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Electronic Lab Notebooks for chemistry

I was recently asked about electronic lab notebooks (or ELNs), and found a good deal of information about this topic was available through colleagues. The following is a brief summary of what I found out about ELNs as they are used for chemistry, but it is in no way an exhaustive report on the topic. There are two good resources provided below which can be used for more information. If you have any questions, please contact me at laura.palumbo@nullrutgers.edu.

  • According to a colleague who made inquiries at a recent medical librarians’ conference, two popular ELN systems are Labarchives http://www.labarchives.com/ and Labguru http://www.labguru.com/. Labarchives is more frequently used by chemists, and Labguru for the health sciences.
  • There is an open source ELN called LabTrove http://www.labtrove.org/ which has a following, but as with all open source programs, there is no guarantee that technical support will be available when needed. Here is an article about it.
  • Another frequently used ELN is CambridgeSoft ELN (by the makers of ChemBioDraw) http://www.cambridgesoft.com/ELN.aspx?cid=80 , although there are differing views of this platform. One report said that chemists are generally happy with it, but biologists less so.
  • The above are not endorsements, and are only a small sample of the many products available. Multiple factors need to be considered when selecting an ELN for your research purposes. A guide to ELNs prepared by a chemistry librarian at the University of Utah is excellent, and available here. It covers selecting an ELN and lists specific ELN products.
  • Another resource is http://limswiki.org , which contains a compilation of ELN features.

Please feel free to share any resources you are familiar with in the comments section.

Beall’s list of Predatory Publishers and Journals

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I would share with you a list/website compiled by Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver. The site is known as Beall’s List: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/ and contains lists with links to publishers and individual journals considered predatory. While publishing in a respected and well known open access journal, like PLoS One, is a great thing to do, it can be easy to be fooled by new publishers offering open access for your article. These publishers are unreputable, and after accepting your article, will solicit publishing fees. If you ever have any doubts about a journal or publisher, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and remember to check Beall’s list.

“The 3 dangers of publishing in megajournals…

and how you can avoid them”

This is the title of a blog post by ImpactStory, impactstory.org, and it discusses what are essentially three myths about publishing in an open access, online only journal. I know that the chemistry community generally has been slow to accept the open access movement, but with ACS jumping on the bandwagon, it’s time we all took note. The post is well worth the read, so I am posting a few snippets here. For the full post, see http://blog.impactstory.org/the-3-dangers-of-publishing-in-megajournals-and-how-you-can-avoid-them/

  • Megajournals publish prestigious science: top scientists, including Nobelists, publish there. They also serve as their editors and advisory board members.
  • Megajournals boost citation and readership impact: A 2008 BMJ study showed that “full text downloads were 89% higher, PDF downloads 42% higher, and unique visitors 23% higher for open access articles than for subscription access articles.”
  • Megajournals promote real-world use: The most famous example is of Jack Andraka, a teenager who devised a test for pancreatic cancer using information found in Open Access medical literature.
  • Megajournals publish fast: Rather than having to prove to your reviewers the significance of your findings, you just have to prove that the underlying science is sound. That leaves you with more time to do other research.
  • Megajournals save money: Megajournals also often cheaper to publish in, due to economies of scale. PeerJ claims that their even cheaper prices–$299 flat rate for as many articles as you want to publish, ever–have saved academia over $1 million to date.
  • Other myths debunked: ‘No one in my field will see my article’, and ‘It will look like I couldn’t get published in a good journal’. See http://blog.impactstory.org/the-3-dangers-of-publishing-in-megajournals-and-how-you-can-avoid-them/ to find out the facts.

Status of the Chemistry library collection

I have received a few questions about the current location of the chemistry library collection, so I wanted to make you aware of its status. The three types of resources- periodicals, reference books, and monographs- are being handled differently as outlined below:

Periodicals: All print periodicals from the Chemistry library which were able to be saved have been returned to the annex, where they will remain permanently. They have been recataloged, and will be visible should you do a search for a title from the Libraries’ website. Any article from these volumes can be requested through article delivery.

Reference: The reference books are in the process of being recataloged, and are then being transferred to a temporary location on the third floor of the Library of Science and Medicine. Once there they will be labeled and reorganized, and then moved to their permanent location in the reference section on the first floor. Any books which have been recataloged will be visible by searching the Libraries’ website. If you should you wish to look at these books and would like help finding them, please ask at the circulation desk for assistance. I am also happy to help if needed.

Monographs: Most of these Chemistry library books are still in boxes at the annex. Unfortunately they are not visible in the Libraries’ catalog yet, and are not available for browsing. If you would like a title which you believe may have been part of the Chemistry collection, please use EZBorrow to request it. If it is not available at the annex, a copy will be found elsewhere for your use. After the collection is unpacked at the annex, some of the books will be transferred to the second floor stacks at LSM, and some will remain in the annex. The books which do remain in the annex will still be available for check out by requesting book delivery.

I will keep you informed as we continue to make progress. As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

~Laura

Free software for spectra analysis

KnowItAll offers a free version of its spectroscopy software for academic users, both students and instructors. KnowItAll by Bio-Rad allows you to “…draw structures, perform IR and Raman functional group analysis, and generate high-quality reports.”

To download, go to http://www.bio-rad.com/en-us/product/knowitall-academic-edition, and be sure to use your Rutgers e-mail when registering. For more information, see http://www.bio-rad.com/en-us/category/academic.

SciFinder users prefer non-Java editor, now set as default

According to the Chemical Abstracts Service, makers of SciFinder, “Roughly two thirds of all structure searches in SciFinder now originate from the new Non-Java CAS Structure Editor…With the latest update, the Non-Java CAS Structure Editor will be set as the default structure editor. The Java version becomes the default if selected.”

For questions or concerns, please contact me at laura.palumbo@nullrutgers.edu, or contact the CAS Customer Center at help@nullcas.org, 800-753-4227.

ACS adds open access options

ACS recently announced their new open access publishing solutions. There are four new venues being promoted by ACS, which are explained at http://acsopenaccess.org/. These are:

ACS Editor’s Choice- one free article a day selected by ACS editors. This went live as of January 1st, view articles now at http://pubs.acs.org/editorschoice/.

ACS Central Science- a new journal to be published this year that will be initially free to both readers and authors.

ACS Author Rewards- Authors publishing in any ACS journal in 2014 will earn up to $1500 credit for open access to their articles. There is currently no limit to the amount of credits that can be earned.

ACS Author Choice- Reduced rates for authors from institutional subscribers (Rutgers subscribes to many ACS journals) for ACS open access agreements. Authors can also publish their own accepted, pre-edited version of a manuscript for free, without embargoes in Rutgers’ institutional repository, RUcore, or the final ACS version after a 12 month embargo. Please see http://acsopenaccess.org/acs-authorchoice/ for more information.

New open access journal by AIP and ACA: Structural Dynamics

A new open access journal by the American Institute of Physics and the American Crystallographic Association will be published in January 2014. Structural Dynamics will “…highlight research articles on structural determination and dynamics of systems, enabled by the emerging new instruments (e.g. XFELs, electron sources, etc.) and new experimental and theoretical methodologies.”

A call for papers has been put out. “The journal is accepting short communications, topical reviews and regular papers in the following subjects: * Experimental Methodologies * Theory and Modelling * Surfaces and Interfaces * Materials * Liquids and Solutions * Biological Systems.”

For more information, visit their website here:Structural Dynamics.

Scifinder to integrate search with ChemBioDraw

Chemical Abstract Services has announced that it will enable searching in SciFinder through ChemBioDraw by PerkinElmer. Rutgers University users can download ChemBioDraw through the Rutgers Software Portal for free http://computer-repair.rutgers.edu/software/. A login with a netID and password are required.

SciFinder is available to Rutgers students and faculty through the Libraries’ website: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/indexes/scifinder_scholar. Instructions for first time users to create a SciFinder account are here.

This feature is planned for early 2014. To learn more, see the press release from CAS: http://www.cas.org/news/media-releases/cas-and-perkinelmer-collaborate

ChemDoodle 6 available for Rutgers NB

A new release of ChemDoodle is freely available for Rutgers users on the New Brunswick campuses. Go to http://www.chemdoodle.com/support/site-license/
and enter your Rutgers e-mail address to receive a license key. The key will be sent to your e-mail. You must be on a New Brunswick campus to install your copy of ChemDoodle. Users on other campuses can send email to oirt@nullrutgers.edu for more information about getting access.

ChemDoodle is software for high quality chemical drawings, which can be used in publishing and on websites. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Check out their website at http://www.chemdoodle.com/