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

Environment Canada operates the National Climate Data and Information Archive. The Archive contains the official climate and weather observations for Canada.

Direct access to climate and weather values in the database is available at Climate Data Online. Use this area to find out what the weather was like on a particular day, for a month, or for a whole year.

The Canadian Climate Normals contain averages and extremes for nearly 1,500 locations across Canada. Use this area to find out about the conditions usually found at a location at different times of the year.

Canadian Daily Climate Data (CDCD). The 2006/7 CDCD containing daily temperature, precipitation and snow-on-the-ground data is available for download.

Data files can be download in CSV or XML format for further analysis.

Submitted by Kevin Lindstrom, Liaison Library for Earth and Ocean Sciences

internet, mac, animals

The new Pew Report on Future of Internet III was released a few days ago.

A survey of experts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, and the structure of the Internet itself improves. They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives.

Major findings from the report:

• The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.

• The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.

• Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.

• Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.

• The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in terms of social relations.

• “Next-generation” engineering of the network to improve the current Internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

** Photo by Myxi

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.

pine beetle, forests, british columbia

An article in the New York Times looks on the pine beetle epidemic in North America – “Bark Beetles Kill Millions of Acres of Trees in West”

Many people in UBC deal with this precise issue. For instance, try a search on a very general multidisciplinary database such as Academic Search Complete here.

For more comprehensive coverage of this topic , try Web of Science or Agricola databases.

** Photo by Stephen Rees

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 place of mind, The University of British Columbia

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