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April 26, 2011

Boing Boing's Take on Peer Review

In case you missed it, or don't read BoingBoing*, I thought many of us might find this article explaining the peer review process an interesting resource. I think the explanation is well done, accessible, and even-handed. It's fairly "science" oriented, but I think it covers a lot of the cross-disciplinary variations. Could be useful in explaining peer review to undergraduates, or students and researchers from other cultures.

Here's one passage I found interesting:
"It may surprise you to learn that [peer review] is not a standardized thing. Peer review evolved out of the informal practice of sending research to friends and colleagues to be critiqued, and it's never really been codified as a single process. It's still done on a voluntary basis, in scientists' free time. Such as that is. And most journals do not pay scientists for the work of peer review. For the most part, scientists are not formally trained in how to do peer review, nor given continuing education in how to do it better. And they usually don't get direct feedback from the journals or other scientists about the quality of their peer reviewing. "


*BoingBoing is a sort of smorgasbord of a blog, with a lot of (intentionally) strange and weird content. I regularly read for their interesting coverage of copyright issues around the globe. Since hiring on local Twin Cities writer Maggie Koerth-Baker as their science editor, they've also been producing some really wonderful science journalism.

-Nancy Sims-

ACRL 2011 Papers Online

ACRL has posted the papers from their 2011 meeting at:



April 20, 2011

Data Services Available at the U of MN

The services listed below are primarily designed to assist researchers in managing and analyzing data generated by their own research but also provide additional data services, in some cases for a fee.


AHC researchers should contact the Bio-Statistical Design and Analysis Center.

Bio-Statistical Design and Analysis Center (http://www.ctsi.umn.edu/research/ctrs/biostatistics/bdac.shtml)
School of Public Health (available to researchers in the AHC)

"The Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center (BDAC) provides statistical and data management support from study design to final analysis and publication of results."


In addition to above, College of Veterinary Medicine researchers may also be able to use the Statistical Consulting Service in the School of Statistics. Researchers elsewhere at the University may obtain consulting if time is available through the Statisical Consulting Clinic.

Statistical Consulting Service (http://www.stat.umn.edu/consulting/index.html)
Statistical Consulting Clinic (http://www.stat.umn.edu/consulting/clinic.html)
School of Statistics

"The Statistical Consulting Service of the School of Statistics provides statistical help to improve research at the University of Minnesota. We help design experiments and surveys, select and perform appropriate analyses, interpret results, and assist in writing grant proposals, journal articles, student theses, and other published papers."

PubMed find it link

The find it link icon in PubMed is not displaying correctly (linking works)
This was caused by the upgrade to SFX 4.1 and for whatever reason,
that configuration didn't move over automatically. The find it link icon
should display correctly by tomorrow afternoon. Let me know if
you see any other strange find it links in other online resources.


Updates to Ovid


important Updates to OvidSP

Dear Ovid Customer:

Please be advised that today, April 20th, we will be performing an update to OvidSP. This update will begin at approximately 11:00am EST. During this time, your users will not experience any change until they log out of their OvidSP session.

Updates Include:

* Added functionality to hide older book editions when a new edition is subscribed to or purchased
* Search term highlighting included in Print Preview
* Exported items now support links via XLR tools

Additionally, you will see an overall improved performance around AutoAlert results, jumpstarts, My Projects, My Workspace, and deposit account access.

The Ovid Customer Support team is available to assist you with any questions related to this update. Please contact them at support@ovid.com.


Wolters Kluwer Health Ovid
Amy Claussen

April 12, 2011

Problem w/Using Find It to import cites from GS to RefWorks

Hi all,

Yesterday I helped a patron who had been exclusively using Google Scholar to find citations for her research. She was using the Find It link within Google Scholar to bring citations into her RW account.

She didn't notice it at the time, but apparently using the 'Export to RefWorks' link within Find It from GS only brought the first author name into her RW account.

I tested this and had the same experience. I then tested importing from GS using the preferences method (this puts the 'Import to RefWorks' link at the bottom of the citation and snippet). This method does bring in all author names.

I tested using Find It again, this time in PubMed and did get all the author names. So this may be limited to using the Find It menu within Google Scholar to bring in references.

Personally, I've never been a fan of using Find It to import into RW, especially when you are in a database. It doesn't make too much sense to me to import one at a time, when you can batch send, but since GS doesn't give you an option to batch send you are stuck using Find It or setting the preferences option.

I've opened a help ticket on this so I'll write back and let you all know what I hear, but in the interim just keep this one in mind. I'd be interested to hear if anyone here actually teaches the Find It menu as a way to send items to RW.