Interested in photography and rocketry and have a GPS enabled cell phone laying around?

Have a look at how the MIT 1337arts crew pulled it off.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for ECE and EOS at the University of British Columbia


Most of us spend our university education taking the standard, required courses, there are more than just the basics out there when it comes to some science classes.

This blog post list some of the most hilarious of them –

Personally, I would love to take some of the science classes such as :

The Science of Superheroes: While it might sound like fun and games, this course takes superheroes as a means to teach students real lessons about physics. [U of California Irvine] or Lego Robotics: Legos can help you build more than just that TIE Fighter, they can also be used to make real robots, as this course will show students. [MIT]

** Photo by


This month,, has  listed the ISI ranking in Computer Sciences by citations per paper—among countries that collected 5,000 or more citations during the period—to reveal weighted impact.

“For articles with multiple authors from different nations, each nation receives full, not fractional, citation credit. Essential Science Indicators lists nations ranked in the top 50% for a field over a given period, based on total citations. In Computer Sciences, 79 nations are listed, meaning 158 were surveyed. 27 nations collected at least 5,000 citations during the period. The average citation rate for field of Computer Sciences is 3.14.”

It is great to see Canada listed as #8 (but after Scotland?)…

** photo by

In “Measuring citations: Calculations can vary widely”, published in ScienceNews October 5, 2009, Janet Raloff reports on findings by Abhaya Kulkarni and his colleagues who compared three indexing services: Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. Not surprisingly the results were different between these services, because they index different publications. Perhaps the most important part of the article though is the point Kulkarni makes about the implications of not counting citations from non-high impact factor journals. Implications that might include: research that gets little or no credit if it is not cited in high-impact factor journals; or a failure to gauge the true influence of a particular piece of research if it is not cited in journals with high impact factors.
See the full article here:

Good news regarding the UBC Library’s CISTI Orders Document Delivery Service. You no longer need to come to the Library to pick up your CISTI or Interlibrary Loan request.

For CISTI Orders articles, Interlibrary Loan staff are creating brief records in Relais (our ILL/DD software) in order to post the articles to the web and to send an email to the user. The article can be accessed a total of 3 times within 15 days from the date of the email message. After either accessing the article 3 times or 15 days have passed, the article is no longer available to the user.

Articles ordered from Interlibrary Loan are now being delivered to UBC users via post to web. When an article is received, Interlibrary Loan staff match the article to the correct request and then it is posted to the web. The user receives an email message with a link to the article. The user then clicks on the link to obtain the article. The user does not need a password to access their articles.

All articles received by 5:00PM Monday to Friday will be processed that day.

Under the Copyright Act, if the user wants to keep a copy of the article, they must print a copy. The article has been received for the purposoe of research or private study only. It is not for redistribution, retransmission or electronic storage. It cannot be used for any other purpose or reproduced without permission of the copyright owner.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Science and Engineering Liaison Librarian


A new article today in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science could be of interest to those of you who post their studies to

A. Haque and P. Ginsparg, “Positional effects on citation and readership in arXiv,” J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol., vol. 60, pp. 2203-2218, 2009.

Abstract: mediates contact with the literature for entire scholarly communities, providing both archival access and daily email and web announcements of new materials. We confirm and extend a surprising correlation between article position in these initial announcements and later citation impact, due primarily to intentional self-promotion by authors. There is, however, also a pure visibility effect: the subset of articles accidentally in early positions fared measurably better in the long-term citation record. Articles in astrophysics (astro-ph) and two large subcommunities of theoretical high energy physics (hep-th and hep-ph) announced in position 1, for example, respectively received median numbers of citations 83%, 50%, and 100% higher than those lower down, while the subsets there accidentally had 44%, 38%, and 71% visibility boosts. We also consider the positional effects on early readership. The median numbers of early full text downloads for astro-ph, hep-th, and hep-ph articles announced in position 1 were 82%, 61%, and 58% higher than for lower positions, respectively, and those there accidentally had medians visibility-boosted by 53%, 44%, and 46%. Finally, we correlate a variety of readership features with long-term citations, using machine learning methods, and conclude with some observations on impact metrics and the dangers of recommender mechanisms.

** Photo by – “Paul Ginsparg shows that everyone submits their paper to ArXiv *just* after the submission deadline so they’ll be the first on the front page the next day”

The Nanomaterial Research Strategy describes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strategy for conducting and supporting research to understand the potential human health and ecological implications from exposure to manufactured nanomaterials, and how nanotechnology can be used sustainably in environmental protection applications.

EPA’s Nanomaterial Research Program is designed to provide information to support nanomaterial safety decisions. The eight key science questions described in the strategy are intended to help decision makers answer the following questions:

    • What nanomaterials, in what forms, are most likely to result in environmental exposure?
    • What particular nanomaterial properties may raise toxicity concerns?
    • Are nanomaterials with these properties likely to be present in environmental media or biological systems at concentrations of concern?

    For more information, go to the EPA Nanotechnology Research website.

    Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

  • Those of us, who teach or use Google or Google Scholar (GS)  might find the most recent Peter Jacso’s piece on Google Scholar to be of interest –

    Please be very careful using this tool. We talk about the perils of GS and compare it with Compendex and Web of Science in our Google workshops.

    We ourselves saw those problems almost five years ago, and they are still not corrected:

    Giustini D, & Barsky E. A look at Google Scholar, PubMed and Scirus: comparisons and recommendations . J Can Health Libr Assoc 2005, 26(3): 85-89.

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