November 29, 2008

Best Science Books 2008: The New York Times

This year's list of notable books is a very slightly better than last year's total of just 3. Stretching my definition of science book gives us five this year.

  • Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene by Masha Gessen

  • The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

  • The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson.

  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt

Thomas L. Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America is a related book that I think a lot of people will be selecting this year.

Best Science Books 2008: The Globe and Mail

This year's Globe and Mail Globe 100 is quite a disappointing list, first of all because I only really identified 5 science books this, about half of last year's tally. I sort of thought that the Globe was deemphasizing science in the book review section this year, but this comes as a real confirmation of that trend.

But first, the science books that made the list (and a few interesting outliers, too):

  • Soul of the World: Unlocking the Secrets of Time by Christopher Dewdney

  • Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe

  • The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS by Elizabeth Pisani

  • The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Portrait of Your Head by Raymond Tallis

  • Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honeybee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen

Some interesting related books, including two novels with scitech themes:
  • Who's Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life by Richard Florida

  • The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek by Sid Marty

  • Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs

  • Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America by Thomas Friedman

  • Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

  • The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci

It's telling that that the non-science outliers are more numerous than the core science books. What's missing? Even from the books I reviewed this year, I would say that The Quantum Ten is really glaring in it's omission, especially since it's by a Canadian author. Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody is probably the best book about the impact of technology on society in years and it's really embarrassing it's not on the list. Equally embarrassing is that there were really no non-environmental books that dealt with technology and society. It's also odd that they chose Dewdney's book on time rather than Canadian Dan Falk's similar title. They both got good reviews -- Dewdney even reviewed Falk's book for the Globe a few weeks ago.

It's also disappointing that the Globe did not see fit to include any sf, fantasy or horror books aside from Doctorow's rather obvious YA choice. Mysteries and thrillers get their own dedicated column and maybe sffh deserve the same treatment.

Gisele Dupuis, 1926-2008

Some of you may have noticed a bit of a blog silence around here since last Friday. Well, last Saturday night we got the very sad news that my mother had passed away very suddenly earlier that day. I spent the last week in Montreal with my family, cleaning my mother's apartment with my sister, attending the funeral, buying a new suit and other assorted activities. And mostly being offline.

Needless to say, it's been a difficult time.

And the last day or so, as things have approached normalcy, I've struggled a bit with whether or not to mention my Mom's passing here. After all, I've tended to post very little of such a personal nature here and that's been on purpose. On the other hand, I've been very happy to be part of both the library and science online communities and have "met" (and/or met) many people here who I consider true friends. As such, I do feel that I can occasionally talk a little about what's going on in my personal life.

Besides, I asked my wife what she thought about me posting here and she said, "Sure! Your Mother would have gotten a kick out of being on the Internet!"

In any case, I'm including a great picture of my mother with my two sons below. It was taken about 18 months ago and really captures both her spirit and her love for her grandkids and, by extension, her whole family.

Some links: newspaper notice, online memorial, Kane & Fetterly funeral home, who were a great help to my sister and I through this whole process.

Please feel free to leave a note here, on Friendfeed or the online memorial site.

November 21, 2008

Friday Fun: Dominoes!

I love those domino toppling displays -- I think they're so cool in a Rube Goldberg kind of way. When my sons were younger, we used to set up little domino toppling displays around the house. We only had a hundred or so dominoes but it was still a lot of fun.

Anyway, the World Domino Record was recently set on TV.

A world record for the number of dominoes toppled was set when 4.3m fell during a two-hour TV show.

More than 85 people from 13 countries took part in the challenge, which took eight weeks to set up and was a year in the planning.

Acrobat and former Miss Finland, Salima Peippo, toppled the first domino while suspended from the ceiling by ropes.

The aim of Domino Day 2008 was to break ten world records made in previous years.

According to the organisers the 2008 attempt required 9,500 sq m (31,168 sq ft) of space, more 250 different types of domino, 300 mechanics, 100 decor pieces, 1500 turning fences and more than 5,000 square m (16,404 sq ft) of floor paint.

Check out the link above to see a video of the display.

(Weekly Typealyzer test for CoaSL: INTP)

November 19, 2008

Jones, Sheilla. The quantum ten: A story of passion, tragedy, ambition and science. Toronto: Thomas Allen, 2008. 323pp.

Enough with the physics books, already! After a summer of more or less nothing but physics books, I should have probably tried something a bit different. On the other hand, this book is about one of the most interesting periods in all the history of physics -- that transitional time in the first third of the 20th century when some of the greatest minds of all time worked out the foundations of quantum physics. Back when I read Isaacson's Einstein book, that was one of the periods that fascinated me the most, especially because it was so instructive to see a brilliant mind like Einstein be so doggedly wrong. In a way, it gives hope to us all.

But, back to the book at hand.

Canadian journalist Sheilla Jones is basically telling the story of the rise of quantum theory through the stories of ten men: Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrodinger, Louis de Broglie, Pascual Jordan and Paul Ehrenfest. It is through their interactions up until the Fifth Solvay Conference in 1927 that the story is told.

Jones does an admirable job of telling those 10 interrelated stories in a clear and comprehensible way. Some are highlighted more, such as Einstein, Bohr or Born and some less, such as Jordan or Dirac. However, if one person can said to be the main lens through which Jones tells the story, it is the tragic, troubled Paul Ehrenfest, the confidant of Einstein who ultimately committed suicide while also taking the life of his disabled son. His doubts and insecurities concerning his own abilities as a physicist are a perfect mirror in many ways for the perceived doubts and insecurities of the new quantum reality that those men had to come to grips with.

Jones does a fine job of telling a scientific story through biographical details, weaving in the darkening tale of pre-Nazi-era Europe in the tale as well. If I have any complaint, it's that the actually recounting of the Solvay Conference was a bit of an anti-climax. This is easily one of the best science books of the year and I would certainly expect it to make many of the year's best lists, especially in Canada.

I would easily recommend this book to any academic library that collects in popular science or the history of science. It would also be suitable for any public library. With the holiday season upon us, there would be worse gift ideas for the historically or scientifically minded.

November 18, 2008

Science blog meme: Why do we blog?

As usual, late to the meme party...

I'm not a huge fan of taking part in memes, but this one seems to be sweeping the science blogosphere. It's generated a lot of very interesting responses so far, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's also been quite a while since I did a navel-gazing post, so I'm probably due.

The meme was started by Richard Grant Martin Fenner on Nature Network. The only other science librarian one I've seen so far is by Frank Norman.

  1. What is your blog about?

    Lots of things, mostly revolving around the issues I face as a science librarian. The particular focus changes quite often as my momentary facinations and obsessions shift -- science 2.0 seems to be it right now, not surprising as I have a presentation in January. On the other hand, I've always posted a lot about the culture and scholarly communications practices of computer science and engineering. Science books are also a pretty predictable constant.

  2. What will you never write about?

    I've tended to avoid overly personal stuff, politics, religion as well as commenting too directly about what's going on at my institution.

  3. Have you ever considered leaving science?

    This one has a two-part answer.

    First of all, at the undergrad level I studied computer science and ended up working as a software developer for an insurance broker from 1986 to 1998. In that sense, I did practice "science" in an industrial setting for over 12 years and left that to become a librarian. More information on that transition here.

    Of course, I'm still not really a working scientist but as an academic science librarian I guess I'm part of the broader culture of scientific education and practice. I'm actually pretty happy in my current role and haven't considered leaving it.

  4. What would you do instead?

    Own a used book store, definitely one that specialized in any genre with science in the name: popular science, history of science, science fiction, science biography.

  5. What do you think will science blogging be like in 5 years?

    It will probably be bigger and more diverse. As the younger generation of scientists and science people advance in their careers, they'll just expect that blogging is a normal and even valuled part of what some scientists do. I hope that in this time frame, tenure committees will start to recognize that blogging can be a legitimate aspect of a scientist's publishing and outreach portfolio.

    Another thing to watch out for is the professionalization of science blogging. Will more and more of the best and most popular blogs get recruited into the commercially run stables? I think that's a generally positive development as it can only increase the credibility of blogging.

  6. What is the most extraordinary thing that happened to you because of blogging?

    A couple of cool things have happened at least in part because of my blog. I've served on the IEEE Library Advisory Council, I've gotten a couple of speaking invitations, a few free books and mostly connected with a lot of great people in both the science and librarian communities.

  7. Did you write a blog post or comment you later regretted?

    Not really.

  8. When did you first learn about science blogging?

    Probably 2002, around the time I started blogging myself. In those days, I mostly followed library blogs and only a few (computer) science blogs. I didn't get into science blogs in a big way until Seed started up the in early 2006 and since then I would say I follow the science and library blogging worlds with about the same level of attention.

  9. What do your colleagues at work say about your blogging?

    We don't really talk about my blogging that much, so it's hard to know what they would say if we did talk about it. I think most are aware that I blog and some have commented or had encouraging words over the years. Actually, we're quite an active blogging university library, when you get right down to it.

November 17, 2008

ISTL Web 2.0 Special Issue

Yes, Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship has a special web 2.0 issue (i55, Fall 2008). Much amazingness ensues:

D-Lib, November/December 2008

A bunch of interesting articles in an ejournal I haven't mentioned in a while (v14 i11/12):

November 14, 2008

The Open Laboratory 2008 -- December 1st deadline coming fast!

I've been a bit remiss in not mentioning the looming deadline for the annual collection of the best blog postings of the year, this year edited by Jennifer Rohn and Bora Zivkovic.

I'll cut to the chase -- here's what Bora has to say:

We are busy preparing for The Open Laboratory 2008. The submissions have been trickling in all year, and a little bit more frequently recently, but it is time now to dig through your Archives for your best posts since December 20th 2007 and submit them. Submit one, or two, or several - no problem. Or ask your readers to submit for you.

Then take a look at your favourite bloggers and pick some of their best posts - don't worry, we can deal with duplicate entries. Do not forget new and up-coming blogs - they may not know about the anthology - and submit their stuff as well.

As we did last year, we encourage you to also send in original poems and cartoons.

Keep in mind that the posts will be printed in a book! A post that relies heavily on links, long quotes, copyrighted pictures, movies, etc., will not translate well into print.

The deadline is December 1st, 2008. - just half a month to go!

The submission form is here.

It's an annual collection, published by the print-on-demand publisher The books from the last two years are here and here. Both are excellent, well worth reading and acquiring for your library.

The first two have perhaps overemphasized life sciences blogs a bit, so it would be great if all the computing and other people out there could nominate their own or other's posts to help get a bit more diversity in the collection.

Although I haven't done my nominating yet, I have been collecting some worthy posts around the blogosphere on here. I'll probably pick a few for nominating over the next week or so. The post I link to above has everything that been nominated to date.

November 13, 2008

Michael Cairns on Publishing in a Digital Age

Thanks to Michael Cairns of Information Media Partners for bringing his recent presentation to my attention. It is one he delivered at the Frankfurt Bookfair Supply Chain Meeting and the full title is Publishing in a Digital Age: How Traditional Publishing is Leveraged.

Slides here and video too.

I like what Michael says in the speaker's notes at the end, for slides 22 and 23:

So I ask the following: Do we want to hang on with our finger tips operating in an increasingly unfamiliar business environment? Or, do we embrace the opportunities that digital publishing offers and endeavour to influence and manipulate the publishing environment of the future to our advantage? The answer is obvious but it connotes significant change.


Lastly, I hope you will not begrudge me for not mentioning supply chain once in this presentation. Frankly, the changes I have discussed will change everything about our supply chain and that much should be obvious.

As Michael points out, he doesn't really mention supply chain anywhere in his presentation and I think that's probably very appropriate from the academic library perspective. What's the supply chain for getting book-like information from the producers/publishers to our patrons? In a world of Google Books, big ebook collections that we can buy directly from publishers, torrent sites and Wikipedia, there are very nearly an infinite number of supply chains out there. And academic libraries do have roles in many of those supply chains, but not all of them.

Or perhaps we can imagine a world with just one (important) digital supply chain -- maybe Google, the 800 pound gorilla of the online (publishing) world, will become that ebooks supply chain in the future. I think with their latest announcement they may be setting itself up as a kind of supply chain by selling to individuals and licensing to libraries. As I said in that post, it's a potential game-changer for the ebook business for academic libraries.

November 11, 2008

Science Education in Computational Thinking

Just like last year, Eugene Wallingford (CoaSL interview here) of the blog Knowing and Doing has written up some pretty detailed workshop session reports from the 2008 NSF Workshop on Science Education in Computational Thinking. Here's his Table of Contents post, which I'll be reproducing below along with some excerpts from each post.

Primary entries:

  • Workshop 1: A Course in Computational Thinking -- SECANT a year later
    Teaching CS principles to non-CS students required the CS faculty to take an approach unlike what they are used to. They took advantage of Python's strengths as a high-level, dynamic scripting language to use powerful primitives, plentiful libraries, and existing tools for visualizing results. (They also had to deal with its weaknesses, not the least of which for them was the delayed feedback about program correctness that students encounter in a dynamically-typed language.) They delayed teaching the sort of software engineering principles that we CS guys love to teach early. Instead, they tried to introduce abstractions only on a need-to-know basis.

  • Workshop 2: Computational Thinking in the Health Sciences -- big data is changing the research method of science
    In addition to technical skills and domain knowledge, scientists of the future need the elusive "problem-solving skills" we all talk about and hope to develop in our courses. Haixu Tang, from the Informatics program at Indiana contrasted the mentality of what he called information technology and scientific computing:
    • technique-driven versus problem-driven
    • general models versus specific, even novel, models
    • robust, scalable, and modular software versus accurate, efficient programs

    These distinctions reflect a cultural divide that makes integrating CS into science disciplines tough. In Tang's experience, domain knowledge is not the primary hurdle, but he has found it easier to teach computer scientists biology than to teach biologists computer science.

  • Workshop 3: Computational Thinking in Physics -- bringing computation to the undergrad physics curriculum
    ...Further, many students do not think that computational physics is "real" physics. To them, physics == equations.

    This is a cultural expectation across the sciences, a product of the few centuries of practice. Nor is it limited to students; people out in the world think of science as equations. Perhaps they pick this notion up in their high-school courses, or even in their college courses. I think that faculty in and out of the sciences share this misperception as well. The one exception is probably biology, which may account for part of its popularity as a major -- no math! no equations! I couldn't help but think of Bernard Chazelle's efforts to popularize the notion that the algorithm is the idiom of modern science.

  • Workshop 4: Computer Scientists on CS Education Issues -- bringing science awareness to computer science departments
    Next, Tom Cortina talked about Teaching Key Principles of Computer Science Without Programming. In many ways, Cortina was swimming against the tide of this workshop, as he argued that non-majors could (should?) learn CS minus the programming. There certainly is a lot of cool stuff that students can learn using canned tools, talking about history, and doing some light math and logic. Cortina's course in particular covers a lot of neat material about algorithms. But still I think students miss out on something useful -- even central to computing -- when they bypass programming altogether. However, if the choice is between this course and a majors-style course that leaves non-majors confused, frustrated, or hating CS, well, then, I'll take this!

  • Workshop 5: Curriculum Development -- some miscellaneous projects in the trenches
    Bruce Sherwood reported a physics student comment of his own: "I don't like computers." Sherwood responded, "That's okay. You're a physicist. I don't like them either." But physics students and professors need to realize that saying they don't like computers is like saying, "I don't like voltmeters." If you can't work with a voltmeter or a computer, you are in the wrong business. That's just the way the world is.

    My favorite line of Landau's is one that applies as well to computer science as to physics:

    We need a curriculum for doers, not monks.

  • Workshop 6: The Next Generation of Scientists in the Workforce -- computational thinking as competitive advantage
    How does computational thinking help the company do more better and faster? By...
    • ... letting scientists spend more time doing what they love.
    • ... eliminating low-value-add transactional activities in the business process.
    • ... boosting the speed and scalability of their systems.

    Notice that these advantages range from the scientific to business process to the technical. It's not only about techies sitting in front of monitors.

Ancillary entries:
  • This and That -- the inevitable miscellaneous thoughts
    The buzzword of this year's workshop: infiltration. Frontal curricular assaults often fail, so people here are looking for ways to sneak new ideas into courses and programs. An incremental approach creates problems of its own, but agile software proponents understand its value.

  • No One Programs Any More -- a timely conversation the week before the workshop
    In the time since I joined the faculty here, many departments have dropped the computer programming requirement from their majors. Part of the reason is probably that the intro programming courses were not meeting their students' needs, and our department needs to take responsibility for that. But a big part of the reason is that many faculty across campus believe as the Math faculty do, that their students don't need to learn computer programming anymore. Not too surprisingly, I disagree.

November 7, 2008

E-Science, Science 2.0, Open Science -- So what's a librarian to do?

Thinking about the science 2.0 part of that.

A couple of not-quite-so-recent posts here have gotten me thinking about some of the interesting stuff going on in the web 2.0/science 2.0 space. The first post dealt with some definitional issues and sparked a nice discussion on FriendFeed. The second was some impressions I had from the Science in the 21st Century conference and how what's going on in science may affect libraries.

I thought it might be nice to bring some of those themes around to some more concrete ideas about what I might be able to do in my library to engage students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty and researchers in that science 2.0 space.

Here's some ideas, some fairly widely implemented already, mostly pretty easy to get started, some of which I've tried and some I haven't, some I probably never will. Some of them will be good ideas, some will be bad, some will work in some places but not others.

  • Institutional FriendFeed Room. The idea here would to create something like a "York University Faculty of Science & Engineering Room" and post interesting stuff to it, both about science and engineering in general and about York's contributions. Furthering the idea, members of the York Science & Engineering community would also participate, post and comment.

  • Nature Network. The idea here is to encourage some forward thinking faculty and grad students to jump in and join Nature Network. We could create groups and forums, some of us could blog and comment in other blogs and groups. The interest and excitement sparked by this core would attract others and maybe the groups would be viable and some faculty or grads would find that blogging suits them.

  • Institutional Blogs. I think that there are two kinds of focus here, one internally focused and one externally focused. An inwardly focused blog would be all about library and general science news focused on the community. A lot of institutions have these kinds of blogs, with the York Libraries having a lot of them. An outward focused library blog would try to bring the institution's story to a broader audience. My CSE blog had some elements of that and I'm not sure what others have done in this vein. The problem with an externally focused blog is that it might step on toes of faculty or institutional communications people. But, if they aren't blogging, maybe the library should just do it; it's easier to apologize than to ask permission.

    Overall, blogging is an established activity and a good way to build community. This could be a good way to start, but definitely with a strong commitment and with keeping expectations is check as these types of things can take a while to build momentum.

  • FaceBook Group and/or Page. This is the lamest option. They mostly don't work at creating community but I feel that I do have to mention them here. Easy to create and maintain, so it's not a bad idea to create one but expectations have to be low. We have one with a fair number of fans but not a lot of activity

  • Citation Management. An interesting idea would be to make a big push promoting a citation tool that really emphasizes sharing and collaboration, like Connotea or Mendeley or that is really cool and user friendly like Zotero. These are all free and very cool looking so they'll attract grad students. On the other hand, they're also not quite as functional as a boring old standby like RefWorks. But, since these types of tools are very popular and necessary, they can be a way to get people involved.

  • Leverage what's already happening. If there are social spaces that faculties or departments are setting up, find a way to get the library some real estate in those spaces. When I look at something like what MST Visions is doing, I always think that there's got to be a way to take advantage of that, to get the library involved and providing content. It's not always possible, but it's worth trying. If some departments, faculties or schools already have blogs or whatever, find a way worm our way in. The worst that can happen is they say no. Be persistent and persuasive. Often the people that run the sites are looking for content and contributors.

Just throwing these out there.

In many of the above scenarios, the real challenge is first, creating something that's useful, fun and compelling. The second challenge is to interest people in joining and contributing. The two challenges are related, of course. The degree to which these kinds of initiatives and useful, fun and compelling is directly related to who's involved and how much they contribute. The chicken-and-egg factor is quite high here and there's only so much that the library people involved can function as pump-primers. There's nothing sadder than an empty social network.

What I'm really hoping for from you out there is some input on all this. What are some other ideas that are worth exploring? Which of the above have the best chance of working? What are some strategies to get the buy-in and participation that are

If you're a scientist or faculty member out there reading this -- what would work for you? How could your library facilitate a discussion around scholarly communications issues in your institution. How could your library help you to connect and share information both locally and with scientists nationally and internationally. Any librarians or Research/Communications Officers out there with any ideas? Grad and undergrad students are also welcome to pitch in.

If you think the answer is that I'm delusional and that libraries don't really have a role in those areas, you can feel free to just be blunt about that too.

(Escience and open science are a couple of whole other cans of worms and maybe I'll come up with some ideas about libraries nosing their way into those a bit later on.)

(This post has been percolating for quite a while, so sorry if it seems disconnected to my recent posting. I'm doing an OLA presentation more-or-less on this topic in the new year, so this is also part of those ruminations.)

November 6, 2008

Best Science Books 2008: Amazon

It has begun. This is the first post in my annual round-up of Year's Best Science Book Lists.

Today, it's highlighting a couple of lists from Amazon for 2008. They still haven't published their Computers & Internet list, so I'll post that one when I see it.

Here goes, all the best science books and some relevant items from other lists:

Best Science Books

  • Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin

  • Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul by Kenneth R. Miller

  • Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics by Leonard Susskind

  • In Pursuit of the Gene: From Darwin to DNA by James Schwartz

  • The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

  • Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by David Michaels

  • 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks

  • Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg

  • Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life by Carl Zimmer

Business & Investing

  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li

Current Events

  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt

Outdoors & Nature

  • The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird by Bruce Barcott

  • Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures by Bill Schutt

  • The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery by Howard G. Wilshire

November 4, 2008

What scientists think of librarians

Ok, a slightly misleading post title mostly to get you scientists out there to read the post, but I think it gets to the core issue of a discussion happening over on FriendFeed about and article in The Scientist: Libraries 2.0: Secrets from science librarians that can save you hours of work.

Is any publicity good publicity? Is the article nasty or condescending to librarians? Do we really care what people think of us? Are we too thin-skinned?

Here's the offending paragraph:

Not the bifocal-sporting, cardigan-clad Dewey decimal experts of 25 years ago, science librarians in today's universities are a well-versed treasure trove of knowledge, even in life sciences. "People think they know how to search for things, when they really don't know how to use some search tools efficiently," says Osterbur.

With also a more postive spin:
Science librarians of today can scope out particular resources for you, give your lab a tutorial session on special database searching, or hunt down ancient and obscure citations. Here are better ways to get and manage information from popular databases, plus top tips from science librarians on how to make the most of your university and the Internet resources.

There are also some pull-sections highlighting what librarians can bring to the research table: Beyond Pubmed, Advanced Web of Science, RefWorks vs. EndNote and 10 Tips to Get the Most out of your Librarian.

So, what do you think?

Personally, I wouldn't mind getting the article into the hands of all the faculty and grad students at my institution.

(via Joe Kraus's FriendFeed)