April 2008 Archives

Impact Factors: A how-to guide


It used to be that the best way to discover a journal's 'Impact Factor" (ahem, the average number of citations made to the journal's content over the course of a few years...thereby implying readership) was to use the expensive, library resource ISI's Web of Science (formerly the Science Citation Index). ISI has recently taken some heat following a debunking article from the editors of Cell who were unable to replicate ISI impact factors since the company is both secretive and selective regarding the type of articles they include in their calculations.

Now there are a few alternatives for Impact Factor calculations: SCImago Journal and Country Rank (SJR) and Google Scholar. They too have pros and cons...

As librarians continue to face difficult choices regarding publication formats, electronic preservation, and escalating journal prices the need for communication and partnerships within our research communities is greater than ever. This is why Terry Mahoney (IAC Tenerife, Spain) initiated and wrote the "Declaration Concerning the Evolving Role of Libraries in Research Centres." The document has been co-signed by several astronomy librarians and has now been sent to the International Astronomy Union in the hope that they will help to distribute it widely among astronomers and perhaps, eventually, have it adopted by the IAU as official policy.

Please read the full document here and I look forward to hearing your comments:

If we don't subscribe to a particular journal in the library... fill out an ILL request! You can have any journal article (not subscribed through UMN) emailed to you within one to two days through an inter-library loan (ILL) request. This free library service will request the article from another library and email the pdf directly to you. You can fill out interlibrary loan requests from the library web site (click ILL) or create your free account at the ILL page.

What's really nice is once you have an account, any article that the library doesn't have access to can be requested with just a click of the "Find IT" button. So whether you are in searching Inspec, Web of Science, or even Google Scholar (set preferences first), the "Find It" button will link you directly to the article or give the option of a pre-filled ILL request if we don't have it. This works for books too!

To blog or not to blog?
Nature Geoscience 1, 208 (2008)
Gavin Schmidt1

"Scientists know much more about their field than is ever published in peer-reviewed journals. Blogs can be a good medium with which to disseminate this tacit knowledge."

Read the full article

Need a book?

If you have suggestions of books the Science and Engineering Library should buy, this is a particularly good time to let me know. For the fifth year, the IT Endowed Library Fund is providing money for purchase of library books in all subjects covered by IT, which should provide about 20 new books in physics and astronomy. To be included in this project, I'll need your suggestions by April 18, but please feel free at any time to send me recommendations of books you think the library should have.

FYI, the IT Endowed Library Fund has provided over 400 books for the Science & Engineering Library and the Math Library in the past 4 years.

Save the date: SCImagine 2008

SCImagine! 2008: Robots take over the Library

Three robots, three student groups…a battle of the intelligent versus the artificially intelligent.

Friday, May 9, 2008
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Free, open to public. Refreshments!
Upson Room, Walter Library 102
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

SCImagine web site

Come see live robot demonstrations and the latest creations of artificial intelligence by students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. The presentations will be accompanied by light refreshments and stimulating conversation.

SCImagine! emphasizes the Science & Engineering Library's role as an intellectual gathering place on campus. Each spring the library showcases university teaching, learning, and research in the physical sciences and engineering offering fascinating presentations and lively discussions.

MyLibrary Widgets


The myLibrary tab just got better! Not only can you save your favorite e-journals and databases or view materials you have checked out from the library, but we now offer the option to turn this information into RSS feeds or widgets for iGoogle, MyYahoo, or other portal/aggregator type venues.

Give it a try. Log in and click the RSS icon next to each module for more options..or you can click the Library tab in your MyU portal view.

Already almost 1,000 users have configured a myLibrary page with their personal library resources. Now all your favorites, like Nature or Science, can be just one click away! What's your favorite journal?

Harvard Policy on Open Access

| 1 Comment

Harvard adopted a policy in February that requires faculty members to allow the university to make their scholarly articles available free online.
Faculty must provide the Provost’s office with an electronic form of each article, which is then deposited in the Harvard repository.

Read this excerpt from the Chronicle

NIH Mandate

| 1 Comment

Final, peer-reviewed manuscripts of all articles arising from NIH-funded research which are accepted for publication on or after April 7th will need be submitted to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication
Three components to the requirement:

  • retaining key rights,
  • depositing your article to NIH,
  • and citing your article.

    Read more about how this mandata may affect your work at the library's Scholarly Communication's site.

Finding Open Access Journals

| 1 Comment

Finding a publisher that supports self-posting to repositories and open access to research can be tricky: reading those publisher agreements are boring. So SHERPA has made it easy by rate publishers by the color of their openness: from green (archive the post-print online) to white (no ability to post elsewhere).

Check SHERPA Romeo for a full publisher directory with a database of Publisher Terms/Conditions.

For Journals that are freely available online visit Directory of Open Access Journals E.g., Palaeontologica Electronica is a peer-reviewed, online journal of paleontology.




"Towards Open Access Publishing in High Energy Physics", report of the SCOAP3 Working Party.
This report is accessible online at SCOAP3.org.

The participants would like to make five journals open access through the sponsoship of libraries worldwide. THese journals (and their annual prices) are:

  • Jour. of High Energy Phys. ($1,975)
  • Phys. Rev. B ($5,395)
  • Phys. Lett. B ($9,219)
  • Nucl. Phys B ($13,612)
  • European Phys. Jour. C ($6,298)

Additional Journals of consideration:

  • Phys Rev Letters ($4,090)
  • Nucl. Inst. Meth. Phys. Res. A ($14,319)

Should UMN enter into a long-term agreement to subsidize these journals? Tell me what you think: ljohnsto@umn.edu

Student Learning Outcomes

The University’s recent report on “Renewing Our Commitment to Liberal Education? noted that “students’ interpretive and evaluative skills have not kept pace with [the] information explosion? available through the Internet.

“They can google ‘facts’ and information, but if they don’t understand how knowledge is created and how information is interpreted, then how can they assess what they google??

Last fall the university approved a set of learning outcomes to help address students' failing "information literacy."

View list of Student Learning Outcomes

Author's Rights

You may be aware of trends worldwide to encourage academic authors to retain sufficient rights for “self-archiving? their works either by posting on personal websites or contributing their works to open-access online collections. Some of you may already be adding your work to arXiv.org.

Publishers like the AIP have become reliable partners to this practice, but others have not. This is why the library's have taken action toward transforming scholarly communication . To solicit change we have developed a simple addendum for author's to include with their publication agreements. To learn more, please watch the 6 minute video on author's rights and what is being done at the university.

What can you do?

  • Learn about Author's rights in this short 6 min.video.
  • Download a pfd copy of the Author's Addendum to append to your next publishing agreement.
  • Open the discussion about publishing and author's rights with your colleagues with these questions.

Information Literacy

Information Literacy...things you need to know to effectively find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. How your librarian can help?

1. Online: The libraries host CourseLib pages, created by your librarian, to present a list of selected resources that your students might use when doing their research. The librarian is also available or consultation by IM Chat, Phone, email, or in-person office hours.
Ex. A CourseLib page for a geology class

2. In person: Work with your librarian to incorporate a hands-on workshop into a course assignment designed to test the skills and understanding of finding information sources in the literature and on the web. In one 50-minuet session, the librarian will demonstrate how to use the tools and then work with the students to analyze a specific problem.

  • Ex 1. Find an article containing the spectra of a chemical that relates to this weeks lab assignment using a database (Web of Science, SciFinder Scholar, GeoRef).
  • Ex 2. Using analysis tools such as Journal Indicators to identify an appropriate journals to which to submit your article. Next download their publishing agreement form and discuss how to manage your copyrights when signing a contract with this publisher.
  • Ex 3. List of example workshops available

University Digital Conservancy

Since launching the University Digital Conservancy last fall, this online venue for University faculty to deposit and share their works with colleagues in the University community and across the globe has accumulated over 5300 documents and growing.

What is it?

  • A venue for faculty to deposit copies of their works for long-term preservation and open access
  • Centralized, searchable access to institutional digital resources that would have traditionally gone to the University Archives.

What are the Benefits?

  • Free, open access to university digital works
  • Increased visibility of your work through higher rankings in search engines
  • Compliance and accountability for your publicly-funded research
  • Long-term digital preservation (no more broken links!)
  • Full text searching across your body of work
  • Expert consultation on copyright, digital formats, and authors' rights

To find out how to deposit copies of your works for long-term preservation and open access please contact me: ljohnsto@umn.edu


Save your favorite journals, list the resources you use most, and view the books you have checked out...all in one personal library page. Log into MyLibrary and start adding stuff to your MyLibrary portal page.

Browsing journals by title or subject category will allow you to add specific journals to your myLibrary account. Next to each entry click the "Add to MyLibrary" button. To get started:
Look for e-journals in Physics
Look for databases like INSPEC

Citation Linker

The Citation-linker will point you directly to journals and articles available online. Enter the information you have and be as specific (page numbers) or as vague (journal name only) as you like...we will do the rest. .

New Books for March


Each month our new book list is updated to display any item within the physics or astronomy subject areas. You may check out other subjects as well, like chemistry or geology, and past month's new book lists online at http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/newbooks/Nwtitles.phtml. Please search MNCAT for availability.


QB1 .A38x 35
Trans-Neptunian objects and comets
Berlin : Springer, c2008.
ix, 258 p.

QB1 .A38x 36
Loeb, Abraham.
First light in the universe
Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2008.
viii, 371 p.

E Book
Workshop on astronomical site evaluation : San Pedro Martir, B.C., Mexico, marzo 13-15, 2007
Mexico, D.F. : Instituto de Astronomia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, c2007.
vii, 135 p.

QB33.D48 A88 2007
Astronomy for the developing world : proceedings of special session no. 5 of the 26th IAU General Assembly held in Prague, the Czech Republic 21 and 22 August 2006
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007.
xii, 334 p.

QB466.C65 I58 2007
Astrophysics of compact objects : International Conference on Astrophysics of Compact Objects, Huangshan City, China, 1-7 July 2007.
Melville, N.Y. : American Institute of Physics, 2008.
xiii, 431 p. ; 25 cm.

QB468 .V54 2008
Vietri, Mario.
Foundations of high-energy astrophysics
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2008.
xvii, 554 p.

QB470.A1 S35 2007
The science opportunities for the warm Spitzer mission workshop : Pasadena, California, 4-5 June 2007.
Melville, N.Y. : American Institute of Physics, c2007.
ix, 254 p. ; 24 cm.

QB791.3 .I59 2006
Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on the Identification of Dark Matter : Rhodes, Greece, 11-16 September 2006.
[Hackensack] N.J. : World Scientific, c2007.
xix, 682 p. ; 24 cm.

QB820 .C36 2004
Extrasolar planets : XVI Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2008.
xiv, 268 p. ; 26 cm.


QC1 .A3588 2007
Advanced Summer School in Physics 2007 : frontiers in contemporary physics, EAV07, Cinvestav, Mexico City, Mexico, 9-13 July 2007.
Melville, N.Y. : American Institute of Physics, 2007
xii, 242 p. ; 25 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

Get It Button

Starting March 3, 2008, requesting a book from a Twin Cities campus library will be a one-stop process for University of Minnesota faculty, staff and students.

Try it: Go to UM Library Catalog
Log into your account
Search for material
At availability screen click on “Get It? button
Select pickup location

Where: Any book, whether checked out or not, can be:

* held at the owning library
* delivered to a more convenient campus library
* delivered to an on-campus office, (UMTC faculty/staff only)

Once a book is either returned or found on the shelf, shipping will take place within 48 hours on weekdays; most requests shipped within 24 hours.

Welcome to the Physics and Astronomy Library news. We may be in different buildings, but this doesn't mean the we can't be connected! This new blog is my way of passing along valuable information about the library...without overloading your inbox. I have a backlog of items that I'll post here, including: easy tools for remote access to library resources, new online purchases of e-books and publications, and upcoming events and news that the library has to offer.

I'm always looking for feedback. Contact your librarian!

Lisa Johnson
Physics and Astronomy Librarian

Recent Comments

  • Jefferey Schauf: Hey very nice website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. read more
  • Mathew Licalzi: I was just seeking this info for some time. After read more
  • Rico Newlin: Hi,Saw your blog bookmarked on Digg. Seriously cool Wonderful job. read more
  • Theodore Scrobola: I’m so lucky to individual found this kind of site read more
  • sex-dating: Leg contact met honderden lekkere vrouwen, mannen en koppels voor read more
  • nike free run: There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I read more
  • nike shox: I want to express some appreciation to this writer just read more
  • nike sko: There are some fascinating closing dates on this article but read more
  • nike sko: I not to mention my guys were found to be read more
  • baju bayi: New Books for October and November - Physics and Astronomy read more

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2008 is the previous archive.

May 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.