Friday, 26 February 2010

National Science and Engineering Week

It's that time of year again and the National Science and Engineering Week is fast approaching. From March 12th until March 21st the University of Sheffield has once again teamed up with Sheffield Hallam University, local schools, industry, commerce and museums throughout South Yorkshire to celebrate the best in British research and innovation.

This year's theme is Earth in support of the International Year of Biodiversity and the What on Earth project - an initiative 'encouraging everyone to get outside into their gardens and local parks and take photos of the wildlife they don’t recognise'. If you come across something unusual (or not so unusual) head over to armed with your image and get it identified by a team of scientific experts. I have a picture of a flower I'd be interested in someone identifying so if any of you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them:


The program of events (mostly free and open to the public) includes a David Allen-Booth Memorial Lecture entitled Shapes and Patterns: Crystals, leaves, leopards and zebras by Professor Gillian Gehring, What on Earth... will we do about energy? by staff and students from the Mechanical Engineering Subject Group (Sheffield Hallam) and the return of Rock Around the General Cemetery.

The University Library in collaboration with the National Fairground Archive will also be taking part to celebrate the engineering feats of fairgrounds and roller coasters. Look out for more information right here in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Aves 3D

Aves 3D is an online database of three-dimensional digital surface models of avian skeletal morphology produced by the  College of the Holy Cross and Harvard University, in partnership with the National Science Foundation. New scans are added on a weekly basis to 'to provide as wide of a representation of living and extinct bird species as possible'.

It's free to use and easy to browse under the following headings:

  • Cladogram;

  • Scientific Name;

  • Common Name;

  • Skeletal Element;

  • Temporal Interval;

  • Geographical Location;

  • Specimen Number.

For more information have a look at the About section and frequently asked questions.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Oxford Reference Online

WBL - DictionariesThe University Library has arranged a trial of Oxford Reference Online (ORO) for all registered staff and students of The University of Sheffield until 9th March 2010.

Electronic access to over 185 reference books and dictionaries is available with almost 1.5 million entries. You'll find both English and bilingual dictionaries of French, German, Spanish and Italian as well as over 45 timelines linking to more than 2,500 key events in 20th-century history in the fields of Art and Architecture; Literature; Performing Arts; Politics and Government; Science, Technology and Medicine; Society; and War.

After connecting to ORO, type in your ucard number in the 'Library card number' box and click 'log-in'.

Oxford Reference Online - Log-in

Science material is grouped together under seven different categories (please note the cross-over of individual titles between categories) - Natural Sciences; Biological Sciences; Computing; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Natural History; Physical Science and Mathematics and Science. For title by title information take a look at the full title listings or titles by category.

If you wish to comment on this trial please use the online feedback form.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Library News

The latest Library Newsletter [pdf] is now available  from the library website. As well as an update on the Western Bank redevelopment project you'll find information about our further improvements to library services - extended opening hours, ePayments and upgraded self-issue/return machines.

Remember that all this week we're running Western Bank Library tours for all students at 11am and 3pm. There is no need to book, just show up on Level M five minutes before the session starts. For anyone missing out on these tours we also have an updated virtual tour and guide.

Thursday, 4 February 2010 iPhone App

The Nature Publishing Group (NPG) this week launched a new iPhone/iPod application called [iTunes Link], offering users the functionality to search, browse, read and bookmark full text content from Nature and Nature News right at your fingertips. The app includes all the latest research and science news from the NPG as well as a searchable PubMed interface (providing access to over 11 million journal citations). The save search option means that it's never been easier to keep abreast of newly-published material and by using the 'save for later' feature you have the option to mark interesting abstracts as a reminder to read the full text later.

To save an article and sync to your desktop tap on a headline and select the 'actions' button in the top right corner of the screen. From here you'll have the option to 'save for later', 'send to a friend' or 'open in Safari'. To return to your saved articles all you have to do is either select the 'Saved' tab on your phone or log-in to the Mobile-apps website.

Access to the full text of Nature and Nature News is freely available until April 30th 2010 but you'll need to register for a free account first. Details about the future pricing of content is unavailable at present yet they are in the process of trialing site license access with selected institutional customers. When I hear more about this I'll let you know. In the meantime if you're interested in providing feedback there is a discussion forum up on the Nature Network.

Further Information:

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