Welcome Chris Fuller!

Chris-Fuller

Chris Fuller

The Biomedical Libraries are pleased to announce that Chris Fuller has joined our staff as our new Information Access Assistant.  He moved here from Portland, Oregon to work with us, and to be closer to his family in New York state. He started on Wednesday, February 27.

Chris brings a rich background of library-related experience to this position.  Chris has a BA in History and Communication from Rutgers University, and has just completed an MLIS from San Jose State University.  He has worked at Kaiser Permanente as a Digital Projects Intern helping to create an institutional repository, and at the City of Portland Archives. He has also worked with copyright issues while an associate contracts manager at Simon & Schuster.

ACS Style Guide Online

… now available.  Take a look!

And don’t forget – lots of support and interesting links for chemistry authors on this page of the Chemistry Guide.  You’ll find helpful books, style guides and writing manuals (in addition to the canonical ACS Style Guide), an ACS video series called Publishing Your Research 101, and a thoughtful presentation from the 2011 ACS Spring Meeting about open access in chemistry.

Filed under: Chemistry

Sound Sampler

Edison Wax Cylinders
Charles Furlong Papers (Stef Mss 197)

Sound recordings, whether spoken word, music or field recordings have always been part of the aural landscape (well at least as long as sound recording equipment has been around). There’s a natural impulse to create some lasting impression of an event or artistic achievement.

As with any medium, the method of capturing sound has evolved over time. The earliest methods (called phonautographs) recorded sound as visual lines on paper. These were replaced by Edison’s wax cylinder phonograph and the gramophone.  Both used a stylus to impress a continuous groove in some malleable material  – typically wax, lead, or tin foil. The “records” that are still in use today are a direct descendant of these early formats.

Flexigraph
Great Issues (DA-12)
Standard 33 1/3 LP
Rauner Phonodisc 5

Magnetic recording technology was the next major evolution in the history of sound reproduction. Instead of capturing the vibrations as physical changes, an electrical analog of the sound was used to drive a recording head whose magnetic field varied according to the frequency and amplitude of the sound being recorded. Those magnetic imprints were then read back through a complimentary signal path. Wire recordings, reel to reel tapes and cassette tapes are all part of this format family.

10″ reel to reel
WDCR tapes (uncatalogued)
Wire Recording spool
Great Issues (DA-12)

The current age of digital recording employs DACs (digital to analog converters) and ADCs (analog to digital converters) to map the analog sound waves to a stream of ones and zeros and back again. Once in the digital realm, these files are typically distributed in magnetic (hard drives) or optical (CDs) form factors – a potentially ironic nod to their ancestor formats.

Rauner holds numerous sound recordings in many different formats.  We present a limited sample of those found in various collections.

New OA Policy for Federally Funded Research

In the news…

It began with a petition to the Obama administration to “require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research” which had accumulated over 65,700 signatures since May 2012. On Friday, the White House released a policy memorandum requiring…

federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research (read the announcement here).

Also read the news article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which explores some issues around this. Peter Suber also has a long response to this and makes a comparison with FASTR.

What this means…

Look out for the next 6 months! If you’re getting federal funds, be sure to keep an eye on that agency! In the latest news, the NSF may be following the NIH’s footsteps (another Chronicle article)!

Learn more…

Questions? Concerns?

Talk to your librarian or contact Barbara DeFelice!

Filed under: Publishing, Research, Science

Dragons of the Alps

We have written before about unicorns being sited in the New World, and a seven-headed hydra in a cabinet of curiosities, but now we find evidence of dragons roaming the Alps. The first edition of Johann Jakob Scheuchzer’s Itinera Alpina (London: H. Clements, 1708) contains some fantastic images, but it is the expanded 1723 edition from Lugduni Batavorum that caught our eye. The exhaustive study of the regions in and around the Alps contains a series of images of exotic fauna of the region including several dragons.

Scheuchzer expressed his doubts about the first-hand accounts of the dragons that he reports, but still chose to include them. Either he held out a romantic belief in the ancient beasts or he hoped they would be sensational enough to heighten interest in his work.

To see the fire-breathing monsters, ask for Rare QH175.S32 Vol. 3-4. The first edition is Rare QH175.S3. Unfortunately, there is no information on how to train the dragons…

Darwin’s Extra Sense

February marks the birthday of Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary biology. Charles Darwin once wrote about his studies in the mathematics, “I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics; for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.”Charles Darwin, 1876

This new documentary by Professor Dan Rockmore, Wendy Conquest, and Bob Drake explores how twenty-first century mathematics is bringing an extra sense to the study of biology.

Darwin's Extra Sense

View the complete film  at the Sante Fe Institute, Darwin’s Extra Sense or the Dartmouth Department of Mathematics website.

Picturing the Past

 South Main Street
White River Junction, VT

George Fellows was a local photographer who was most prolific in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He owned at least three studios in the Upper Valley area – one in Royalton, VT, another in White River Junction, VT and a third in Claremont, NH. The studio in White River Junction (pictured in the photograph of South Main Street) operated until his death in 1916. Not much is known about Fellows’ origins, though it is thought that he may have originally been from Charlestown, New Hampshire.

Gulf Bridge
Quechee, VT

Rauner Library holds a significant collection of over a thousand early twentieth-century negatives taken by Fellows of the surrounding area. Most of these are dry gelatin glass plates, though a small number are on celluloid. Towns represented in the collection include Canaan, Enfield, Lyme, Orford and West Lebanon in New Hampshire and Ascutney, Fairlee, Norwich, Royalton, Sharon, Thetford, Woodstock and White River Junction in Vermont. The images are typically labeled by place name or building and occasionally include a specific date. They provide a rich visual record of this small section of New England at the turn of the last century.

Mascoma Lake
Enfield, NH

Ask for Iconography 1513.  While the glass plate negatives are available for viewing, they are extremely fragile and we encourage patrons to ask for the modern (and much less fragile) study prints for extensive study and image selection.

They Are At It Again!

Students who take Government 85.12, Military Statecraft in International Relations, are looking for ways to disrupt a country’s infrastructure and they use maps to do it. There are places in the world students want to invade (hypothetically) and they use resources in the Evans Map Room to find out about those places. They look at the hot spots of the world and figure out what they can do to make matters better or sometimes worse.

Here are a few examples of the places they have looked:

For more information about hot spots in the world, see Trouble Spots: the World Atlas of Strategic Information by Andrew Duncan.

Map images are courtesy of the Perry-Castaneda Map Library at the University of Texas, Austin.

Keeping Personal Digital Photographs: Part 1

My father celebrated his 90th birthday last year and at his party about a dozen old black and white photos were enlarged and on display. Thinking about these few remaining photos from his childhood and early adult life I wondered how many of the thousands of digital photos I had taken would survive and be as easily usable when my child decorates for my 90th birthday party. As a preservation professional it gave me a queasy feeling that I had more confidence in the survival of these black and whites than I did of my large, unorganized digital collection.

Dad and Great-Grandpa

Haunted by the state of my photos I set a New Year’s resolution to organize my digital photographs in the first step to make certain they will be preserved into the future. To do that I’ll follow the guidelines published by the Library of Congress, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Keeping Personal Digital Photographs, and to keep me motivated I will write about the experience. Knowing I have an audience (hi Mom!) should keep me on track.

The first archiving tip:
Identify where you have digital photos

  • Identify all your digital photos on cameras, computers, and removable media such as memory cards.
  • Include your photos on the web. 

Easy! I regularly download photos from the camera’s memory card (SD card) onto my home computer that is backed up with an external hard drive. Only when I’ve downloaded all the photos do I erase them from the card.

But wait! What about the photos on my iPad? And the cell phone? Photos on my iPad are occasionally synced to my work laptop but not to the home computer. Photos taken with my phone live only on my phone. Luckily the only photos I’ve posted to the web are stored on my computer – for now. So how am I going to keep track of these photos? At the risk of giving up before I’ve started I’ve decided to create a policy:

Barb’s Family Photo Archive Policy:

  • The home computer will be the primary archive for all photos.
  • Photos taken with mobile devices AND considered worth keeping long term will be downloaded to the home computer.
  • Consider mobile devices as disposable photo albums.

In the coming weeks I will continue to follow the guidelines to get my personal collection under control and will describe my successes and obstacles to success.

Written by Barb Sagraves.

Yet Another Challenge! App-lifying Earth Science Data

Challenge.gov42 days to submit!  Prizes will be awarded to the best overall app, the best student app, and the ever-popular people’s choice.  Apps will be judged on scientific relevance, innovativeness, and ease of use.   The general idea (but see the full announcement below) is to develop a wondrous app that enables “new and innovative ways to represent, apply, and make these data available.”  (Access to the earth science datasets for the competition is provided by the USG Geological Survey.)   If you win you get an expense-paid trip to Denver (yes! Denver!) in May, to attend the USGS’s National Map Users Conference, where you’ll bask in your 15 minutes of fame and glory and get the chance to demonstrate your app to Department of the Interior scientists and program directors.

C’mon, you can totally do this.USGS.icon

“USGS scientists are looking for your help in addressing some of today’s most perplexing scientific challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. To do so requires a partnership between the best and the brightest in Government and the public to guide research and identify solutions.

“The USGS is seeking help via this platform from many of the nation’s premier application developers and data visualization specialists in developing new visualizations and applications for datasets.

“USGS datasets for the contest consist of a range of earth science data types, including:

  • several million biological occurrence records (terrestrial and marine);
  • thousands of metadata records related to research studies, ecosystems, and species;
  • vegetation and land cover data for the United States, including detailed vegetation maps for the National Parks; and
  • authoritative taxonomic nomenclature for plants and animals of North America and the world.

“Collectively, these datasets are key to a better understanding of many scientific challenges we face globally. Identifying new, innovative ways to represent, apply, and make these data available is a high priority.

“Submissions will be judged on their relevance to today’s scientific challenges, innovative use of the datasets, and overall ease of use of the application. Prizes will be awarded to the best overall app, the best student app, and the people’s choice.”

Note that they’re hosting 30 minute webinars twice a week to provide a more in-depth look at each of the datasets.  The next one is tomorrow!  (Tuesday) – looking at data from the Vegetation Characterization Program (VCP) but I suppose you would only need to view the webinar for whatever dataset you got interested in (and you can always view them later if you missed one).  Subscribe to the update feed to learn more about the webinars.

Links:

Filed under: Computer Science, Earth Sciences, For Fun