Friday, October 27, 2006

Beilstein users - please note:

MIMAS are switching Beilstein to a new server with a new means of access on 1ST NOVEMBER. On-campus access will be IP-based so *should* be easier, with no registration necessary. Off campus access will require you to go via a web-registration page each time you login. These are the options:

1. Via BUCS networked computers
From the Start menu, select Programs then MDL CrossFire Commander 7. You will have to login with your BUCS username again. Go to the Start menu and select Programs then MDL CrossFire Commander 7 and MDL CrossFire Commander 7 again. This will start up the Commander software. Click Connect. NB If you access CrossFire in this way (via the terminal servers) you also need to logoff twice.

2. On campus using locally installed software
To login use the username: xfire and password: mimas

3. Off campus
To login, go to:
Click on 'Alternative login' and follow the instructions. NB you will need to login via the web each time you want to access CrossFire.

If you have saved any search strategies or hitsets *on the MIMAS server* they will be lost after 1st November as a result of this change, so you need to re-save them locally. [I don't think anyone has saved searches but MIMAS are unable to tell us for sure.]

Please let us know if you experience difficulties.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Scopus - decisions please

We have had the Scopus database from Elsevier on trial for the last 12 months. We have to decide by 1st December whether or not we want to purchase it. The price will be £15,000 per annum.

It has an easy interface and some good citation searching features but I am under the impression that there may be gaps in its journal coverage.

What do you think? Will anyone be highly inconvenienced if we lose access to this database (in March 2007)? Please let Linda or I know by mid-November if you have a strong case for keeping access.

Note: Although Scopus is an Elsevier product, our full text journal access will not be affected by our decision on Scopus. ScienceDirect is a separate package.

Biochemical Journal Video Webcasts

Portland Press and the Biochemical Journal have released the webcasts from the recent Biochemical Journal Centenary Symposium ( which took place in July 2006 is now available.
We have access to these on campus - these are very thought-stimulating videos, and worth a watch.
The Centenary Symposium consisted of a prestigious list of speakers at the cutting edge of research brought together to celebrate 100 years of publishing by the Biochemical Journal.
  • Mike Waterfield (UK) - The EMBO Lecture: Cracking the mild, difficult and fiendish codes within and downstream of the EGFR to link diagnostics and therapeutics.
  • Louise Johnson (UK) - Protein kinases and their therapeutic exploitation
  • Alfred Goldberg (USA) - Functions of the proteasome: from protein degradation and immune surveillance to cancer therapy.
  • Mina Bissell (USA) - Modelling molecular mechanisms of breast cancer and invasion: lessons from the normal gland.
  • Donny Strosberg (USA) - Novel mechanisms of signal transduction modulated by G-protein coupled receptors.
  • Steve Huber (USA) - Exploring the role of protein phosphorylation in plants: from signalling
    to metabolism in leaf cells.
  • Stephen O’Rahilly (UK) - Translating metabolic biochemistry into the clinic.
  • Lewis Wolpert (UK) - The public’s belief about biology.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Short trial available to Annual Reviews

We have a trial for the online version of Annual Reviews available until November 20.
The url to list the Annual Review titles is . We currently receive a number of the science titles in print - the trial will give us a good idea of how online access will work. Please let us know your thoughts and comments...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Library Security Gates

The access gates at the front of the library will be switched on from Monday 23rd October. This means that anyone wishing to come into the library will need to have their new library card.
The new cards are proximity cards, not swipe cards as before and will enable smoother, faster entry and flow of traffic to the library.
There is a card booth set up in the library for you to take your own picture, at your leisure, and then collect your card from the issue desk.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese

Well you can't be serious all the time...
The 2006 Ig Nobel award winners have been announced. Like the Nobel prize, the Ig Nobel awards honour excellence in research and promote science and medicine, but with a focus on humour.
This year's winners include:

ORNITHOLOGY: Ivan R. Schwab and the late Philip R.A. May for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
NUTRITION: Wasmia Al-Houty and Faten Al-Mussalam for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters.
MATHEMATICS: Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes for calculating the number of photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.
PHYSICS: Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch for their insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces.
CHEMISTRY: Antonio Mulet, José Javier Benedito, José Bon and Carmen Rosselló for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature."
BIOLOGY: Bart Knols and Ruurd de Jong for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.
Congratulations to the winners!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006



Libcasts are our version of podcasts, or audio files on the internet that you can download and listen to, or subscribe to. Our first libcasts are self-guided audio tours around each level of the library. The idea is that students who have mp3 players or iPods can download the file, then make their way around the library, listening to the audio tour - they can do this at a time convenient to themselves. If you'd like to have a listen, go to:

Bean bags

New library furniture shows you can be hard at work yet relaxed...

Library printing and photocopying

Photocopying and printing have not escaped from the summer changes in the library! There are new machines in reprographics on Level 2 of the Library. Each machine is a photocopier and printer all rolled into one. Students and staff who wish to print or photocopy in the library will need their library card, and their library PIN. If you don't remember your library PIN, you have have it email to you from the library catalogue, choosing 'Your use of the library' and 'Change your PIN' - this gives you the option of having your PIN emailed to you.

There are still two machines in the library for adding credit to your library card/print account, and reprographics staff can transfer credit from old cards and accounts to the new cards.

There are extra library staff at the moment to help with the new system, please feel free to ask for help if needed.
Photos below are copying and printing last week, and then week one of semester!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Library card update

Here's an update on the library cards, particularly for returning students and staff:

Over the summer the Library has been carrying out a number of projects to enhance space and access. One project has been to replace our swipe card turnstiles with proximity readers. These detect valid library cards and open automatically for you, easing the traffic flows into the Library. The card also acts as your NUS card and carries access to your printing and photocopying account.
Over the next few weeks we will be replacing everyone's cards. We have three self-service booths in place on Level 2 of the Library, open from 9.00-4.30 Monday-Friday for student cards. Once you have registered online, please come along to the Library to make your card. To speed the self-service card-making process up you can choose to keep your existing photo if you wish. All cards should then be collected from the Issue Desk and are usually ready for collection within half a day. We will e-mail you to let you know when you can collect your card, and send you an immediate e-mail too to confirm your PIN.
Staff are asked to come to the Issue Desk rather than using the self-service machines.
The Library will be making the cards for sometime, so there is no immediate urgency for you to collect a card now. Choose your times carefully and you could avoid the queues.

Reading lists

If you are teaching this semester, please let us know if you've adopted new textbooks or recommended reading, or your student numbers have increased, so we can provide copies in the library. For maths, computer science and biology & biochemistry, just send a copy of your unit outline with the reading list, and I'll check it over.