Category Archives: Resources

Percussion Music at Music Library

NUS Music Library has an excellent collection of CDs. In this article, I’ve highlighted some percussion music for your listening pleasure.

Among the easy listening pieces is Ichiyanagi’s Paganini Personal for marimba and piano from Striking a Balance: Contemporary Percussion Music. This is a set of variations on the well-known 24th Caprice by Paganini. Written in 1982, it was first performed by Japanese percussionist Hiroyuki Iwaki.  The music moves through various moods, from beautiful to violent, and tuneful to tonally obscure.


Also from the same CD is the Prelude in A minor by J.S. Bach from the English Suite No. 2. It shows off the composer’s harmonic and contrapuntal genius where the performance on two marimbas explores the full lower register of the instrument as well as the rich middle-upper ranges.

Across the Sea has a good selection of percussion music from Zhou Long’s Five Elements and The Deep, Deep Sea, Bright Sheng’s Flute Moon and Chen Yi’s The Golden Flute. Scored for flute and orchestra, each element of metal, wood, water, fire and earth in Five Elements is represented in a separate movement in which the activities of yin and yang are manifested as the cyclic changes of nature regulating life on earth.

The Deep, Deep Sea is impressionistic in nature, and the relationship between the flute and ensemble of timpani, harp and strings evokes the “union of man and nature”. In The Golden Flute, the extreme contrasts between the low sonorities of the orchestra and the shrill passages of the solo part supported by the two piccolos and harp are brought to a climax, leading to a coda.


Consider listening to Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen-Suite, which is a brilliant transcription for strings and percussion. In it, the composer’s choice of instruments and tone colours gives the familiar sounding melodies in Bizet’s work unexpected rhythmic twists and subtle changes in notes and chords.




Another CD that is lightly textured is the Hammerhead Consort’s Music for Two Pianos and Percussion. Through intuitive manipulation of the dynamics, all four instruments (two pianos, vibraphone and marimba) in Linea are made to sound as one.

The imagery of the forest, composed of individual entities in the larger context, is cleverly expressed through the exploration of sound timbres of the live performers and the pre-recorded tape into a cohesive musical fabric. Hammer-Suite is made up of three movements.  The first, Magical Flight, has elements of the sonata form, jazz scales, asymmetrical rhythms and imitative writing. Images, the second movement, seems to improvise on motifs, rhythms, dynamics and visual images and Shaman’s Dance, the third movement, skilfully develops thematic materials from a four-note chromatic motif.

To search for more CDs on percussion music, check out our discovery service FindMore@NUSL.

Enter percussion in the text box.

Refine your search by selecting Items in the library catalog and Music Recording under Content Type.

Click on the desired title and take note of the stack number (e.g KC11607):

Next, retrieve the jewel case from the shelves and approach the staff at the loans desk for the CD.

Learn about your loan privileges for music materials here. Enjoy the music and head to Music Library for more delightful surprises!

E-Books with DRM restrictions

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is used in book, music and film publishing to restrict unauthorized copying, conversion and distribution of content. It is also used in some e-books. In the case of Taylor & Francis’ DRM-protected titles in our e-books collection, they have a yellow DRM icon to the right of the title bar:

For Adobe Reader to read the protected document, a plug-in called FileOpen must be installed. Instructions on installing the plug-in can be found here.

Currently, about 25% of the Taylor & Francis e-books purchased by NUS Libraries have DRM protection, and Taylor & Francis is working on reducing this number.

Besides Taylor and Francis e-books, there are other titles in our e-books collection which have DRM restrictions. Here are more FAQs on DRM protected books and e-books in general:


Why We Implemented FindMore@NUSL

FindMore@NUSL was officially launched on 12 December as our default search on the portal. Even though LINC+ is still available, implementing a new search service is not a move that we take lightly. So what does FindMore@NUSL do?

Search across most of our subscribed journals simultaneously

The request to search across many databases has always topped our surveys since 2007. In July 2009, we launched InfoGate, which allowed searching across multiple databases. However, InfoGate was relatively slow and could only search a small number of databases. Yet it was fairly popular, showing that searching across multiple online resources is a highly desired feature.

Here are just two comments from the LibQUAL+ survey in 2009 which saw 5,415 valid completed surveys from NUS staff and students:

“The search engine does not include all the journal papers that the library has subscribed, still in text mode type, and not user-friendly.” – Staff from Faculty of Engineering

“Could the library provide an integrated platform for searching article? For example, one which integrates EBSCO, Proquest, Psychinfo, Sage and Science Direct? Most of the time I need to search separate databases, using the same keyword to search articles.” – Postgraduate student from School of Business

Due to the nature of scholarly communication, it is difficult to simultaneously search multiple databases because articles are stored in hundreds of silos owned by different publishers or aggregators all over the world.

While FindMore@NUSL cannot retrieve 100% of the articles published, it covers most major publishers and platforms such as JSTOR, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Wiley, Sage, Taylor & Francis and hundreds more.

Retrieve full text articles by typing in the exact article title

The fact that FindMore@NUSL contains millions of journal articles also addresses one of the perennial bugbears that many users encounter, namely, retrieving the full-text of a journal article. Here’s a common feedback:

“It would be good if I can just type in the title of the journal article I want and be brought to the respective page (be it in LINC or to the external websites such as Informa), instead of having to go to Google and search for the journal (name of journal, year, volume, etc.) and then go back to LINC to search for the journal again.”

As FindMore@NUSL contains more than 79 million journal articles, 238 million newspaper articles, 3.7 million thesis, and 3 million book titles (as of Dec 2012), typing in an article title is likely to lead you to the full text article:

While this method is not foolproof as not every article is known to FindMore@NUSL (try the following method if it fails), it works in the vast majority of cases, saving you lots of time.

Locate full-text of books, journal articles and display of table of contents & reviews

Another popular request is to make the table of contents as well as full-text books and journal articles searchable. FindMore@NUSL doesn’t just search and match on table of contents and summaries, in many cases it also searches the full-text of the whole book.

For example, which book includes the phrase “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness“? The answer? George Orwell’s 1984:

Get quick results from a clean interface

One of the comments we often hear from staff and students is that you want a clean and uncluttered interface that does the job quickly. We believe we have achieved this with FindMore@NUSL, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also swift in returning results: 


Over 9,500 users have tried FindMore@NUSL since August during our testing phase and we have received very positive feedback. Here’s a sample:

As FindMore@NUSL is still a new service, we do expect some teething problems, so please give us your feedback on how to improve or just to let us know if we are on the right track. Want to know more? Refer to our guide or FAQs on FindMore@NUSL.

~Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

「環境と公害」創刊30周年纪念光盘 ~ 30th anniversary of Research on Environmental Disruption (CD-ROM)

近年来环境问题备受各界关注,在日本尤其是3.11地震和海啸发生后,环境和公害问题不仅成为了人们日常生活中极为关注的事,也成为了大专学府的研究课题。由于教学和研究的需要,中文图书馆也开始收集有关日本环境问题的资料,其中以「環境と公害」創刊30周年纪念光盘最为特殊。 这套光盘收录了「環境と公害」(前称「公害研究」)三十年来(第1巻第1号~第30巻第4号)刊登的全部论文和报告的全文,可可说是回顾和追溯过去三十年来日本,亚洲,甚至是世界的环境和公害问题的珍贵资料。

Environmental and pollution issues areof particular interest in Japan, especially after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. These issues are not only matters of concern to the general public, but have also become popular research topics in colleges and research institutes. In view of the teaching and research needs, Chinese Library has started to collect materials on environmental issues in Japan. Recently, the library received a special set of materials: Kankyō to kōgai: Sōkan 30-shūnen kinen CD-ROM ākaibu (translated as “A memorial publication in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of “Research on environmental disruption” CD-ROM archive) published by Japan Environmental Council. It consists of all the articles and reports published in the Kankyō to kogai.

「環境と公害」于1971年创刊,由日本環境会議(JEC:Japan Environmental Council)出版,编辑委员会由研究環境问题方面的专家学者组成。

Kankyō to kōgai first started publication in 1971, and is published by the Japanese Environmental Council. The editorial committee is formed by experts and researchers of environmental issues.

「環境と公害」創刊30周年纪念光盘,可于中央图书馆(Central Library)4楼3号柜台借阅。目录详情如下:

The CD-ROM is now available at the loans desk 3 in the Central Library. The catalogue details are as follow: 

Interesting Medical-Themed Readings

When it comes to medical books, the most famous might be perhaps Gray’s Anatomy – a basic textbook on human anatomy. In fact, the name of the TV series Grey’s Anatomy was based on a play on words with regards to this particular book title.

Over at the Medical Library, here are some other alternative medical themed books which might provide an interesting, if slightly off-beat and perhaps surreal reading experience:

1. Stuck up! : 100 objects inserted and ingested in places they shouldn’t be

“”It was a million-to-one-shot, Doc.”

“My hands were full.”

“I fell.”

These and many other ludicrous excuses are what emergency room doctors hear every day from patients who check in with various objects inserted where the sun don’t shine, stuck in various orifices or ingested in other ways. How exactly did they end up there? Read and find out for yourself.

Stuck Up! features hilarious X-ray images of the most outrageous kind, accompanied by short texts about the patient’s excuse, the potential reasoning behind the insertion, and the method of removal.


2. Murder is my business: Medical investigations into crime

“It is the business of the forensic pathologist to investigate… unnatural deaths through autopsies and observations at the scene of the crime … each wound and mark tells a story.”

Taking a peak at the case files of Prof Chao Tzee Cheng, Singapore’s most well-known forensic expert, who was himself a colourful character in his own right, the reader finds out how meticulous medical detective work, together with police investigations, bring to light the truth behind each tragic case.

Even if you are not a CSI fan, this book is definitely an intriguing read.



3. The man who mistook his wife for a hat and other clinical tales

The individual in the title suffers from visual agnosia. A condition in which one has otherwise normal visual functioning and can see, but is unable to interpret or recognize what he or she is seeing. Welcome to the world of neurological disorders.

Collected in this book are stories of individuals afflicted with perceptual and intellectual disabilities: patients who have lost their memories and with them their past; those no longer able to recognize people and objects; who have been dismissed as retarded yet gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

“If inconceivable strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr Sack’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human.”


Jonathan Pradubsook
Medical Library

Rare Gems at the C J Koh Law Library

The C J Koh Law Library maintains a small Rare Book Collection of old and valuable legal works from as early on as 1576. Some of the titles include:

A brief synopsis of some of the titles:

La Graunde Abridgement by Sir Anthony Fitzherbert (1577)

La Graunde Abridgement is one of the earliest reports in the Rare Book Collection. It digests over 14,000 decisions alphabetically, mostly from the Year Books, and was the first systematic attempt to provide a summary of English law. La Graunde Abridgement was first published in 1514 and written in old French. The edition we have was printed in 1577.

The Institutes by Sir Edward Coke (1669)

The Institutes, published in four parts, have been extremely influential in the development of the common law. The four volumes address property law, statutes, pleas of the crown and the jurisdiction of courts respectively. Coke published the first volume of The Institutes in 1628, which delineated some of the basic rights of an individual in a stable legal order. The last three volumes, which included an analysis of the Magna Carta, were so incendiary that they were suppressed by King Charles I for almost a decade after Coke’s death.

Commentaries of the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone (1766-1769)

From 1765 to 1769, Blackstone published the four volumes of his Commentaries, which were immediately successful in both England and the American colonies. They were long regarded as the leading work on the development of English law. The work was divided into four volumes – on the rights of persons, the rights of things, of private wrongs and of public wrongs, and provided an introduction to English law in a clear style that was easily understandable to the public.

Rare Books are available for reference but photocopying is prohibited due to the fragile nature of many of the items.

Carol Wee
CJ Koh Law Library

<<朝日新闻>>【闻藏II (海外版)】Asahi Shinbun [Kikuzo II]

日本<<朝日新闻>>於1879年创刊, 已有一百三十余年的历史,是现今日本三大报章之一, 新闻报道极具权威性。其早报的发行量超过八百万份,晚报发行量亦超过四百万份.



最近国大图书馆订阅了【闻藏II】 (海外版) [Kikuzo II visual] 即朝日新闻社所提供的<<朝日新闻>>全文数据库。 内容主要包括:

(1)   1945年至1984年的<<朝日新闻>>全文影像。

(2)   1984年以后至当日的<<朝日新闻>>报导全文, 其中也包含1998年至当日朝日新闻地方版的报导全文。

(3)   周刊AERA : 1998年5月(创刊号) 至当号的全文。

(4)   周刊朝日 : 2000年4月至当号的新闻版全文。

(5)   现代用语「知惠藏」的最新版。

读者可从图书馆在线目录 LINC图书馆主页进入【闻藏II】资料库检索和阅览资料。

*朝日新闻社在【闻藏II (海外版)】的主页,也提供网上版的英文及日文的资料库使用和检索指导手册。


“Asahi Shinbun” full-text database – [Kikuzo II] (overseas version) 

Asahi Shinbun daily newspaper began publication in 1879, is one of the largest newspapers in Japan. The circulation for its morning edition is more than 8 million and 4 million for its evening edition. 

Recently NUS library has subscribed to [Kikuzo II] (Overseas version), it is the full-text database provided by Asahi Shinbun Company, it includes of the following:

(1) Asahi Shimbun (1945~1984) page image database.

(2) Asahi Shimbun 1985~ (full-text),  including the local edition of Asahi Shinbun 1998~

(3) Weekly AERA (full-text): from 1st issue, May 1998~ 

(4) Weekly Shukan Asahi (full-text): from April 2000~

(5) Chiezo: the Asahi encyclopaedia of current terms (latest edition)

To access the newspaper database, you can either go through LINC or our subscription link to the database.

Chemical Safety Databases

Ever wonder what these symbols mean?  What should you do if you see one?

These are some of the symbols used to indicate hazardous materials, so one should exercise caution when dealing with them.  As the degree of hazard varies from material to material, it is best to refer to reliable references on the method of handling for your own safety.

Do not fret, NUS Libraries subscribes to reliable chemical safety databases such as Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), Hazmat Navigator, and Chemistry Hazard in Industry. All you need is to do a quick search in these databases using the chemical name (e.g. ‘Sodium Hypochloride’) or the common chemical trade name (e.g. ‘clorox’) of the material to get the required information.  

Need to find out the common chemical trade name or its synonyms?  Try these resources: Gardner’s Chemical Synonyms and Trade Names (call no. TP9 Han),  The Dictionary of Substances (TP9 Dic), and Common Chemistry.

Let’s all handle hazardous materials appropriately for our own and environment safety!

Editor’s note: The images were taken from Health and Safety Executive.



Have you ever experienced one of the following scenarios:

  • You were constantly disrupted by incoming emails, SMS, and phone calls and could not focus on the tasks at hand.
  • You were revising for tomorrow’s exam. You looked at all the 36 required readings (excluding textbook chapters) and wonder: “Why are there so many readings for one module?”
  • You went shopping but there were too many choices for the same type of product. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. You really didn’t know how to choose.

Most people have experienced at least one of the above scenarios. This is a common problem that people in the 21st century are facing: Information Overload (IO). In the book Overload!: How too much information is hazardous to your organization, Jonathan Spira maps out the causes and effects of IO and shows how much resources are wasted due to IO:

  • Information Overload costs the U. S. economy almost $1 trillion in 2010.
  • A minimum of 28 billion hours is lost each year to Information Overload in the U. S.
  • 66% of knowledge workers feel they don’t have enough time to get all of their work done.

Spira traces the development of information and information tools since ancient time. By knowing how huge amounts of information are created by various tools (e.g., paper, computer, email, mobile phone), we can understand how our daily lives contribute to IO.  For example, the need for convenience causes the invention of email. However, since sending emails is so easy and convenient, many people are guilty of sending emails to tell “the whole world” what they have done.

This book only provides the origins and effects of IO, but it does not provide a concrete solution on how to resolve IO from a corporate level. Spira provides several tips on educating readers to be more responsible on information generated, and be wise on processing incoming information. There is, however, one proposed solution that I like very much:

“Knowledge workers need to become more familiar with content sources…and may also need training, perhaps from a…LIBRARIAN or researcher, in how to choose sources and corroborate findings.” (p. 105).

Wong Wai Kit
Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library


Explore the New Web of Knowledge

Web of Knowledge has changed its interface recently, as can be seen below.

Web of Knowledge

Besides the enhanced look and feel, some new features include:

Search Features

  • List of stop words has been eliminated.  You can now include common words such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘of’ etc in a topic search, e.g. “Vitamin A”
  • Spelling variations such as US and UK spelling differences in topic and title search terms are found automatically, e.g. behavior/behaviour
  • Lemmatization will also automatically find variants or alternative forms of the search terms, including stemming for plurals, verb tenses, degrees of comparison., mouse and mice; fungus and fungi; tooth and teeth; loud, louder & loudest
  • Proximity operator, NEAR/x, is supported, e.g. oil near/5 spill
  • Searchable ResearcherID number field is added.  A search by an author’s ResearcherID will display an author verified list of publications
  • New search fields are introduced in Cited Reference Search: Cited Volume, Cited Issue number, Cited Pages
  • Left-hand truncation, a new feature useful for searching chemical compounds, has been temporarily disabled by Thomson Reuters until further notice.  A search for “*phosphate” would have retrieved results with monophosphate, triphosphate, etc

Managing & Analysing Results

  • No limits to the number of search results returned and more sorting options are provided, such as by publication date
  • Abstract previews are available for search results, without having to go to the full record
  • More options to manage and output selected records
  • Number of records in Marked List is significantly increased to 5000 records, with the option to delete individual records
  • Citation Reports & Analyze Results can be created from records in Marked List
  • All data from Analyze Results can be exported
  • ResearcherID  & Web of Science are now integrated, making it easier for you to update your ResearcherID profile with your publications.  Simply search in Web of Science for your publications and add them to your ResearcherID “My Publications” list by clicking the “ResearcherID” button. 
  • The Web of Science citation count as well as the overall Web of Knowledge citation count are displayed in the full record.  Web of Knowledge Times Cited Count is derived from each of the citation indexes on the Web of Knowledge platform, namely Web of Science, Biosis Citation Index and Chinese Science Citation Database.  Counts across these indexes are de-duplicated.

For more updates and a list of new Web of Knowledge features and capabilities, please visit

 If you have questions about the new interface or would like to find out more, please contact Science Library.