Sci-Tech Library Newsletter
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- SCIENCE TABLE OF CONTENTS ALERT SERVICE!: Get the TofC e-mailed to your desktop!
- GOOD NEWS FOR CHEMISTS!: A new preprint database …
- BIOMED CENTRAL TO FREE SCIENTISTS FROM COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS: A new step in electronic publication …
- TIP OF THE WEEK — FINDING PERSONAL WEBPAGES: Its a little tricky, but sometimes worth the effort …
- NEW ELECTRONIC JOURNALS: Lots of life sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences and some math.
- INTERESTING WEBSITES AND OTHER NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: Workstation ergonomics, science and society, science news, academic salaries, science museums, UNESCO photo bank; Biological Sciences: the conservation movement, lab rat, New Zealand birds, plant images, ecosystem valuation, otter cams; Polar Programs: polar oceanography, arctic year; Geosciences: Terra images, GPS, SeismoCam; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: time travel, flat universe, chemistry jokes; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: knowledge-based economy, tax history, African sounds and images; Computer Science Education: speak like a geek, girl geeks … and more!
- INTER ALIA: 1. Resolutions for a New Millenium, 2. Gutenberg Goes Electronic, 3. Interviews — $.50
SCIENCE TABLE OF CONTENTS ALERT SERVICE!
If it takes a long time before the routed copy of Science hits your inbox, you can still keep abreast of new issues by taking advantage of the free table of contents alert service offered by the publisher. Sign up and you will receive an e-mail of the table of contents of each issue as it is published.
A similar service is available from Nature
Many publishers are now offering similar alerting services for their journals. You can also often set up an account such as “Netmind” to alert you whenever a table of contents webpage changes.
GOOD NEWS FOR CHEMISTS!
Available soon from AIP: ChemWeb.com to launch Chemistry Preprint Server!
(Don’t expect to find it yet, folks, it isn’t there, but this is where it will be come July! This gives you a look at the other database offered by ChemWeb, though.) FREE REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
“ChemWeb, Inc. announces their intention to launch the ChemWeb.com Chemistry Preprint Server. This FREE service will be live on ChemWeb.com in July 2000 and the formal launch will be at the ACS Fall meeting.
With over 100,000 articles being published in the field of chemistry annually, the Preprint Server represents a major potential benefit for authors, publishers and researchers alike. Every article submitted becomes the subject of a discussion group and authors will be free to update or replace material after their articles are already live. Chemists around the world will be able to tap into a vast resource of up-to-date research information.
Submission of articles will be easy. A web-based input form will allow articles to be submitted in standard word processor format, then date and time stamped. Articles will be converted automatically to PDF, and classified and archived according to existing chemistry classifications on the ChemWeb.com site.”
BIOMED CENTRAL TO FREE SCIENTISTS FROM COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS
“Researchers will be free from the restrictive copyright agreements usually imposed by scientific journals thanks to a groundbreaking move announced by a new publishing house today. Authors publishing papers on BioMed Central will retain the copyright of their work, allowing them to freely distribute and archive their research findings however they see fit. All peer-reviewed research published by BioMed Central will also be made available immediately on PubMed Central, the NIH-sponsored repository for biological and medical research http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov, and on http://www.biomedcentral.com. BioMed Central promises to offer all primary research without financial and copyright barriers,” says Professor Marc W Kirschner, Head of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. “This will allow scientists the freedom to participate in a truly worldwide community of scholars. It deserves all our support.”
“We will make the publishing of original research quicker, easier and free to all,” says Vitek Tracz, Chairman of BioMed Central. “Restrictive copyright agreements are simply not in keeping with our intention to help scientists communicate research findings as effectively as possible.” Current industry practice typically requires researchers to transfer the copyright of their work to the journal publisher. However, BioMed Central will require only the non-exclusive right to distribute the research and to be cited as the original publisher of the article. “We do not see primary research data as a direct source of income for us,” continues Tracz, “We want to redefine the role of commercial biomedical publishing by focusing on adding value and offering services that complement the freely-available original research and literature of the future,”says Tracz.
- The full copyright agreement is available on-line at http://www.biomedcentral.com/copyright.asp
- BioMed Central will begin accepting papers from the end of May 2000. The site is currently under development but can be viewed on http://www.biomedcentral.com. All research published on BioMed Central will also be stored on PubMed Central, the National Institutes of Health sponsored repository http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/
- Useful link: The Association of Research Libraries and SPARC who have launched a campaign to create change in the scientific publishing community: http://www.arl.org/create/press.html and http://www.arl.org/scomm/change.html
- Useful link: A proposal from the “Transition of Paper” Working Group can be found at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/281/5382/1459
- Useful link: Free at Last: The Future of Peer-Reviewed Journals http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december99/12harnad.html
- BioMed Central is part of the Current Science Group, http://www.current-science-group.com, a group of independent companies that collaborate closely with each other to publish and develop information and services for the professional biomedical community. The Group has its head-office in London (UK), with additional offices in Philadelphia, New York and Tokyo. (From the press release)
TIP OF THE WEEK — FINDING PERSONAL WEBPAGES
If you are looking for detailed information about a scientist, one of the sources you can turn to is a personal webpage. How personal is a personal webpage? That depends … John Doe at home can put anything on his webpage from pictures of his poodle to his favorite jokes. But a lot of personal webpages are now housed on university or company servers, and generally contain a detailed and formal CV. They may also have an extensive list of published papers, a photograph, and other useful information.
How do you find them?
You can always try using a general web search engine like Hotbot or AltaVista, but this isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it as you may have to wade through a lot of “false drops”. More about this later.
A very good way is to find these webpages is to go directly to the website of the university or company that employs the person and do a search on that website. Many websites have a search engine attached to them that will allow you to do a simple keyword search. They may also have a personnel directory that will send you to the personal webpages of the employees. However, be aware that many university faculty directories on the web do not have links to the personal webpages. Don’t ask me why … If you don’t find a link from the faculty directory, go to the departmental webpage and look there. Many universities encourage their faculty members to have personal webpages linked from their home department.
Also remember that some databases and professional society membership directories may have pretty much the exact same detailed information that would be contained on a CV, or may link you to a personal webpage.
There are also specialized search engines that just look for personal webpages:
Ahoy is an academic research project at the University of Washington Computer Science Department. It is a free World Wide Web service designed to help you find the home pages of individual people on the Web. Ahoy! relies primarily on the Metacrawler to create a large list of web pages, some of which may be close to the target page. Ahoy! then uses a technique called “Dynamic Reference Sifting” to weed out the least promising pages, leaving you with a manageable number of choices. The effect of this “sifting” is that your search can proceed more quickly. Sounds very good in theory, but in actual fact I tested Ahoy! by looking for a couple of personal webpages I knew were readily available on the WWW, and it did not find either one of them. Not surprising, when you remember that even meta search engines (like Metacrawler) simply are unable to cover every inch of the vast web out there. In the face of this dismal performance, would I bother trying Ahoy! again? You bet I would!
- Personal Pages Worldwide: Colleges & Universities
Rather than a search engine which searches all college and university sites for personal webpages (wouldn’t that be nice!) this simply points you to individual college and university websites around the world that have either directories or search engines for the personal webpages on their servers. Note that if an institution is not listed, it does not mean that personal webpages are unavailable at that site. It just means it will take a little more sleuthing to find them in the website maze …
- Personal Home Page Directories Listed by Country
This is a single directory which is searchable by country and then by personal name. What a great concept! But there is, of course, a catch. What limits the utility of this directory is that individual folks with personal webpages must take the trouble to enter themselves into the directory and to update the URL information as it changes (although you can be entered by friends and colleagues, hopefully with your permission). My guess is that most folks with personal webpages do not bother to do this. I did an experimental search for the webpages of a couple of scientists that I know are on the web and, sure enough, they did not turn up using this search engine.
How about general search engines? Can they be used? Yes, indeed, they can, and they may even be better than the specific search engines listed above, since they will search portions of the web that aren’t necessarily designated as “personal webpages” but which may contain that kind of information and structure. However, for that same reason, you will want to be very careful how you structure your search, or you may get so much bathwater that the baby drowns. First of all, remember that the most precise way to search is by using an exact phrase. <Stephen and Jones> will get you any page that has Stephen anywhere on the page and also Jones anywhere on the page, but not necessarily in relation to each other. “Stephen Jones” will get you only pages with the exact phrase ‘Stephen Jones’ on them. But suppose Mr. Jones uses ‘Stephen A. Jones’ on his web page? Then your exact phrase of ‘Stephen Jones’ will not pull up that webpage. And vice versa. Or suppose he is listed as ‘Jones, Stephen A.’ So how do you approach this problem?
- Start with the most specific search you can construct. Ex., Stephen Alphonse Jones.
- If you do not retrieve your page, broaden your search, ex. Stephen A. Jones. Broaden again if necessary, ex. Stephen Jones.
- Try last-name-first as well as first-name-first.
- If you are forced to use such a broad search structure that you are getting too many “hits”, think of something else that is likely to be on the webpage and that will enable you to target your search. If Mr. Jones got his PhD from the University of Chicago, for instance, you can consider this information as something that you would expect to find on any self respecting CV webpage — although you do face the dilemma of whether to use ‘University of Chicago’ or ‘Univ. of Chicago’ or ‘Univ. Chicago’ or just ‘Chicago’ (Does the search engine you are using allow truncation in phrase searching? Some do.) If his area of research is genomics of Drosophila melanogaster, you could use any of those keywords in your search.
- Remember that some search engines (AltaVista) allow you to use the “near” operator, instead of just “and”. ‘Stephen near Jones’ may still get a lot of false drops, but it will yield fewer of them than ‘Stephen and Jones’, and will still build in the flexibility to pick up ‘Stephen Jones’, ‘Stephen A. Jones’, ‘Stephen Alphonse Jones’, and even ‘Jones, Stephen’. When combined with a few other keywords, this may give you fairly clean results.
- Always remember that all search engines work differently and may look at different portions of the WWW. If you don’t find the page using AltaVista, try HotBot or Google or FastSearch or any other search engine you like.
- Do not be misled into believing that search engines do what they say, however, as they may define things differently than you do. For instance, HotBot has a nice button to limit your search to just personal webpages. I did a few test searches using HotBot to find some webpages from faculty members at the University of Maryland. On the UMd server I could see the nice CV webpages, but when I did the search on HotBot, using the personal webpage limitation, these pages were not found. When I did a general search with HotBot, it did find the webpages. So they evidently use a very specific definition of personal webpages which is much narrower than my own concept of what a personal webpage might be.
Will you find the personal webpage you need? Using the above techniques, you can do a pretty thorough search in about 15 minutes or so. I wouldn’t spend much more time than that on a personal webpage search, as a general rule. After all, the page you are looking for may be elusive because it doesn’t exist at all …
NEW ELECTRONIC JOURNALS
Journal of Thermal Biology
The journal publishes results of work in which the central theme is the mechanisms by which temperature affects living organisms. It is wide in scope and includes studies at the biochemical and physiological levels and also at the level of the organism.
The following are examples of the subject areas covered:
Access to the full text articles in PDF format of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology has presented current research in environmental, adaptational, and comparative physiology and biochemistry since 1928. Original research results represent a variety of areas, including thermoregulation, respiration, circulation, osmotic and ionic regulation, environmental acclimation, evolutionary physiology, and metabolic physiology and biochemistry.
Frequency: bimonthly. Volume 72 begins January/February 1999. ISSN: 1522-2152. 120 pages/issue.
Journal of Neurochemistry
The International Society for Neurochemistry is pleased to announce that the full text of the Journal of Neurochemistry is now available online. The Journal of Neurochemistry is devoted to the publication of high-quality original findings in areas relevant to molecular, chemical, and cell biological aspects of the nervous system.
There is currently a free trial period for access to the Journal of Neurochemistry, which will be available until January 31, 2001. Subsequent to the free trial, access to the full-text of articles will be available by institutional license, which comes with all institutional subscriptions, or by individual subscription available to print subscribers or Society members.
Behavioral & Brain Sciences (BBS)
Provided by Cambridge University Press, Behavioral & Brain Sciences (BBS) is an international, interdisciplinary journal of “open peer commentary.” This interesting Website highlights “open science” in a way that many practitioners will find inspiring. Specifically, the Website offers full-text of important and controversial interdisciplinary “target articles” in psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and philosophy. These “target articles” are “unedited penultimate drafts of BBS target articles that have been accepted for publication” or are already published (since 1993), accompanied by 1,000-word commentaries (analytical critiques) that are co-published with each article, along with the author’s response to each. Users may search target articles by subject (BBS keyword) and browse full-text of all returns. Final published versions of target articles and their accompanying commentaries and author responses are available through Cambridge University Press. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Provides volcanologists, petrologists and geochemists with a valuable source of information and an outlet for rapid publication of papers, this journal covers aspects of volcanology and geothermal research.
Access to the full text (in PDF format) of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Journal of South American Earth Sciences
The Journal of South American Earth Sciences provides an international medium for the publication of scientific work concerned with all aspects of the earth sciences in the South American continent and the surrounding oceans. Work is also accepted from the adjacent regions of the Caribbean, Central America and Antarctic Peninsula. Papers must have a regional appeal and should present work of more than local significance. Research papers dealing with the regional geology of South American cratons and mobile belts; economic geology particularly metallogenesis and hydrocarbon genesis; stratigraphy, structure and basin evolution; geophysics and geochemistry; volcanology; tectonics and Quaternary geology are featured. New developments in already established regional projects and new initiatives dealing with the geology of the continent will be summarized and presented on a regular basis. Short notes, discussions, book reviews and conference and workshop reports will also be included when relevant.
Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Journal of Asian Earth Sciences
Former title: Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences
The Journal of Asian Earth Sciences is an international interdisciplinary journal devoted to all aspects of research related to the solid Earth Sciences of Asia. The Journal will be devoted primarily to research papers but short communications relating to new developments of broad interest, book reviews and technical reports of meetings will also be included. The primary purpose of the journal is to publish the results of the research of both local and international geoscientists in one easily accessible publication.
Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
Journal of Structural Geology
This international English-language journal publishes original research and review articles in structural geology and tectonics. All features and processes of deformation in rocks are considered, at any scale. Specific topics include natural structures such as folds, fractures and fabrics; structural associations in orogenic belts, strike-slip zones and extensional regimes; strain analysis, experimental rock deformation and rock mechanics applied to geology; and theoretical and experimental modelling. Regional structural accounts should be of broad and international interest, and of a thematic nature. There is a section for short notes, discussion/reply items and book reviews. The journal publishes occasional thematic or conference special issues.
Access to the full text of this journal is temporarily free. In the course of the next few months, access will be limited to users that are affiliated to a library that subscribes to the print edition of the journal.
HYLE, An International Journal for the Philosophy of Chemistry
Published at the University of Karlsruhe, Institute of Philosophy, Germany, “HYLE is a refereed international journal for the philosophy of chemistry dedicated to all philosophical aspects of chemistry.” The electronic form of the journal is published twice a year and is free. The Spring 2000 issue has been recently released. [KR] (From the Scout Report)
Journal of the American Statistical Association
Established in 1888 and published quarterly in March, June, September, and December, the Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA) has long been considered the premier journal of statistical science. Articles focus on statistical applications, theory, and methods in economic, social, physical, engineering, and health sciences and on new methods of statistical education. Important books contributing to statistical advancement are reviewed in JASA.
JASA is indexed in Current Index to Statistics and MathSci Online and reviewed in Mathematical Reviews. JASA is abstracted by Access Company and in Statistical Theory and Method Abstracts. JASA is indexed and abstracted in the SRM Database of Social Research Methodology.
This online version of JASA contains highlights and abstracts from the journal. Select full-text articles are available in PDF format without a subscription. Abstracts and table of contents are available without a subscription.
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids
The Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids is a well established international medium for publication of research in condensed matter and materials science. Emphasis is placed on experimental and theoretical work which contributes to a basic understanding of and new insight into the properties and behavior of condensed matter. General areas of interest are the electronic, spectroscopic and structural properties of solids, the statistical mechanics and thermodynamics of condensed systems, including perfect and defect lattices, surfaces, interfaces, thin films and multilayers, amorphous materials and nanostructures, and layered and low dimensional structures. Typical examples include the preparation and structural characterization of novel and advanced materials, especially in relation to the measurement and interpretation of their electrical, magnetic, optical, thermal and mechanical properties, phase transitions, electronic structure and defect properties, and the application of appropriate experimental and theoretical techniques in these studies. Articles are encouraged in all the above areas, but especially those which emphasize fundamental aspects of materials science. From time-to-time, Special Issues of the journal containing invited articles devoted to topical or rapidly developing fields are published.
Access to abstracts and full-text articles in PDF in this journal is currently unrestricted. Please note that in the next few weeks the journal will be implementing a new access control system which will allow access only if you or your institution has a current subscription to the journal.
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
The objective of the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering is to bridge the gap between petroleum engineering and petroleum geology by publishing explicitly written articles intelligible to scientists and engineers working in any field of petroleum engineering or petroleum geology. An attempt is made in all issues to balance the subject matter and to appeal to a broad readership. The Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering covers the fields of petroleum geology, exploration, and engineering in its broadest possible sense. Topics include: origin and accumulation of petroleum; petroleum geochemistry; reservoir engineering; rock mechanics/petrophysics; well logging, testing and evaluation; mathematical modelling; enhanced oil recovery; petroleum geology; compaction/diagenesis; petroleum economics; drilling and drilling fluids; fluid mechanics in porous media; reservoir simulation; production engineering; formation evaluation; exploration methods. Papers will be published with the minimum of publication delay. Research articles, case histories, field process reports, short communications, book reviews, symposia proceedings and review articles are accepted. Generally, review articles on some topic of special current interest will be published.
Journal of Symbolic Logic
The Journal of Symbolic Logic was founded in 1936 and it has become the leading research journal in the field. It is issued quarterly. Volume 65, being published during 2000, will consist of approximately 2000 pages.
The main purpose of The Journal is to publish original scholarly work in symbolic logic. The Journal intends to represent the entire field of symbolic logic, which has become very broad, including its connections with mathematics and philosophy as well as newer aspects related to computer science and linguistics.
Subscribers have access to full-text articles using JSTOR.
High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine
The High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine, published by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is a new Web journal “devoted to high-energy physics libraries.” The purpose of the journal is to help librarians in their day-to-day work by offering a forum for discussing issues relating to information management, resources, and training. [KR] (From the Scout Report)
INTERESTING WEBSITES AND OTHER NEWS FROM THE INTERNET
ErgoLib: Safer Library Computing
Although this site on proper posture and usage of computer terminals is geared towards library workers and users, this excellent guide to ergonomics should help all users with both long-term and short-term use of computers. ErgoLib also contains a vast array of ergonomic suggestions and resources including commercial and academic Websites, discussion groups, online articles, and an extensive bibliography of print materials on this subject. This is an invaluable resource for anyone who spends much of the day facing a monitor. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
Essays on Science and Society
“In monthly essays on Science and Society, Science features the views of individuals from inside or outside the scientific community as they explore the interface between science and the wider society. This series continues the weekly viewpoints on science and society that Science published in 1998 in honor of the 150th anniversary of AAAS.”
These essays are available full text at your desktop and include “dEbate responses” to each article. (For access to most of Science Online, you must come to the NSF Library, but these particular articles are available to all.)
Sci-News, from Newswise, maintains a comprehensive database of news releases from top institutions engaged in scientific research. The friendly interface allows you to search, browse or download any article or abstract. This is an excellent way to keep track of what is happening at government, university and other research institutions. Besides research news, there is also a category for policy news. Additionally there is information about upcoming conferences and awards.
The American Asso. Of University Professors’ Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 1999–2000. Detailed information on status and trends of salaries in the US.
Two from the AAAS
Policy or Panic? The Flight of Ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, March–May 1999
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Yearbook 2000 [.pdf]
The first of these two new items from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) comes from the Association’s Science and Human Rights Program. The report offers a new approach to human rights analysis by “contextualizing the claims made by witnesses with analysis of objective administrative data,” namely statistical records of a particular border post, official records of refugee movements, and surveys conducted in refugee camps. The report concludes that the mass movement of refugees in Kosovo in the spring of 1999 “was most likely the result of a deliberate Yugoslav policy of ‘ethnic cleansing.’” The full text of the report, with several appendices, is available in HTML format. The AAAS has also placed the 2000 edition of its Science and Technology Policy Yearbook online in .pdf format. This edition of the Yearbook focuses on globalization and the knowledge economy. As in the past, most of the Yearbook is derived from the proceedings of the Annual AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy, with additional content from the 1999 AAAS Annual Meeting, a special AAAS-sponsored meeting at MIT, and several significant reports issued during the year. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Technocopia is an entertaining, consumer-oriented site that provides information and opinions about the growing role of technology in our everyday lives. The site’s perspective on technology is generally a celebratory one (its stated credo is “anticipate ubiquity”), and the varied articles are typically written in a lighthearted, accessible style. The site is divided into several areas, each of which focuses on the implementation of new technologies (primarily computers) in a particular context. For example, the Technology in Your Home section offers suggestions for “living like the Jetsons,” with information about such topics as home automation and home computer networks. The Technology in Your Play section deals with such issues as home theaters, “pet tech,” and “smart toys.” Other sections of the site focus on productivity and home offices, health issues like “assistive technology” for the disabled, and speculations on future developments, such as those in the field of robotics. Each section also contains a small selection of links to other online sources of information, some of which are retailers’s sites. Technocopia’s front page allows users to go directly to the most recent articles in each of the site’s sections, and to link to selected user-submitted questions on the Expert Answers page. All in all, an informative resource that is fun to peruse. [SW] (From the Scout Report)
The Science Museum [QuickTime, Cortona VRML]
The homepage of London’s Science Museum hosts numerous online features and exhibitions that will appeal to a wide audience. Continually updated, the site features both companion pieces to current exhibits in the physical museum and Web-only items. Attractive, easy to navigate, and quick-loading, current offerings include Fusion, The Art of Invention, Materials, and Dolly the Sheep, among others. Numerous exhibitions offer animated or other video content in QuickTime format, and at least one section of the site (the Wellcome Wing) requires the Cortona VRML plug-in (Windows systems only). For researchers, information on various Museum resources, including an online catalog of its library, is provided. Information for prospective visitors is also posted. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
“UNESCO now offers full access online to its collection of photographs and slides covering a wide range of subjects related to the Organization’s fields of competence: education, science, culture and communication.
The collection was started in 1946 when UNESCO was founded and currently contains more than 10,000 digitized images. More will become available as the rest of the collection is digitized.
This service will soon be developed to allow professionals and other users to obtain reproduction rights online, but the Photobank is already available for consultation and acquisition from our office.”
Beautiful images from around the world! You can search by a number of keys, including category (including “sciences” and “social sciences”), keyword, region, etc. I checked out the sciences category and found a variety of images (“drought cracked earth”, “cheetah”, “ethnicity — portrait of a young Moroccan”). Make sure you have plenty of time as this is a very slow server, but the images are spectacular and varied.
This site “strives to be a comprehensive ‘homepage’ for K–12 science educators”. It is searchable either by the site alone or by their reviews of indexed sites. Information is divided into twelve Benchmark of Science Literacy categories, goals established by Project 2061 (see the Benchmark link for details). Each division is separated by grade level. Find lesson plans and resources by using the drop-down box. All links have been evaluated by a team of scientists and educators listed under about SNL. Weekly Science Update and Science Education News are also listed. From the American Association for the Advancement of Science. — msc (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850–1920 — Library of Congress
The Library of Congress provides this interesting resource describing the evolution of the conservation movement between 1850 and 1920. The Website documents “the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America’s natural heritage.” Information provided here is based on hundreds of books, pamphlets, federal statutes, congressional resolutions, legislative documents, presidential proclamations, prints, photographs, historic manuscripts, and (one) motion picture. The conservation movement is chronicled roughly by two-decade periods (e.g., 1847–1871, 1872–1889, etc.), using key legislative events, public response and involvement, important publications, and other historic happenings. During each time period, certain events are highlighted — with hyperlinks to each relevant document (or to a summary). For students interested in learning about the development and evolution of conservation in the United States, this is an excellent and well documented educational resource. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
The Lab Rat
“The Lab Rat: An information center for scientists, researchers and lab rats alike from Career Information by Scientists, for Scientists. ‘A refreshingly different site on cell and molecular biology online.’ Contains a wide number of pages and links related to career issues, message boards, and chat room. Plus, you can get your own cow and snow leopard style lab coats.” (From PhD Org) This site is not fully developed at this point. For instance, when I checked the “Genetics News Headlines” they all came from a single source. But it does show potential. For instance, rather than simply job listings it also leads you to information about companies, such as their lay-off history and financial information about the company. Worth a look.
New Zealand Birds
“New Zealand was the fabled land of birds. New Zealand’s biota was so strange that it would be dismissed as science fiction if the fossil record was not there to prove it.
There were some 70 species of birds found nowhere else in the world, more than a third of them were flightless and almost a quarter of them nocturnal. Many of the birds occupied niches for which, in other ecosystems, mammals evolved.
The early European explorers and naturalists likened New Zealand to a lost Arcadia, the Garden of Eden before the Fall. Although they had no concept of continental drift, they realised that New Zealand must have been isolated before the evolution of large mammals.
Today, New Zealand’s forests are quiet, eerily so, empty of birds compared to those of pre-human times. Unique and vulnerable species were exterminated by hunting, habitat destruction and the introduction of mammalian predators. All we now have left are the remnants of a lost fauna.” This interesting and lovely site includes gorgeous illustrations, checklists, myths, and more.
Noble Foundation Plant Image Gallery
The Noble Foundation Plant Image Gallery is designed to assist botanists, ecologists, and natural resource managers with the identification of plants. It should also prove useful to educators in the classroom as well as students who are required to learn plants as a part of their studies. Furthermore, we hope that those of you with any affinity to plants, hobby or otherwise, will find this to be an interesting and useful site. Ongoing project currently 600 species of vascular plants. (From Blue Web’n) Note: Not as extensive as the image gallery at TAMU, but still a very useful, well organized site with clear images and descriptions.
Developed as a collaborative project of the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA-Sea Grant Office, and University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, this new Website examines how economists attempt to assign values to ecosystem services. The site is well organized and outlines general and specific topics under the following sections: The Big Picture, Essentials of Ecosystem Valuation, Dollar-based Ecosystem Valuation Methods, Ecosystem Benefit Indicators, and Links. Topics are explained in terms that laypersons will understand (a glossary is also provided) but without compromising the quality of information. Anyone interested in learning more about this controversial but increasingly important area will find this site an excellent starting point. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
This site is brought to you by National Geographic and links to live otter cams, otter video, and otter resources on the web. (From Blue Web’n)
Bird Links to the World
A world map allows you to zoom in on your region of interest, or you can use the menu to access the site by subject. This is basically an excellent, well organized and very diverse directory site, containing links to information on specific species, checklists, webcams, images and sounds, quizzes, journals, and more.
JPL Polar Oceanography Group [pdf]
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Polar Oceanography Group utilizes “satellite microwave remote sensing data and in-situ methods to understand the climate-induced variability in sea-ice and land-ice on seasonal to interannual time scales.” Research conducted by the group is mainly concerned with Arctic Sea Ice, Antarctic Sea Ice, and Ice Sheets. “The principal thrust of this research is to understand the role of the polar oceans in controlling or regulating global climate.” A data products section includes online data for sea ice melt detection and ice drift and ice motion data. The excellent publications section offers online copies (.pdf) of the group’s work dating from 1989 to current publications that are in press. The site also provides news, contacts, and links. [KR] (From the Scout Report)
“At 80 degrees North lies the Arctic wilderness of Svalbard, perhaps Europe’s most pristine and unspoilt environment. Habitats and animal populations are far less affected by man on Svalbard than elsewhere in Europe, and the marine environment is highly productive.
Despite its remote location close to the pole, Svalbard is increasingly affected by human activity, and is thoughtfully being guarded by the Norwegian government who aim to preserve it as one of the best managed wilderness areas in the world. In 2001 a small group of young people from the UK will fly to Svalbard to spend an entire year in the harsh and challenging Arctic environment.”
This website includes gorgeous photographs, Arctic links, and ideas for teachers.
First Images From Terra [QuickTime, .mpeg, .tiff]
Image and Movie gallery
QuickTime Movie of Images of North America
On Wednesday, NASA released the first collection of images from Terra, “the first satellite to monitor daily — and on a global scale — how the Earth’s atmosphere, lands, oceans, solar radiation and life influence each other” (discussed in the March 29, 2000 Scout Report for Science and Engineering). Launched in December, Terra has completed its on-orbit checkout and is now officially “open for business,” using its five onboard instruments to monitor Earth’s climate changes on a long-term basis. The striking and often downright neat images, movies, and animations are presented in a variety of formats: .jpeg, .tiff, QuickTime, and .mpeg. Users can view the complete collection or browse by instrument. Some images are offered in multiple resolutions, and all have a full record with more information. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
GPS Applications Exchange
This site from NASA offers information and links representing “the many diverse uses of signals from the Global Positioning System” around the world. This database of GPS applications and their benefits is searchable by applications (such as Environment, Forestry and Agriculture, Geographic Information Systems, Natural Disasters, Weather Forecasting, and much more), by country, and by region. Each entry includes a short summary giving examples of how the GPS is used, along with a source that includes a URL leading to additional information. Users may submit applications online, by email, or by post. [KR] (From the Scout Report)
Caltech/ USGS SeismoCam
From the Southern California Seismographic Network, A cooperative project of Caltech and the US Geological Survey, SeismoCam features real-time seismic data (only 30 seconds old) taken from five stations located in California (Pasadena, San Nicolas Island, University of Southern California, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Vistorville). Data include time, magnitude, latitude and longitude of any event, a waveform display, and more. The site also allows users to replay recent or historical events, and offers a map of SeismoCam stations and information about the data. [KR] (From the Scout Report)
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Time Travel with NOVA
The companion Web site to the NOVA program “Time Travel,” broadcast on October 12, 1999. Leading physicists delve into the mystery of whether timetravel is possible, and if so, how one might go about building a time machine. Sections include an interview with Carl Sagan, an excerpt from Clifford Pickover’s 1998 book Time: A Traveler’s Guide, “Think like Einstein”, and “Time Speak” as well as resources and a teacher’s guide.
The Flat Universe
“BOOMERANG maps the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) using a balloon-borne telescope that circumnavigates Antarctica.
The data we gather are analyzed to create images of the early Universe, test models of cosmology, and measure fundamental cosmological parameters such as the overall density of the universe.”
Here at the Boomerang webpage get the latest press releases, images, and papers from this fascinating research effort!
ChemCenter’s Annual Joke-a-rama
“A chemist, a physicist, and a geologist were walking along a beach when the physicist suddenly said that he wanted to measure the depth of the sea, and then he jumped into the sea. The geologist said that he wanted to see the seabed and he followed suit. The chemist waited for a while for them to reappear and then concluded, ‘physicists and geologists are soluble in sea water.’ ”
A site only a chemist could love … Chem Center has hosted two annual Joke-a-Rama’s, and here are the winning entries!
General Chemistry Online
An introductory, searchable guide to chemistry that includes hyperlinked notes and guides for first semester chemistry, as well as articles. There is also a searchable glossary of over 900 terms, over 400 FAQs and a trivia quiz. The Toolbox provides interactive graphing, a pop-up periodic table, and calculators. Additionally, Tutorials contains self-guided tutorials, quizzes, and drills on specific topics. There is one database of 800 common compound names, formulas, structures, and properties, and another for over 400 annotated Web sites. The author is a chemistry professor at Frostburg State University, Maryland. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
Knowledge-Based Economy and Society Pilot Project (KBES) [.pdf]
Stemming from a 1996 initiative by the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet of Canada, the Knowledge-Based Economy and Society Pilot Project studies the effects of the “technological and information revolution and the globalization of markets brought about by the rapid introduction of information and communications technologies” in transforming aspects of the Canadian economy and society. Included on this site is the conference summary report from the June 1999 conference on Skills Development in the Knowledge-Based Economy, several research papers, and links to related sites. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
Tax History Museum [RealAudio]
The 2000 tax deadline has passed, and users with taxes on their minds may be interested in the Tax History Museum. Created and maintained by Tax Analysts, this online museum covers American tax history from 1660 to the present. Divided into chronological periods, each exhibit contains a narrative history of American taxes, complete with images of documents, portraits of some of the key figures, and illustrations. Still under construction, the 20th-century exhibit will also contain sound clips of some of the most famous tax-related speeches of the last 100 years. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
New Economy Index
“In The New Economy Index, we provide a new set of economic indicators, gathered from existing public and private data, to illustrate fundamental structural changes in the U.S. economy, to show what those changes mean in the lives of working Americans, and to measure the nation’s progress in several key foundation areas for future economic growth.”
Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent [RealPlayer]
This “digitize-and-rescue mission” is a joint project of the African Studies Program and the General Library System at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Instead of focusing solely on visual resources like most online African collections, Africa Focus attempts to cover the “full spectrum” of African life. At the site, visitors have several options to access the collection of over 3,000 slides, 500 photographs, and 50 hours of sound from 45 African nations: browse by collection, subject, or country; through an interactive atlas; or search by keyword or multiple fields. Images are offered as thumbnails that link to high quality (and briefly annotated) full-size images, and audio clips are presented in RealPlayer format with two connection speed options. An excellent resource for a variety of researchers and classrooms or anyone interested in the continent. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Computer Science Education
Speak Like a Geek with WhatIs
This terrific website is geared to encourage girls to go into computer sciences fields. It has career information, “GirlGeek of the Week” biographies and interviews, mentoring help, chat rooms, a “Geek-o-Meter” to let you rate your geekiness, “Ask the girl geek experts”, e-courses, job listings, comparative salary information, and more in a fun, informative interface.
The following items are from Edupage. To subscribe to Edupage: send mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the message: subscribe edupage Anonymous (if your name is Anonymous; otherwise, substitute your own name). To unsubscribe send a message to: email@example.com with the message: unsubscribe edupage. (If you have subscription problems, send mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
REPORT URGES CHANGE IN MALE-DOMINATED CULTURE OF COMPUTING
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) planned to release a study on Monday urging changes in high-tech culture to make the field more appealing to girls and women. Female high school students now represent just 17 percent of those taking the Advanced Placement test for college credit, the report says. Furthermore, the study says women account for only 28 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in computer science, and just 20 percent of IT workers. Female students are not interested in the computer culture they associate with violent software games and adolescent males, says Sherry Turkle, MIT sociology professor and cochair of the commission that wrote the report. The commission suggests that girls should be encouraged to use technology at an early age through computer clubs and other activities. The study says boys are more likely than girls to have their own computers and to attend computer camps, and even the time boys spend playing computer games makes them more comfortable with technology. Increasing female interest in technology could help ease the shortage of high-tech workers and close the wage gap between men and women, the study says.
(Knight Ridder, 10 April 2000 via Edupage)
ATTRACTING WOMEN TO THE MALE-DOMINATED TECH INDUSTRY
Industry observers are finding that the technology market is controlled almost entirely by males, and conclude that women should assume a greater role in the evolution of technology. Women comprise a small percentage of the entire IT industry workforce and are nearly twice as likely as men to resign from positions in the high-tech industry. Experts attribute this phenomenon to feelings of isolation, a lack of respect at the office, and a slower rate of corporate advancement. Experts also believe that the lingering notion that females are not as well suited to fields that involve math or science, as well as the long hours and extensive travel typical of high-tech positions contribute to the high drop-out rate of female IT professionals. Several companies, including IBM, Motorola, and Xerox, have developed initiatives intended to encourage the widespread entrance of women into the tech industry. The number of female IT professionals does at least appear to be on the rise. The number of women IT executives hired increased 60 percent from 1998 to 1999.
(Sun-Sentinel.com 14 April 2000via Edupage)
STANFORD ADVANCES OPTICAL NETS
Stanford researchers last week announced having drawn a little closer to the goal of creating an all-optical network that does not convert information to an electronic format. Fiber-optic networks carry information through the Internet in streams of light, or wavelengths. The information must be converted to an electrical form in order to be observed or manipulated, and that conversion takes time and is expensive. Current network equipment is only capable of working with optical information at the wavelength level. To avoid converting to an electric format, the researchers are using lasers to switch packets of data to a wavelength by tuning the lasers to a new frequency in less time than a packet can travel through the network. The project does use electronic impulses to alter the laser frequency, and therefore is not a complete optical network, which requires that an electric signal never be introduced.
(Interactive Week Online, 1 May 2000via Edupage)
DIGITAL DIVIDE: IT’S MONEY, NOT RACE — STUDY
A Forrester Research study of 80,000 U.S. households claims that the digital divide, though real, is an economic issue, not a racial one. Politicians must focus on eradicating poverty in the real world before they can hope to wire all of America, says Forrester analyst Ekaterina O. Walsh. “There is a digital divide when it comes to being online, but once we look at the people who are online, they are all seeking the same stuff,” Walsh says. Walsh contends that politicians are mistakenly viewing the digital divide along racial lines, especially when it comes to African Americans. “It’s an income issue,” Walsh says. The study shows that 69 percent of Asian Americans are online, followed by 47 percent of Hispanic Americans, 43 percent of Caucasians, and 33 percent of African Americans. These findings dispute the common assertion that whites are the least disadvantaged by an economic digital divide. The study finds similar Internet usage patterns among the various races.
(Newsbytes 14 April 2000via Edupage)
CLINTON WORKS FOR NET ACCESS FOR NATIVE AMERICANS
President Clinton today will visit the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, N.M., as part of his tour to demonstrate efforts to close the digital divide by bringing computers and Internet access to low-income areas. Only 22.5 percent of homes in the Navajo Nation have phones, and the reservation is trying to boost its technology use by working with the Gates Foundation, the U.S. Navy, and the private sector. Also today, FCC Chairman William Kennard will unveil plans to help bring the Internet to 300,000 low-income Native American households by offering them basic telephone service for $1 a month. Meanwhile, Gateway will announce plans to fund computer training for 75,000 U.S. teachers. Continuing his tour, Clinton tomorrow will attend the Comdex trade show in Chicago, where he will urge high-tech leaders to help make technology available to everyone, says White House spokesperson Jake Siewart.
(USA Today, 17 April 2000via Edupage)
PEACE CORPS CHIEF SEES A DIGITAL BRIDGE
Mark L. Schneider, who became the 15th director of the Peace Corps earlier this year, believes bringing computer technology and training to the poorer countries of the world will lessen the gap between the world’s haves and have-nots. Schneider says today’s volunteers are so comfortable using computers that they already know more about technology than 99 percent of the population of their host countries. One volunteer taught members of a village how to use a spreadsheet, while another volunteer in Guatemala developed a Web page for a Mayan women’s cooperative so they could sell textiles online. Schneider intends to solicit the computer industry for hardware and software to complement his volunteers’ new found high-tech needs.
(Washington Post 19 April 2000via Edupage)
WELCOME TO CYBER HIGH
Florida High School has no actual campus, yet it manages to have 33 full-time teachers and 1,400 students that teach and learn on a virtual campus at http://www.fhs.net/. The online school has been offered in Florida since 1997, and its size has grown drastically since its inception. In January of 1998, only 200 students were registered, but the school expects 5,000 registered students by next fall. FHS provides an alternative learning environment, offering 52 free courses for students who want to accelerate learning, take courses in subjects that their schools do not offer, or settle schedule conflicts. The school gets most of its budget paid for by the state. Florida is not the only state with an online high school — Kentucky has KVHS, at http://www.kvhs.org/, which serves public school students for the price of $300 per semester per course. KVHS just started this January, offering 21 classes, mostly language courses unavailable to students at their regular schools.
(Governing April 2000via Edupage)
POLITICAL TANGLES IN HANDWIRING NATION
Critics are starting to question what role the federal government should play in the years to come in bridging the computer gap between the haves and the have-nots. Although the private sector is not eager to bring Internet service to remote and impoverished areas if such efforts are going to be unprofitable, there are some critics who wonder whether the government should be committed to wiring the nation to the 97th percentile. Thus far, the Clinton administration has received considerable praise for its efforts to put computers in America’s public schools. The effort has brought computers to 95 percent of public schools, compared to six years ago when only one-third of public schools had computers. To accomplish its goals, the Clinton administration raised spending on the technology gap from $23 million in 1993 to $3 billion today. Forrester Research analyst Ekaterina Walsh says almost everyone will be online by 2003 and the new challenge will be to improve the quality and speed of access for lower-income Americans. Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), chairman of the bipartisan Web-Based Education Commission, is among those who want to devote more money to computers and schools.
(Christian Science Monitor, 19 April 2000via Edupage)
EPA TO LIMIT WEB INFORMATION
The Environmental Protection Agency has decided that it will not publish specific information on the Internet about toxic waste sites and other dangerous chemicals residing in manufacturing plants for fear that terrorists will use the information to launch an attack. The EPA had previously planned to make such information public, but objections were raised by FBI and Justice Department officials, who felt that the information could be used by people with bad intent to facilitate an attack on a chemical plant. New EPA and Justice Department regulations will be released today. Omitted from the Internet will be information relating to the size of the population surrounding chemical plants, the type and breadth of a toxic cloud that could develop if there were an accident at a chemical plant, and disaster scenarios that could occur if such an accident took place.
(Washington Post, 27 April 2000via Edupage)
A LAPTOP FOR EVERY KID
Four years after the principal of a Bloomfield, Conn., school initiated an effort to supply all of its students and teachers with laptops and wireless Internet access, other school systems across the country are seeking to act on bold plans of their own to provide their students with such technology. In Maine, the state legislature will vote this week on a proposal by Gov. Angus King that would supply all of the state’s 17,000 seventh-graders with laptops, as well as the new seventh-graders of each school year. Although King wanted to use as much as $50 million of the state’s budget surplus to wire students, a compromise has reduced that amount to $30 million, which would also be used to establish a permanent endowment with its interest to be used to help buy the computers. In New York City, the board of education has already voted to pursue an initiative that could fund laptop purchases for every student in fourth grade and higher in nine years. With its April 12 unanimous vote, a school Internet portal will be created, and the Web site will make money by selling ads and licensing e-commerce sites. New York’s 1.1 million public school students will obtain e-mail service through the portal.
(Time, 1 May 2000via Edupage)
Audubon Magazine’s Resolutions for a New Millennium
With Earth Day 2000 soon approaching, this resource from Audubon Magazine (of the National Audubon Society) will get readers thinking about ways to minimize human impact on the environment and tread more lightly on the earth. The site lists 38 ways to reduce negative impacts on the environment (from “Gardening for Wildlife” through “Buying Less”), and each list is annotated with one or two hyperlinked URLs (pointing users to a detailed site) and phone numbers (for those wishing to get involved or learn more, fast). This list of “resolutions” is a reasonable sample of the “top 25” issues currently associated with human impacts, and is echoed at other Websites on similar topics. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
A pre-version of digitized Gutenberg Bible available in June 2000
The Goettingen State and University Library announces a pre-version of its digitized Gutenberg Bible. The 1282 pages of the Bible at Goettingen, one of four complete, illuminated copies on vellum, have been scanned with a high-end professional digital camera back, Picture Gate 8000 (up to 8000x9700 pixels resolution), getting file sizes for the 36 bit preservation master TIFFs of about 380 MB (ill. pages) resp. 180 MB (text pages). The exposure time for this extraordinary quality was only about 90 to 120 seconds/page. A special working place with a moveable cradle and adjustable vacuum to hold pages flat had been designed by an engineer and restorer (M. Mayer) of the Graz University Library. We used so called “cool light” — area lights (5000 Kelvin, flicker-free), important again from the preservation point of view. “Gutenberg digital” will be available in May on CD-ROM (2 Discs), published by K G Saur ((Munich) and in June via the WWW on the Web Server of the Goettingen State and University Library. The presentation includes the complete Bible, the Goettingen Model Book, a contemporary work which provided the patterns for the decoration of the Goettingen Bible and the Helmasperger`s Notary Instrument, the only contemporary source of information dealing with Gutenberg’s invention. German and English translations of these works are available. Added value for text access is given by a selection of well known bible verses in different languages. The whole presentation is in German and English language. International visitors of the Web Site are provided with a description of the project in English. Comments are appreciated.
Norbert Lossau, Martin Liebetruth
Tel.: +49 +551/39-5217 Fax. +49 +551/39-5222
Journal E: Interviews 50 Cents [QuickTime]
Producer Ray Farkas and reporter Alex Chadwick (sometime NPR correspondent) had a simple idea: they traveled around the country with a card table, a couple of chairs, and a sign that read “Interviews 50 Cents” The result is a collection of interviews with ordinary folks that are at times funny, sad, inspirational, and moving, but always real. At this highly recommended site, provided by Journal E (see the April 7, 2000 Scout Report), visitors can view the first of four QuickTime films of these interviews. Entitled Uptown, Downtown, Out of Town, the film features a series of interviews in and around Washington, DC. Future segments, to be released in roughly two-week intervals, will be Along the Seashore, Indiana State Fair, and Key West. [MD] (From the Scout Report)