February 2009 Archives

Beta Assignment Calculator

New tools added to the UMN libraries Assignment calculator will appeal to students and instructors alike.
Try is https://tools.lib.umn.edu/ac/

The new features include:

  • New assignment templates (Video/Media, Speech/Presentation) - Lap/scientific reports are coming soon as is an advanced research paper assignment.
  • Instructor control possible over steps to reflect actual due dates.
  • Add/Remove/Rearrange individual assignment steps.
  • Ability to add personalized notes and links to assignment steps.

At this point it is only a BETA tool, so we're looking for feedback from you on how to improve it. Also, I'm happy to help set up your assignments in the new system so they can be shared with students in Moodle/WebVista. Contact me!

Watch the video to learn more

If not working, try here

Spring Workshops at Walter

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Jumpstart Your Research
Science & Engineering Library Spring Workshops
Walter Library 310

Join us for hands-on workshops to learn about library and web-based tools that can give you a head start on your research. http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/workshops.phtml

February 25 Making an Impact with Wikipedia 11:00-12:00 pm
February 26 Keeping Up: Web-based Tools 2:30-3:30 pm
March 4 Google for Researchers 11:15-12:15 pm
March 5 Getting Published 11:15-12:15 pm
March 9 Zotero: An Introduction 1:25-2:25 pm
March 10 Google for Researchers 2:30-3:30 pm
March 11 Formatting your Dissertation in Word 9:00-10:00am
March 17 Grant Funding for Grads 2:00-3:15

Please register at http://www.lib.umn.edu/registration

IT Library Committee Update

The following message was sent out to the IT Library Committee Members on 1/30/2009.

Members of the IT Library Committee,

Much has been happening in the Libraries since we met last fall. Here is a quick summary:

1. Walter Library now has a presence on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Minneapolis-MN/Walter-Library/59595392200. It includes our current workshops and events, news items, and photos. We currently have 17 fans, but would love more!

We also have a Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/umsciref

2. In addition, our own Kris Fowler, who has spoken at previous meetings of the IT Library Committee about changing models in scholarly publishing and retaining authors' rights, has co-authored an online guide entitled, "Developing a Scholarly Communication Program in Your Library," which is being promoted widely by the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College and Research Libraries. It's available at: http://www.arl.org/sc/institute/fair/scprog/

3. Finally, I'm pleased to report that the University of Minnesota Libraries have received the prestigious "Excellence in Academic Libraries Award" for 2009, given by the Association of College and Research Libraries . A description of the award is available at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/lib-web/news/.

I encourage you to read our actual nomination, which summarizes all that the Libraries have contributed to the University and beyond in recent years: https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/wupl/Staff.HomePage/2009%20ACRL%20Award%20Application.pdf.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like more information on anything I mentioned.



Janice Jaguszewski
Director of Academic Programs, Physical Sciences and Engineering
University of Minnesota Libraries
108 Walter Library
117 Pleasant Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The UMN-Twin Cities Libraries have received the 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries award. This award, presented by the American Library Association (ALA)/Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), recognizes the accomplishments of library staff “as they come together as members of a team to support the mission of their institution.”

See the ALA press release about this award http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2009/january2009/acrlexcellence1.cfm. The actual award is to be presented by the President of ACRL (Erika Linke of Carnegie Mellon University) at a campus wide celebration ceremony to be planned for sometime in spring.

British Library warns of 'black hole' in history if websites and digital files are not preserved. "Historians of the future, citizens of the future, will find a black hole in the knowledge base of the 21st century." In addition to dead file formats and lost information from government websites, Lynne Brindley also points to the habits of individuals. "I call it personal digital disorder. Think of those thousands of digital photographs that lie hidden on our computers. Few store them, so those who come after us will not be able to look at them." Read on....

Hmmm. It's worth noting that there are several initiatives working toward preserving online information. The Internet Archive is first in my mind, a non-profit organization preserving the web, including their invaluable Way-Back Machine (good for a laugh at 90's web design).

But I think the immediate issue facing us is the loss of digital data. Data storage, even at the highest level of importance encompassing our scientific breakthroughs and historical archives, are already in danger due to their digitally-flimsy format. Here at the University, the libraries are working on the later issue by preserving textual-based records in our University Digital Conservancy.

Digital data, however, presents more of a problem. Security, format, lack of metadata standards, and size are just a few issues being addressed, slowing, with joint-discussion between the libraries, OVPR, OIT and various data centers, like MSI. If you have any comments on how to preserve scientific data sets for sharing, reuse, and discovery, whether for grant funding compliance or long-term preservation, please let me know! I'm a member of the libraries E-science and Data Stewardship Collaborative that is wrestling with some of these problems.

New Books for December

New Astronomy and Physics Books. For a complete list of all the new books received at Walter Library visit: http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/newbooks/
Featured titles:

QB461 .B67 2008
Bradt, Hale, 1930-
Astrophysics processes : the physics of astronomical phenomena
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2008.
xxviii, 504 p. ; 26 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

QB843.N4 C66 2008
Cool discs, hot flows : the varying faces of accreting compact objects : Funasdalen, Sweden, 25-30 March 2008.
Melville, N.Y. : American Institute of Physics, 2008.
ix, 234 p. ; 23 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

QC16.K24 D4513 2007
Delft, Dirk van.
Freezing physics : Hieke Kamerlingh Onnes and the quest for cold.
Amsterdam : Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, 2007.
vi, 664 p. ; 26 cm.
Link to MnCat Record

QC171.2 .W55 2008
Wilczek, Frank.
The lightness of being : mass, ether, and the unification of forces.
New York, NY : Basic Books, c2008.
xi, 270 p., [4] p. of plates ; 25 cm
Link to MnCat Record

Many more...read on!

Copyright Workshop-Feb 16, 2009

Who Owns Your Scholarship
A Workshop for Authors and Creators of Academic Works
Monday, February 16, 2009
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union
Free to University of Minnesota community.

This event has been designated by the Office of the Vice President for Research to satisfy the Awareness/Discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education requirement.

Reserve your seat now!

More on the SCOAP3 Open Access Project

In case you missed it, a SCOAP3 update from the Jan 26, 2009 Chronicle:

Physicists Set Plan in Motion to Change Publishing System

Rebelling against rising prices for the scholarly articles on which their discipline depends, physicists have joined with university libraries to create a nonprofit group to reshape how high-energy-physics journals are financed and distributed. But some librarians see problems with the plan.

astro-ph now cataloged?

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Have you noticed that the arXiv divides astro-ph into subcategories?

Here is the interesting backstory coming from physicist Sean Carroll on Discover's Cosmic Variance blog:

"Here is probably the single most helpful thing I have ever done for the world. Last month Paul Ginsparg, who did a world-changing thing by inventing the arXiv system for sharing scientific preprints, was visiting Pasadena, and dropped by Caltech. We chatted a bit about blogs, the internet, the preprint server, ways one might incorporate links to blogs and talks and newspaper articles and all that ...
And then he asked, "Is there any other obvious way the arxiv could be improved?" To which I naturally responded, "You mean in addition to subdividing astro-ph into categories?"
... Paul and Mark Wise and I chatted for ten minutes and came up with a perfectly sensible (I like to think) set of categories into which astro-oriented papers would mostly fall, and Paul went away promising to implement such a scheme. After chatting around with a few actual astrophysicists and fine-tuning the system, it's now done!"

read the full story at http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2009/01/20/astro-ph-rationalized/

Got ArcGIS? The library does!

If it's difficult to get your hands on Arc GIS software, to make your own maps and create your own mapping applications, there are several options around campus- including the libraries.

The Borchert Map Library has ArcView software installed on the ten computers in our Automated Cartographic Information Center. The hours for the Map Library can be found here on their website. They also provide some assistance for creating and manipulating your data. Also, I've been told that ArcView software is on the computers in lab HHH 50 (open 8am to 6pm, M-F) in Blegen.

We have GIS data too. Take a look at the list of GIS information that the library subscribes to at http://map.lib.umn.edu/gisdata.html

Try the Updated Science.gov

Science.gov 5.0 includes a single-interface access science and technology information from 17 separate federal science organizations and searches:

Also, for those interesting in unlocking more government data and information, get your opinions submitted to Show Us the Data by March 9, 2009. The project will result in a report that will recommend documents and data that the federal government should make more freely available to the public in usable formats.

Excerpts from my February 2008 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column: From Sticky Notes to Mind Maps: Visual Collaboration Environments (February 2009). SciTech News. 63 (1), p32-34.

I use sticky notes, both electronically on my desktop and in the real world. They are invaluable to quickly jot down information that might slip away the moment someone walks into your office or that second mouse click takes you onto a new topic. Of course these precious bits of paper present new problems: how to connect those ideas, make sense of your various projects, and manage your time efficiently (Not to mention presenting your scribbles in such a way to effectively share with others!) Naturally I’ve been impressed with the electronic sticky note programs that are freely available on the web. These virtual "mind mapping" tools to do all this and more. Going beyond the simple list tracking applets, like the popular “Remember the Milk”, they can map and visualize your ideas, connecting the various threads of you latest article, and allow web-based collaboration with others, for tasking-out those larger group assignments. My notes still might not make sense to others, but at least they won’t fall off the monitor anymore!

Download the full text or try the reviewed sites for yourself (Recommended in bold)

Mind Meister
Dabble Board
VUE (Visual Understanding Environment)

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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