Schwerdtfeger Library News - March 2003

Schwerdtfeger Library News - March 2003

By Jean Phillips



AMS Conference Proceedings

Currently, papers presented at conference proceedings, specifically those proceedings sponsored by the American Meteorological Society, are not indexed in Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts (MGA), the primary index for the atmospheric sciences. The AMS is attempting to find a nonlabor-intensive method of sharing conference paper information with Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, the vendor for MGA, so that it can be indexed.

What this means for authors, librarians and others seeking conference literature, is that at present, this type of information is not indexed by MGA, making it virtually unavailable. The AMS retains conference papers on its web site for a very short time. In addition, the previous vendor of MGA, Inforonics, operated under a literature cap, meaning that only a certain number of articles and papers could be indexed in any given year. Weight was given to peer-reviewed papers, which often left conference literature out completely.

In addition, the AMS no longer publishes its conference proceedings in print form; they are available on a CD-ROM. The CD holding the January 2003 conferences offers a window into future availability of conference literature. A large percentage of the papers presented at the various conferences this past February are not available on the CD-ROM. That's right.

What this means is that even if Cambridge Scientific Abstracts indexes a given paper, there will be a very high chance that a person will not be able to obtain it anyway. It won't be available in a bound, print volume and it may very well not be available on its CD-ROM replacement. It will not be available on the AMS web site. And it's possible that the author will not have it either.

A Ray of Light...

The one constant in this is that if you provide a copy of your papers to the Library as they are published, we will have a copy to provide to you or anyone else who might request it. The Library maintains a database of in-house publications that includes technical reports, chapters of books, conference papers, peer-reviewed papers, final reports, etc. Our goal is to make it as comprehensive as possible but we need your help. Any time you publish, please send me two print copies of the publication or the link to the host site of the paper.


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Article Expunging

The January 10, 2003 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education contains the article, "Elsevier's Vanishing Act," which relates how the publisher has purged some 30-40 articles from its database. Articles have been removed from the Elsevier database because of plagiarism, scientific misconduct or gross error. In place of the article, a searcher will find the phrase, "for legal reasons this article has been removed by the publisher."

Librarians and scholars who study the history of science are particularly concerned about this approach. "As more and more scientific literature is moved from print to a digital environment ... holes in databases could leave researchers ignorant of why certain articles were considered questionable - and may even lead to poor medical treatments and faulty scientific research" and hamper research into the history of science itself.[Chronicle, 1/10/03, p.A27] There should be a digital trail allowing any changes in the record to be seen, observed and studied.

Other publishers are handling suspect articles in another way. The AAAS, publisher of Science, does not remove inaccurate or plagiarized articles but leaves the original article online, linking to a retraction notice or other information. Societies, such as the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics and the AGU do not remove articles but link to errata, comments and replies by other authors, or other investigative reports.


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Overdue Notices Only By E-Mail

You won't be getting paper overdue notices from the libraries anymore. This month the libraries began sending all recalls, holds, overdue notices, fines and fee notices, and items available, by e-mail to all students, faculty, and staff. You can keep track of items checked out to you, renew materials, view pending requests, see available items, or view fines/fees owed, through My MadCat Account on the libraries Web site. For more information see:


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Friends Book Sale, March 5-8

The largest used book sale in Wisconsin will be hosted by the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries Wednesday, March 5 - Saturday, March 8 in 116 Memorial Library. A preview sale ($5 admission) will be 5-9 p.m., Wednesday, March 5. The regular sale, open to the public at no charge, will be 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday, March 6, and Friday, March 7. On Saturday, March 8, from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., patrons can bring a bag, or buy one for $1 at the sale, and fill it for $2. For more information contact the Friends.

Phone: (608) 265-2505, E-mail:


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New Electronic Journals

Access and licensing provided by the UW-Madison Libraries:

Australian Journal of Earth Sciences (From 1998, most recent 12 months may not be available online.)

Climatic Change (Online access limited to current subscription year.)

Global Environmental Change (Online access limited to most recent 12 months.)

International Journal of Earth Sciences (v.8, :no.2, 1996- )

Pure and Applied Geophysics (v.149, no.2, 1997- )


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