Friday, 31 July 2009

British Standards Online

Just a quick reminder that during 'late September' (not Spring) the British Standards Institute is rolling out a new interface for the British Standards Online (BSOL) database. It is expected to enhance your experience of the service by making it less confusing, making the distinction between the BSI shop and BSOL more clear. The main problem people seem to have had in the past is not clicking through the BSOL subscribers link but hopefully with the new interface this will be resolved.

To help users get to grips with the new version the BSI are offering a number of demos, online training (remember to email the BSI to sign up) and top tips. As the walkthroughs are still being worked on these are not currently available but keep a watch on the BSI group website for more information. The demos will include a number of recorded overviews of the new BSOL, showing users specific features in detail. BSOL support will also be provided through updated Help Guides.

As usual if you need any help with this get in touch and I promise to at least try and work it out for you, but remember it's new to me too.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Feynman Lectures

When you've far too much money on your hands what do you do with it? Well, if you're Bill Gates you spend it on the acquisition of rights for Richard Feynman's seven-part lecture series from 1964. Feynman, an American physicist, won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1965 for his contributions to the development of  quantum electrodynamics and was known for his work on quantum mechanics and particle physics. He also assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and has been credited with the introduction of nanotechnology.

The lectures are hosted by Microsoft Research under the name Project Tuva (after the central Asian republic he was on his way to visit in 1988 before dying of cancer) and require a Silverlight plug-in to view. The project intends to offer the series free of charge to make science interesting and accessible.
More than 20 years after first seeing them, these are still some of the best science lectures I've heard. Feynman worked hard during his life to popularize science, so I'm sure he'd be thrilled that now anyone, anywhere in the world, can just click a button and experience his lectures (Gates).

We also have the three-part book series in stock at the library:

Monday, 13 July 2009

Stuck for something to do?

Maybe you fancy a trip to the British Library? The next event in the library's Talk Science series is a discussion with John Wilbanks (executive director of the Science Commons and Vice President of the Creative Commons initiative).

Scientific Findings in a digital world: What is the genuine article? will be an opportunity to 'consider a range of issues including':

  • In an age of digital content and communication, does the notion of the scientific ‘article’ remain relevant?

  • Is the 300-year-old approach to structuring findings – from abstract to references – still valid in the era of the multi-media research object?

  • How should new types of content such as video protocols and embedded datasets be peer-reviewed, and does it matter?

  • Will opening access to the outputs of scientific research really improve innovation?

  • Does more access to research data and information necessarily mean we are better informed?

  • When it comes to communicating research findings, what are the fundamental building blocks and what is the wallpaper?

So if you think you'd like to join in book a place for £5. It's being held on Wednesday 22 July 2009 from 18.00 - 20.30, at the British Library (in London). There's also a discussion forum you can participate in prior to the event.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Mobile IEEE Xplore

The IEEE Xplore platform has recently launched a mobile web version you can access anywhere and search anytime without needing to log-in. The mobile service offers users a quick search tool to locate articles, read abstracts and email references to access full texts when you're next at your computer. It's great for when you're out and about and need to quickly check your source or remind yourself of articles you intend to read when you're back in the office/library.

To access the mobile version you'll need a web-enabled mobile phone. Visit on your phone's browser and search away. The interface is really simple and really easy to use. Type a simple search query to get up to 10 article abstracts with citations, which you can either read from your phone directly or email yourself to read later.

For full text articles you'll need to log-in to MUSE and access via the university's subscription (see electronic databases and navigate to IEEE /IET Electronic Library). If you have any trouble accessing material get in touch.

iPhone Xplore