January 30, 2006

This Week’s University Libraries Update for the Molecular Biosciences

This update is being sent to members of the Depts of BMBB, GCD, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Physiology. Anyone is welcome to sign up to receive the update using the form at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/messn006/molbiolibrary/ (near the top right of the page).

If you would like to be removed from this list, or if you have any questions regarding the update or U Libraries’ services in general, please contact Kevin Messner, your departmental liaison, at messn006@umn.edu

1) Current Contents Cancelled:

2) Interested in Faculty of 1000?:

3) Why We Don't Have Access to (Part of) Genome Biology:

4) NCBI Coffee Break: Readings and Bioinf Tutorials:

5) SciFinder Scholar for Macintosh now available:

Posted by Kevin Messner at 11:19 AM

January 29, 2006

Current Contents Cancelled

If you have used the database Current Contents previously and have wondered what happened to it recently, my apologies. Our subscription to this database was cancelled at the end of 2005. While we contacted users we identified as having CC search results sent automatically by email, some other regular users (i.e. those with saved searches in the system without email updates) were not directly contacted.

We cancelled Current Contents in order to subscribe to ISI products including Essential Science Indicators (see an article on this at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/messn006/molbiolibrary/035318.html) The publisher of both Current Contents database and ISI Web of Science has related to us that all content available in Current Contents is also available in Web of Science; hence, the decision was made to rely on Web of Science for current awareness searches. The Bio-Med Library has a brief guide to setting up Current Contents alerts.

For many users in the biosciences, PubMed covers the needed literature and provides an easy to use alert system, MyNCBI. Again, Bio-Med has a guide for setting up this service.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you're having difficulty setting up an alert in our literature database systems.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 1:06 PM

January 27, 2006

Interested in Faculty of 1000?

Do you have a personal/laboratory subscription to BioMedCentral's Faculty of 1000 Biology or Faculty of 1000 Medicine service? If so, please drop me a line at messn006@umn.edu. Currently, we do not have a campus-wide subscription to these titles, and we would like to assess current use and interest on campus for this literature recommender service.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 12:17 PM

January 26, 2006

Why We Don't Have Access to (Part of) Genome Biology

BioMedCentral ("The Open Access Publisher") is probably familiar to most of you, as they have established several promising "open access" journals in the biosciences over the last couple years. Genome Biology is emerging as one of BMC's more prominent open access titles.

Except that this journal isn't open access. At least, not all of it.

While marketing itself as an open access publisher, BMC chose to considerably muddy the publishing-model waters in its creation of several titles like Genome Biology, publishing these partly under an "author pays, open access" model, and partly under a subscription-based model. In particular, review articles are only available by subscription to the journal.

In past years, this was not a completely unworkable issue, because the print version of the journal was available by subscription for a few hundred dollars. We could readily justify paying a few hundred dollars to get this access to the review articles. Unfortunately, as of 2006, Genome Biology is no longer being published in print, and an online subscription for an institution our size is approximately $2800.

Genome Biology published 6 review articles and 28 minireviews in 2005. At $2800, a subscription would cost us $82 per article. (There is other "subscription-only" material in Genome Biology -- meeting reports and the like -- but it is not the kind of literature that many researchers are primarily interested in, or that we would pay a premium for.)

Compare $82/article to four top (by impact factor) genetics review journals: Nature Reviews Genetics is listed at approximately $40/article, Trends in Genetics at $14/article, Current Opinion in Genetics and Development at $13/article, and Annual Review of Genetics $8, for an average of $19/article.

The pricing of Genome Biology is clearly out of step. Frankly, $2800 wouldn't be so out of line, if we were purchasing the whole journal (primary research as well as review articles) by subscription. But the primary research articles in Genome Biology are published in the open access model, and the U of M Libraries already support BioMedCentral's open access publishing to the tune of $10,000. Beyond the financial consideration though, there just seems something disingenuous about a heavily marketing a journal under the idealized "open access" model, when the journal is only partly open. It seems that Genome Biology is trying to have its cake and eat it too.

We will certainly keep looking at the status and track record of this journal. If Genome Biology decreases its price, or markedly increases the amount of review content for the current price, such that it is in line with other review journals, we'll certainly look at subscribing again. Otherwise, unless it becomes apparent that Genome Biology is an indispensible research tool even at its hyperinflated price point, we will unfortunately be unable to deliver this title.

1. Cost/article figures taken from the Journal Cost-Effectiveness Search website:

Posted by Kevin Messner at 12:57 PM

January 24, 2006

NCBI Coffee Break: Readings and Bioinf Tutorials

Just a FYI: NCBI Coffee Break provides short articles and tutorials on recent biological advances, with a focus on applications of computational biology and bioinformatics technologies. Good reading for students and researchers new to the field. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?call=bv.View..ShowSection&rid=coffeebrk.TOC

Posted by Kevin Messner at 2:48 PM

SciFinder Scholar for Macintosh now available

SciFinder has (finally) released their Mac OS X version! If you're not familiar, SciFinder Scholar is the major bibliographic database for chemistry, including journal literature, conference literature, patents, and more. The resource is available for U of M students and staff. Download links and instructions are available at http://www.lib.umn.edu/slog.phtml?url=http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/subject/software/. You can read more about its features at http://www.cas.org/SCIFINDER/macversion.html.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 2:43 PM

January 23, 2006

This Week’s University Libraries Update for the Molecular Biosciences

Welcome to the Molecular Biosciences Virtual Library update, a service of the University Libraries. The MBVL focuses on resources and tools of interest to researchers and educators working in the molecular biosciences, computational biology, and related fields. The full entries for the headlines below, as well as previously posted entries, are available at this weblog: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/messn006/molbiolibrary/

This update is being sent to members of the Depts of BMBB, GCD, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Physiology. Anyone is welcome to sign up to receive the update using the form at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/messn006/molbiolibrary/ (near the top right of the page).

If you would like to be removed from this list, or if you have any questions regarding the update or U Libraries’ services in general, please contact Kevin Messner, your departmental liaison, at messn006@umn.edu

1) Happy New Year from the Libraries (Bring on the Subscription Problems):

2) Libraries Workshops for February:

3) NCBI Search Toolbar Now Available:

4) U Libraries Now Have Access to "Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology":

5) Directory of Open Access Journals Reaches an Important Milestone: Now there are 2000 Journals in the DOAJ:

6) ISI Essential Science Indicators, Other ISI Products Now Available:

7) New Current Protocols Titles Available:

Posted by Kevin Messner at 7:40 AM

January 21, 2006

Happy New Year from the Libraries (Bring on the Subscription Problems)

The phrase "Happy New Year" has a slightly onerous ring for librarians. As some of you know from first-hand experience, problems with online journal subscriptions crop up more frequently than we'd hope, and the new year is a prime time for subscriptions to go "kerplewy" (to use the technical term). If you encounter problems, over the next several weeks or indeed anytime, with accessing an e-journal we subscribe to, please don't hesitate to drop me a line about it so we can investigate and address the problem.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 1:56 PM

January 20, 2006

Libraries Workshops for February

The following workshops are being offered at the Bio-Med, Magrath, and Walter Libraries through the end of February. For class descriptions and to register, visit Bio-Med's or the U Libraries' workshop sites.

RefWorks Basics: Tuesday, January 24, 1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM (Walter)
RefWorks Basics: Wednesday, January 25, 3:00 PM -- 4:15 PM (Magrath)
PowerPoint: The Basics: Thursday, January 26, 10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (Bio-Med)
RSS: Nuts & Bolts: Wednesday, February 1, 9:00 AM -- 10:00 AM (Bio-Med)
Introduction to SciFinder Scholar: Thursday, February 2, 10:00 AM -- 11:30 AM (Walter)
Basics of Database Searching: OVID Medline: Monday, February 6, 10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (Bio-Med)
Beyond PubMed: Key NCBI Resources: Monday, February 6, 4:00 PM -- 5:00 PM (Bio-Med)
PubMed - My NCBI: Tuesday, February 7, 10:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (Bio-Med)
RefWorks: Tuesday, February 7, 2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM (Bio-Med)
RefWorks Basics: Tuesday, February 7, 3:00 PM -- 4:15 PM (Magrath)
Finding Electronic Full Text: Tuesday, February 7, 10:30 AM -- 11:45 AM (Bio-Med)
Web of Science: Wednesday, February 8, 1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM (Walter)
Literature Search Techniques and RefWorks: Thursday, February 9, 1:30 PM -- 3:00 PM (Bio-Med)
SciFinder - Web Access to Chemical Abstracts: Tuesday, February 14, 3:00 PM -- 3:45 PM (Magrath)
Class Blogs: Getting Started: Thursday, February 16, 12:00 PM -- 1:15 PM (Bio-Med)
Strategies for Interprofessional Research: Thursday, February 16, 2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM (Bio-Med)
Keeping Current in the Sciences: Tuesday, February 21, 1:00 PM -- 2:00 PM (Walter)
Setting Up Auto Alerts: Web of Science, PubMed, and OVID: Tuesday, February 21, 2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM (Bio-Med)
RefWorks Basics: Wednesday, February 22, 11:00 AM -- 12:00 PM (Walter)
Doo’s and Doont’s of Google Scholar: Wednesday, February 22, 12:00 PM -- 1:00 PM (Bio-Med)
RefWorks Basics: Wednesday, February 22, 3:00 PM -- 4:15 PM (Magrath)
PubMed: My NCBI: Thursday, February 23, 2:00 PM -- 3:00 PM (Bio-Med)
Basics of Database Searching: PubMed: Thursday, February 23, 11:00 AM -- 12:00 PM (Bio-Med)
PowerPoint: Beyond the Basics: Thursday, February 23, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (Bio-Med)

Posted by Kevin Messner at 9:44 AM

January 18, 2006

NCBI Search Toolbar Now Available

A Search Toolbar from NCBI is now available for download. This program for your Web browser (IE and Firefox) allows you to quickly initiate searches of several NCBI databases using a browser-based toolbar, and to highlight where your search statement was found in your results.

For more information see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/toolbar/

Posted by Kevin Messner at 3:11 PM

U Libraries Now Have Access to "Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology"

By popular request, we now have access to the Berkeley Electronic Press journal title, "Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology." This journal "seeks to publish significant research on the application of statistical ideas to problems arising from computational biology." More info on the title is available at http://www.bepress.com/sagmb/aimsandscope.html

Our access extends to volume 1 (2002). As with other e-journal titles, you can access these via the Libraries E-journals web page or through MNCAT. Unfortunately, "SAGMB" is not yet indexed by either PubMed, Inspec, BIOSIS, or even ISI Web of Science. The math and stats database MathSciNet does index the journal. I also found a smattering of citations for articles in the journal using Google Scholar.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 1:25 PM

January 17, 2006

Directory of Open Access Journals Reaches an Important Milestone: Now there are 2000 Journals in the DOAJ

Lund, Sweden: As of today the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, http://www.doaj.org) contains 2000 open access journals, i.e. quality controlled scientific and scholarly electronic journals that are freely available on the web.

The goal of the Directory of Open Access Journals is still to increase the visibility and accessibility of open access scholarly journals, and thereby promote their increased usage and impact. The directory aims to comprehensively cover all open access scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system. Journals in all languages and subject areas will be included in the DOAJ. The selection criteria have been updated based on feedback from users to be more understandable (http://www.doaj.org/articles/about#criteria).

The database records are freely available for reuse in library catalogues and other services and can be harvested by using the OAI-PMH (http://www.openarchives.org/), and thereby increase the visibility of the open access journals.

We are very happy to see that the usage of the DOAJ is constantly increasing on all parameters. Every month visitors from more than 150 countries are using the service, hundreds of libraries all over the world have included the DOAJ titles in their catalogues and other services, and commercial aggregators are as well benefiting of the service.

New titles are added frequently and to ensure that the holding information is correct you have to update your records regularly. We also have to remove titles from DOAJ if they no longer lives up to the selection criteria e.g. during the last 6 months of 2005 50 titles where removed.

We are working with publishers of hybrid journals (subscription based journals where authors /institutions for a publication charge can publish articles in open access) in order to include even these articles in the DOAJ. It is our intention to be able to inform about this in the near future.

Feedback form the community tells us that the DOAJ is an important service. In order to be able to maintain and further develop the service we have decided to launch a Donation Programme that makes it possible for all users/institutions to contribute to the continued maintenance and development of DOAJ. If you/your institution would consider contributing please go to http://www.doaj.org/articles/donation for further information.

DOAJ is or has been supported by the Information Program of the Open Society Institute (http://www.osi.hu/infoprogram/), along with SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), (http://www.arl.org/sparc) SPARC Europe, (http://www.sparceurope.org/), BIBSAM, the Royal Library of Sweden (http://www.kb.se) and Axiell (http://www.axiell.se/)

If you know of a journal that should be included in the directory, use this form to report it to the directory: http://www.doaj.org/suggest.
Information about how to obtain DOAJ records for use in a library catalogue or other service you will find at: http://www.doaj.org/articles/questions#metadata.

Thank you for your interest and support!

Lotte Jorgensen
Lars Björnshauge

Lotte Jorgensen
Lund University Libraries, Head Office
P.O.Box 134, SE-221 00 LUND, Sweden
Visiting address Tornavägen 9B, Lund
Tel: 046-222 34 31
Fax: 046-222 36 82
E-mail: lotte.jorgensen@lub.lu.se

Posted by Kevin Messner at 11:08 AM

January 13, 2006

ISI Essential Science Indicators, Other ISI Products Now Available

The U of M now has access to several additional segments of the ISI Web of Knowledge bibliographic information service. In addition to the Web of Science cited reference database and the Journal Citation Reports journal assessment tool, U of M faculty, staff, and students can now use the Essential Science Indicators, ISIHighlyCited.com, and CrossSearch resources. The Web of Knowledge site is available through the Libraries' Indexes web page.

Essential Science Indicators: This tool provides access to several indicators of the research output, or productivity, of individual researchers, institutions, national rankings and journal rankings. Analogous to Journal Citation Reports Impact Factors, ESI tracks both total citation counts and cites per paper scores. The former indicates gross influence while the latter shows weighted influence, also called impact. Authors are selected for listing based on a cumulative citation count threshold. (Note that data in Essential Science Indicators are limited to Thomson Scientific-indexed journal articles only. Books, book chapters, or articles published in journals not indexed by Thomson Scientific are taken into account.)

Additionally, a number of editorial features help the user track current and historical trends in science. ESI includes lists of research areas called “Research Fronts,? algorithmically derived topics reflecting research intensive and breakthrough areas of current science. An additional commentary feature called “Special Topics? gives special description to selected areas of research.

(Incidentally, in a PNAS article, Jorge Hirsch at UCSD has also recently proposed another algorithm for ranking one's research performance, using ISI data: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/messn006/molbiolibrary/2005_12.html

ISIHighlyCited.com: This web site gives research professionals working in a variety of occupations a tool to identify individuals, departments and laboratories that have made fundamental contributions to the advancement of science and technology in recent decades. Selected researchers in 21 broad subject categories in life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering and social sciences are highlighted, representing the most highly cited within each category for the period 1981-1999, and comprising less than one-half of one percent of all publishing researchers.

CrossSearch: This tool allows simultaneous searches of the ISI Web of Science database, along with several other literature sources, including Agricola; All arXiv ePrint Archives (e.g. ArXiv Computer Science, Mathematics, Quantitative Biology); the Educator's Reference Desk ERIC Database; Popline Reproductive Health Literature; and PubMed. While only records from Web of Science contain cited reference information, CrossSearch may be of benefit to users in some disciplines in finding additional publications not in the Web of Science database.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 3:20 PM

January 12, 2006

New Current Protocols Titles Available

The University Libraries now have access to a total of nine of the Current Protocols titles. Current Protocols is a series of standard, authoritative guides to laboratory methods in the life sciences. The U of M now subscribes to CP in: Bioinformatics, Cell Biology, Human Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Protein Science, and Toxicology.

Posted by Kevin Messner at 11:34 AM