Rowland Institute Library Blog

Friday, May 02, 2003

A Humanist's Sojourn Among Scientists Leonard Cassuto finds physicists a pleasant and cooperative lot compared with some in his own discipline. From the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Resource Guide - Nanoscience and Nanotechnology A fine overview of journals, textbooks, handbooks and web sites from the University of Alberta library. (Source: the (Sci-Tech) Library Question, a new weblog maintained by Randy Reichardt)

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Nature Neuroscience weighs in on the question of preprint archives versus journals and decides there's no competition, that they are "complementary rather than competitors".

CBS News | Your Private Life For Sale | May 1, 2003 14:59:23 Very interesting ... and disillusioning ... (Source; Michelle's Research Resources Online)

spam combat: tracing spam This is interesting, if one can take the time to read and decipher it. (Source: Michelle's Research Resources Online (read more than one blog)) Note: doesn't really work and they haven't bothered to fix it ...

Exploring new ways of publishing: a library-faculty partnership from the Journal of the Medical Library Association. Gary Price's ResourceShelf pointed me to the issue. Reflects one university library's attempt to work with faculty to use BioMEdCentral as a
viable alternative to publishing in high-cost journals.

On the Net - Unlocking URLs: Extensions, Shortening Options, and Other Oddities An article on URL tricks by Greg Notess. His presentation on alternatives to Google at Monday's NEASIS forum was quite good.

The Grammar of Sound, a Technology Review article, discusses advances in software for browsing and indexing audio files. (Sources: Technology Review e-update; The ResourceShelf)

InterDok - MInd: The Meetings Index This is a free database of future conferences. You can choose a keyword from one of four categories (e.g. science/technology - there's quite a list, actually, I found one on spintronics - but it was closed), or choose from a list of sponsors or geographic locations. there's also a submission form for listing an upcoming meeting. (source:

SARS genome sequenced (Science magazine) ... Busy week in genomics; first bacillus anthracis (Nature, 5/1/03), now the SARS-virus.

Why Blogs Haven't Stormed the Business World, an article in E-Commerce Times, suggests that while Blogging tools make it easy for people to publish, the content is not particularly "portable". (Source: Weblogs at Harvard Law: News Aggregator)

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Also in this week's Nature, Getting organized, an article on recent efforts of postdocs to associate with one another; articles on ion channel structures, the hydrophobic effect, bacterial genomics, etc.

Editorial peer-review for improving the quality of reports of biomedical studies. While we're on the subject, a recent report paints a fairly negative picture of the peer-review process. (Thanks Gerry McKiernan!) See also a short commentary on the above in BMJ

Improving science through online commentary, an interesting letter to Nature, suggests, for example, that links be provided in PubMed for people to post comments; the authors call it "the electronic version of a post-it note" and state that forums for such commentary and debate are altogether too limited. (They say such comment forms are available in the Social Security Death Index; to what end, do you suppose - so that one can say "I'm not dead yet ... I'm feeling better ..."?!?

Nature news story on nanotechnology in living cells, while we're at it. (Requires Harvard ID; sorry) Mentions probes used to sense DNA, microfluidic technologies, fluorescently-labelled nanoparticles, and interviews a number of scientists who've formed a group around some of these initiatives, the Alliance for NanoSystems Biology.

Interview with Eric Drexler on New Scientist web site. Drexler, one of the most visible proponents of nanotechnology, addresses health concerns and other criticisms about the field. Some of the most vocal criticisms have come from the Canadian ETC Group.

A single website for federal government grant listings? May debut in October 2003. (Source: EngLib, April 30, 2003)

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced 72 newly elected members yesterday. Interesting roster, including a record number of women. Read story.
(Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, Daily Update, April 30, 2003)