Archive for July, 2006

RAPID delivery of articles from other libraries

Posted July 24th, 2006 by Heather Denny

MIT is now using RAPID ILL to borrow and lend journal articles—dramatically reducing the time it takes to get articles not owned by the MIT Libraries. Articles requested through ILB (Interlibrary Borrowing) are sent electronically, and delivered to your ILLiad account as soon as they arrive— often within a few hours of making a request.

MIT is participating in RAPID ILL as a member of the Boston Library Consortium , which includes Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Williams College, and others. MIT will also be able to obtain articles quickly from a group of ARL (Association of Research Libraries) institutions, including Cornell University, Columbia University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and others.

Most article requests will be routed through RAPID whenever possible, as part of the ILLiad request process. The only change you’ll notice in requesting ILB materials is that many of the materials will arrive faster.

Articles delivered through RAPID ILL, like all other Interlibrary Borrowing services, are free to members of the MIT community. See Interlibrary Borrowing ( for more information.

Now online: IMechE Proceedings Archive backfiles

Posted July 24th, 2006 by Remlee Green

journal of automotive engineering coverjournal of engineering in medicine coverjournal of power and energy cover

Backfiles of the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers are now online!

The IMechE Proceedings Archive, which contains proceedings from 1847-1996, is available through Vera and contains multiple parts:

Part A – Journal of Power and Energy
Part B – Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Part C – Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Part D – Journal of Automobile Engineering
Part E – Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering
Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit
Part G – Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Part H – Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Part I – Journal of Systems and Control Engineering
Part J – Journal of Engineering Tribology
Part K – Journal of Multi-Body Dynamics
Part L – Journal of Materials: Design and Applications
Part M – Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Part N – Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems

The IMechE Proceedings include “technical papers, obituaries, meeting reports, technical drawings, and editorial comment, all covering some of the most influential and innovative years of engineering development.” For both current and archived proceedings, visit Vera. Print copies are also available in Barker Library and in the Library Storage Annex.

Photo-Diary study results: information-seeking needs of MIT students

Posted July 21st, 2006 by Nicole Hennig

student using the MIT Libraries

In the spring of 2006 we conducted a study of the information-seeking habits of MIT students. Known as the “Photo-Diary” study, it consisted of asking a group of graduate and undergraduate students to keep a diary and take photos and screen shots of their information seeking activiites for the course of a week.

The students were then interviewed in depth by members of the MIT Libraries staff, using the photo diaries to assist in telling the detailed story of their week.

The study was designed to help spark new ways to understand the information needs of our users, by allowing us to see the full breadth of their information seeking behavior. This will help us improve our online tools and other library services.

Some of the priorities that were identified from this study were:
– Make discovery easier and more effective.
– Incorporate trusted networks in finding tools.
– Continue to put links to the Libraries’ services and resources where the users are (such as in Google Scholar).

The complete report (PDF) is available here:

Project web site:

For questions or more information about the study, contact Nicole Hennig (

Learn about Publishing Choices for MIT Grads and Postdocs, Friday July 28 at 12 Noon

Posted July 21st, 2006 by Remlee Green

JulyAP Information Workshops

Learn how to find and use information more effectively in these hands-on workshops. It’s like IAP, only warmer!

WHEN: Every Friday in July, 12 Noon – 1 pm

WHERE: 14N-132 (Digital Instruction Resource Center – DIRC)

7/28 Publishing Choices for MIT Grads and Postdocs
Publishing your research is an important rite of passage for a new researcher and an essential part of being a scientist. This session will guide you through some of the lesser-known but critical choices you’ll face in your first forays into publishing: where and how to publish to get exposure and credit for your work, and what you can do to retain your copyright as an author.

Feel free to bring your lunch! Drinks and dessert will be provided.

Monday, July 24: Facilities improvements in the Science Reading Room of Hayden Library

Posted July 20th, 2006 by Remlee Green


Some facilities improvements will take place on Monday, July 24, in the Science Reading Room of Hayden Library. Some noise is expected, but the disturbance should last only one day. Access to the collections will still be available.

You can find additional seating without distraction on the second floor of Hayden Library, in the Humanities Reading Room.

We hope that the renovation work is no inconvenience to you, and that you will be as excited about the future improvements as we are!

Try our Firefox Toolbar for searching Barton & Google Scholar!

Posted July 20th, 2006 by Darcy Duke

Try our new beta information tool – LibX!

LibX is a Firefox toolbar you can download that allows you to quickly search the Barton catalog, Vera, Google Scholar, the SFX FullText Finder and other search tools. It also embeds links to MIT-only resources in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Scholar, NYT Book Reviews, and more. It can also help you connect from off-campus, quickly track down the full text of citations and more.

So try it out – let us know what you think! LibX is still in beta mode, so we’d like to get feedback on what worked well, what didn’t and how useful a tool you find it.

To get more information and to download: LibX – MIT Edition

To check out other new beta tools from the MIT Libraries, see our Betas page.

Try out our beta information tools – let us know what you think!

Posted July 20th, 2006 by Darcy Duke

The MIT Libraries are experimenting with new technologies to help make access to information easier. Try out the tools on the page below – they are still being tinkered with, but we’d like you to try them out and tell us what you think!

MIT Libraries’ Betas web site:

The site is offered in much the same spirit as Google’s technology playground: Google Labs. It’s a place to explore, share information, and give feedback.

A hallmark of betas is that they are somewhat rough and experimental, so these tools will not come with technical support, help desk numbers, or user manuals. But we’d still love to hear what you think, where you ran into problems, what could work better, etc.

Feel free to send questions or comments to

Now online: First IEEE journal from 1913

Posted July 18th, 2006 by Remlee Green

Proceedings of IRE 1913 cover

The IEEE has recently made available the earliest issues of its first technology journal, dating back to 1913.

Currently known as “Proceedings of the IEEE,” the journal was titled “The Proceedings of the IRE” when it premiered in January of 1913. The IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers) was one of two predecessor organizations which merged to form the IEEE in 1963.

The latest update brings the first seven years of the title online (1913 – 1919). “Proceedings of the IEEE” issues from 1963 forward were previously available online through the IEEE Xplore digital library. Issues from later years will follow in the coming months.

Papers in the first issue included “A Discussion on Experimental Tests of the Radiation Law for Radio Oscillators,” “High Tension Insulators for Radio-Communication,” and “Recent Developments in the Work of the Federal Telegraph Company.”

Issues of “Proceedings of the IRE” from 1913 to 1919 can be found online through the IEEE Xplore digital library at:

IEEE will continue to digitize the historic backfile of its journals over the coming months.

Learn about RefWorks, Friday July 21 at 12 Noon

Posted July 17th, 2006 by Remlee Green

JulyAP Information Workshops

Learn how to find and use information more effectively in these hands-on workshops. It’s like IAP, only warmer!

WHEN: Every Friday in July, 12 Noon – 1 pm

WHERE: 14N-132 (Digital Instruction Resource Center – DIRC)

7/21 RefWorks Basics
RefWorks is a web-based resource designed to help you to organize references and create a bibliography. RefWorks allows you to search, retrieve relevant citations, and build your bibliography. It allows users to create individual or group accounts, and makes it easy to write papers, or post your results to web pages. This session will be a hands-on practicum.

Feel free to bring your lunch! Drinks and dessert will be provided.

See the course calendar at:

MIT Libraries booksale, Thursday 11/30, 10-3

Posted July 11th, 2006 by Darcy Duke
MIT Libraries booksale

Books on a variety of subjects will be available.

Thursday, November 30th, 10-3

Bush Room 10-105

Questions? or x3-5693

All proceeds benefit the Libraries’ Preservation Fund.


Learn about Citation Searching, Friday July 14 at 12 Noon

Posted July 10th, 2006 by Remlee Green

JulyAP Information Workshops

Learn how to find and use information more effectively in these hands-on workshops. It’s like IAP, only warmer!

WHEN: Every Friday in July, 12 Noon – 1 pm

WHERE: 14N-132 (Digital Instruction Resource Center – DIRC)

7/14 Citation Searching Survey
Eugene Garfield outlined the concept of citation indexing in an article in Science Magazine 50 years ago. We will explore different methods of citation indexing, starting with the Web of Science.

Feel free to bring your lunch! Drinks and dessert will be provided.

See the entire schedule at:

Coming July 10: Pick up your Interlibrary Borrowed books (ILB) at any divisional library

Posted July 6th, 2006 by Remlee Green

As of July 10, you can choose to have items from our Interlibrary Borrowing service (from non-MIT libraries) delivered to you for pick up at either Barker or Rotch Library, in addition to Dewey or Hayden. For more information or to register for our new ILLiad system where you can submit or track your borrowing requests, see:

To take advantage of this new option, select Barker or Rotch as your delivery location when you register for an ILLiad account. If you’ve already registered with ILLiad, select “Change User Information” from the ILLiad Main Menu, to update your delivery location.

New series use experts to track research trends and breakthroughs

Posted July 6th, 2006 by Remlee Green

Theoretical Computer Science cover Synthesis Lectures on Computer Science cover

MIT researchers have new access to two resources that track major research trends in engineering, computer science, and related fields. Foundations and Trends is a new series that offers 50-100 page current, state-of-the-art review articles by opinion/research leaders in a variety of areas, including human-computer interaction and stochastic systems. MIT Professor Madhu Sudan (EECS) is editor-in-chief of the Theoretical Computer Science series, and several MIT faculty members contribute as editors or authors. You can even suggest an update yourself!

A similar series, Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science, provides 50-100 page lectures, or self-contained short electronic books synthesizing an important research or development topic. Each is authored by an expert contributor to the field, among them MIT Professor Nancy Lynch (CSAIL).

Both series can be found in Vera.

An MIT Chronology: The Archives presents highlights of MIT’s first 145 years

Posted July 6th, 2006 by Lois Beattie

Timeline image samples

The Institute Archives and Special Collections has launched An MIT Chronology, a timeline detailing some of the major developments of the Institute’s first 145 years. A work in progress, the Chronology is ultimately intended to provide an extensive outline of the history of the Institute from its birth to the present, with authenticity provided by The Source for each entry–a citation to the relevant archival collection.

RoperExpress Now Available

Posted July 5th, 2006 by Katherine McNeill

MIT students, faculty, and staff now can download data sets directly from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. MIT’s membership provides:

  • access to iPOLL, their question-level online database of survey results since 1935, and
  • direct downloading of datasets from their catalog via RoperExpress.

Access the Roper Center via Vera or its shortcut URL:

For other resources, see the Libraries’ page on Public Opinion.

Archives’ July exhibit centers on the giant squid used in Francis O. Schmitt’s nerve research

Posted July 2nd, 2006 by Lois Beattie
Giant squid The July Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections is about the use of the squid in nerve cell research led by Francis O. Schmitt, a pioneer in modern biological research and the study of the brain, and founder of the Neurosciences Research Program. Dr. Schmitt came to MIT as professor of biology in 1941. He was head of the Department of Biology from 1942 to 1955, when he was appointed Institute Professor. He was Institute Professor Emeritus at the time of his death in 1995.Browse other exhibits for a sample of the collections in the Institute Archives and Special Collections that document the history of MIT and the accomplishments of its faculty and staff.