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February 23, 2010

Tips for Making your Life Easier!

If you use PubGet and Firefox is your preferred browser, be sure to install Pubget’s PaperPlane. Then after searching PubMed in your usual fashion, you can click on the PaperPlane toolbar icon and be shunted to PubGet, where you can immediately start reading the full text of papers that match your PubMed search criteria! (Of course, you can also just use Pubget to search PubMed.)
To get PaperPlane, just drag it to your Firefox bookmarks toolbar from this website:

EndNote Addins
If you’re an EndNote user, you’ll want to add the capacity to more readily view the full text of articles. Please visit the U of Illinois EndNote Support site for instructions on customizing your EndNote program:
Follow the instructions for “Setting Up EndNote to Work with Discover”.

After making the customizations:
If you are using EndNote 8 or higher, you’ll be able link out to the full text of the article. Just right-click on the citation in Endnote, and click on the link to “OpenURL”. This feature is similar to what happens when you click on the “Discover” link in PubMed, Web of Science, etc. You will be shunted to the publisher’s site for the full text of the article.

If you are using EndNote X3, you will, in addition, be able to pull over (download) PDF files for the articles in your EndNote library for which the University Library holds subscriptions. You can do this one by one, or for many articles at once. The PDFs will be stored on your computer; automatically links to the stored PDFs will be added to the EndNote record for the article. You don’t need to worry about naming the file, etc. This feature was available to a limited extent in version X2, as well.

Handy Free Web Tools

ZamZar ( Convert from PDF to Word documents. (Other file conversions also available.)

PrintWhatYouLike ( Tired of printing web pages only to find your printout is full of ads, empty space and other junk you don't want? PrintWhatYouLike is a free online editor that lets you format any web page for printing in seconds! Great for editing out unwanted columns in web tables, too. Tip: Install the Bookmarklet so you can simply click on it when you get to a page you want to edit and print.

Awesome Highlighter ( Lets you highlight text on a page and creates a URL for the page with your highlight, which you can share with others. E.g., here’s my homepage, with a few highlights: Tip: Add the Firefox Add-on so you can just click on the link when you land on a page that you want to highlight!

TinyURL ( Converts LONG URLs to tiny URLs – great for sending URLs in emails or for posting URLs to web sites!

Posted by Katie Newman at 1:30 PM

Need a Biological Protocol?

Did you realize that the University Library subscribes to quite a few “protocols” sources? Find links to these resources at

Wiley’s Current Protocols
Updated quarterly and searchable, you have e-access to such popular titles as:
Current Protocols in Molecular Biology
Current Protocols in Immunology
Current Protocols in Bioinformatics
Current Protocols in Cell Biology
as well as CPs in Cytometry, Human Genetics, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Pharmacology, Protein Science, and Toxicology.

Nature Protocols
Includes peer-reviewed protocols published in Nature Protocols, as well as protocols derived from Nature research journals and from content posted directly to the site by the research community. All protocols are searchable and may be commented upon.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
Cold Spring Harbor Protocols is an interdisciplinary monthly journal providing a source of research methods in cell, developmental and molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, protein science, computational biology, immunology, neuroscience and imaging. The searchable site includes protocols from the Cold Spring Harbor courses (Xenopus, Mouse, Proteomics, Yeast Genetics); protocols from “Emerging Model Organisms: a Laboratory Manual”; and kit protocols from Abcam, Bethyl, Bio-Rad, Epicentre, and Qiagen. Part of the site is devoted to recipes for reagents, including purchasing information.

Methods in Enzymology
Volume 1 (1955) to present available electronically. This venerable series covers enzymology in the broadest possible sense, covering topics such as photosynthesis, nucleic acids, membranes, hormones, vitamins, immunological techniques, interferons, recombinant DNA, plant molecular biology, microbial toxins, mass spectroscopy, ion channels, and much more.

Questions? Comments? Send to Katie Newman, Biotechnology Librarian, 2130 IGB,, 217-265-5386

Posted by Katie Newman at 1:25 PM