Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tryptophan & turkey

Eating turkey on Thanksgiving makes you sleepy because of the high levels of tryptophan (one of the nine essential amino acids) in the meat, right?? Most likely not.
(Image source: Wikipedia)

While the conclusive verdict is still out, a little critical thinking and knowledge of food chemistry, physiology, and psychology reveals that the carbohydrates and relaxation of usual restraints during the holiday have more to do with the drowsiness than the turkey. In fact, cheese has more tryptophan in it than turkey and other meats like beef and chicken have about the same amount.

Read a more detailed discussion of this at Blog Around the Clock on Scientific American Blogs.

More Information
Try OneSearch, a new integrated discovery tool that searches not only CardCat but also the BSU databases.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Information Locker: Total eclipse 2017

Image by Michael Zeiler at www.GreatAmericanEclipse.com &Fiske Planetarium
The SHSL's Information Locker for the solar eclipse on Monday, 21 August 2017 in the United States:

What time in Muncie?
  • Start (the edge of moon touches the edge of the sun): 12:59:13pm
  • Maximum: 2:25:53pm
  • End: 3:48:54pm
How much of the sun will be covered in Muncie? 
  • At maxiumum coverage, the sun will be 89% blocked by the moon in Muncie
Place of greatest totality (ie 100% coverage for longest time)?

Eclipse: The sun revealed, Charles W. Brown Planetarium programs at Ball State University
  • DATES: August 18 & 19
  • TIMES: 6:30pm (all shows)
2017 Partial Solar Eclipse information, Charles W. Brown Planetarium, Ball State University

Eclipse 2017, from NASA

More than just about the eclipse, it's a virtual space to connect users with cutting edge space exploration experiences

Eclipse 2017.org
Detailed, geographical information on the path of the eclipse.

Solar Vision app by Space Science Institute
available via...
...Google Play Store
...and iTunes

Totality App by Big Kid Science

Ball State University Libraries Resources
Call number ranges for books about eclipses

Keywords for searching CardCat and OneSearch:
eclipse, solar eclipse, annular eclipse, solar occultation, totality

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice 2017

Earth northern hemisphere solstice graphic from WikiCommons
{image from WikiCommons}
21 June 2017 marks the summer solstice- the longest day of the year. There will be approximately 14 hours and 59 minutes of daylight today here in Muncie, Indiana.

This means that the sun appears furthest north in the sky and the time between sunrise and sunset is the greatest providing the most daylight hours for the whole year. For example, sunrise was 6:12 am this morning and sunset will be 9:14 pm. On 21 September, three months from now, sunrise will be 7:28 am and sunset will be 7:40 pm (do your own calculations at the US Naval Observatory)- almost 3 hours more daylight (2 hours, 48 minutes, to be exact).

More information from...

...Ball State's University Libraries
Do keyword searches in CardCat for "vernal," "spring," "autumnal," or "fall" "equinox," or "soltices." You can also type in terms such as "astronomy" or "seasons" for more general information.

You can also find books on this subject and astronomy in general on the shelves under call numbers beginning with Q14 (encyclopedia, dictionaries, glossaries, etc.) or QB63-65 (field guides, star charts, manuals, etc.).

...External Links

"The Egg and the Equinox" and "The Longest Day" from Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy

"Summer Solstice" from Wolfram Research

Earth's Seasons: Equinoxes, Solstices, Perihelion, and Aphelion from the US Naval Observatory

"June Solstice: Longest and Shortest Day of the Year" from Time and Date

"7 Fun Facts About the Summer Solstice" from the Old Farmers' Almanac

Monday, April 17, 2017

“Hidden” Gems: Citation Linker

If you do not know about a tool, you cannot use it.

The Libraries provide a wide range of tools and services to assist researchers. We are always happy to spread the word about these “hidden” gems, like Citation Linker.

If you have ever found an article in a database that is not accessible in full-text, or come across a citation for a book or an article in print or without an active link, you can search the Libraries databases directly for a full-text version by using Citation Linker.

Select the type of item you are looking for, type in the pertinent information, and click the Find It button. If the citation provides a DOI (digital object identifier), you can type that in by itself- DOIs act as a unique identifiers, like social security numbers for articles.

If found, the article will either open or you will be directed to a page where you can open the article. If it is not found, you will be given options for obtaining the item in print or via Interlibrary Loan.

Citation Linker can be found in the bottom right corner of the e-Journals tab on the Student Research Resources page.

Spotlight: Probability & Statistics Subject Guide

University Librarians create and maintain a variety of online subject guides, or LibGuides, to help researchers of all kinds in their areas of study.

Statistical analysis is a fundamental component of most empirical research in both the physical and social sciences.

The Probability and Statistics LibGuide is a starting point for finding information about conducting and understanding basic to intermediate (and some advanced) statistics, formulae, methodology, and theory in all fields.

If you need resources or data like census data, MMWR data, labor statistics, etc., use the Statistics LibGuide.

SciFinder Scholar: Not just for chemists

SciFinder is an essential resource for chemists but is broadly based and a great resource for many academic disciplines.

In addition to the 7 chemistry databases SciFinder accesses, every search done connects with Medline as well. Medline (aka PubMed) is the US National Library of Medicine’s biomedical database of research done in all areas of health science, biology, and other medically relevant fields of study. It is arguably the world’s most robust biomedical database.

Because SciFinder is substance-focused, combining its resources with Medline’s to search biomedical topics creates an unprecedented opportunity for finding research from protein science, physiology, pharmacology, genetics, and many other cross-relevant areas.

SciFinder is also very easy to use. The different types of searches (eg topic, molecular formula, structure, institution) are designed for findability and usability. Help is everywhere including several examples of what you might type within each search field. Searches use natural language protocols so you can use complete sentence queries. The results are organized, too, according to how search strings are parsed by “concepts” and proximity in each record. You can then analyze results lists by author, publication, year, etc.

To register and use SciFinder, follow the directions found here:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Getting what you need: SRCS, ILL, & On-shelf holds

The University Libraries have many ways for getting users the information resources they need whether we have it or not. Click on the links below to use these services and find out more about them.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Lending between libraries. If Ball State University Libraries do not have something you need then we can find it and borrow it for you from another library. This includes not only books and articles but DVDs and anything else a library is willing to lend. Scholarly articles can be delivered online to your desktop.

On-shelf holds: Pick up items from any branch at any branch. Traditional holds and recalls are meant to allow library users to queue up for items that are already checked out. Our on-shelf hold service allows you to request items still on the shelf. Library staff will pull and send your requests to the following the University Libraries pickup location of your choice: Bracken, Architecture, or Science-Health Science. Use CardCat to select a book, DVD, poster, or other kind of circulating item, click on the "hold/recall" button on the left, then choose one of the pickup locations listed above. You will be notified via email when your item is ready to pickup.

SRCS: Statewide Resources Circulation Service. This new catalog of state-funded libraries in Indiana, both public and academic, is still growing. Once you register, you can request books and other items directly from other libraries for you to pick up at Bracken. Right now, it’s best used for obtaining books quickly. But remember, SRCS is only Indiana libraries- ILL is still better for getting most scholarly materials because it searches libraries across the US and even abroad.

Collection highlight: Print journals on the shelf

As of the writing of this post (ie April 2017), there are 26 journal titles and 1 abstract title in print in the Science-Health Science Library.

15 years ago, in 2002, there were 430 journal titles and 30 abstract titles in print.

We had not yet made the big move to electronic-only subscriptions. The decision to do so is most often motivated by the desire to have research articles at your fingertips wherever you might be. Budget constraints also play a role in making this decision but most periodicals do not offer reduced costs for electronic-only versions. In fact, sometimes they cost more.

In many cases, the electronic versions are either too expensive or do not carry archival or perpetual rights which means that if we end our subscription, we lose access to all issues even to those we paid for. In those cases, we stick with the print version which we can keep and use in perpetuity.

This does not mean that they are not available in electronic form as well. It means that our access to them might be limited. For example, only 1 year of a title might be available electronically or another title might offer 1 volume; another, several sample issues, still another from 1990-2009. It's worth checking our e-Journals list to find out.

The links below lead to CardCat records for all 27 active titles:

American Journal of Nursing
American Journal of Physics
Applied Physics Letters
Canadian Field Naturalist
CERN Courier
Entomology Abstracts
Fine Focus
Home Healthcare Now
Journal of Applied Physics
Journal of Chemical Physics
Journal of College Science Teaching
Journal of General and Applied Microbiology
Journal of Geoscience Education
Journal of Nursing Administration (JoNA)
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
Medical Physics
Natural Resources Journal 
New England Journal of Medicine
Nurse Educator
Nursing Clinics of North America
Nursing Research
Outdoor Indiana
Physical Review Letters
Science Teacher
Southwestern Naturalist
Wilson Journal of Ornithology

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Instructors' Corner: The Case for eReserves

Let us in the Libraries know what articles, book chapters, or images you’re looking for and we will manage them for you via our e-reserves service. That is, we will locate a copy either on our databases or scan it in from a copy obtained from you or ILL and then provide you a link to that file that you can post to Blackboard.

By doing this, not only are you freed from having to scan or even find these articles, it also ensures that Ball State is following copyright law and our contractual obligations with the content providers and publishers.

Ideally, we find the article through one of our databases and generate a permanent link through our proxy server. If we can’t do that, then we save the scanned document to our protected server in the Libraries. You can then post a direct link on Blackboard. This helps to safeguard us against what has been happening with Georgia State University and helps you manage your course resources more efficiently.

More information:
- Cambridge Press v. Georgia State University
    (2014, ARL blog)
- Cambridge University Press v. Patton
    (11th Cir. Oct. 17 2014)-initial thoughts (Laura Quilter, Copyright & Information Policy Librarian
    @ UMass)
- Ball State University Libraries Course Reserves

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Daylight Saving Time 2017

 from WikiMedia Commons

So, when exactly do we reset our clocks? And is it forward or backward one hour?

Daylight Saving Time can be very confusing. First of all, the very phrasing is often confused: it's Saving not Savings. We are saving daylight not putting something in a savings account. Read below to help end your confusion! [The chart on the left plots the times of sunrise and sunset (with DST adjustment as separate lines) in Greenwich, GB for 2007.]

Short answer
For the Spring- On Sunday, 12 March, 2017 at 2:00am, you should set your clock forward one hour to 3:00am.

For the Fall- On Sunday, 05 November, 2017 at 2:00am, you should set your clock backward one hour to 1:00am. (Remember "spring forward, fall back...").

Easy answer: Most people who go to bed earlier than the wee hours of the morning simply set their clocks back/forward one hour before they go to bed on Saturday.

Detailed answer: Go HERE.

For more information...
Daylight Saving Time from WebExhibits

World Clock for Indianapolis DST

National Geographic on DST

US Naval Observatory on DST

Figure out what time it is in the United States at Time.gov

Spotlight: BrowZine to manage journals on your mobile device

BrowZine is an online service that allows access to thousands of articles from the Ball State University Libraries collections on your mobile phone, tablet, or through the web.

Organize and streamline your research by:
  • Saving specific journal titles to your bookshelf 
  • Saving individual articles to your “Saved Articles” section 
  • Browsing journals by topic 
  • Using the search bar near the top of the screen to search for subjects and titles by keyword 
  • Share the research you fi nd through other research tools like Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote 
To use from your phone or tablet, download the app, select Ball State University, and login. The app is available for iOS and Android. You will need to create a BrowZine account to be able to add titles to your bookself but the process is easy and allows you to sync with your account no matter which device you are on.

More information
BrowZine website

Download (iOS or Android)

Informational video