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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