July 2008 Archives

The library database Web of Science (formerly Science Citation Index) can be set to deliver e-mail notifications each time someone cites your work. Here are brief instructions on setting up these alerts, but feel free to call me for more personalized assistance.

  1. Start at the Web of Science homepage.

  2. Search by author's last name and first, middle initials. Ex. "Last, FM" (...indecently also a great website for free music).

  3. On the next screen, refine the results to Institution (Univ Minnesota) and view the results (since 1974).

    Note: From the results screen you may "Create a Citation Report," linked in top right of results screen. This will show who has cited which paper and when.

  4. Setting up alerts is a bit cumbersome since you must do it for each individual paper (and not by author). Back in the results screen, click on an article title. In the right, under "Cited by" there is a link to "Create a citation alert." Click this link for each article you wish to track who is citing.

    Note: You will need to sign up for a free Web of Science account.

The limitation with Web of Science however will be where your work is cited, for example, if you get cited in a narrow society journal not covered by this database, you will not see this result. Google scholar may let you see these obscure citations (search by article title, then click "Cited by") but the capacity to track citations is not yet available.

More Info:
For more info on the Web of Science, I teach a workshop called "Research Made Easy: Discover the Web of Science." Check the Sci/Eng library for the next available session (probably in the fall).

The American Physical Society (APS) just announced their new online magazine Physics as a tool to help keep-up as "Physicists are drowning in a flood of research papers in their own fields."

Very true. So editor David Voss (former senior editor of Science) and team will write commentaries (dubed Viewpoints) and shorter distillations (Synopses) on significant articles selected by Phys Rev. editors. More in-depth articles (Trends) present a sub field overview and highlight particular advancement.

Does anyone find this and similar "time-saving" tools useful, such as the front-matter of Science of Nature or even Thompson-Reuter's ScienceWatch, or are they adding to the pile of things to catch up onl? Is APS's subject-specific approach more viable than past attempts to dig researchers out of the information deluge?

On the other hand, notice all the SN tools they link their stories to (yeah that's a scroll bar!) Physicists must be drowning in social networks too!


See the official announcement from APS below.

Walter SMART Commons Open

After a year of renovation of the former Learning Resources center, the new Walter SMART Learning Commonsl opened this summer on the second floor of the Science and Engineering library. There students may access the library media collection (DVDs, VHS, CD's, LPs), use media software (iMovie, Photoshop) and check out media equipment (like digital video cameras and our new flat screen viewing room). In addition to media service, the SMART commons incorporate workshops and academic tutoring support for many disciplines.


And save the date for the SMART opening reception in Walter: September 24 from 11:30-1:30.

Students are often finding it difficult to locate GRE material on the web and ultimately head to the bookstore to purchase an expensive test prep book (that's what I did anyway...). Fortunately there are a number of free (and official) test prep solutions out there for both the GRE and the Physics subject test.

Here is a good list to get started (more info available from the SciEng Library website)

EST Registration page
You may register for a GRE test here.

To prepare, download the PDF of the GRE Test Prep Booklet

GRE Powerprep® Software (free) can be downloaded to your desktop and includes the computer version of the GRE practice test as two computer-based GRE General Tests.

Physics Prep Test:
Amazon charges $21 for it...yet it's free on the EST site. Pays to know a librarian? If the above link doesn't work, download the file here.

Of course, now you need some places to apply:
Graduate School Directory for Physics and Astronomy
by the American Institute of Physics (AIP). A comprehensive online source for researching graduate programs in the physical sciences, Astronomy and related fields.

LibX toolbar

LibX - Library Toolbar Browser Plugin is a Firefox extension that provides direct access to your library's resources from the Twin Cities campus. Use it to:

  • Search the library catalog directly from the LibX toolbar or using the right-click context menu.

  • access library content off campus by making it appear as though you are coming from an on-campus computer.
  • directly search Google Scholar for articles and access the electronic copy subscribed to by your Library. You can use this feature even from inside a PDF file, which makes retrieving papers referenced in a PDF file a snap.
  • link to library books directly from Google, Yahoo! Search, the NY Times Book Review, and other sites. For instance, book pages at Amazon or Barnes & Noble will contain cues that link to the book's entry in MNCAT. (like this )
    Watch this screencast for examples of this cool feature. (requires Macromedia Flash Plugin)

New Books for May


New physics and astronomy books for May (check MNCAT for availability and to "Get it" delivered to your office)
There are lots of e-books this month. How do you feel about that?

QB405 .L674 2008
Lorenz, Ralph, 1969-
Titan unveiled : Saturn's mysterious moon explored.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2008.
xii, 243 p. ; 24 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

QB450 .M37 2008
Marion, Giles M. (Giles Michael)
Cold aqueous planetary geochemistry with FREZCHEM : from modeling to the search for life at the limits.
Berlin : Springer, c2008.
x, 251 p. ; 25 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

QC1 .N38 2007
National Society of Black Physicists. Annual Day of Scientific Lectures (34th : 2007 : Boston, Mass.)
Proceedings of the National Society of Black Physicists : 34th Annual Day of Scientific Lectures and 30th Annual Meeting : 2007 Joint Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Melville, N.Y. : American Institute of Physics, 2008.
172 p. ; 25 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

E Book
Cassidy, David C., 1945-
Understanding physics [electronic resource]
Norwood Mass. : Books24x7.com [2005?]
Full Text: https://www.lib.umn.edu/slog.phtml?url=http://www.books24x7.com/marc.asp?bookid=16303
Link to MnCat Record

Find Grant Funding

The Office of the VP of Research and the libraries have put together a bunch of search tools to help you find grant opportunities. Many of these resources are best used in combination with their e-mail alerts to update you to new grants in your subject areas.

There are many databases to explore, but good ones to try are: IRIS, SPIN, and Community of Science. Also don't forget to search for grant opportunities in internal U of M funding sources.

The library also offers regular workshops on how to search and set-up your alerts in the best databases for scientific researchers. Look for "Grant Funding - Search Tools and Resources" on our Workshop page for the next opportunity to sign up for this free event or contact our outreach coordinator to deliver this workshop to your class or research group.

Scientist Memoirs online


The National Academy of Sciences posted hundreds of memoirs online. Find 900 full-text files for scientists like Thomas Edison, Joseph Henry and dozens of others at: www.nasonline.org/memoirs.

Also, remember that all of the NAS publications, reports and papers are available for download. In addition, check out other great biographical databases online, such as the electronic version of American Men and Women in Science. See more at the Physics Library resource page.

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About this Archive

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

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August 2008 is the next archive.

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