NewsLink — Issue 62/December 2004
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IN THIS ISSUE
2) ITI SNAP POLL
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
Welcome to the December 2004 issue of NewsLink, Information Today, Inc.'s FREE e-mail newsletter for library and information professionals.
As this newsletter reaches you, Day Two of the Online Information meeting in London is drawing to a close. >From all reports, things seem to be going very well, with good attendance in the exhibit hall, and a comprehensive conference program. To our readers in London, be sure to pay a visit to the Information Today, Inc. stand. For those of you not in attendance, be sure to check out our "Live from London II" blog at http://www.infotodayblog.com/. The blog, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services, is a great way to get a peek at what’s happening in London.
Information Today had its own announcement to make at Online Information this week. We are debuting a digital archive of our periodicals accessible through our Web site. InfoCentral, powered by ProQuest, gives those looking for electronic access to our articles the ability to do that directly through our site. Access is available on a pay-per-view basis. For more information on the Digital Archive read our press release http://www.il.proquest.com/division/pr/04/20041129.shtml. Or better yet, give it a try at http://www.iti-infocentral.com/.
If you have any comments or suggestions on any special content you would like to see covered or on how to improve this newsletter and the information held in it, please let us know at email@example.com.
2) ITI SNAP POLL
Given recent developments and all the discussion of Open Access lately, does your organization already support or plan to implement self-archiving of publications? Yes? No? Please comment on whether you personally support OA initiatives. https://www.infotoday.com.
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
Getting "Scirus" About Scholarly Content
By Paula J. Hane
With the current buzz about Google Scholar (see the recent NewsBreak at https://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb041122-1.shtml), it’s good to remember some other options for high-quality Web research and, in particular, the value of searching in vertical or topical search engines. I talked recently with Ammy Vogtlander, general manager of Scirus, about recent developments with the free science-specific search engine and how it differs from general Web search engines.
Launched in April 2001 by Elsevier, Scirus (http://www.scirus.com) claims to be the most comprehensive scientific, technical, and medical (STM)-specific search engine available on the Internet. Scirus covers more than 167 million Web pages and says it can pinpoint STM information that other search engines cannot reach. Scirus also covers more than 18 million full-text articles and abstracts from sources such as MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, BioMed Central, pre-print servers, as well as patents. The proprietary content always contains a free layer of information, such as a journal abstract, which is accessible by users.
Just this week, Scirus announced that it has partnered with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to index AIP’s full-text articles. Scirus had previously indexed just the AIP abstracts. AIP content found on Scirus will direct users to Scitation.org, the AIP’s new online hosting service—the online home to more than 140 journals from AIP and other science and engineering societies. Institutional and individual subscribers will automatically have access to the full-text articles of their subscribed journals via links from Scirus.
While Google is definitely pulling in publishers for its Google Scholar initiative, Vogtlander said it is not a real competitor to Scirus. "Google is a huge brand for good reason—it’s good for general purposes, but it’s still frustrating for scholarly research." She said that there are several key factors that distinguish Scirus from general search engines and even from Google Scholar: unique content, superior indexing and classification technology, and advanced search capabilities.
As for content, Vogtlander said that Google Scholar focuses on access to published content in journals, while Scirus excels at providing access to both published and unpublished resources, including:
As to its indexing technology, Scirus maintains a customized linguistic knowledgebase for each subject area it covers and uses a classification process to improve retrieval. Elsevier developed Scirus with Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) and continues to refine the technology used for its specialty engine. It also works closely with its information partners, like scholarly institutes and organizations, on doing the best job in exposing the content by crawling and extracting metadata.
Finally, Vogtlander pointed out the advanced search capabilities of Scirus. Advanced search options include:
The real message, perhaps, should be to understand the research tools and what each does best (i.e., don’t use a hammer when a wrench is needed). Scirus, Google, and professional online services all have specific search strengths to offer. Librarian David Dillard of Temple University pointed out this benefit: "At the very least Google Scholar will provide a place to explore literature topically and get a sense of what is written before approaching databases with more involved search strategies and also provide another court of appeal to find or add to results to searches tried elsewhere in the database world."
But, for Web searchers in the know, Scirus can be a gold mine for serious science research.
Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete listing of previous NewsBreaks visit the Information Today, Inc. Web site at https://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks.
NewsBreaks for Monday, November 29, 2004
Thomson Announces New Pharma Research
The Thomson Corp. is using the Online
Information exhibition in London for the official launch of its new integrated
research tool for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The full commercial
launch of the much-anticipated Thomson Pharma product isn’t until January
2005, but visitors to the Thomson booth will be able to see the live product
demonstrated. The company also plans customer lunches, presentations, seminars,
and a gala party to introduce its new information solution, which provides
a single interface and gateway to a portfolio of patent, scientific, and
financial information products and services from across the range of Thomson-owned
NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest
PubSub Launches New Features for
Blog Tracking Service
Kompass Adds Download Feature
and New Portal Access
Project MUSE Announces New Titles
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
For full-text coverage of the following articles please use the hotlinks provided.
Kurt Molholm, recently retired administrator
of the Defense Technical Information Center, talks about technology's role
in the federal government. During his 44 years of public service in the
federal government, he was also very active in organizations serving the
information profession. Read on to get his take on various issues regarding
Online social networking is a hot
topic in Internet circles. These online communities claim to create networks
of friends and business colleagues based on referrals from other friends
and colleagues. Think of it as accessing not only your Rolodex but also
those of your neighbors. Most rely on recommendations—you have to be invited
into the community. A newer wrinkle is bringing the technology in-house
to facilitate knowledge sharing. Social networking companies include Friendster,
Tribe, Spoke, ZeroDegrees, Ryze, Orkut, and LinkedIn. But what do online
researchers, information professionals, and librarians stand to gain from
these virtual communities? ONLINE asked Debbie Bardon, a noted telephone
researcher based in Oakland, Calif., to investigate.
COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
The thing about cutting-edge technology
is that it dulls so quickly. The hardware, software, and technology concepts
that today seem blazingly fast, superabundant in capacity, or transformative
in their effects will in just a few short years be considered mediocre
or passé. Many cutting-edge technologies fizzle out and slip into
obscurity once the hype dies. Yet, it's important to follow the latest
in technology and to ride as close to the leading edge as we dare—or at
least as close as we can afford. The area of technology that I struggle
with the most is data storage. Not all storage needs are large-scale. There
are times when the need centers on small and portable. Whether you want
to store a megabyte, a gigabyte, or a terabyte, there are a lot of great
technologies available today.
In this third installment of his
series on Web art resources, David Mattison takes a look at free digital
databases that document the art history of Western civilization from medieval
times through the 19th century. With an unimaginable wealth of art digitally
accessible and preserved for us and future generations by art history institutions
outside the U.S., the international Web of the Western art world is truly
one of the most remarkable achievements of our digital age.
You've learned the basic functions
of your hand-held computer (or PDA—Personal Digital Assistant)—and now
you're wondering what more you can do with it, or how you can improve its
function. Knowing which software to pick—or even where to find it—can be
a more difficult proposition here than it is with personal computers. As
with PCs, there are two basic platforms to work with—Palm OS and Pocket
PC (basically, the Windows version). Charles Doe helps you narrow down
the options and make an educated purchasing decision.
I'm a compulsive saver. I save backup
copies of all important computer documents I'm working on, and then I back
up my backups. Fortunately, I've never been victim to the kinds of horrendous
natural disasters that have been all over the news in recent months. Hurricanes
can destroy not only your computer, but also any backup hard disks, optical
discs, tapes, Zip disks, Jazz disks, or floppies that you've dutifully
made. This applies equally to tornadoes, fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes,
landslides, avalanches, tidal waves, and meteor strikes. Despite the improbabilities,
catastrophes do happen. All this underscores the importance of off-site
storage. These days, as a result of the Internet, saving important data
off-site is easier than ever, with various options available.
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
Get the latest event information available for the library and information fields in the Conference Connection. The Conference Report/Update gives you an inside look at the most recent information industry events, while the Conference Calendar is updated monthly to provide you with important contact information for up-and-coming industry events.
Tune in to the London ITI Blog
Keep an Eye Open for the BSEC
November 30-December 2: ONLINE INFORMATION
2004, London, U.K.
November 30-December 2: CHRISTA MCAULIFFE
TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE, Nashua, NH
November 30-December 2: ARIZONA LIBRARY
ASSOCIATION, Tuscon, AZ
For the complete
Conference Calendar visit https://www.infotoday.com/calendar.shtml
The Accidental Library Manager
By Rachel Singer Gordon
Most librarians enter the field intending to focus on a particular specialty, but eventually need to take on certain supervisory or managerial responsibilities in order to move forward. In The Accidental Library Manager, author Rachel Singer Gordon provides support and background for new managers, aspiring managers, and those who find themselves in unexpected management roles. Gordon fills in the gaps left by brief and overly theoretical library school coursework, showing library managers how to be more effective in their positions and how to think about their work in terms of the goals of their larger institutions. This readable and reassuring guide is a must for any librarian who wishes to succeed in a management position. Although officially a Janurary title, The Accidental Library Manager is available for purchase now.
January 2005/368 pp/softbound
To purchase this title, please go
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