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.