Understanding BLAST and Improving Your Search

BLAST_1

BLAST, the Basic Local Alignment Sequence Tool (http://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi) is a data mining tool provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). It allows users to input a nucleic acid or protein sequence and search against millions of other sequences in the database to identify those based on similarity and not identity. Ideally, search results will hopefully identify known sequences and provide insight into the possible identity and function of the sequence of interest.

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WorldWideScience, a Cut above the World Wide Web

Are you still looking for a reliable federated search tool that goes beyond the run-of-the-mill results? Do you miss searching Scirus by Elsevier? WorldWideScience.org might be a worthwhile alternative to explore. Developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), WorldWideScience.org has partnerships with many national and international science portals and one can search the interface in ten different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Searching multiple sources, WorldWideScience.org displays results based on their relevance order. Continue reading

I Don’t Know Your Name, But You Look Familiar: Using Chemical Structure Searches

Chemical Structure Searches 1Searching for information on complex organic molecules can be an onerous task. Many organic compounds have both common and systematic names. For example, caffeine can also be known as guaranine, methyltheobromine, 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, theine, or 1,3,7-trimethylpurine-2,6-dione. Researchers performing comprehensive literature searches will be interested in research involving not only a specific compound but also similar compounds or other molecules containing the same substructure. Searching on a specific systematic name may inadvertently omit stereoisomers, tautomers, molecules containing the same substructure of interest, or molecules differing by the substitution of as little as one atom. Conceiving of all appropriate synonyms for a name-based search would be a Herculean task for both an organic chemist and a science librarian.

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Arctic Matters Day

ARCTIC MATTERS DAY is January 14th, 2016  so declares the National Research Council of the National Academies

They have published a lavishly illustrated 32-page booklet explaining, showing that changes in the Arctic affect the whole globe. It was announced in the weekly news from the Academies, WhatsNew@National-Academies.org in their Friday alert on January 8, 2016. Incidentally, one may subscribe to the newsletter by writing to: wnadmin@nas.edu

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Finding Standards

http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/resolver.cgi?C750-09(2014)
http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/resolver.cgi?C750-09(2014)

What are standards?

Standards are guidelines or rules for products, processes, test methods, or materials.

These are created to produce a level of uniformity, interchangeability, reliability, or means of comparison.

Standards influence daily life including our method of communication, the products we use, how we travel to work, and what we eat.

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Patents at The Lens

 

sunflowers by marco magrini
sunflowers by marco magrini

Searching patent information is a challenge for most librarians on a good day whether it is on Google Patents, ESPACEnet, or the USPTO. A rather new site, Lens, has entered the landscape. Lens is a self-described “open public resource for innovation cartography.” Aside from the rather quirky byline on the site’s home page, this open resource searches “nearly all of the patent documents in the world as open, annotatable digital public goods that are integrated with scholarly and technical literature along with regulatory and business data” (https://www.lens.org/about/what/).

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Alloy Microstructure Images in ASM Alloy Center Database

Mictrostructure of epitaxial ferrote
A.O. Benscoter and B.L. Bramfitt, Metallography and Microstructures of Low-Carbon and Coated Steels, Metallography and Microstructures, Vol 9, ASM Handbook, ASM International, 2004, p. 588–607

What are microstructures?

A microstructure is the small-scale structure of a material. Microstructures can only be viewed using at 25x magnification. Microstructures can have an influence on the physical properties of a material such as corrosion, ductility, strength, and toughness; and are useful when analyzing ceramics, composites, polymers, and metals.

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National Academies Press

National Academies Press with Academy Scope

National Academies Press publishes reports produced by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. These institutions provide leadership on challenging scientific issues by presenting information that informs and educates.

What do they publish?

The collection of over 5500 publications includes brief reports of less than 10 pages and comprehensive books of over 400 pages. Continue reading

Figures and Tables Search in Georef via Proquest

image001

What is a figures and tables search?

Proquest indexes figures, tables, charts, and graphs of publications separately from the articles in which they are published. In other words, you can search the captions, geographic information, and any other metadata attached to an image. It’s not a feature for every article, and not every object is indexed, but it’s a useful feature in many of its scientific databases.

What is Georef?

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