Archive for February, 2007

Salsa CDs arrive in Lewis Music Library

Posted February 27th, 2007 by Christie Moore

In January 2007, the Lewis Music Library agreed to order some CDs recommended by the MIT Salsa Club, and they have begun to arrive. They will include salsa, merengue and bachata:

In addition, the list contained two books; the first one the library already had, and the second has now come in:

Morales, Ed. The Latin beat: the rhythms and roots of Latin music from bossa nova to salsa and beyond.
ML3475.M67 2003

Steward, Sue. Musica!: salsa, rumba, merengue, and more: the rhythm of Latin America.
ML3535.5.S74 1999

The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

They say it’s just a phase… Check out the ASM Alloy Phase Diagrams Center

Posted February 26th, 2007 by Remlee Green

phase diagram

Now find phase diagrams faster! The ASM Alloy Phase Diagrams Center is now available online through Vera. The database includes more than 11,000 binary and ternary phase diagrams and associated phase data for more than 2400 systems online.

Features include browsing by elements and systems, searching to find phase diagrams, and other useful tools, such as temperature and density converters.

The Alloy Phase Diagrams Center is the online equivalent of 2 popular print reference books that are available in the Science Library Reference Collection:

Binary alloy phase diagrams / editor-in-chief, Thaddeus B. Massalski
Handbook of ternary alloy phase diagrams / P. Villars, A. Prince, and H. Okamoto.

If you’d like help finding phase diagrams or would like more information, contact Angie Locknar, the Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering Librarian.

Hundreds of engineering books are now online through Books24x7!

Posted February 25th, 2007 by Remlee Green

Hundreds of popular engineering books are now available online! Books24x7 has been widely-used for IT and Computer Science subjects, since it offers electronic access to the full-text of many technical books. Now there is even more access to the books that you need! The Engineering Pro Collection is now available to the MIT community in Books24x7. The collection includes hundreds of engineering books from publishers including MIT Press, IEEE, John Wiley & Sons, Cambridge University Press, and McGraw-Hill.

Browse the new engineering collection, or check out some of the recently added books to the Engineering Pro Collection… We’d love to know what you think about the new collection!

Sign up now for the EBI Bioinformatics Roadshow on March 12 – 13

Posted February 23rd, 2007 by Remlee Green


The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) will be teaching 5 modules from their Bioinformatics Roadshow at Whitehead Institute and MIT on March 12 and 13. Each module lasts a half day and includes a lecture and hands-on training. For more information, see the complete session descriptions.

Monday, 3/12:
9:00-12:30: Transcriptomes – Intro (Whitehead – 7th floor)
1:30-5:00: Protein Structure – Intro (MIT 14N-132)
1:30-5:00: Intro Pathway Analysis Using Reactome (Whitehead – 7th floor)

Tuesday, 3/13:
9:00-12:30: Proteomes – Intro to Public-domain Resources (MIT 14N-132)
1:30-5:00: PRIDE for Proteomic Scientists (MIT 14N-132)

The Bioinformatics Roadshow is sponsored by Whitehead Institute, the MIT Libraries, the MIT Center for Cancer Research, the MIT Integrative Cancer Biology Program, and the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences.

To sign up for sessions at Whitehead, contact
To sign up for sessions at MIT, contact:
Questions? Contact Louisa Worthington Rogers, the MIT Biology, Medicine & Neurosciences Librarian.

A Conversation with Benjamin Mako Hill, organizer of the MIT Student Day of Action for Open Access

Posted February 21st, 2007 by Ellen Duranceau

Benjamin Mako Hill, a graduate student in the Media Lab’s Computing Culture group, coordinated the February 15th “Student Day of Action for Open Access” at MIT. Following the successful “Overprice Tags” event, Hill spoke with Ellen Duranceau, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing Consultant in the MIT Libraries, about how he came to be involved in the open access (OA) movement, and why it matters to him as a student, author, programmer, and reader.

Benjamin Mako Hill Hill’s involvement in open access issues is not new. He began writing free software when he was 12, was inspired as an eighth-grader by Richard Stallman’s writings about free software, and became involved in open access to scholarly research through two events in the past year: attendance at the Access to Knowledge conference last year at Yale Law School, and his related research project for a class at the Kennedy School at Harvard, which was comparative analysis of the Access to Essential Medicines movement and OA. In carrying out this project, Hill says he “learned a huge amount about OA and [I] have been a big fan since.”

How is your thinking about free software and open access to research related?

Hill: I think that cultural works, knowledge, and information should be free. Free software has very good definitions of what is free. … The OA movement makes a series of strong normative claims about what should be free and backs these up with compelling argument and evidence. That’s the kind of movement that I think is likely to be successful and it’s the kind of movement that I want to be a part of.

Libraries: You are an author of articles as well as code; how do your views about open access relate to your own works — where you choose to publish, how they are made available?

Hill: I have never written code that I have sold. That means that I’ve not been able to make as much money writing code as I might have — but I think that’s OK … Being an author is a little trickier. I write both academic papers and technical books regularly which, economically, are very different beasts. I’ve only started to publish academically so I’m still thinking about the range of possibilities but I’m looking forward to supporting OA in any way that I can; I want any papers I produce to be distributed openly. In terms of technical books, I’ve worked hard and been lucky there as well. My last book was the best selling book on Linux for most of last year and is under a Creative Commons “Attribution-Share Alike” license. It’s possible that I didn’t make as much money off the book as I might of. Then again, I think much of the book’s success was due to the fact that it was open.

Libraries: In your paper “How free became open and everything else under the sun,” you argue that “Free Software exists as a politically agnostic field of practice” and that its philosophy can be translated “into the terms of radically different, even oppositional, social and political movements.” Do you think this true of the open access movement in scholarly publishing, too?

Hill: Sure. OA benefits a variety of different people. MIT administrators might support OA for purely financial reasons. I support it because that I think that it is wrong to deprive people of a good that could be had by everyone, everywhere, for the same cost that it is had by anyone. Those are very different perspectives but I’m happy that OA is defined in such a way that we can work together toward an overlapping goal.

Libraries: Is there a common misconception you find related to the open access movement that you would like to dispel?

Hill: I think that the term open access is unfortunate because it makes people think that the movement is much broader than it is. … In fact, OA is focused on a limited area and has answers to all of the hard questions already. … [T]here are compelling OA journals offering an example of how we can do it and what exactly it will take.

Libraries: Why should students become involved in this movement?

Hill: For undergrads, it’s your tuition that pays [for high-priced journals and a system that suffers from barriers to access]. More important though, it’s unfair. We should fix this for ourselves because that’s going to be more convenient but we also have an ethical obligation to fix this so that people who can’t go to MIT, and that’s most people, can access these resources where possible. Once we’ve edited a journal, it doesn’t cost anything to let everyone in the world view it. Why doesn’t this happen? When other people are [choosing to set up barriers to] their [own] work, that’s one thing. But [publishers are] also doing it with *our* work and they are not giving us a choice to act otherwise.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about open access to research, and your motivations for leading the “Student Day of Action for Open Access.” We will be eager to see what other events and activities MIT Free Culture takes on.

MIT Student Day of Action for Open Access

Posted February 21st, 2007 by Ellen Duranceau
Students prepare labels

MIT students supported a national effort when they carried out a “day of action for open access” on the MIT campus February 15.

Inspired by the National Day of Action for Open Access (sponsored by and the Alliance for Taxpayer Access), a group of students devised a project called “Overprice Tags.”

The students who worked on the project were Benjamin Mako Hill (who goes by Mako) and Annina Rust (both pictured below) along with Noah Vawter, all graduate students in the Media Lab’s Computing Culture group, as well as Daniel Jared Dominguez and Christine Sprang, both undergraduates. They created unique price tags and affixed them to the 100 journals they identified as costing MIT more that $5,000 per year.

Their goal, according to Hill, was to “bring attention to the open access issue and the sky-rocketing price of scholarly journals at MIT,” as well as to focus attention on “compelling, publicly accessible alternatives to … closed and restrictive models of academic publishing.”

Focusing on journal prices was a way to “grab the attention of people who were unaware” of the barriers to accessing research. As Hill notes, price is one of the barriers, but not the only one. Once they caught a reader’s attention by “looking a magazine with a $25,000 price tag,” Hill’s group hoped that readers would be interested enough to follow the link to the “overprice tags” website, where they could “start a real explanation of what the issues are.”

Thought to be the “first major MIT Free Culture event,” this student day of action has already raised awareness on campus. All responses received so far have been supportive of the project, and many writers expressed interest in getting more involved in events related to open access.

For those who would like more information about open access or ideas about how to get involved, Hill’s Open Access at MIT, and the Libraries’ scholarly publishing web site offer summaries of the issues, links to groups who are involved, and recommended actions. You may also be interested in viewing a short slideshow of the MIT Student Day of Action for Open Access.

Relax, and curl up with a good…issue of Consultants News

Posted February 21st, 2007 by Katherine McNeill

The Dewey Library now subscribes to Kennedy Publications’ Consultants News, a monthly newsletter tracking management and IT consulting. Consultants News provides industry trends and analyses, as well as occasional articles about individual firms’ strengths, cultures and recruiting practices. Consultants News can be found on the Journal Display shelves in our recently-reconfigured leisure reading area, located on the first floor at Dewey. So, pull up a chair, relax, and breeze through all our issues of Consultants News, which we began receiving in August 2006.

And while you’re there, browse the rest of our Journal Display collection which includes over 40 current academic and popular titles in business, economics, and political science, as well as recent issues of a dozen business newspapers from near and far, including the Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech, Barrons, Financial Times, and others.

Dewey reading area

Introduction to ArcGIS

Posted February 13th, 2007 by Lisa Sweeney

Spring GIS Lab workshops

Friday, February 16, 2-4 pm

Learn the basics of visualizing and analyzing geographic information and creating your own maps using ArcGIS, a powerful desktop Geographic Information System (GIS) available at MIT.

Friday, February 23, 2-4 pm

This class will introduce a variety of commonly used GIS tools, including learning to create and edit your own data, incorporate paper maps into a GIS (georeference), map tabular information (addresses and xy data – for example, from a GPS unit), change the projection of your data, calculate the straight line distance between points, create contour lines from a digital elevation model (DEM), and use ArcScene to visualize data in 3D.

Rare jazz CD reissues on Mosaic label

Posted February 13th, 2007 by Christie Moore

The Lewis Music Library has recently purchased several more sets of jazz CD reissues on the Mosaic label. The artists featured on these limited editions were chosen for their significance in the history of American music; many of the sets include previously unreleased tracks and alternate takes.

CDs circulate for 3 days (limit of 5, no renewals). The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

Chill out this Presidents’ Day with a book, DVD, CD or audiobook

Posted February 12th, 2007 by Ryan Gray

The Humanities Library will hold its next Bookmobile on Thursday, February 15, from 11am – 2pm at the Information Intersection in the Stata Center.

Old-school bookmobile

Line up and take your pick from selected books, DVDs, audiobooks and music for Presidents’ Day weekend.

Also check out Lewis Library’s extended CD/DVD offer.

Longer CD/DVD loan over Presidents’ Day weekend

Posted February 12th, 2007 by Christie Moore

presidentsThe Lewis Music Library is offering a special loan period for CDs and DVDs over President’s Day weekend. Music compact discs and DVDs borrowed Thursday-Saturday, February 15-17 will be due Tuesday, 2/20/07 (by closing, 10pm). Limit of 5, no renewals.

This special offer coincides with Thursday’s Bookmobile which will be from 11am-2pm in the Stata Center.

The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

You asked for it… MIT Libraries now offer more electronic access to historical journals!

Posted February 8th, 2007 by Remlee Green

Journal of Fluid Mechanics Nuclear Physics B Tetrahedron cover

When the Libraries surveyed you, the MIT community, in 2005, many of you spoke resoundingly about wanting more electronic access to older journals. In fact, 71% of you responded that expanding the historic depth of our online collection by providing more electronic access to older journals is “essential” or “very important.” You asked for it… You’ve got it!

The MIT Libraries have been acquiring many noteworthy journal back files in a variety of subjects, offering more access to historically significant articles and landmark papers than ever before.

Recently purchased titles and databases with expanded access include:

The Libraries plan to purchase more electronic back files as demand for these resources grows, and as funds become available. Have a favorite journal that you would like to suggest for purchase? Let us know about it!

To see the full list of recently added back files, or for more information on historic access to electronic journals in the MIT Libraries, visit our web page on journal back files. To access these and all of our electronic resources, see Vera.

Mergent Replaces Thomson as MIT’s Source for Public Company Filings

Posted February 8th, 2007 by Katherine McNeill

mergent logoCorporate reports filed by publicly-held companies are available through the MIT Libraries via Mergent Online ( Mergent Online covers both US and international firms, and includes annual reports to shareholders, financial statements, and reports filed with the SEC (including Form 10K and other filings). Additionally, Mergent Online provides brief “tearsheet” profiles of companies and industry reports.

Mergent Online replaces the Libraries’ expired subscription to Thomson Research. Other Thomson Financial products remain available, including:

  • Investext: for analyst reports on companies and industries
  • SDC Platinum: for information on new issues, venture capital, mergers & acquisitions, and syndicated loans
  • VentureXpert: for venture capital & private equity research
  • Datastream Advance: for comprehensive financial and economic research; includes Worldscope data on public companies (available in Dewey Library only)

Please contact a librarian at Dewey Library with any questions or comments, or if you need assistance with Mergent Online.

Virtual Globes – Google Earth and World Wind – 2/9/2007

Posted February 5th, 2007 by Lisa Sweeney

When: Friday, February 9, 12-1 pm
Where: MIT GIS Lab, Rotch Library, 7-238

We will explore the earth with Google Earth and World Wind – 2 freely available virtual globes. We will also explore KML (Keyhole Markup Language – the file format for Google Earth) and adding your own data into Google Earth. Registration not required, but seating is limited. For information about other upcoming GIS Lab workshops visit: