Interested in what’s going on at Google? There are a number of ways of doing this. Going to Google Labs will show you some of their cool new technologies.

What else is going on at Google? Searching the ACM Digital Library for Google in the Affiliations field retrieves 359 papers. The most recent being Programming the Intel 80-core network-on-a-chip terascale processor. A paper presented at the of the 2008 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing held in Austin, Texas.

Another good database to look at is Compendex. Repeating the same affiliation search in Compendex retrieves 278 papers. The most recent article in Compendex is A New Baseline for Image Annotation published in Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, volume 5304, pages 316-329, 2008.

Okay. Let’s look at how Google protects its intellectual property. A search of the Google Patents database for Google in the assignee name field retrieves 100 patents/patent applications with the most recent US patent 7,352,833 Method and System for Temporal Autocorrelation Filtering being published on May 8, 2008.

Repeating the same search in Espacenet retrieves over 1675 patents/patent applications with most recent patent/patent application US 20080301093 A1 Determining Search Query Statistical Data for an Advertising Campaign Based on User-Selected Criteria published on December 4, 2008.

Okay, here’s the challenge. Use Google Scholar find the most up-to-date recent articles, patents/patent applications written by researchers at Google. Let me know what you find and how easy it was.

Moral of the story. There is something to be said for databases such as Compendex, Web of Science and Scifinder Scholar that index thousands of journals and conference proceedings and have sophisticated search interfaces that allow you – the end user to find exactly what you are looking for.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Electrical and Computer Engineering, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Physical Geography.

Impact factors, Journal Citation Reports, the Science Citation Index and its online version the Web of Science are all statistical measures of the importance of journals and of the researchers who publish in them.

There are in fact journals that specialize in bibliometrics – the journal Scientometrics is one such example.

Dr. Jorge Hirsch, a physicist at UC San Diego has taken the “times cited” measure one step further by proposing the h-index “defined as the number of papers with citation number >h, as a useful index to characterize the scientific output of a researcher.”

Does the h index have predictive power? Hirsch, J. E. Department of Physics, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2007), 104(49), 19193-19198.
Bibliometric measures of individual scientific achievement are of particular interest if they can be used to predict future achievement. Here we report results of an empirical study of the predictive power of the h index compared with other indicators. Our findings indicate that the h index is better than other indicators considered (total citation count, citations per paper, and total paper count) in predicting future scientific achievement. We discuss reasons for the superiority of the h index.

Using the Web of Science database, h-indexes can also be calculated for individual departments . For example, here’s the h-index numbers for a select number of Canadian university electrical engineering departments:

UBC 54

The folks at Thomson Reutershave put together a short but very information video on impact factors and how to use the Web of Science database to find your own h-index.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for the Physical and Appled Sciences, University of British Columbia

Dr. William R. Cullen from UBC’s Department of Chemistry has authored a fascinating book dealing with that most interesting of compounds – arsenic.

For a detailed blurb and table of contents of Is Arsenic an Aphrodisiac?, go to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Is Arsenic an Aphrodisiac? is available in the UBC Library at the following Call Number.

A search of the Scifinder Scholar database reveals 393 papers written by Dr. Cullen with the earliest paper dealing with arsenic compounds published in a 1959 issue of the Journal of the Chemical Society.

Searching the Web of Science database for Cullen, WR and then sorting for most cited reveals that the article Arsenic Speciation in the Environment published by Cullen and Reimer in volume 89 of Chemical Reviews has been cited a cool 924 times.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Chemistry UBC-Vancouver

As a follow-up to this post, based upon 269 published articles Dr. Cullen’s h-index is 45.

A new single gateway to NRC research is on the way. Following an NRC CISTI pilot project with seven NRC institutes, NRC has given the go-ahead to create an NRC Publications Archive (NPArC) that will provide access to NRC’s record of science and demonstrate the many ways NRC researchers translate science and technology into value for Canada.

This searchable, web-based repository will increase the access to NRC authored publications, guarantee long-term access to NRC’s research output, and serve as a valuable resource for NRC researchers, collaborators and the public. NRC-CISTI will manage and maintain NPArC.

As part of this initiative, NRC has established a policy making it mandatory, starting in January 2009, for NRC institutes to deposit copies of all peerreviewed, NRC-authored publications and technical reports in NPArC.

Wherever possible, NPArC will provide access to the full text of these publications. NRC’s Licence to Publish (Crown Copyright) will be updated to declare its intent to deposit the full-text of NRC-authored publications in NPArC. However, the nature, timing and extent of access to individual publications depends on a variety of factors, including agreements with publishers, or in the case of technical reports the sensitivity or confidentiality of content.

More information about the NRC Publications Archive will be available closer to the launch date in December 2008.

Source: CISTI News September 2008

Posted by Kevin Lindstrom Physical Sciences and Engineering Librarian

In an article published in October’s Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology a group of researchers from Japan describe the instrumentation installed on Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 aircraft used for measuring atmospheric CO2.

Machida, T., H. Matsueda, Y. Sawa, Y. Nakagawa, K. Hirotani, N. Kondo, K. Goto, T. Nakazawa, K. Ishikawa, and T. Ogawa, 2008: Worldwide Measurements of Atmospheric CO2 and Other Trace Gas Species Using Commercial Airlines. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. volume 25 issue 10, 1744–1754.

Article Abstract
New automated observation systems for use in passenger aircraft to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other trace species have been developed and are described in this paper. The Continuous CO2 Measuring Equipment (CME) is composed mainly of a nondispersive infrared analyzer, a datalogger, and two calibration cylinders for in situ CO2 measurements. The Automatic Air Sampling Equipment (ASE), on the other hand, is designed for flask sampling; the instrument, connected to a metal bellows pump, is made up of a specially designed control board and can accommodate 12 flasks. The CME platform can be used to conduct high-frequency measurements of CO2 for obtaining a detailed spatial observation over a wide area, while ASE, despite the limited flight frequency, can provide useful distributions not only of CO2 but also various trace gas species, as well as their isotopic ratios. ASE and CME are installed on the racks in the forward cargo compartment of the aircraft and the air bypass intake is mounted on the air-conditioning duct upstream of the recirculation fan. Both sets of sampling equipment are automatically controlled through input of relevant flight parameters from the aircraft data system. Their deployment in a Boeing 747-400 aircraft was approved by the aviation regulatory agencies in the United States and Japan through issuance of the supplemental type certificate (STC), while the approval for installation of CME in a Boeing 777-200ER was also obtained via STC. First measurement results of CO2 variations obtained by CME and ASE deployed on Japan Airlines (JAL) aircraft are reported herein.

Click here to read the fulltext of the article.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Earth and Ocean sciences

barack obama

Now after the election, it would be interesting to see whether Senator Obama will perform on the science and technology issues his campaign has promised.

Here is Obama’s platform on STM issues, accumulated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science –

Do you notice something of a particular interest to you?

** Photo by jmtimages

Scifinder Scholar Web is a newly developed web interface that provides online access to Chemical Abstracts, CASREACT chemical reactions database, Chemical Abstracts Registry File, and Medline.

This new version of Scifinder does not require the installation of any additional client software.

For more information on how to access Scifinder Scholar Web

Posted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Earth and Ocean Sciences.

TRIUMF and UBC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy are proud to present the 2008-09 Saturday morning lecture series on Quantum Physics and Chemistry. We especially welcome guest speakers from the UBC Chemistry Department and from Simon Fraser University to this year’s program. This lecture series will introduce the audience to the essential facts about the quantum world in a systematic and non-technical way, starting with the basics and progressing to more advanced material, at a level appropriate for high school students and members of the general public. It would be excellent enrichment for high school chemistry and physics students. There is no charge for admittance, and students are encouraged to bring friends and interested family members. Teachers and members of the public are also welcome.

Due to the popularity of the series, advance registration is required.

October 25, 2008
10am – 12pm
Prelude to quantum Mechanics: Classical wave motion – Patrick Bruskiewich
Sound waves and the physics of music – Chris Waltham

November 29, 2008
10am – 12pm
Failures of classical physics and the birth of quantum physics – Mark Van Raamsdonk
Lasers and their applications – Kirk Madison

January 17, 2009
10am – 12pm
Quantum physics II – Mark Van Raamsdonk
Quantum computers – Robert Rausendorf

February 14, 2009
10am – 12pm
Quantum chemistry: molecules and chemical bonds – Roman Krems
Quantum chemistry on a computer – Y. Alex Wang

March 28, 2009
10am – 12pm
Quantum tunneling – Patrick Bruskiewich
Quantum weirdness – Bill Unruh

April 18, 2009
10am – 12pm
Quantum mechanics and materials science – Jeff Sonier
Quantum mechanics and subatomic physics – Stanley Yen

science, lab, experiment, chemistry

An interesting short read from the BBC Science section talks about Stanley Miller’s chemical experiments –

The BBC piece refers to the this article published a few days ago in Science

The Miller Volcanic Spark Discharge Experiment. Adam P. Johnson, H. James Cleaves, Jason P. Dworkin, Daniel P. Glavin, Antonio Lazcano, and Jeffrey L. Bada (17 October 2008). Science 322 (5900), 404. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1161527]

** Photo by tz1_1zt’

students, university

A technology report (PDF) by a Harvard University student shows that of all the digital tools that professors use, Harvard students find most useful online course material and syllabi.

The report said students want courses to have a Web site that contains readings, notes and other content so they can be accessed easily during the semester. The survey is based on responses last December from 328 undergraduates and 120 graduate students.

Is it the same with our UBC folks? Does it ring any bells for our faculty?

** Photo by AdamLogan

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