Robert Drzewicki, Stephen Francoeur, Gerry Jiao, Ellen Kaufman, Louise Klusek, Wilcina Longdon, Jin Ma, Kannan Mohan, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath, Mike Waldman
Database Trial Reviews
We discussed briefly the pros and cons of writing up reviews of database trials on the reference blog
and the library’s internal mailing list.
Bike Route Maps and Directions
In celebration of Bike to Work day
, we looked at a number of options for finding bike route maps and directions:
- maps can be downloaded and added to Google Earth
- missing some of the human element (insider knowledge about safest, easiest routes, etc.)
Call Numbers in Catalogs and Library Floorplans
We tried in vain to recall what library has a catalog that lets you click on a call number in the catalog to show you the location of that item on a floorplan. As we tried to remember which library has this feature in its catalog, we looked at the catalog from the library at the University of Huddersfield (UK), which offers on the item record a visual shelf browse feature, a QR code for the book (which probably leads to the permalink for the item), and circulation stats for that item (see for example this record for The Iliad of Homer
At the recent OpenSciNY conference at the Bobst Library at NYU
, a group of librarians, scientists, and publishers got together to talk about open access publishing, open source software, and opens notebook science. Among the more interesting things talked about were:
- Flickr and Astrometry.net: amateur astronomers are uploading images they’ve taken with their telescopes to Flickr. One of the presenters at OpenSciNY, David Hogg, worked with some colleagues to put together a service that uses the Flickr API to identify any images that have been recently tagged with “astrometry.” Once tagged in this way, an image on Flickr will be analzyed by the Astrometry service and a comment appended to the image that details the celestial objects visible in the image (see this one from Flickr as an example)
- ChemSpider: Antony Williams from the Royal Society of Chemistry talked about the problem of finding reliable and comprehensive information on chemical structures on the web. ChemSpider describes itself as a “chemistry search engine” that “has been built with the intention of aggregating and indexing chemical structures and their associated information into a single searchable repository and make it available to everybody, at no charge.”
Substitute for EtherPad
EtherPad, a recently shuttered free service that allowed for collaborative editing of documents, released its source code, thereby allowing a number of clone services to be created. One such service is Sync.in
We talked a while about the difference between discovery tools (like Summon
and EBSCO Discovery Service
) and federated search tools (like 360 Search
, which we use for our own Bearcat Search
). It was noted that with the new discovery tools, the thing that takes the longest to set up is getting your catalog records into the system. What makes a discovery tool different from a federated search one is:
- With a discovery tool, you are searching one, centralized index of records that the vendor has assembled; with federated search, your query is being transmitted simultaneously to all the vendors that you can connected to your fed search tool. Search results are returned faster in discovery tools because of this difference.
- The vendor of a discovery tool can normalize all the data stored in its index, making results more consistent (and helping to speed up the delivery of search results) and manipulable (the facetting of results works better in discovery tools).
We wondered if many faculty outside the library use Bearcat as a means to identifying databases that were previously unknown to them but might be useful for their research needs.
We might have demos of two different ERM (electronic resource management) products this June.
Citation Management Tools
We wondered to what extent faculty and students are aware of and maybe use citation management options available to them: