Recently in web Category

There is now a "easy" button that makes the article or paid resource you want to read on the web...act as if you went through the library web site. (if we purchased it). This will work the same as if you went though the library web site to access it.

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! And Thanks Jan, our Engineering Librarian for discovering!

AIP recently unveiled their social networking platform called: UniPHY. This network runs on a Collexus-based collaborative virtual environment. Collexus also runs

    According to AIP UniPHY enables physical scientists to connect with over 200,000 colleagues from more than 100 countries. The site:
  • Enables physical scientists to analyze the profiles of more than 200,000 colleagues
  • Allows researchers to explore their personal networks - starting with their direct co-authors and moving on to the co-authors of their co-authors
  • Lets researchers identify and connect directly with individuals whose expertise they may need in future collaborations

Take a look at this platform for connecting with colleagues. I think the one main drawback is this network only combines articles, references and authors which have published in AIP journals. Therefore all of your work outside of these will not be added to your profile automatically. And "puni" is in the url...not sure they saw that :)

Also, check out the interview AIP conducted on YOUR physics and astronomy librarian:
There you will get an idea of some of the things I've been working on!

From the Stacks: An interview with Lisa Johnston, the Physics, Astronomy and Geology
Librarian at the University of Minnesota

Excerpts from my May 2009 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column: Open Science: Caught on Tape...SciTech Video Sites (May 2009). SciTech News. 64 (2).

Earlier this year Bora Zivkovic, a science blogger from "A Blog Around the Clock," gave the keynote presentation (1) on open science as part of a panel discussion at Columbia University. The talk titled "Open Science: Good for Research, Good for Researchers?" gave a historical overview of the transition of scientific communication, from print to online and where this evolution is headed. The next phase, Zickovic explains, encompasses real-time scientific discovery as the scientific communication process moves away from journals toward sharable scientific ideas. Open science might include pre-prints, open notebook science, and, increasingly, video. Video, in particular, allows sharing, not just the results, but the entire scientific process, allowing people to replicate and learn techniques more effectively than through traditional communication. Open science is, in short, fast, free and effective.

(1) You can see the video from Zivkovic's talk at

Download the full pre-print or try these website that specialize in scientific video sharing:


Research Channel,

You Tube Science & Technology Channel,,


Science & Technology Media Sites

Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE),

Open Culture,

Big Think,

Lab Action,

Cool Online Tools to help you create and find Videos!

  • Quickly upload and edit up to 15 minutes of video online.
  • Converts your images and music them into a dynamic video.
  • not yet complete, Google Labs have indexed a selection of videos by voice recognition. If successful, all videos will be as searchable by the content (spoken words) as text.
  • Twitter for your video life. Record 12-sec broadcasts about your day then post to your twitter feed.
  • YouTube like social interface for posting video from your mobile phone.

Excerpts from my August 2009 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column: The State of the Nation: Government Science and Technology Sites (August 2009). SciTech News. 64 (3).

In July the Pew Research Center announced (1) survey results indicating that Americans undervalue our nation's scientific progress. Only 17% of the public surveyed agree that US scientific discoveries are the "best in the world" (an assumption that citation patterns would support). In turn, a majority of scientists surveyed from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) feel that their research is inadequately covered by the media and that the "public does not know very much about science."
So what is the solution? In the digital age the burden cannot fall on the media alone to report scientific achievements. Instead we can rely on the fast exchange of information that the web provides and made publically funded research available to all. Scientific government agencies do this and more by providing reports, articles, and raw data to anyone savvy enough to navigate their myriad of interfaces and numerous .gov's available. Here is a concise list of a few that are attempting to help the public find the scientific information they need...understanding those reports can still a problem for the media.
(1) Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. (2009). "Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media Scientific Achievements Less Prominent Than a Decade Ago" Accessed July 29, 2009 at

Download the full pre-print or try the reviewed sites for yourself (recommended in bold):

Other sci-tech government agencies:

Defense Technical Information Center,
National Agricultural Library,
Department of Homeland Security Research,
Environmental Protection Agency,
Federal Communications Commission,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
National Science Foundation,
US Patent and Trademark Office,

Microsoft has put Feynman's Messenger Lectures online. There is a useful interface, including written transcription, and allows you to take notes, as well as having other
Try it :

Looking for more video? Try these sites:

You have probably noticed a change in the blog interfaces of your favorite UMN pages. The latest UThink blog upgrade completely changed the look and added new functionality which might be useful to you.

UMN blogs now have:

  • New templates that display recent activity, file uploads (like podcasting), comments, etc.

  • Widgets including tag clouds, slide show presentations, and tagging.

  • Interface upgrades like WYSISYG editing capabilities and easy media upload.

If you have an older blog and would like to upgrade to use the new features, try these instructions.

Do you need a website for your lab or group? Since the change on June 15th UThink blogs are now capable to four blog "types" that can be customized to:

  1. Classic: traditional blog with upgrades listed above

  2. Forum: This type of page creates treads where multiple people can add entries and make comments on. Each member of the forum can upload avatars, limit access (private space), and vote on topics to rise them to the top of the page.

  3. Community: This type has similar features to the forum, but orders the posts chronologically, perfect for a class. Students can interact on the assignments throughout the semester.

  4. Website: the content management system allows uploads and management of assest(images, files, media), a database widget can be customized to organize your information, and the built-in pages (Home, About, Contact, Blog) can be easily customized to give you a professional-looking website quickly and easily.

To learn more about how UThink might fill you web-presence needs, check out the FAQ .

I just added the newly released web site "Portal to the Universe" to the library's Astronomy subject page. The site collects news, blogs, and web-based astronomy tools into one platform. Let me know what you think.

The Portal to the Universe can be accessed at

Background info:
Released during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science
(JENAM 2009), taking place this week at the University of
Hertfordshire, UK, the Portal to the Universe website has been eagerly
anticipated by journalists, science communicators, scientists,
educators and members of the general public alike. The Portal to the
Universe provides a global portal for online astronomy content,
serving as an index and aggregator.

The site itself features news, blogs, video podcasts, audio podcasts,
images, videos and more. Web 2.0 collaborative tools, such as the
ranking of different services according to popularity, help the user
to sift constructively through the wealth of information available and
will promote interactions within the astronomy multimedia community. A
range of "widgets" (small applications) have also been developed to
tap into all sorts of existing "live data", such as near-live pictures
of the Sun, live positions of spacecraft or live observations from

I love Seed Magazine's Science Blogs. But today I really love it:

"A new channel makes its debut today on ScienceBlogs: Information Science. Through feedback from the approximately 10,000 librarians who regularly visit ScienceBlogs, we came to realize that information and library scientists are positioned to offer a unique perspective on subjects that are pertinent to all working scientists: Open access and open science; digital and print publishing; information property and ownership, and more. Check out the newest bloggers on ScienceBlogs, John Dupuis of Confessions of a Science Librarian and Christina Pikas of Christina's LIS Rant, to get a taste of what the new Information Science channel will be like, or just visit it directly. "

For more on my love of Science Blogs, see my earlier post on Science Blog Aggregators

arXiv: There's an app for that!

As reported by the SEED magazine's Science Blogs

Now Available: ArXiview by Dave Bacon
ScienceBlogger Dave Bacon of the Quantum Pontiff recently took a stab at creating his first iPhone application, and has already been receiving positive feedback. ArXiview allows users to search the ArXiv database by date, author, title, or a number of other criteria, download articles to their phones, email articles and more. The application is available from the iTunes app store.

Read the blog post on Bacon's blog, The Quantum Pontiff

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)

How are you "Keeping Current" ?

Do you get monthly email alerts from a choice selection of journals? Organize your electronic pdf download's using Papers? Have a personal system that only works for you!

The University Libraries are looking at how researchers keep up-to-date with developments in their fields and how they manage the information they find. We would like your input to inform us as we develop and promote tools and services aimed at addressing these issues. We invite you to complete our survey at
It should only take about 5 minutes of your time.

Please contact me ( or Meghan Lafferty ( with your thoughts or questions!

Excerpts from my November 2008 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column:
Let's Get Social, Cite Me? (November 2008). SciTech News. 62 (4), p32-35.

Bookmarks. Tagging. Folksonomies. The Web is being catalogued, and not just by special libraries! For example, it was recently reported that nearly 10 million people are organizing the Web at is not far behind with 6 million according to their Web site. These popular social bookmarking networks allows people to keep track of the Web sites they find useful and share those discoveries with others (sound familiar?). Yet as an information profession you understand that in the wide Web world, a little social bookmarking can never compete with the personal bibliographic citation manager, such as EndNote, BibTex, and Refworks provide. Fortunately for both of us (librarians and our patrons) there is a small, but growing niche developing in the social software sphere: the social citation manager.

These social citation tools are primarily designed with the science and technology researcher in mind. But these managers differ not with their ability to organize literature citations; rather they aim to help keep track of a user’s entire web space in one integrated tool. Some do this better than others. As a Sci-Tech librarian you can help users determine which one might work for their specific needs. Try to leave the tagging up to them.

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

Social Citation Managers

EndNote Web

Social Bookmarking

(not reviewed)

Add Social Bookmarks to your Blog using this tool I'll let you know how it goes...

Excerpts from my August 2008 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column:
"Don't be Evil:" Google Tools Libraries can Use (August 2008). SciTech News. 62 (3), p32-35.

With Google, you already search the web, share photos/movies/music, map directions and discover new things...but there are some tools you may have missed. This web search engine is on a mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible." So let's explore the new tools and technology that pair Google-efficient tools with library-quality results to weave together a rich information web that goes beyond just the World Wide Web. We'll look at tools located in the “More? tab at the top of every Google search page, such as, Google Docs, RSS Reader, Google Scholar, and iGoogle Research Gadgets that will help you access, evaluate, and share information in an easy collaborate environment.
Download Full text or try the reviewed sites for yourself (Recommended in bold):

“Virtual Reference?

1-800-GOOG-411 Text GOOGLE Email Alerts RSS and Gagets

“The OPAC?

Books + OCLC Scholar Patents

“Library Online?

Docs Notebook

Excerpts from my May 2008 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column:
Sci-Tech Online Social Networks (May 2008). SciTech News. 62 (2), p32-35.

Recently more and more scientists are using social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace, for research purpose. The New York Times article “On Facebook, Scholars Link Up With Data? cites examples such as Colorado’s study of news dissemination, Carnegie Mellon’s investigation of privacy issues, and Harvard’s study of an entire graduating class dissecting their tastes, habits and personal identities. With so much research coming out of popular networks, it is about time that the scientific communities set down the magnifying glass and socialize a bit for themselves. These are a few such social networking sites that are specifically devoted to scientists and engineers. They trade collaborate on research ideas, post articles, and even find a friendly librarian or two! If just one of these catches on within the sci-tech library user community, they could become the next collection development tool, faculty liaison profiler, or library communication vehicle.
Download Full text or try the reviewed sites for yourself (Recommended in bold):

Sci-Tech Online Social Networks

Pronetos SciBlog BioMedExperts Academici SciMeet Complore Nature Network MyExperiment Google Knol Scirus Topics Facebook

Create your Own


Excerpts from my February 2008 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column:
Science Blog Aggregators (February 2008). SciTech News. 62 (1), p32-34.

According to a recent article by Laura Bonetta, “Scientists Enter the Blogosphere? (Cell, 2 May 2007), of the 50 million blogs updated regularly, about 1000 actually “provide authoritative opinions about pressing issues in science.? Who has the time to keep up with this incredible source of information and valuable exchange of informed opinions? This is why I love blog aggregators. These handy sites compile the latest postings from your favorite bloggers and ideally truncate them into a quick, painless jolt of information which makes scanning the blogosphere easy. But like most web entities, they each differ in their selectivity and ranking, and often times a little prep work goes into setting personal criteria for the science and technology news you are looking for. There is still too much information out there, but now at least I can catch some of it....
Download Full text or try the reviewed sites for yourself (Recommended in bold):

Science Blog Aggregators

ScienceBlogs Postgenomic Method> Science Blog Planet Nature Nature Network QuackTrack

Create Your Own Aggregator

Yahoo! Pipes

Science News Aggregators

Digg Science Slashdot Science

Blog Search Engines

Technorat Google Blog Search Blogdigger

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the web category.

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