overwhelming...hopefully these pages will help narrow down your selection. If you have questions about using these tools or you can't find the information you need send me an email and I'll try and help you out.

The New Assignment Calculator

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Assignment Calculator Beta.jpg

The libraries have been developing an upgrade to the existing assignment calculator. A Beta version is now being released for faculty, students and staff to use. The Assignment Calculator Beta can be found at

Some new features include:
• New Assignment Templates (Lab reports template is in development!)
• Add/Remove/Rearrange individual assignment steps.
• Instructors can customize an assignment and share with class.
• Ability to add personalized notes and links to assignment steps.

If you'd like a quick overview of how to use the tool with classes that you're teaching a short online movie is available to view.

If you'd like help customizing a template or have any questions, just let me know.

Connect Amazon to UMN Libraries

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The library programmers have come up with another tool that should make finding books and other materials even simpler. They've developed a tool that can be used with the Mozilla Firefox web browser that will link with our library's collection and tell you whether or not we own a copy.

Amazon Widget.jpg

Here are step-by-step instructions to set the tool up.

If it comes up that we don't have a copy you can place an ILL request or email me a purchase recommendation.

SAE Digital Library is back!

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The University of Minnesota Library has once again subscribed to access to the SAE Digital Library. You will now be able to access full text SAE Papers online.

Currently SAE Digital Library only works with the Internet Explorer web browser and Windows based computers. Our tech support is working to make this more user friendly for Mac users on campus, but until the problem is resolved we'll be slightly limited.

To access SAE Digital Library, click here:

If you have any questions, please let me know.

NOTE: SAE Digital Library should now be compatible with Mozilla Firefox and Macs...the only persisting incompatibility is for Mac users using the Safari web browser (11/12)

Library Widgets

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Library Widget.png
(example of an iGoogle Library Widget)

Are you aware of the cool tools that the libraries have developed to make library searching more convenient for you--integrating library searching into tools that you already use.

Programmers have developed widgets that work along with the University of Minnesota’s MyU Portal, iGoogle, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Amazon. To learn more about these tools visit the library’s widget page.

Knovel University Challenge

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The online reference book website Knovel is putting on a contest, the Knovel University Challenge.

The contest begins today and goes through November 7th. It's open to all UMN students. All you have to do is enter via the widget below and get three answers correct using Knovel Ebooks.

If you get three correct answers you will be eligible for Knovel's drawing. They plan to give away 2 Nintendo Wiis, 3 iPod Nanos, and 6 iTunes Gift Cards.

You'll be able to familiarize yourself with this great reference resource and may just win a prize. For more information about rules and regulations, click here.

Knovel Tutorials

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Are you using Knovel?


Knovel is a library search engine that allows you to search the full text of hundreds of electronic reference books focused on science and engineering.

If you're new to Knovel or even if you have used it in the past you may be interested to view the new tutorials they've put together on enhancing your Knovel experience. I went through the tutorials this morning and I learned new tricks and I've been using Knovel regularly for a couple of years.

You can either follow this link or look for the video camera icon Tutorials Icon.png the next time you're in Knovel.

Springer E-Books

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The library has subscribed to a great new electronic book database that may help you in your research.


Springer E-Books makes more than 25,000 full text books available online to you. The books included cover a wide range of topics such as general engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence and statistics.

The next time you need a resource, but can’t get over to Walter Library, this might be a good place to search.

MNCat Plus: The New Library Catalog

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Did you notice that MNCat, the library catalog, has been looking a little different lately?


The libraries have upgraded our catalog—we’re calling it MNCat Plus. Here are some new features:
• Google-style Searching
• Real-time Availability Features
• Reviews and Tagging—Add your thoughts
• Easy saving to RefWorks and

For more information here’s a link to the campus-wide library blog’s entry on the new features. If you prefer the older version of the catalog, it’s still available (We’re calling it MNCat Classic). If you have any questions or comments, let me or another librarian know.

Course Lib Pages

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I just put together Course Lib pages for all of the course being offered by the Mechanical Engineering Department for the Fall 2008 semester. On these pages I tried to match students with relevant library resources for their classes. Resources such as article databases, the library catalog, and online reference materials.

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(Example Course Lib Page)

The pages can be found at Each course’s page has its own url that you can link to, bookmark, or include on handouts. If you’re offering or taking a course and you don’t see a page, let me know and I can make one (I tried to be thorough, but a class or two may have missed my notice).

Also if you’re using a page and have suggestions for additions just let me know…these pages are easy to update.


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Are you using Scitopia? Scitopia is an Internet search engine that searches the research of 21 professional and academic societies in the hard sciences. Societies such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers allow their material to be searched using this search engine. So instead of wading through the millions of results you might find in a generic search engine, you can limit your search to only retrieve information provided by your colleagues in the field.

Scitopia is a free search engine--you don’t have to be affiliated with the university to search it. Some of the results will have links to full text. If full text isn’t available and you're affiliated with UMN, get in touch with me or another librarian and we can help you get access to the document you need.