July 12, 2007
Learn of New Literature Based on Its Taxa
If you're interested in keeping track of the literature for a particular species, read on to learn about a new service, uBioRSS, that harvests info from hundreds of publisher table of contents alerts!
If you set up searches using this service based on any level of taxa for any type of organism, you'll receive email alerts as new articles are published.
Matthew Cockerill, Track the latest open access research relating to your favorite taxon, BioMed Central blog, June 26, 2007. Excerpt:
uBioRSS is a nifty service from the MBLWHOI Library at Woods Hole, which harvests bibliographic information about new articles from publishers' RSS feeds, and then passes them through the uBio taxonomic classification system which identifies any species that are mentioned in the article, and classifies the article appropriately.
This makes it possible to browse the literature taxonomically, so that, for example you might view a list of all the latest articles on cetaceans far more easily than can be done using plain text search.
What's more, it is possible to filter articles by source, so you an easily taxonomically browse just BioMed Central's open access articles. The site also offers an alerting service, so you can choose to be notified of new articles which relate to your particular taxon of interest.
uBioRSS is a great example of the way in which semantic enrichment can add value to the literature, and shows how it is particularly effective when combined with open access, as this then allows the semantic enrichment to be applied not just to the text of the title and abstract, but to the entire full text. To see an example of this in action, check out the UBio taxonomically-enhanced PubMed Central full text search....
I tested this out to see if it had built-in feeds for the Honeybee, Apis mellifera, and it did! Click Here.
It pulled articles published during the last month in such journals as:
Journal of Medical Entomology
Australian Journal of Entomology
BMC Developmental Biology
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
The Southwestern Naturalist
Journal of Mammalogy
Insect Molecular Biology
So, you might want to sign up for this service from uBioRSS as an adjunct to the alerting emails that you are already receiving (I Hope!) from Web of Science, PubMed, Biological Abstracts, Scopus, Faculty of 1000, CAB Abstracts, and so on!
Please let me know if you'd like some help setting up alerts in your field!
Posted by Katie Newman at 11:32 AM
July 10, 2007
Provost's Letter in Support of Retaining Publishing Rights
From Provost Linda Katehi, in an email sent to the U of Illinois Faculty, 7/10/07
New opportunities created by electronic publishing and archiving are changing the business of scholarly publication. Because traditional publication agreements transfer copyrights to publishers and restrict electronic distribution by the author and their institution, publishers appear to have captured much of the benefit of these changes.
In November 2006, faculty governance leaders from CIC universities discussed these issues that affect scholarly communication and called for a concrete strategy that would help faculty retain more control over their published intellectual property. Subsequently, the CIC provosts issued a
Statement on Publishing Agreements and an Addendum to Publication Agreements for CIC Authors. (http://www.cic.uiuc.edu/programs/CenterForLibraryInitiatives/Archive/Report/CICAuthRtsFINAL16May07.pdf) The Addendum is intended to be used by faculty entering into publication agreements with journal publishers or presses. It supports authors rights to use their own published work in teaching and research, to post a publication on a personal website, or to deposit it in a repository maintained by their institution or a professional association. IDEALS (www.ideals.uiuc.edu) is the University of Illinois institutional repository.
Late this Spring, the U of I Senate endorsed the principles expressed in the CIC Provosts Statement and Addendum; encouraged faculty to consider using it as well as other publication agreement addenda that increase their rights in reproducing, distributing, and archiving their own work; and asked the CIC Provosts to provide leadership in negotiating with publishers to develop new publication agreements that provide CIC authors and institutions greater rights for use, distribution and archiving their published scholarly works.
It is our responsibility as scholars to ensure that our work is available as widely as possible to maximize its scholarly impact, accessibility, and educational use. I encourage you to use the Addendum and to deposit your research and scholarship in IDEALS, which provides reliable and persistent access to its holdings.
Posted by Katie Newman at 9:46 AM
July 9, 2007
Do the Criteria for Tenure in the Sciences Need to Change?
The Scientist is currently running an open-comment survey on whether folks think that the criteria on which tenure is awarded in scientific disciplines needs to change.
Among the questions to consider:
- Do you believe reviewers of a scientist's achievements currently focus too heavily on citations?
- What metrics should we use to evaluate researchers in fields that tend to rack up fewer citations?
- Do you believe reviewers focus too heavily on grant funding when evaluating scientists?
- Is tenure a good idea to begin with? Does it support a lot of tenured scientists who don't contribute as much as those still working for tenure?
- Are tenure decisions getting off track? Are we evaluating scientists fairly?
- And once scientists become tenured, is there enough structure to ensure they continue to contribute significant science?
Source: The Scientist : Does tenure need to change?
Address : <http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53370/>
Posted by Katie Newman at 12:44 PM
PLoS Hires ScienceBlogs Blogger to Encourage Interactivity
With thanks to Becky Smith for the heads up...
Bora Zivkovic, chief blogger at ScienceBlog's "A Blog Around the Clock", has been hired by the Public Library of Science to encourage readers to comment on the papers that are published by the various PLOS journals.
Each PLOS article provides a link whereby readers may "provide a response" to the article. Browsing through several issues of PLOS Biology indicates to me that so far this option has been underutilized so it appears Bora will have a big task ahead of himself.
It seems to me that such comments on articles could certainly add extra value to the original piece -- they could elaborate on related experiments, refute the findings, or comment on the significance of the article much as Faculty of 1000 Biology recommendations do.
Good luck, Bora!
Posted by Katie Newman at 11:24 AM
July 6, 2007
Web of Science Dates of Coverage Extended
Web of Science fans will be pleased to learn that we were recently able to extend our coverage back in time significantly.
Although the database is called Web of Science, it is actually composed of three databases. Until recently, searching was limited to references from 1980 to the present.
Coverage for the three databases now is:
Science Citation Index Expanded: 1970-present
Social Science Citation Index Expanded: 1970-present
Arts & Humanities Citation Index: 1975-present **
**1975 is as far back in time as this database is available from the producer.
Posted by Katie Newman at 5:30 PM
Google Scholar is Adding Content from Elsevier's ScienceDirect Journals
Big News! Google has recently been given permission to add content from the Elsevier ScienceDirect web portal. This means that, when searching Google Scholar (and possibly Google) we'll be able to search the full text of the nearly 2000 sci-tech journals published by Elsevier.
Until now, the only search engine that searched the full text of Elsevier journals was Elsevier's own search engine for ScienceDirect and it's subscription product, Scopus.
Many researchers are using Google Scholar due to it's ease of use and because it is capable of searching the full text (not just the titles / abstracts) of articles.
If the U of I has a subscription to the retrieved citations, you'll be able to read the articles online. If we don't have a subscription, use the "Discover" link attached to each Google Scholar record to request the article from Interlibrary Loan.
Posted by Katie Newman at 5:28 PM
July 3, 2007
Check the Impact Factor of Your Favorite Journal!
The latest edition of Journal Citation Reports (2006) is now available at
JCR provides the Journal Impact Factors, a frequently cited and touted measure of the supposed importance or worth of a journal. Both the Science and Social Science versions of the JCR are available at the University of Illinois; for comparison, we have JCRs back to 1998.
The 2006 impact factors are calculated from the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited by in articles published in journals monitored by Thomson/ISI in their Web of Science product during 2006. The Impact Factors are available for most of the over 8000 journals currently indexed in ISI/Thomson's Web of Science product. It's important to note that the only journals that are said to be citing a particular article are those 8000+ journals that are monitored by Thomson/ISI.
An example of how an impact factor is calculated:
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL INFORMATICS ASSOCIATION
Cites in "all" 2006 articles to articles published in this journal in:
2005 = 236
2004 = 321
Number of articles published in this journal in:
2005 = 79
2004 = 61
Impact Factor Calculation:
Cites in 2006 journals to recent (2004-2006) articles / Number of recent articles published
Note: Thomson/ISI is now calculating impact factors for quite a few open access journals. Among the highest ranked are two PLoS journals: 14.1 for PLoS Biology (14.7 in 2006); 13.8 for PLoS Medicine (8.4 in 2006). At least eighteen BioMed Central (BMC) journals also have impact factors.
Posted by Katie Newman at 10:31 AM