March 2010 Archives

Government Docs in (other) Library

The Gov Doc collection located in Wilson Library (on the West Bank) is moving. This does not affect government reports, maps and materials that are in the Sci/Eng library in Walter.

Message from Gov Doc Librarian:

Beginning Spring Semester 2010, walk-in government information-related research help will be provided at the 1st floor reference desk in Wilson Library, rather than from the present service desk in the basement of Wilson Library.

This is in keeping with other ways the Libraries is working to enhance access to government information. Recently the Libraries provided 85,000 government documents to Google for digitization. Access to these documents is being made available through the Google Book Search and eventually through the Hathi Trust (

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Kirsten Clark, Government Information and Regional Depository Librarian ( / 612-626-7520). I am also happy to meet with individual faculty and staff, or to speak at departmental meetings about this change in service.
-Kirsten Clark

Patent Info: How to Search/Find

Our engineering Librarian, Jon Jeffrys, has put together a couple of guides to using the patent literature.

Introduction To Patents
An short introduction to patents and patentability created by the UMN Science and Engineering Library.

Patent Searching: A Step-by-step Tutorial
A tutorial on searching for patents using Google Patents and the United States Patent and Trademark Office database.

See more tools and resources at the Sci/Eng website for Patents

This was of interest at the last Sci/Eng Library Committee meeting. To recap: our library contract with Springer allows all our e-books to be printed on demand for your very own personal copy at 25$ a book.

Currently the library has purchased every book published by Springer from 2005-present in an electronic format. You can search for available titles in our online catalog or SpringerLink.

Springer is now offering a deal to our library users where if the library owns an electronic copy, Springer print, bind and mail you a copy for $24.95 including shipping. A much reduced rate than purchasing a full price book for your personal collection.

Since the book is for your personal collection you have to pay...but it might be a money saver for you. When you're in SpringerLink just look for this link:

Data in the Sciences: An e-book


Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery. Edited by Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley and Kristin Tolle. Microsoft Research. 252 pages.
Available for free download

See the NYT Book Review, A Deluge of Data Shapes a New Era in Computing
Published: December 14, 2009

Dr. Gray called the shift a "fourth paradigm." The first three paradigms were experimental, theoretical and, more recently, computational science. He explained this paradigm as an evolving era in which an "exaflood" of observational data was threatening to overwhelm scientists. The only way to cope with it, he argued, was a new generation of scientific computing tools to manage, visualize and analyze the data flood.

DataONE global data access network for environmental research launched recently. I encourage you to take a look at their goal and think about how you would use and/or contribute your research data to repositories like this. What are the benefits, barriers?

DataONE ( is a
global data access and preservation network projected to make vast
amounts of information related to environmental research readily
available. The network, which has received a $20 million grant through
the National Science Foundation DataNet programme, will also receive
$700,000 over five years.

With this effort, universities and government agencies are coming
together to address the growing need for organizing and providing large
amounts of highly diverse and interrelated but often incompatible
scientific data. The resulting computing and processing cyber
infrastructure will be made permanently available for use by the broader
international science communities. Studies will range from research that
sheds light on fundamental environmental processes to identifying
environmental problems and potential solutions.

DataONE is led by the University of New Mexico and includes partner
organisations across the US, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and
Australia. In East Tennessee, others participating in DataONE are the
University of Tennessee and the US Geological Survey in Oak Ridge, which
represents the National Biological Information Infrastructure, a key
partner in DataONE.

It is expected that DataONE will ultimately provide a way to allow
scientists from many disciplines to collaborate on important
environmental scientific challenges. The DataONE team will study how a
vast digital data network can provide secure and permanent access into
the future and encourage scientists to share their data. It will help
determine data and data citation standards as well as create the tools
for organising, managing and publishing data.

As one of five DataNet collaborations envisioned by the NSF, DataONE
will build a set of geographically distributed coordinating nodes that
play an important role in facilitating all of the activities of the
global network. The initial three coordinating nodes will be at the
University of Tennessee/ORNL, the University of New Mexico and
University of California Santa Barbara.

The Science Quiz Bowl is coming up on Sunday, April 25, for the start of IT Week. Student teams can now register on the web site.
You can also participate by becoming a fan on Facebook or following on Twitter--both options are available from .