Tag Archives: research

Session on Patent Searching: Learn Effective Skills

On 12 September 2014, the NUS Libraries Patent Team organized a patent tutorial jointly with the NUS Industrial Liaison Office (ILO). When the tutorial was announced on 2 September 2014, the class was fully registered within a very short time with a full waitlist! So here is a recap on what happened during the session for those that could not attend.

 

Mr Tan Kok Yong from ILO started the ball rolling with a brief introduction to patents and an overview on patent filing in NUS. Then the NUS Libraries Patent Team took over, where topics like how to read patent documents and introduction to patent classification were covered. We then proceeded with some hands-on training using the Patsnap database and also gave some practical tips on using the analyse patents function, finding other patents using cited references, saving search strategies and setting up alerts. In total, there were 31 participants for the tutorial, with an equal mix of NUS staff and students in attendance.

 

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For those of you who missed the session, the presentation slides are available on our NUS Libraries Patent Libguide (http://libguides.nus.edu.sg/patents). Just click the section on “Guides, Tutorials, etc.” and look for:

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You can also check out our list of patent related resources, available in either our NUS-subscribed databases or free online resources.

 

Also, do look out for more of such training sessions next year where you can embark on your patent-searching journey as well!

 

Loh Mee Lan

Celebrating Open Access Week — Harnessing, Transforming and Influencing Your Works through ScholarBank@NUS

20 October 2014 marks the first day of the 7th International Open Access Week, an event commemorating the freedom of sharing scholarly research and facilitating knowledge creation from most copyright and licensing restrictions.

 

What is Open Access?

Open Access literature comprises scholarly material that is available online, free of charge, and allows mostly unrestricted usage.

 

open access

 

Routes of Open Access

There are two common ways of achieving Open Access — Gold Open Access or Green Open Access. NUS Libraries supports Green Open Access which involves depositing your works in repositories.

  • Such repositories could be institutionally-based, or they could be for specific disciplines. Some examples are SSRN for Social Science, arXiv for Math and Science, and PubMed for Health and Medicine.
  • There are also research-based social networks, e.g., ResearchGate and Academia.edu  that function like social media channels for scholars and researchers to share and discuss their works.

 

Why Open Access?

  • Open Access publications are a boon because we would not need to pay to read them.
  • If you are a scholar or researcher, open access provides a viable alternative to the traditional method of placing your works with publishers, and surrendering your copyright ownership to the publisher in the process.
  • Open Access articles assigned with creative common licenses allow you to control how others can use your works.

 

Open Access and ScholarBank@NUS

In conjunction with Open Access Week, NUS Libraries officially launched its Scholarly Communication Website which features information about Open Access and our institutional repository, ScholarBank@NUS.

ScholarBank@NUS houses the university’s scholarly output comprising journal articles, conference papers, patented works, as well as student theses. It provides open access to scholarly publications, and preserves the institution’s works for future generations.

 

As an NUS researcher, why else should you deposit your works at ScholarBank@NUS?

 1. ScholarBank@NUS increases your visibility through different channels, including FindMore@NUSL and Google Scholar.

  • Articles deposited in institutional repositories would appear in Google Scholar, as the repositories’ platform providers are constantly working with the latter to optimize indexing compatibility.
  • Therefore, by depositing your works in ScholarBank@NUS, you are also increasing the probability of your works being cited.

 

2. ScholarBank@NUS has a global outreach; between September 2013 and August 2014, the top 10 countries, such as China, India, the US, UK and the Netherlands, contributed to 870,214 (78.1%) of the 1,113,865 total page views.

 

3. ScholarBank@NUS is an institutional repository; therefore, it provides a stable and secured archive to host your works, thereby ensuring they are in permanent storage and easily retrieved.

 

As a supporter of Open Access, NUS Libraries is committed to partner and support you as the researcher in your scholarly communication endeavors. Join us in celebration of Open Access Week by submitting your works in ScholarBank@NUS!

Need more information on submitting your works in ScholarBank@NUS? Email us at scholarbank@nus.edu.sg

 

By Raven Sim and Chew Shu Wen

NUSL Scholarly Communication Promotion & Publishing Advisory

Welcoming Cambridge University Press to the Science Library

On 20 June 2014, the Science Library was honored with a visit from the Cambridge University Press team. They had specially invited Dr. Phil Meyler, the Publishing Development Director for Science, Technology, and Medicine at Cambridge University Press, for an enlightening talk at the Science Library’s Training Room.

 

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Titled “Academic Publishing in the Sciences and Engineering”, Dr. Meyler’s talk outlined the various stages of journal and book publishing. He provided various trends and insights into the modern publishing landscape and covered topics such as open access journals and some new and upcoming publishing models, e.g. the short book, open access book. During the talk, Dr. Meyler also dispensed several useful tips and practical advice on the preparation and submission of journal articles and book proposals.

 

sci 2

 

Most interestingly, Dr. Meyler explained how the publishing process in Cambridge University Press operates, from the submission of a paper or book proposal, through peer review, production, publication, and beyond. He also revealed how every single publication, book or journal article, in Cambridge University Press is scrutinized and reviewed by the 18 members of the Press Syndicate, also known as Press ‘Syndics’ – a governing body of curators who ensures that the content being published meets rigorous academic standards and upholds the prestigious reputation of Cambridge University.

 

sci 3

 

In the Q&A session after, Dr. Meyler received some thought provoking questions from the 33 participants, most of whom were graduate students. No worries if you have missed this talk, as we have Dr. Meyler’s presentation slides here.

If you are interested, you may also view or borrow the books mentioned by Dr. Meyler from the NUS Libraries. The links are provided below:

1)            Handbook for academic authors / Beth Luey

2)            How to write and illustrate a scientific paper / Bjorn Gustavii (Book)

How to write and illustrate a scientific paper / Bjorn Gustavii (Ebook)

3)            How to write and publish a scientific paper / Robert A. Day and Barbara Gastel

You may also wish to view our NUS Libraries’ collection on technical writing and academic writing to find more information.

~Science Library

Tips for your Honors Thesis (edited repost)

Not sure where to start for your Honors thesis? (Or any other research projects/assignments) Here are 6 tips from your friendly librarians:

 

1. Start off with a broad literature review for your area of interest

Everyone knows what a literature review is, right? If you only have a vague idea, watch this video by NCSU. Back? Good. The video talks about review articles, which are articles that summarise past papers in a given area. Sounds mighty useful, doesn’t it? But how does one find them? Refer to this guide on finding review articles.

Can’t find enough relevant articles? Some options:

 

2. Manage your references and citations with EndNote

Citing and proper referencing can be a chore. While you can use some of the methods listed here to make it easier, if you are reading and citing a lot, we highly recommend learning how to use a reference manager. NUS Libraries supports use of EndNote, a reference manager that allows you to pull in references from databases such as Scopus, ScienceDirect, and JSTOR, then cite them in your preferred citation style with a single click.

Attend one of our upcoming training sessions or check out the materials from our past sessions at your own convenience.

 

3. Check that you have the required software and data

If you are working in a field that requires statistical data or specialised software such as statistics software, do ensure that you have access to such items. Having problems finding statistical data? Refer to some of our library guides or the following tips.

 

4. Set up search alerts

So the review article you found gave you a good idea of the state of art in the research area. You’ve followed up leads with tons of reading, scoped out the area and produced a top class literature review linking and summarizing the work done while showing off your knowledge of the issues. Still, your work is not yet done. To avoid missing out on the latest published material after you finish your search, set up search alerts to keep up with the latest developments.

You can set up alerts:

  • based on keywords from the library catalogue for new additions to the library catalogue
  • from individual databases such as Scopus, Web of Science
  • from Google Scholar, using Google Scholar Alerts  to access paid articles via our subscriptions.
  • for your RSS feed reader using FindMore@NUSL
  • at your favourite journal’s homepage (not available for all journals). You can also use the free JournalTOCs feature to setup alerts together with the proxy bookmarklet to access paid articles via our subscriptions.

For more advice on tracking relevant research see the following article.

 

5. Know the library services you can access as an honours or graduate student

For honors and graduate students, we provide you with additional services to aid your research, which include the following:

  • Document Delivery Service. Sometimes an article you need may not be available via our subscriptions. You can request that the library obtain the article for you, but do take note of the conditions that apply. For more details, see this.
  • Interlibrary loan (graduate students only). Sometimes you may want a book that none of the seven libraries have. We may purchase the book if it is still in print, or borrow it from other libraries. Check out the interlibrary loan service.

 

6. Consult a resource librarian

Confused by any of the above steps or need further help? You can consult a resource librarian in charge of your subject area for more specialized help.

 

New Chemistry Databases

NUS Libraries has recently added the following six databases from the Royal Society of Chemistry to its electronic resources.  These are abstracts & index databases.  If a link to the full text of the publication is not provided in the database, search the Library catalogue, LINC, to see if the required journal issue or publication is available either in print or in online version.  For more tips on this, please refer to the FAQ: How do I check if the full text of journal articles are available?

 

1. Analytical Abstracts

Use this database for literature on the latest techniques and applications in the analytical sciences. It contains abstracts from over 100 publications from 1980 until the latest update. The database’s specialised indexing system comprises 3 types of index fields:

– Analyte: The substance that has been identified or determined such as drugs, food additives, pesticides, nanoparticles.  You can search for a particular element, compound or CAS number (e.g. paracetamol [103-90-2]).

– Matrix: The sample or medium in which the analyte has been measured, e.g. soil, lead alloys, blood plasma.

Technique: The methods used for analysis, apparatus or a field of study, e.g. HPLC, mass spectra, fluorescence, proteomic analysis.

(See sample records)

 

2. Catalysts & Catalysed Reactions

Use the database for graphical abstracts of new developments in catalysis research, including homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis with emphasis on current growth areas such as chiral catalysts, polymerisation catalysts, enzymatic catalysts and clean catalytic methods.  The database is updated monthly with approximately 200 new graphical abstracts selected from dozens of key primary journals, and are indexed by Products, Reactants, Catalysts, Catalyst Type and Reaction Type.  (See sample records)

 

3. Chemical Hazards in Industry
Use this database for information on safety and health hazards surrounding chemicals encountered in the chemical and related industries.  It is updated monthly with over 250 items.  (See sample records)

 

4. Laboratory Hazards Bulletin
Use the database for key information scanned from primary scientific and trade literature worldwide on hazards encountered in different types of laboratories, including R&D, analytical and hospital laboratories.  Topic coverage includes hazardous waste management, occupational monitoring and safety legislation. (See sample records)

 

5. Methods in Organic Synthesis
Use the database for graphical abstracts of key current developments in organic synthesis.  It provides informative reaction schemes, and covers new reactions and new methods.  Updated monthly with approximately 200 new reaction schemes which are categorised by five indexes: Author, Product, Reaction, Reactant and Reagent.  (See sample records)

 

6. Natural Product Updates
Use the database for graphical abstracts of latest developments in natural product chemistry.  Updated monthly with around 200 new graphical abstracts selected from dozen key primary journals, it includes structure diagrams, trivial and taxonomic names, molecular formulae, physical and biological properties.  (See sample records)

 

Science Library

 

Try the new 2.0 version of FindMore@NUSL(beta)

One year after the launch of FindMore@NUSL, we would like to introduce the new 2.0 beta version of our library search at http://nus.preview.summon.serialssolutions.com/!

 

 

It’s totally redesigned based on a new take on the existing library search. New features include:

  • Modern, streamlined Interface
  • Jump start your research – 50,000 entries drawn from reference sources like Wikipedia
  • Content Spotlighting – Grouped news and images makes finding what you need easier
  • Discipline filter – Easily zoom in to one of 59 standard discipline-specific (e.g Economics, Physics) content
  • Automatic query expansion – FindMore@NUSL will include additional keywords and spelling variations for common topics for better results
  • Connect to your resource librarian – Dynamically recommends appropriate librarian to contact for more help
  • Infinite scroll – Need more results? Just continue scrolling, no “next page” click needed!
  • Redesigned Advanced search – Create precise controlled searches with title, abstract, subject field searches!
  • More!

 

We are rolling out it on a pilot basis so do try it out and let us know what you think! Try it at http://nus.preview.summon.serialssolutions.com/  or access it from the portal.

 

 

Look out for future posts where we will show you some nifty tricks FindMore@NUSL 2.0 can do!

5 ways to automatically create citations

Busy finishing your assignments and struggling with citing the papers and books you found?  We have various citation guides you can use to teach you how to manually cite in various styles such as APA, MLA, ASA etc.

But let me show you 5 different ways to automatically cite papers and books you found without manually crafting the reference.

 

1. Use FindMore@NUSL

FindMore@NUSL our default library search on our library homepage allows you to search books and articles we have access to. But did you know that you can use it to automatically provide citations?

Here’s how. Do a search and then click on the folder icon next to the item you want to cite. Then  click on the Saved Items folder icon to output your list of saved results.

From there you can email or cut and paste the citation in APA, AMA, MLA, Uniform , Chicago and Harvard styles.

Comment : By covering almost all the books and articles you have access via NUS Libraries, you can simply type in the item you want to cite and follow the method above to get the citations quickly!

Want to cite something we don’t have access to? Trying clicking on “Add results beyond your library’s collection” on the left, below searching and see if the item comes out.

 

2. Use Google Scholar  

Many of you are big fans of Google Scholar and so are we. Hopefully you have set up Google Scholar to display “Findit@NUSLibraries!” links in it, to allow the easiest access to full-text via NUS subscriptions.

Not sure how to do this? Look at http://libguides.nus.edu.sg/content.php?pid=443597&sid=4030050

But how do you easily cite the items you found?

It’s simple, just click on “Cite” just below each result.

It will offer citations in MLA, APA, Chicago styles.

Comment : Google Scholar is probably one of the broadest one search you can find covering not just standard journal articles but also obscure grey literature like Government documents and papers. However be careful, the quality of the citations produced may vary due to inaccurate or missing data.

 

3. Most other library databases

Most common library databases include databases on the Proquest platform and Ebscohost platform have similar autociting functions. Here are some examples:

 

Ebscohost

Ebscohost covers the basics including AMA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, Vancouver  styles.

 

Proquest

Proquest databases provide a wide variety of citation styles to choose from.

 

Scopus

Scopus also supports citations in the roughly same style.

 

Ebscohost databases, Proquest databases and Scopus are just 3 library databases that will generate citations of items found in the most common styles. Many other library databases (e.g PsycINFO, EconLit etc) also have similar functions, look for an icon or hypertext that allows you to export or export citation. If you are unable to figure it out and need help, do let us know.

 Comment : Though individual databases do not cover as much as FindMore@NUSL or Google Scholar, this method can still be useful, and you can grab the citation there while you happen to be downloading full-text from there anyway. You may also get more accurate citations here.

 

4. Other standalone citation builders

Besides functions built-in databases, there are also a few standalone citation builders you can try. Note NUS Libraries does not officially support them.

Many of these standalone citation builders guide you to cite less conventional sources such as website or blogs, though you have to enter the data in the online form first. Bibme allows you to both search via Worldcat for the item you want, or do it manually via online forms.

Above shows an online form that you fill in if you want to cite a website using the NCSU Citation Builder, and the form will produce a citation in MLA.

Comment :  A mixed bag of methods.  As mentioned they allow you to cite less common sources such as blogs and websites ,  but rely on you to manually fill in the details in each file.

 

5. Endnote and other Reference Managers

If none of the methods above are good enough for you and you want to do heavy duty citations, you may want to consider investing the time to learn a reference or bibliographic Manager. NUS Libraries currently supports EndNote.

Why use a reference manager which takes a bit longer to learn over the above methods?

  • Access to a large number of styles –eg Endnote has over 5,000 styles!
  • Keeps track of your citations in one place so you won’t lose track.
  • When writing a paper it not only creates your bibliography but also your in-text citations or footnotes and dynamically links it, so if you remove it from your in-text citation the bibliography is automatically removed as well.

 

Curious?  Take your first step by going to our EndNote guide that shows you how to install it. We conduct hands-on tutorial, lecture style and even online classes on how to learn EndNote, but you can try learning it yourself.

Watch the  “How To Use EndNote in 7 Minutes (Windows Version)” for a super-fast introduction.

 

Conclusion : The method above always you to create citations without knowing the exact details of citation styles. But be careful, auto-generated citations are sometimes not 100% correct, due to various reasons including wrong or missing data (eg The publication year might happen to be wrong from Google Scholar) or the citation style rules might be a bit off in certain cases. Always remember to manually double-check your citations before submissions!

 

Aaron Tay

NUS Libraries

New to NUS? Get Your Competitive Advantage!

A warm welcome to NUS, and Happy New Year!

Central Library is organising orientation talks and tours for new students on 11 and 13 January:

 

 

During the talk, you’ll find out about the services and facilities of the library, and we’ll reveal how you can search our catalogue and databases more efficiently. We’ll also show how you can get hold of full-text journal articles and past year exam papers, among other things. For the tours, we’ll be walking you around the Central Library and showing you our collections and facilities.

You can come for both a talk and tour, or just either of them. We trust that with the nuggets of information, you’ll be able to breeze through your assignments more rapidly, and get better grades too! See you there! 

 

Subject Guides

Time flies. You’re just starting to enjoy the school vacation and it’s almost time to slog again. Since you’re hardworking enough to check out this blog, I’m going to reward you with a tip! Check out the 63 subject guides prepared by our diligent librarians; it’s a good place to begin if you’re just starting to do “proper research” for your assignments.

Here’s a glimpse of the latest subject guide fresh from the oven, for module BMA5112 Asia Pacific Business:

BMA5112

Like most subject guides, it shows the databases, magazines/journals, and internet resources that can be used for your research. For those of us who are visual learners, there are even links to DVDs and videos in our catalogue, as well as youtube videos. For more in-depth guidance, links to PDF articles and PowerPoint slides are also provided, and there’s also a page on writing.

Apart from subject or module-specific guides, there are also guides on Effective Teaching Methods for academics, EndNoteGraduate Students’ Orientation and Singapore Statistics. Well, check out the guides today and let us know how useful they are by leaving your feedback.

Have a good new year!

I “Heart” Google

GoogleContrary to what many think, there are librarians who love Google.

I, for one, can’t imagine life without it. I use Google several times a day to verify citations, unearth nuggets of information, read reviews and pursue my hobbies. I have colleagues who are such power users of Google that watching them will leave some of us quivering in our shoes. Okay, I exaggerate but you get the idea!

But why do some professors tell you not to rely on Google or Wikipedia? As a first step in your research process, Google—or any other search engine—is fine for filling those little gaps of knowledge. But it is risky to rely on information that you find on the Internet without evaluating it. So what do you need to check? Among other things, you should evaluate a website for its currency, accuracy, objectivity, and authority. Well, google (I love using this as a verb) evaluate websites site:edu and you will find all that you need to know.

There’s another wrinkle in the otherwise perfect picture. Many of us may not be aware that Google and other standard search engines only trawl the surface of the web, but do not retrieve information from what is known as the “deep web”. The deep web contains information from databases and other Internet sources that are either dynamically created or too deep down to be accessed by the standard search engines. Thus, if you rely entirely on search engines, you are missing a lot of good stuff.

In addition, in-depth research for most disciplines entails using different types of sources. Each type of source has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. For example, books may contain information that are not as up-to-date as those from journal articles, due to the lengthier publishing process. Thus, if you cite only from books and websites, there is a high chance that your research is incomplete. Consider using databases to look for relevant journal articles and conference proceedings, and your professor may give you a few brownie points. If the thought of using databases makes you swoon, try Google Scholar for a start, together with the proxy bookmarklet.

But if you’re adventurous and prefer to use a database that NUS Libraries subscribes to, but don’t know how to start, do ask a librarian. Can’t tell a librarian from a regular two-legged being? Just ask for one at the information desk of any of the NUS Libraries. You can also email or tweet us. If you’re too far away from the ivory tower and find it cumbersome to describe your research woes, check out our subject guides to get a headstart before the stampede begins in August.