Ron Simmer Patent and IP Expert has once agained issued his Patex Bizarre Patents Calendar.

This calendar documents the creative spirt of the human race reflected in patents.

Check out Ron’s excellent site of patent and intellectual property links at the Patex website.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Science and Engineering Liaison Librarian

Sociologist Joseph Hermanowicz’ new book Lives in Science How Institutions Affect Academic Careers describes how the prestige of academic institutions often shapes the career of the individual.

“For all but a handful of the scientists he studies, the prestige of their institution pretty much determines their professional–and even their personal–destiny. Of the more than 4000 institutions of higher learning in the United States where a scientist can get a faculty post–ranging from world-renowned research universities to local community colleges–only a very limited number possess the resources, reputation, and connections needed for research careers at the highest levels of recognition.”

Click here for a full review of Hermanowicz’ book.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Physical Sciences and Engineering Liaison Librarian

The newest issue of the Science has a short editorial titled “Becoming a Scientist“.

Personally, I found t his short piece to be very interested and not intuitive…take a look –


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


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.

    This week’s issue of Science focuses in CO2 capture and storage.

    Articles include

    Why Capture CO2 from the Atmosphere?

    Round and Round: A Guide to the Carbon Cycle

    Onshore Geologic Storage of CO2

    Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Earth and Ocean Sciences


    Scott Dunbar is an associate professor in the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia. His recent work on biomining was highlighted in UBC Reports a few months ago – “The virus that binds: A novel idea marries biology and mining

    You can see much of the biomining research in the Web of Science database (for UBC folks, here is the direct link to the appropriate search )

    ** photo by Martin Dee


    I have posted about climate engineering before. Here is the new article from the last issue of Science that discusses the risks of climate engineering – “Risks of Climate Engineering

    Risks of Climate Engineering
    Gabriele C. Hegerl and Susan Solomon (21 August 2009)
    Science 325 (5943), 955. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1178530]

    This short opinion article presents the points against temperature changes potentially caused by geoengineering…

    ** photo by

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