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Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, January 24, 2009
  Science Online '09: Searching the Scientific Literature
Our session wasn't quite as planned - I had hoped to demonstrate some things. The slides are online.

First, John and I described what a librarian in a university and one in a research lab does. Most people have some idea of what the main jobs were for their elementary school librarian. Some people who have children know that public librarians do story times sometimes (this is 1/100th of what public librarians do)... but unfortunately, most people really have no idea what librarians in corporations, research labs, and even in universities do. So we talked about that.

Then we wanted to talk about some big themes like:
- making connections between things - getting from a need to an answer or from a citation to the full text or from a collection of citations to a publishable paper
- how librarians can be your best resources in educating your peers about open access, in getting support for open science,
- in universities we can help you get your classes going or consult with you individually on your own research
- even if you have no university affiliation, you can walk in and use public university computers (public might not be the right word in your neck of the woods, but state funded like State U or U of State) and most of their subscription resources. AND you should always use your local public library and get assistance from the librarians there. They also have research databases

We also talked about some spiffy research databases, ebooks, and some free tools online.
I mentioned Inspec and Compendex, of course, because that's the way I roll (engineering and applied physics and all) - my point with Compendex was more about the interface, though.

John talked about Safari and books24x7 - ebooks
I talked about CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics - the online version with tables you can sort and now substructure searching. This is another of my major themes: helping you mobilize and *use* information, even information that's found in books. To this end we mentioned searching in google books or on amazon to find the content, and then using "find in a library" on google books or a special bookmarklet or browser plugin to find the book that's listed on Amazon. Your library might even provide you with an electronic copy, right there at your desk, even if your desk is at home (so long as you have proper credentials), and if not, might deliver the print copy to a location that's easy to get to (our staff get books at their mail stop).

If I remember other things, I'll add them.

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina's LIS Rant by Christina K. Pikas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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