Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Chemistry of Christmas

"Periodic Table of Videos" team, along with a few other people at the University of Nottingham's School of Chemistry, consider which element they would like for Christmas......

Which Element for Christmas? featuring the Chemical Sisters

Monday, 15 December 2008

Powder Diffraction File updated

The latest edition of the Powder Diffraction File is now available in the George Green Library. The database may be searched through the PC next to the enquiry point on floor C ; library staff at the desk or in the next door office can help if you require any assistance. Please note that there is no printer attached so you may wish to bring a disc or memory stick to save your results.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Keeping up-to-date in Life Sciences via RSS

SciFeeds delivers the most recent life science literature as it is published direct from RSS feeds. You can browse for over 100 journals within life science by subject, see the most recently updated Table of Contents (TOCs) of each journal, search the content of TOCs (it's a bit slow), see the most 'popular' articles, and if you register, you can do a lot more. There are also links to the full text of articles.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Providing access to material electronically

Would it help your students if you were able to provide access to a book chapter or journal article electronically?

If so, the HE scanning licence may be able to help. The Scanning licence enables the digitisation of material published in the UK and some US published material within copyright law. This can help support students undertaking a particular module and increase the circulation of key extracts.

Within Information Services, we have a budget to allow us to acquire PDFs of chapters and articles that fulfil the requirements of the licence. We can then provide a link to the digitised extract through the online reading list system or embedded within a WebCT module.

If you would like more information on this service, please contact us.

Redesign of the IS website: we need your views

Over the next year, the IS website will be redesigned. For this to be a success we need your help.

We are running user feedback sessions between November and February and we hope that you can come along and give us your views. Come and tell us what you want from the IS website, what you like and don’t like about the current site and want you want to see. We are also looking for users to test the current website and the new design.

To register to take part please email with your name and position at UoN (eg UG student/staff). You will receive an email back asking for a little more detail before your place in a group is confirmed. Lunch is provided at all sessions so please confirm you are able to attend asap, or if you are unable to attend please let us know so we can allocate your place to someone else.

Focus groups are taking place for both staff and students and the dates and times can be found at:

Thursday, 27 November 2008

SAFARI - Downtime - 27th November.

I have just been informed that Safari will be doing required maintenance on their servers tomorrow morning - Thursday 27th November. The planned downtime is scheduled to be between 0930am – 1130am Safari services will be inaccessible and a message will be displayed advising users of the downtime.

Advanced Notice: E-Library Gateway unavailable 13th-14th December

As a consequence of vital maintenance work in the Cripps Computing Centre, e-Library Gateway (the University's gateway to e-journals and other electronic library resources) is expected to be unavailable on Saturday 13th December. We hope to restore normal service during Sunday 14th, but the system may still be subject to disruption and should be considered "At Risk" for that day.

IS apologises for any inconvenience caused and hopes that this advanced notice helps you to plan accordingly. During eLG's unavailability it will of course still be possible to connect directly to the website of any e-resource - you may wish to bookmark in advance those resources you will need to use.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

JACS gets a makeover

The American Chemical Society is developing a new, dynamic online version of JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society). It aims to explore "new approaches to the presentation of chemical and related research". It includes virtual issues, selected recent articles on themes such as Total Synthesis of Biologically Active Natural Products, competitions and RSS feeds.
ACS want feedback from their readers so have a look at and especially at JACS Beta

Friday, 21 November 2008

Access to Electronic Journals - tips to reduce confusion

The library subscribes to electronic journals through a number of suppliers. Sometimes access to a journal may be provided by more than one supplier; sometimes different suppliers provide access to different issues, or provision can overlap so you could get the same articles from more than one supplier.

Such complication can lead to confusion and frustration especially if you go directly to one of the suppliers - eg Ingenta for Informaworld - to try and get an article they don't supply to us or or we don't subscribe to at the Univeristy of Nottingham. In this scenario, access will always be refused.

This means that it is better to go to the journal you want via the library catalogue or the eLibrary Gateway, because then you find out along the way which supplier you can use. If you click on the SFX button adjacent to the journal entry on UNLOC, or in the eLibrary Gateway, you will get a pop-up that tells you which issues come from where.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Talk Science at the British Library - Events

Events - TalkScience

TalkScience is a series of events hosted by the British Library, providing opportunities to inform, engage, debate and network with scientists and all those who use scientific information.

Infectious disease: what can evolution do for us?
Wednesday 10 December 2008

Infectious agents evolve, just like other living things. And because they have short life cycles and large population sizes, they do it quickly. Are we destined always to be playing catch up in the evolutionary arms race?

Dr Bill Hanage of Imperial College London will introduce the debate on how natural selection leads to the virulence of the diseases we know, the emergence of new ones, and how it might affect the future of both.
  • Are we doomed to be always playing catch up in the fight against resistant superbugs?
  • Avian Flu, the next pandemic or a flash in the pan?
  • HIV vaccine, dream or reality?
  • Information technology and bioinformatics: can it help us predict evolution of new dangers?
  • Humans vs pathogens: an arms race on a microscale?
  • Why do some infectious diseases evolve to become less virulent?

Event time: 18.00 – 20.30 Location: Terrace restaurant, British Library

Sold out - To be added to the waiting list email
Save and print A4 flyer for this event (PDF, 91 KB)
A podcast of the event will be available.

or join the discussion at:

Monday, 17 November 2008

Web version of SciFinder enhanced

Have you tried the new web-based version of SciFinder yet?

The service, which was launched this summer, has now been upgraded to improve search performance, functionality and content.

The improvements include:-
- Direct links to full text and data
- Keep Me Posted enhancements to help keep you up to date with your interests
- Improved search precision
- Facility to review searches from previous sessions
- Index term linking
- Saving and combining answer sets

Content enhancements include:-
- 23.8 million predicted proton NMR spectra
- 1.9 billion predicted and experimental properties, spectra and data
- 29 million preparations, including single- and multi-step reactions
- Reactions from major reference works, such as Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis

For more details of the upgrade see the CAS website

To register as a SciFinder web user and for information on our subscription please link to

We should like to know what you think about the new web-based SciFinder - please post any comments to the blog.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Online Reading Lists Reminder

Just a quick reminder that many reading lists are now available online, through the Portal or the Information Services homepage.

An online reading list provides you with links to quickly and easily check library holdings and access electronic texts and websites recommended by your tutors without the need to dive into UNLOC, the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue or the eLibrary Gateway to search for each reference independently.

Why use online reading lists?
  • Easy access to recommended textbooks
  • Direct access to UNLOC to view library holdings and check the location and availability of recommended items
  • Easy links to electronic resources, including the full text of journal articles, electronic books and websites
  • Kept up to date
How do I access online reading lists?

As a tutor how do I set up a reading list online?

  • Contact your subject librarian
  • Provide module code, name and convenor details
  • Supply reading list
  • Your subject librarian will set up the reading list and add details of recommended reading
  • Alternatively you, as tutor can add and update your own lists once set up.

Further guidance on using online reading lists can be obtained through our online tutorial here.

24/7 Opening at George Green and James Cameron Gifford Libraries

George Green and James Cameron Gifford Libraries will be offering the following 24/7 library opening periods during 2008-9 :

George Green Library
5 January– 23 January 2009
20 April - 4 June 2009

James Cameron Gifford Library
5 January - 23 January 2009
20 April - 18 June 2009

For 24/7 opening hours of other libraries click here

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Science in Industry - New Website linking Industry and Academia

Science in Industry has been established as a monthly ezine for scientists in school, college, academia and industry. Its aim is to promote closer links between schools, colleges, universities and industry, and in particular to give students and academics an appreciation of what it is like to work in industry, and how academic science is translated into industrial technology.

Each month there will be three articles:
  • one "innovative" article giving essential background to, and applications of the latest scientific developments.
  • one "industrial" article outlining the technology used in a certain area of industry or giving a feel for what it is like to be a scientist / technologist in industry.
  • on a lighter note we also have articles on a variety of scientific issues for which we can find no better generic title than "Borderline"!

Please visit the site to see how this could be of considerable value to students who are looking to enter industry in a scientific career.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

HEA Engineering subject centre events

The Higher Education Authority Engineering subject centre is running a number of events over the next few months:

Robotics in the Curriculum
20 November 2008 at the University of Southampton
For more information go to:

Assessment of learning outcomes in engineering conference
27 November 2008 at Goodenough College London
For more information go to:

Peer assessment
21 January 2009 at Manchester Conference Centre
For more information go to:

Supporting engineering and physical science students - a workshop for demonstrators
11 February 2009 at the University of Birmingham
For more information go to:

Creativity in the sciences
29 April 2009 at the University of Glasgow
For more information go to:

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Report on skills agenda for engineering and physical sciences

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) Engineering Subject Centre, in partnership with the Subject Centres for Physical Science and Materials has just published a report entitled "Facilitating dialogue between employers and engineering, physical sicences and materials academics in Higher Education", otherwise known as the "Engage" project.

The report describes the outcome of the one year project which discusses the skills agenda and makes recommendations and observations about the employer engagement agenda with links to relevant resources.

The report can be downloaded from:
Or can be obtained by emailing

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

ISI proceedings..... gone missing?

Looking for ISI Proceedings?

Look no further. It is now searchable from within Web of Science as the Conference Proceedings Citation Index.

Web of Science is the world’s leading citation database with multidisciplinary coverage of over 10,000 high-impact journals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, as well as international proceedings coverage for over 120,000 conferences. Powerful tools include cited reference searching, Citation Maps, and the Analyze Tool.

Locate Web of Science using the 'Find Database' option within our the Elibrary Gateway.

Friday, 24 October 2008

New tutorial for searching images on the Internet

"Internet for Image Searching" is a new, free online tutorial to help staff
and students in universities and colleges to find digital images for their
learning and teaching:

The emphasis of the tutorial is on finding copyright cleared images which
are available free; facilitating quick, hassle-free access to a vast range
of online photographs and other visual resources.

This tutorial has been created by TASI - the JISC Advisory Service for
digital media, and Intute as part of the Virtual Training Suite, with
funding from the Higher Education Academy/JISC Collaboration Initiative.

An image resource that may be particularly useful for engineers is the "CAL visual for construction image database", created by Loughborough University

Also available for Bioscientists is the "Centre for bioscience image bank"

For medical images, you could use "Anatomy TV" "Images MD" or the "Welcome Library"

The tutorial will introduce you to many other image sites.

You may also find the TASI pages on "Finding Scientific Images" useful

Thursday, 23 October 2008

UK chemists warn of funding crisis

Senior researchers have warned that a sharp drop in the number of research grants awarded this year risks damaging UK chemistry. Young chemists applying for first-time grants have suffered most under widespread changes to the funding strategy of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).........

Click the link below for more information:

The Big Science Read 24-26 October 2008. Manchester

Are you heading to Manchester this weekend? If so you are in luck:

Its the big science read weekend
24-26 October 2008

The Big Science Read campaign invites you to explore, re-discover and get excited about science-themed books and hopes to stimulate public debate of current issues relating to scientific and technological advances. A reading list of contemporary popular science and fiction titles has been put together and is available from the link above to get you started.

Come on - pull yourself away from the computer and pick up a book again! :~)

Ten Science Search Engines

A great blog post, put up by Heriot-Watt University Library. So good I thought I would snaffel it and give credit!

Several very good science/technology search engines are listed here. These will usually give much more focussed search results than Google.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Athens .... changes afoot

All Athens accounts are lapsing as the system for authentication is changing. Moving forward we will not be routinely renewing any Athens usernames or passwords and access to resources will be effected via:

1. An alternative log-in. When presented with an Athens 'login box' or authentication screen, click on the link to "alternative log-in" (see small print located immediately under the login box), select the University of Nottingham from the drop-down list of institutions (a cookie will be set on your machine so you should only have to do this once unless you change computers), follow the link to the University of Nottingham log-in page and put in when prompted your usual university computer username and password.

2. An institutional or Shibboleth log-in. Some resources will take you directly to their home page and invite you to log in with an Institutional or Federated or Shibboleth username. You will need to identfy yourself as a member of Nottingham University by selecting our university from the list provided and entering, when prompted your university username and password.

We are currently in a 'hand-over' or transition period but heading to a simpler clearer future as in the long run you will only have one username/password to remember!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Borrowing has just got easier

Information Services have just launched a new intersite loans service, allowing you to pick up books from a preferred library location, no matter where it resides on campus. Simply request the item on UNLOC and select your preferred pickup library from the drop-down menu. This service applies to ordinary loan books which may also be returned to any library.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Welcome from the new Faculty Team Leader

I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Library Team Leader for Science and Engineering. I am temporarily replacing Chris Middleton whilst Chris is covering the post of Head of Academic Services, based at Kings Meadow. This agreement is in place until Christmas in the first instance and I am based in Chris' old office on floor C of the George Green Library.

Just to give you a little bit of background. I actually started my career here at Nottingham as Senior Library Assistant in the George Green Library, in what was then the engineering team, about 8 years ago. I then moved over to the Greenfield Medical Library, before moving to the James Cameron Gifford Library as Team Leader for Biosciences and Veterinary Science. So, I have experience in working in many of the subject areas offered within the Science and Engineering Faculty. Most recently, I have been based in the Hallward Library.

Other team members remain the same but I outline below the different subject specialities that each team member looks after:

Engineering: Jenny Coombs and Shona Pullen
Chemistry, pharmacy, biology, environmental science: Dinah Northall and Alison Johnson (job-share)
Maths, physics and psychology: Liz Day and Jane Maltby (job-share)
Biosciences and veterinary medicine and science (based at Sutton Bonington): Suzanna Rogers (part-time)

Staff members can be contacted directly or we have 3 team email contacts as follows:

Please do contact us and I hope that you enjoy and find this blog useful.

Friday, 26 September 2008

We need U - IS Student Communications Panel

Information Services communicates information about library and IT systems to over 40,000 users at the University of Nottingham, using a number of different methods. There is always room for improvement and the department is recruiting student volunteers to join a panel that will provide feedback on the way it provides information.

The IS Student Communications Panel will consist of up to 20 student members reflecting: Undergraduates; Postgraduates; International students; Students with disabilities; Part-time students. It will meet once a term. Panel members will be provided with £10 worth of print credits for each meeting they attend. The first panel meeting is planned for the middle of November.

Please email if you are interested in joining the panel.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Returners - Summer Stock Shuffle!

Returning students to George Green Library, will find that we have moved our stock around so it is easier to find:

Floor D (top floor): Has all science & engineering periodicals in one A-Z alphabetical sequence.
Floor C (middle floor): Holds all book stock, oversize and pamphlets - classmarks Q-TX
Floor B (ground floor): Still stocks our short loan and reference collections
Floor A (basement): Now stocks our Engineering dissertations and reports in addition to our store based periodicals and books (older material)

Floor D is now a research space with silent study expected whilst all other floors offer more social learning spaces

Nature - a bursting resource!

Have you come across this resource yet from Nature Publishing Group. It's bursting at the seams with useful links, databases and gateways to all sorts of scientific information

Thursday, 18 September 2008

NEW - Interactive Ebook - for New Students

Two of Information Services’ main student publications on using library and IT services have been published as interactive eBooks, available via the IS website or via links below. The guides are:
This new format should provide 'handy' access to information to help students get started and up and running within our libraries and computing centres.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Big Bang Day - rewriting the laws of physics?

TODAY, September 10th 2008, CERN - the largest centre of particle physics research in the world, will switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and in the process begin the most ambitious science experiment ever undertaken. Conditions just a billionth of a second after the big bang will be recreated in the search for answers to some of the most profound questions about our universe and how it all began. Mysteries such as: What is mass? What is dark matter? Why is there no antimatter ? Are extra dimensions and parallel universes science fact rather than science fiction? may shortly become solved. To find out more about the pertinent questions or rather answers we hope this experiment will reveal, check out: BBC Radio4 coverage; BBC News comment; CERN website or BBC Guide to LHC.

Meanwhile...... Can you think of a better name for the Large Hadron Collider? Email ideas to to win £500 from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Cell Signalling Biology online resource

We have recently subscribed to a new online reference resource, Cell Signalling Biology by M J Berridge, published online by Portland Press, which describes the biology of cell signalling and cell signalling pathways. The full text and associated figures, tables and animations can be viewed from on campus. The licence permits the copying of illustrations into Powerpoint slides for use in lectures.
Cell Signalling Biology can be accessed via UNLOC, the library online catalogue, or directly at from

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Undergraduate entrance exams

Imperial sets entrance exam. Professional Engineering, 11 June 2008, 21(10),10

“Imperial College London is planning to introduce an entrance exam for all subjects at undergraduate level, including engineering, from 2010 onwards.”
“The Russell Group, an association of 20 research-intensive universities, said there was “no indication” that other institutions would follow suit.”

University of Nottingham engineering in the news

The University of Nottingham has featured recently in the engineering press:

Sharpe, L. Funding boost for energy storage. Engineering and Technology, 7 June – 20 June 2008, 3(10), 4

“Professor Greg Asher of the University of Nottingham aims to develop a demonstration model of a supercapattery, a device that combines the benefits of a super capacitor and a battery – fast charge/discharge rates and the ability to store a large amount of electrical energy”

“Professor Seamus Garvey of the University of Nottingham is looking at using wind-generated energy to compress and pump air into underwater bags, anchored to the seabed. When energy demand is highest, the air would be released through a turbine to produce electricity.”

Ideas factory. Professional Engineering, 25 June 2008, 21(11), 43

“Nothing provokes a nice bit of snobbiness like a discussion about educational background. For the mechanical engineer there’s a few select seats of learning that allow a definite feeling of superiority. Step forward if you went to Oxbridge, Imperial, Bath, Warwick, Nottingham or Strathclyde universities, among a few others.”

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Report on Information Literacy for researchers

Developing the personal, professional and career management skills of researchers is currently high on the agenda in the UK’s higher education sector. Alongside training in generic and transferable skills, there have been increased efforts to provide training in information seeking and information management across the country.

The University of Nottingham, in particular, has been busy recruiting Research Centre Managers for several of its Schools; has developed several of its post graduate taught master programs to include modules on 'research skills'; and has been harnessing the training services offered by its 'Information Service' with Course Leaders requesting training 'on demand', embedding it within modules or by directing students to the courses already supplied by Information Services under the Graduate School's training programme.

In July 2008, the 'Research Information Network' published a report on information handling skills for researchers, entitled 'Mind the Skills Gap' . The RIN report has found that provision across the country is uncoordinated and generally not based on any systematic assessment of needs. The full report, together with further background reading is available to download in PDF at

If you have any ideas or thoughts on what more needs to be done at Nottingham, please add your comments/feedback now!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Journal Citation Reports 2007 data available

2007 data has been added to the Journal Citation Reports Science and Social Sciences Editions. This provides us with the latest information on journal impact factors which can be useful indicators of comparative impact of journals within the same discipline. However, use of impact factors should be made with a certain amount of caution, Some publishers actively seek to increase the impact factors of their journals artificially, e.g. by publishing more reviews which are cited more frequently. Increased impact factors may simply be due to the trend toward increases in the number of citations authors make in their papers. For advice on their use contact the Science Team.
JCR can be accessed via the eLibrary Gateway as part of our subscription to the Web of Knowledge.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Are you an Endnote or Endnote Web user?

Do you use Endnote or Endnote Web?

  • Do you want to find out about any new updates to Endnote?
  • Pass on tips to other Endnote users or ask questions?

If so, you may be interested in this community page which has been designed to bring together information relevant to Endnote users at the University.

I don't know what to believe.....

Trying to make sense of science stories?

Here is a leaftlet for people who follow debates about science and medicine in the news. It explains how scientists present and judge research and how you can ask questions of the scientific information presented to you.

Blackwell Synergy

The Wiley and Blackwell publishing houses are merging and as a result, the Blackwell Synergy interface we use for accessing our Blackwell ejournals will cease to exist as of 30th June 2008. Content will be moved across to the Wiley InterScience site and we will retain access to all our subscribed content. However, over the weekend of June 28th and 29th, we anticipate that there will be a period when both Blackwell Synergy and Wiley InterScience will be unavailable.

Links should update automatically, but if you have any problems accessing a title which was previously available via Blackwell Synergy, please try the Wiley InterScience site at: . Wiley InterScience is also available through the eLibrary gateway under the "General- ejournal collections" category.

For more information on the changes, please see:

Scifinder Scholar - new web version now available

A new web-based version of SciFinder is now available at Nottingham.

The new version does not require you to download the full SciFinder software, it has a more intuitive and "modern" feel and all the important functionality is available. Only a few features e.g. Journal contents browsing and the Categorize command are not yet available. Structure and reaction searching is run through a Java application but if you do not wish to use the structure drawing package there is no need to install any software.

The familiar client-based version is still available and both versions will continue to be supported. However, since we have no additional "seats", 2 of our 6 allocated accesses have been migrated to this new version and we will monitor usage to assess whether/when to transfer more across.

The usual advice that "if you do not get through try again" applies to both versions. We do receive detailed logs of turn-aways so that we can assess the relative popularity of the two versions.

Individual registration is required to use the web-based service. Please see our 'NEW' help page at for the link to 'Register Now' and for details of browser requirements. (NB this is also the address for downloading the Scifinder client-based software)

To use the web-based version connect to from a computer on the University network.

Feel free to leave your comments on the new service here or contact your subject librarians directly: or