Thursday, June 18, 2009

SLA 2009

SLA 2009, which also celebrated the centennial of the organization, was held June 13-16 in Washington, D.C.

In the interests of brevity, here are the most significant and/or interesting things that I learned. If you'd like to know more, please call or send me a note at

  • Branding -- More publishers are offering branding; that is, the ability to put a JHU or MSEL logo on their pages. My opinion is that we should brand everything possible.

  • Beilstein -- The name "Beilstein" is going away. If/when we renew in January 2010, we will be purchasing access to something called "reaxys" ("re-AX-is"), which is basically the continuation of Beilstein. (Yes, I gave Elsevier some grief about the stupid name.)

  • Patents -- Another way to get patents -- Free Patent Fetcher (I haven't tried it out yet.)

  • Morgan and Claypool, from whom we get the "Synthesis" series of online short e-books, now has a similar series in life sciences, called "Colloquium." These are research-oriented, not clinical. They have free downloadable MARC records.

  • SCOAP3 -- Attended a talk by Salvatore Mele of CERN, who visited JHU early last year. They're up to 63% of the commitments they need.

  • The Future of Print -- SIAM (Soc. Industrial Applied Math) will henceforth produce all new journals e- only.

  • Discount -- SPIE is giving a 10% price rollback in 2010, and fees will freeze at 2009 rate. If we get a 3-year contract ('10 - '12), the price for all three years will be that of 2010.

  • E-books -- SIAM is launching them, SPIE is launching them,

  • Open Access -- ROARMAP shows which countries have or are considering OA policies, and links to them. Harvard's OA person spoke and said that faculty must *regularly* be reminded of how much things cost. Most faculty are unaware of the copyright rights they do have, but they also self-archive without caring whether or not they're allowed to. She mentioned Sally Morris's 2009 article "Journal authors' rights: perception and reality." She had many talks with publishers about OA; watch PLoS1 (Public Lib of Science) for an article about "which publishers make it easy." Also, around September 1, some other Ivy Leagues will begin underwriting fees.

  • Inst. Repositories -- Harvard now has DASH, "Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard." They had about 40 undergrads doing the grunt work of entering metadata and other data into their repository.

  • Blog Rankings -- Kent Anderson, who edits the "The Scholarly Kitchen" blog, said that if your blog is on typepad or wordpress (like SLA's and like ours), you don't get authority for it. That is, "popularity ranking" engines will attribute traffic on our sites to typepad and wordpress rather than to SLA and MSEL. This speaker encouraged everyone to spend the time and the $35 to have blogs moved to our own domains. Also, this is the blog that wrote the phony article for Bentham Science and then blew the whistle when it was accepted.

    [Speaking of poor peer review, I have a handout listing peer-reviewed chemistry journals which accepted articles using Wikipedia in their reference lists.]

  • Web 2.0 - Google is now the web's library; Twitter and Facebook are its coffeeshops. More and more things are "out there." Example: an article about diabetes type 1 appeared in NEJM and a diabetic blogger twittered about it; a physician wrote to ask her if she had read the whole article and she said yes, because NEJM made it free; the doc said he would have sent the article to her if she couldn't get to it herself. Another example: Lance Armstrong twitters, so all his followers -- basically the whole cycling world -- now knows about what's going on with him at the same time "Cycling News" does.

  • -- Several sessions mentioned It's just what it sounds like; check it out.

  • Citation Info -- Great session about WoS, Scopus, and Google Scholar and their citation info. WoS ruled until 2004, and in late '04, both the others started. There were lots of interesting comparison stats, which are supposed to be available somewhere and I'll find them. Note: Scopus lists patents but does not follow who the patents cited. Also, Scopus records go back to 1823, but their citation info goes back only to 1996. Scopus just added 1,450 new arts and humanties journals last month.

    WoS now has Conference Proceedings Citation Index fully integrated. AND they now capture funding and grant data! Lots more new stuff about WoS, too; they're feeling the Scopus heat.

    They did mention Quosa, saying that you can download 50 articles at a time with it. (We have Quosa.)

  • Facebook -- Fascinating Wash Post reporter, who won Pulitzer for her coverage of VA Tech shootings, explained how to use Facebook etc. for doing research. I was riveted.

  • "Summon" -- ProQuest has a new tool they think is the best completely seamless way of getting at all the library's stuff. Here's a picture of what the search pages look like.

    Okay, there's more, but you must be tired of reading by now. So much is going on in our world !!

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree with you on reaxys being an odd name for a product. I can see where they are heading with it but great googley moogley it seems ridiculous.

    On the other hand, I think as librarians we need to move away from automatically declaring anything on Wikipedia as bad or not scholarly. Based on studies it was more accurate than Britanica. Would that be a more acceptable cite? What if Wikipedia was cited because the author was pointing out an inaccuracy in the site? Like any other resource the information needs to be evaluated in its context. LizM