Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Book Reservations

This is a guest post written by Ange Greenwood from the Information Commons.

Struggling to get hold of the books you need? Ange Greenwood, Counter Coordinator in the IC and the Library’s Resident Reservations Reporter tells us how in seven simple steps …

The University Library has a very effective system in place for ensuring you get the books you need, and we normally supply material within a few days. Here’s how:

1. Check Star, the catalogue available on the Library tab in MUSE, to find the book you want;

2. Make a note of whether or not it’s out on loan;

3. If it’s not, write down the shelfmark and go to look for it on the shelves at the appropriate Library site;

4. If the book is on loan to someone or you can’t find it on the shelves click on ‘request’ and follow the on-screen instructions (please note that if you choose Information Commons, St Georges Library or Western Bank Library as your collection site, in order to make your item available quickly you may be asked to collect it from any one of these sites);

5. If you are unable to get to the Library, find the book on Star, click on ‘request’ and follow the instructions;

6. We will email you when your book is ready for collection and tell you which site you should collect it from;

7. Don’t forget that staff are there to help.

Remember it’s always quicker to check the shelves yourself rather than place a request, and be aware that if someone else finds the book first they can borrow it.

Friday, 23 January 2009

CAS and Scifinder

Scifinder Scholar is the University's electronic access to the CAS databases, a division of the American Chemical Society. Since the release of their new web-based server, it is now much easier to access information remotely and keep up-to-date with current activities. Scifinder online provides its users with a searchable index of over 9500 journals and patent references in the fields of Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Engineering Materials and Life Sciences, as well as more than 26 million substance records and CAS Registry Numbers.

The aim of the group of scientists behind the Scifinder Scholar platform was to create a digital information environment for scientific research and academic discovery. And its success is proven with it being the most widely adopted research tool of its kind, found in universities throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America.

One of the new developments on Sicfinder is the media library, providing users with scientific video podcasts that have so far explored plant compounds and health benefits, the production process of ethanol and the science behind nanocars to name but a few. For those with iPhones, CAS are also urging you to visit from your phone for a 'very personal immersive media viewing experience'. I tried it out...

Picture courtesy of myself:

CAS on the iPhone

Monday, 12 January 2009

Exam Period

Western Bank Library has extended its opening hours to accomodate for revision during the exam period.

Spring exam period - Sunday 11 January 2009 - Thursday 5 February 2009:-

9:00 - Midnight - Monday to Friday (staffed hours until 19:00)
10:00 - 18:00 - Saturday and Sunday (staffed hours 14:00 - 18:00).

Friday, 9 January 2009


The Nature Publishing Group has launched a new online educational resource called Scitable. Aimed at undergraduate biology students and educators the platform combines scientific information with social functionality to provide users with an authoritative resource in the Google-isation of education. So far Scitable boasts over 150 evidence based articles in the field of genetics, which includes:

  • chromosomes and cytogenetics;

  • evolutionary genetics;

  • gene expression and regulation;

  • gene inheritance and transmission;

  • genes and disease;

  • genetics and society;

  • genomics;

  • nucleic acid structure and function;

  • population and quantitative genetics.

Each overview has been vetted by the Nature Publishing Group with reference to primary scentific literature and best of all it doesn't cost a penny to use.

By registering with Scitable you can build a 'personal portfolio' (or profile) to store bookmarks and join in the discussion, creating groups or classrooms to host topics. There is also the opportunity to practice your networking skills by communicating directly with other users around the world. And finally with the option to contribute material and collaborate with peers there couldn't be a better way to develop fundamental research in the public domain.

For more visit Scitable on:

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy Macworld Week

Today kicks off Macworld 2009, IDG's annual Apple trade show and conference platform, but without Steve Jobs and any future participation from Apple (after 24 years) concern for the conference and expo's future has overtaken the fruitful announcement rumour mill. This year Apple's keynote is to be delivered by Senior Vice President of Product Marketing, Philip Schiller rather than Steve Jobs (whose keynotes have ran for the last ten years) and with calls for silent protests both annoucements have clearly angered fans. Apple's decision to pull out of future expos has come about due to the forum not providing value for money in terms of reaching its customers. With 3.5 million store visits a week trade shows are no longer a major platform to promote new products or make annoucements and in scaling back its presence at other trade shows the news is not necessarily surprising, just disappointing especially for the Jobs fanclub.

But... the show must go on and thanks to this wonderful thing called the internet there'll be numerous ways of keeping up-to-date with event activities. For starters check out:

Update - And to put a stop to the health rumours Jobs has released a statement describing the cause of his weight loss.