Thursday, March 01, 2007

New address for weblog

Always in beta...
This blog has now been transferred to Please change your bookmarks, and visit the new blog for an associated RSS webfeed.
Features on the new weblog include better tagging and categorisation (so you can view just the posts relating to maths, or chemistry, or ejournals), and coming soon are RSS webfeeds for new books available from the library.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Royal Society of Chemistry Collection

The Library has signed up to a nationally-negotiated deal for a collection of RSC material. Most of their journal and database content is included.

These additional e-journals are now on the Library's A-Z listing:
-Soft Matter
-Molecular BioSystems
-Natural Product Reports
-Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences
-Annual Reports on the Progress of Chemistry
-The Analyst
-Chemical Biology
-Journal of Environmental Monitoring
-Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy

There are a number of current awareness databases available via:
-Analytical Abstracts
-Catalysts and Catalysed Reactions
-Methods in Organic Synthesis
-Natural Product Updates
.... click on the database name then look for a 'search the database' link in the left hand margin.
Search using the boxes on the left hand side of the next page... the right hand side boxes just search the RSC web pages!

There is also a collection of books listed under 'Issues in Environmental Science and Technology'
They might be of interest to Natural Sciences? It says you have to pay for access but try it... there is no charge!

Please let me know what you think.... the deal is for a year, if this isn't used/useful we can always cancel it next year.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ordering books

We're in the middle of putting together a webpage with information on ordering books and other items for the library collection. Basically it covers the basics, such as how to suggest an item, our ordering procedures and suppliers (and why it might take longer than the overnight delivery Amazon might promise..), what an 'urgent' order means, placing a hold on ordered items and so on.

Is there anything in particular those of you out there in University of Bath-land would like to know with regard to ordering materials? Anything you think that may be useful for staff or students when suggestion a book for purchase? Please do let us know, if it's puzzling you then it's probably puzzling others...


Scopus trial ending

Just a reminder that our access to Elsevier's SCOPUS database will end on 31st March this year, at the end of the free trial period.

We asked for users' views on the database in November, and from these, and the usage statistics, it was clear that there was not sufficient demand to justify trying to fund the subscription, a cost which could only have been met by dropping other databases.

WoS has very similar subject coverage to SCOPUS, and much higher usage here. For Engineers, Compendex would usually be the best alternative

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Compositio Mathematica - a case in point

By their nature, journals take a lot of time and organisational energy for a library to provide. Back in the day (and well, still today) we had printed volumes to maintain - making sure we had sufficient shelf space, binding volumes to help keep continuous runs, keeping vertical files / spreadsheets / serials modules on a library management system up to date, contacting publishers or suppliers to claim for issues that are late or lost in the post or never arrive... a lot goes on behind the scenes to make sure that our subscription to a journal meant access to a complete resource for library users.

Today, in our library we have over 12000 journal titles to maintain online. It's a bit like doing your grocery shopping - lots of things you can get from the supermarket, but then you need to go to specialty stores for particular items. With ejournals, some of these are bundled into packages sold by publishers such as Blackwells, Taylor & Francis and Springer (the 'supermarkets'). Others are individual titles produced by Learned Societies and organisations, sometimes hosted on their own website, sometimes hosted externally on sites like Highwire Press. Sometimes publishers will make their journal backfiles freely available, sometimes they'll sell archives with a significant one-off payment, followed by smaller yearly access fees.

Clearly we're moving towards the provision of more and more journals online. Particularly in the life sciences, researchers prefer to download rather than photocopy. In order to maintain our e-journal access, the library periodicals department has widened to include the position of e-journals librarian. A significant proportion of this job goes into maintaining our subscriptions, including liaising with publishers and managing links. Journal titles that swap publishers and fall in and out of bundles also take up time. Take Compositio Mathematica as an example. We used to take this title as part of our packaged Springer collection. Then the journal changed, with the London Mathematical Society now making it available via Cambridge University Press. This required a separate individual subscription to the journal (rather than it being included in a package of journals). Once payment was confirmed we then had to activate access, which I'm happy to say has just happened today.

So to cut a long story short - access to printed journals or e-journals does take quite a bit of maintenance. E-journals allow access from your desktop, with improved delivery times and more consistent backruns. There are hiccups with our subscriptions, some of which we're aware of, some of which we realise when pointed out by students or staff. If you do come across a journal that's not allowing access, or asking you to pay per article, please do let your subject librarian know immediately so we can look into it, or email the Ask-A-Librarian service available from the library website.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Biosis Previews archive extended

We've extended our Biosis Previews archive online back to 1926 - previously we had back to 1969. Biosis is available via the Databases page on the library website.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Faculty of 1000 Biology on trial

The library has access to Faculty of 1000 Biology for a month. F1000 Biology, from BioMedCentral claims to be 'the next generation literature-awareness service that highlights and evaluates the most interesting papers published in the biological sciences, based on the recommendations of a Faculty of over 2000 of the worlds leading researchers'.

F1000 Biology allows you to set up alerts for papers that have been evaluated by researchers from around the world and deemed to be 'exceptional' or 'must read'. There are lists of top ten articles, updated weekly as well as 'Hidden jewels', which are top papers published in lesser known journals.

Log into
F1000 Biology and test it out - please let me know if you think this is a service useful enough to establish a subscription.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

UK PubMed Central

UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) is now live and freely available at:

"Based on PubMed Central (PMC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, UKPMC provides a stable, permanent, and free-to-access online digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed research publications."

This may be important to Biology and Biochemistry and Pharmacy and Pharmacology because of the positions on open access publishing which were adopted last year by three of the major biomedical funding bodies, as below. [NB The University is also planning to set up a repository for its academic output.]

"For applications submitted from 1 October 2006 the MRC requires that electronic copies of any research papers accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, which are supported in whole or in part by MRC funding, are deposited at the earliest opportunity - and certainly within six months - in UK PubMed Central (UKPMC)."

"From 1 October 2006, BBSRC will require a copy of any resulting published journal article or conference proceedings to be deposited, at the earliest opportunity, in an appropriate e-print repository, wherever such a repository is available."

"The Wellcome Trust requires electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by Wellcome Trust funding, to be deposited into PubMed Central (PMC) or UK PMC once established, to be made freely available as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication"

Monday, January 08, 2007

Reading Lists

It's that time of year again (ie. on the cusp of a new semester) when we try to make sure the library has copies of texts on student reading lists.
Please let us know as soon as possible of changes to your semester two reading lists. Many thanks to those organised souls who have already sent their updates and/or recommendations.

Ejournal access

A note of caution from the Serials and E-resources Librarian here in the Library. At this time of year many of our online journal subscriptions are being renewed, and we would ask that you report any difficulties you have in accessing a particular ejournal in case it is a subscription issue. You can either email myself or Linda, with as much of the following information as possible:
*the title of the e-journal
*the url where you accessed it
*the volume and issue number
*the title of the article
*if you are accessing the e-journal from off-campus
*a description of the e-journal problem, including any error messages that appear on-screen

Due date reminder emails now available!

If I had to say the most asked-for service from the library in 2006, it would be requests for a loan reminder email, sent a day before your items are due to remind you to renew or return their items. Well, starting the new year off in great service style, loan reminders, otherwise known as "underdue notices" are now available.
You must opt in by going to the library catalogue or Your use of the Library at, and choose Check your borrower record or Renew your loans.
Then enter your library card number and PIN - the next screen will ask you to click on the button to opt in. You will then receive email reminders regarding your loans the day before they are due.
The final screen in this process contains a reminder that YOU are still ultimately responsible for the timely return of items on loan in your name.
Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Photocopying/printing costs reduced

This little piece of news has snuck onto the library website news section, and onto our new informational tv screens around the library, but it really deserves a bigger reception. Printing and photocopying charges have been reduced, yes REDUCED! with the installation of new machines that allow double sided printing at a reduced price. Usually it's 6p per page - double sided prints are 9p per sheet. Good for the environment too!

Here's the official announcement:

It is possible to get a reduced tariff for double-sided printing and copying using the Copy and Print service machines in the Library on Level 2.
Use the printer options on your PC when printing to library machines to choose double-sided printing. Ask Copy and Print staff for advice on Level 2 if you want to photocopy to double-sided sheets.
Black and white A4 (double sided) = 9 pence per sheet
Black and white A3 (double sided) = 18 pence per sheet

Friday, December 15, 2006

Oxford archive now available

We have added the Oxford Journals Digital Archive package to our A-Z ejournals listing. This contains 144 journals from volume 1, issue 1 up until the end of 1995, including:
  • Annals of Botany - 1908
  • Bioinformatics - 1985
  • Biometrika - 1914
  • Glycobiology - 1991
  • Human Molecular Genetics - 1992
  • Human Reproduction - 1986
  • IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics - 1938
  • IMA Journal of Management Mathematics - 1990
  • IMA Journal of Mathematical Control and Information - 1984
  • IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis - 1981
  • Integrative and Comparative Biology - 2002
  • Journal of Biochemistry - 1937
  • Mathematical Medicine and Biology: A Journal of the IMA - 1984
  • Molecular Human Reproduction - 1995
  • Nucleic Acids Research - 1973
  • Plant and Cell Physiology - 1960
  • Protein Engineering - 1988
... and more.
You can find a full listing here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

EndNote Web version now available.

We now have access to a web version of EndNote The functionality in terms of importing records from Library databases and outputting to Word in a variety of formats is much the same.
Advantages of EndNote Web over EndNote:
- Easier to use
- Can access your database from any location
- Maximum capacity of 10,000 records (but this sounds like plenty to me!)
- Your database is held on a remote web server and you will lose it when you leave the University (but you can move your entire database between EndNote and EndNote Web very easily.)
I'd be interested in feedback from anyone who starts using this e.g. how easy you find it. Please do report any problems back to us.

Monday, December 04, 2006

MIT CogNet now available

If you're working in the field of neuroscience or cognition, you might be interested in MIT CogNet. This is a collection of material from MIT publishers, available from or via the Computer Science or Psychology Library webpages at You will need to go via the library website if you are off-campus, and use your BUCS username and password for authentication.
The MIT CogNet Library is a growing, searchable collection of resources from MIT Press. It includes:
  • Over 400 reference books in cognitive science
  • OpenCourseWare in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Conference Materials
  • Videos/Lecures
  • Reference works such as:
  • The Handbook of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences
  • The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks (2nd edition)
  • The Visual Neurosciences
  • The Handbook of Multisensory Processes
  • The MIT Encyclopedia of Communication Disorders

Library Student Helpers

The library has employed 8 postgraduate students for the role of part-time Library Student Helper. As the name suggests, the job is to provide a point of assistance when needed (helpers move around the library building), but also to help keep the library environment one which is conducive to study. The role consists of tasks such as limiting noise and food & drink consumption in the library, as well as referring students to staff and information points when necessary.
All library student helpers have had training in their positions, and can be identified by their 'Library staff' badges.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

CiteXplore - new biology tool

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) has launched a free online resource called CiteXplore which links scientific literature to biological databases. According to its developers, CiteXplore is a tool which integrates articles from scientific journals with databases containing biological information such as DNA and protein sequences, functions and structures of molecules and microarray data.
CiteXplore is available from or from the library website under Resources for your Subject - Biology & Biochemistry - Databases/Indexes.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Annual Reviews subscribed

Annual Reviews have activated our subscription and we now have access to the Biomedical suite of AR titles online.
You can find these on the A-Z ejournal listing on the library website, under their individual titles.

These are the titles we're now subscribed to, with start dates:

Annual review of biochemistry 1996 vol.65
Annual review of biomedical engineering 1999 vol.1
Annual review of biophysics and biomolecular structure 1996 vol.25
Annual review of cell and developmental biology 1996 vol.12
Annual review of clinical psychology 2005 vol.1
Annual review of ecology, evolution, and systematics 1996 vol.27
Annual review of entomology 1996 vol.41
Annual review of genetics 1996 vol.30
Annual review of genomics and human genetics 2000 vol.1
Annual review of immunology 1996 vol.14
Annual review of medicine 1996 vol.47
Annual review of microbiology 1996 vol.50
Annual review of neuroscience 1996 vol.19
Annual review of nutrition 1996 vol.16
Annual review of pathology 2006 vol.1
Annual review of pharmacology and toxicology 1996 vol.36
Annual review of physiology 1996 vol.58
Annual review of phytopathology 1996 vol.34
Annual review of plant biology 1996 vol.47
Annual review of psychology 1996 vol.47
Annual review of public health 1996 vol.17

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Library communications study

Over the next two weeks we're running focus groups to try to gather thoughts from undergraduate and postgraduate students on how the library communicates with them. There are two focus groups:

Undergraduate: Monday 27 November, 12.15pm - 1.05pm
Postgraduate: Tuesday 5 December, 12.15pm - 1.05pm

We're offering a pizza lunch as an incentive for volunteers to come along to give an hour of their time, in order to help us improve library services for all.

We have already had a focus group session for academic staff, so the results from these next two groups will help give an overall picture of what the library does well, what it doesn't do well, and how it could improve it's communications with it's community of users.

If you'd like to offer your own thoughts on library communications, I'll happily pass along any comments to the task group.

Picture: Autumn leaves on the path along the Mells river near Great Elm, Somerset.