bridge, cement

New York Times was running an interesting article – “Concrete Is Remixed With Environment in Mind” last week which is certainly an interesting read.

The article discussed various ways to make environment friendly concrete.

A quick search in Web of Science database for (concrete or cement) AND environment* finds almost 9,000 articles on the topic.

A quick search in Compendex, a primary engineering database finds 12,000 articles, the last one published on April 4, 2009.

** Photo by Thomas Hawk

Imagine no facebook, twitter, myspace, email, internet for a entire day?

Shutdown Day is a Global Internet Experiment whose purpose is to get people to think about how their lives have changed with the increasing use of the home computer, and whether or not any good things are being lost because of this.

The idea of Shutdown Day project is simple – just shutdown your computer for one whole day of the year and involve yourself in some other activities: outdoors, nature, sports, fun stuff with friends and family – whatever, just to remind yourself that there still exists a world outside your monitor screen.

For more information, go to Shutdown Day

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Science and Engineering Liaison Librarian

BC Wood WORKS!/Canadian Wood Council annually host the Western Canadian Wood Catapult Competition on the UBC Campus in Vancouver BC. The third annual Wood Catapult Competition will take place at the UBC Campus in Vancouver on March 28th, 2009.

The purpose of the competition is to challenge registered college or university students to design and build a wood siege engine capable of accurately hitting targets at 20, 30 and 45 meters using a cement ball. Teams consisting of students and one faculty member submit a short report prior to the competition about their catapult design. On the morning of the competition each team will be required to give a fifteen-minute presentation to the judges, after their weigh-in and setup.

For information on the registering for this competition and technical requirements, go to the
BC Wood WORKS! Competitions website.

Background Reading

Denny, Mark. Siege engine dynamics. European Journal of Physics. 2005. 26 561-577.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Materials Engineering, Physics and Astronomy

The University of British Columbia Library and Springer are delighted to introduce a new Print on Demand feature linked to the Library’s eBook collection: MyCopy powered by SpringerLink.

As a current faculty member of the University of British Columbia, MyCopy allows you to order your own personal print copy of a Springer eBook included in the Library’s collection. The individual copy will be delivered as a printed soft cover version directly to your doorstep. Best of all, it will be available to all patrons for just $24.95 (USD plus GST & PST, including shipping and handling costs).

The University of British Columbia Library is one of the first libraries to introduce the MyCopy service that includes more than 11,000 eBooks out of a total of 30,000 eBooks available on SpringerLink. We invite you to take a look, browse this comprehensive eBook collection and take advantage of the MyCopy service.

If you find an eBook that you would like to use for a course, you can simply copy the URL in the address bar on SpringerLink and add this to your course syllabus. The students can then follow the URL and purchase the eBook directly on for home delivery.

Below are directions for ordering a MyCopy book for just $24.95 (USD plus GST & PST, including shipping and handling costs)
1. Go to SpringerLink:
2. Search or browse eBooks in your research area (Available titles will have an orange MyCopy label associated with it.)
3. Click on the eBook or eBook chapter of your interest
4. Click on the MyCopy Logo found underneath the eBook or eBook chapter information, or the “add to shopping cart now” link within the orange box on the right hand column to start the ordering process.

We trust you will find this feature a valuable addition to Springer’s eBook collection. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact UBC Librarians Joy Kirchner ( and Aleteia Greenwood ( or Springer at

For a complete list of all Springer Ebooks including MyCopy titles go to the Springer eBooks by Subject Collection page and download the Excel spreadsheet for your discipline. Look for the column that contains the Springerlink openurl and paste this url into your browser.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for the Physical and Applied Sciences.

library, books, standards

This is a quick post to remind you about various standards we have in the SciEng library:

* ASTM up to 2006
* CSA and ANSI standards up to 1995 (How to get those?)
* IEEE Standards: The IEEE Electronic Library provides access to over 1,000 current, revised and superceded standards in the field of electrical and computer engineering. You must be a UBC faculty, student or staff to access these resources. Print standards can be found in the UBC Library catalogue, though coverage varies.
* ISO: We own a number of ISO standards that are listed individually in our library catalogue, mostly from the early 1990s. Try typing ISO and standard? in catalogue search box.
* Open Access Standards (Free):
a.International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T)
b. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standards. The Standards Council of Canada will grant a license for use of ISO and IEC international standards by recognized Canadian educational institutions in a credit course. Please contact us to learn more about this option.

Please do not hesitate to contact Kevin Lindstrom or Eugene Barsky if you require any additional info!

** Photo by Sifter

Professor David McClung from the Department of Geography has published more than forty articles dealing with slab avalanches, avalanche risk, and avalanche forecasting.

Dr. McClung’s most recent publications include

Expanding the snow-climate classification with avalanche-relevant information: initial description of avalanche winter regimes for southwestern Canada. Haegeli, Pascal; McClung, David M. Journal of Glaciology, Volume 53, Number 181, March 2007, pp. 266-276.

Dry snow slab shear fracture speeds McClung, D.M. Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 34, 2007, L10502.

Snow Avalanches as a Non-critical, Punctuated Equilibrium System in Nonlinear Dynamics in Geosciences, Springer Verlag, 2007.

Thinking about heading into the back country? It might be useful to consult the Avalanche Handbook coauthored by David McClung and Peter Schaerer.

Other relevant avalanche websites include:

BC Provincial Emergency Program Avalanche Information
Canadian Avalanche Centre
Canadian Avalanche Foundation

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom Liaison Librarian for Earth and Ocean Sciences, Physical Geography

snow, ubc, vancouver, barber centre

We would like to wish you happy holidays! We are looking forward to work with many of you next year!

Enjoy the snow 🙂

** Photo by velkr0

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

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

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