Archive for February, 2008

Folk music and jazz purchased on the Pierce fund

Posted February 29th, 2008 by Christie Moore

Here are some recent music titles that have been purchased with an endowed fund that was established in honor of John N. Pierce ’54 (see history of the fund, below). Click on an image to see its Barton catalog record:

Bluegrass Reader
The bluegrass reader / edited
by Thomas Goldsmith.
ML3520.B58 2006
Miles Davis
Davis, Miles. Miles Davis.
M85.D3857 2006
[score & audio CD]
Ballad of John Axon
MacColl, Ewan. The ballad of
John Axon: a radio-ballad about
the railwaymen of England.
1475467 [precat]
Body blow
MacColl, Ewan. The body blow:
a radio-ballad about the
psychology of pain.
1475477 [precat]
On the Edge
MacColl, Ewan. On the edge:
a radio-ballad about teenagers
in England and Scotland.
1475478 [precat]
Ratliff, Ben. Coltrane: the
story of a sound.
ML419.C645.R37 2007
Jenny Vincent
Smith, Craig. Sing my whole life
long: Jenny Vincent’s life in folk
music and activism.
ML420.V379.S65 2007
Talking Feet
Seeger, Mike. Talking feet:
buck, flatfoot, and tap: solo
Southern dance of the
Appalachian, Piedmont, and
Blue Ridge Mountain Regions.
GV1624.A7.S44 1992
Talking Feet DVD
Talking feet: DVD
1484452 [precat]

History of the Pierce fund: In 1987, Mrs. Alice Pierce established an endowed fund in honor of her late husband, John N. Pierce ’54. Arnold (’57) and Margit Orange and other donors have contributed generously to the fund. Mr. Pierce spent many hours in the Music Library between classes, and this is a particularly meaningful way for his family and friends to honor his memory. The income from the fund was first used to purchase materials in early music and blues; in 2007 the scope was expanded to include jazz and folk.

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

Publishing Smart: Video Now Available

Posted February 26th, 2008 by Ellen Duranceau

The IAP session “Publishing Smart” is now available on video. (MIT on-campus use only)

The 51-minute video captures a session for graduate students that covers:

  • use of web-based tools that assess journal quality;
  • copyright and its relation to the publication process;
  • assessing a publisher’s copyright policies;
  • open access publishing models and channels, and impact on citation rate;
  • use of the MIT amendment to alter standard publisher agreements.

The video is linked from the student page on the scholarly publishing website .

If you have any feedback or questions, please contact

Help to write the Wikipedia entry for the MIT Libraries!

Posted February 25th, 2008 by Remlee Green

Wikipedia logo

We’ve created a new Wikipedia entry for the MIT Libraries, but we need your help… In the Wikipedian spirit of collective editing, help us to craft the entry! Have an interesting factoid about the Libraries? Have a photo to contribute? Add it!

Haven’t contributed to Wikipedia before? You’ll need to log in or set up an account first, and you may want to check out the Wikipedia Editing Tutorial to learn about the basic guidelines, but then you’ll be ready to edit away.

New Podcast: Professor Lienhard on his Open Access Textbook

Posted February 25th, 2008 by Ellen Duranceau

In the new episode in the series of podcasts on scholarly publication and copyright, we hear from Professor John H. Lienhard V, Professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MIT.


Professor Lienhard’s research interests include Heat and Mass Transfer and Fluid Mechanics, among other areas. He is the recipient of several teaching awards at MIT as well as research awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He speaks about making his text book — the 3rd edition of A Heat Transfer Textbook — openly available on the web, with no charge to readers. This text was coauthored with Professor Lienhard’s father, John Lienhard IV, who is a professor at the University of Houston. It was published by Prentice Hall in two print editions in the 1980s, and remained in print until the mid 1990s.

In the podcast, Professor Lienhard, whose goal was to “explore the impact that free textbooks could have on higher education,” reflects on how the project came about and what it has meant to those who have downloaded the text, as well as to him.

Download the audio file. (15:10 minutes; 11.1 MB)

Beyond the podcast: More about A Heat Transfer Textbook

Professor Lienhard’s experiment was a remarkable innovation at the time. Certainly its astounding success could not have been foreseen back in 2001, when he and his father launched the open access version. That was before ebooks were widespread, before OpenCourseWare had made the idea of freely accessible educational materials a hot topic, and when internet connections were still slow enough that it took quite a commitment to download the 8 – 10 MB book. Yet the downloads built quickly and the rate has not let up.

One of the unexpected outcomes of this experiment with open textbook publishing was that the freely downloadable 3rd edition reached a completely different and much larger audience than the first two print editions had. The Prentice Hall editions were not marketed internationally, and the buyers were largely American college students, and American college professors. Professor Lienhard estimates that the sales were perhaps 10,000 for each of the first two print editions, a very respectable number for a printed textbook.

In contrast, the open access version has been downloaded more than 150,000 times from more than 150 countries — so the scale of the audience has increased by an order of magnitude. The recipients of the open access version are not primarily American students or professors; they are practicing engineers in the U.S. and elsewhere, and, to an overwhelming extent, students in the developing world who have little to no access to quality textbooks in engineering and science. Professor Lienhard discusses the moving testimonials he’s received from these students in the podcast.

The other episodes in the podcast series are available on the scholarly publication website. To subscribe to the MIT Libraries’ Podcasts on Scholarly Publishing, paste this link into iTunes or another podcast reader:

We encourage and welcome your feedback, which you may direct to

Libraries’ Puzzle Challenge continues with fourth puzzle

Posted February 25th, 2008 by Heather Denny

puzzle-piece-and-amounts-uid.jpgThe MIT Libraries have launched the fourth puzzle in a series of puzzles that can be solved using Libraries’ resources. The current puzzle can be seen in the Tech, on a poster in Lobby 7, and elsewhere around campus.

MIT students can view the puzzle and submit their answers online at

Correct answers submitted by the deadline will be entered into a drawing for an Apple iPod Nano. The deadline for entries for the fourth puzzle is March 3, 2008.

Join us for EndNote training: Monday, 3/10

Posted February 22nd, 2008 by Remlee Green

EndNote X1 logo

Donna Kirking, a representative from EndNote, will offer basic-intermediate training on building a library and using Word with EndNote. All members of the MIT community are welcome to attend one or both sessions, and no sign up is necessary.

2:00-3:30: Building an EndNote Library

3:45-5:00: Using EndNote in Word

Training will be held in the Libraries’ Digital Instruction Resource Center (DIRC), in 14N-132. If you have EndNote installed on a laptop, you’re welcome to bring it and follow along. If you’re already an EndNote user, feel free to come with questions.

Questions? Contact

If you’re unable to attend the training, you may want to check out our guide on EndNote at MIT, or the Overview of Bibliographic Software.

New! MedTech Insight and Strategic Transactions Database

Posted February 21st, 2008 by Katherine McNeill

MedTech logo
Need analysis of medical technology markets? Want data on on biotech and pharmaceutical deals? Try Windhover’s MedTech Insight and Strategic Transactions Database, now available through the MIT Libraries. Access both via the Windhover Archives platform at: (certificates required).

  • MedTech Insight includes analyses of US markets for a variety of therapeutic categories and medical technologies. Articles can be browsed or retrieved by keyword search.
  • Strategic Transactions Database provides data on biotechnology, pharmaceutical and device deal making activity, from 1991 to date. To access Strategic Transactions at the platform, highlight Browse or Search in the navigation bar and then choose Deals.

Note: MIT certificates are required (even on-campus) and access is limited to two simultaneous users. Feel free to contact Maggie Bartley, with questions or comments.

MIT GeoWeb – GIS data access with a web browser

Posted February 21st, 2008 by Lisa Sweeney

MIT Geoweb provides a web interface to search, view, and download GIS data and view metadata from the MIT Geodata Repository, an international collection of GIS data maintained by MIT GIS Services.

Questions, comments, or suggestions: email

10 ways to access MIT Libraries e-journals from anywhere

Posted February 20th, 2008 by Nicole Hennig


Did you know there are many ways to access the licensed copies of e-journals that we subscribe to? The methods below work from anywhere as long as you have MIT certificates installed or are using MIT’s VPN client.

1. Go to Vera and type the title in the search box.
(Our database called “Vera” has been the primary way to access e-journals since 2000).

2. Go to and type the title in the search box
(This page is part of a new version of Vera, which is currently in beta).

3. Go to our Full Text Finder:
If you have a complete citation to an article, you can enter it and go directly to the article (in most cases).

4. Search for an article using Google Scholar. Set your preferences to say that you want the MIT Libraries links. Then follow links that say “full text – MIT Libraries.” For details, see Making Google Scholar work for you. (Google Scholar does not index ALL of our licensed e-journals, so try Vera if you don’t find it in Google Scholar).

5. Go directly to the journal’s web site. Insert our proxy server string by typing it in front of the URL and then reload the page. See: Manually inserting the proxy string.

6. Install our bookmarklet in your browser toolbar. Go to the journal web site and then click on the bookmarklet, which inserts the proxy string automatically. See Inserting the proxy string with a bookmarklet.

7. In Firefox, install our LibX toolbar. Go directly to a journal’s web site. Right click on the page and select “reload this page via MIT Libraries’ proxy.” See a video of how this works. (A version of LibX for Internet Explorer is under development).

8. In Firefox, install our search toolbar widget for Vera:
For more info, see: Search for journals in Vera with the new Firefox search bar.

9. If you install MIT’s VPN client and log in before you visit a journal’s web site, you will be able to access our subscription e-journals. (It will see you as if you are coming from ON CAMPUS). See VPN: an alternative off-campus option. With this method, #5, 6, and 7 above are not needed.

10. Within our licensed databases, such as Web of Science or SciFinder Scholar, look for buttons that say “Get this – MIT”. Those links will take you directly to our licensed copies of articles using our “open URL resolver” which is called SFX. To see a list of our licensed databases, see Vera shortcuts.

These methods work only if you are ON CAMPUS:
1. Go to our Barton catalog and search for the title. Links in Barton work only from ON-CAMPUS . (A project to change this is in the works).

2. Go directly to the journal’s web site.
If you’re ON campus, and we have a subscription, you’ll get in (in most cases).

Search for journals in Vera with the new Firefox search bar

Posted February 19th, 2008 by Remlee Green

Did you know that you can add search engines to your Firefox toolbar? You can also add a search engine to your Firefox browser to search Vera, the collection of online journals and databases in the MIT Libraries.

Vera Firefox search bar

To download the search bar, visit the MIT Vera search plugin page.

Note: This search plugin will only work with the Firefox web browser, and you will need to have MIT web certificates.

Special thanks to John Hawkinson for developing the plugin!

Harvard Research to be Openly Available

Posted February 15th, 2008 by Ellen Duranceau

In an effort to share faculty research and scholarship more broadly, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted unanimously on February 12 to give the University a license to make each faculty member’s scholarly articles openly available. According to Peter Suber, chronicler of trends in open access, the new policy makes Harvard the first university in the United States to mandate open access to its faculty members’ research publications.

Wider Dissemination of Research

Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman reflected in the Harvard Gazette that “The goal of university research is the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. At Harvard, where so much of our research is of global significance, we have an essential responsibility to distribute the fruits of our scholarship as widely as possible….Today’s action in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will promote free and open access to significant, ongoing research. It is a first step in the creation of an open-access environment for current research that may one day provide the widest possible dissemination of Harvard’s distinguished Faculties’ work.”

Faculty members may request a waiver of the license; otherwise it applies to all articles completed after the adoption of the policy. Articles will be made available through an open access repository, run by Harvard College Libraries, using DSpace, repository software developed at MIT .

More information is available in the Boston Globe.

Related Discussions at MIT

As previously reported in this blog, MIT Professor of Geophysics Brian Evans has drafted a resolution under the auspices of the Faculty Committee on the Library System that addresses the same desire for open access to research that underlies the Harvard motion. The draft resolution states that “Broad dissemination and rapid, free flow of information is essential to insuring vigorous intellectual debate and efficient progress in any academic field” and it calls for MIT faculty to “support the general concept of open access… and recommend the use of the least restrictive copyright agreements.”

Those interested in more information may contact

President’s Day Weekend Bookmobile

Posted February 14th, 2008 by MIT Libraries

Bookmobile graphic

Come see, and check out, highlights from The Humanities Library‘s book and DVD collections, and The Lewis Music Library‘s music collections.  Items have been selected in honor of the upcoming President’s Day holiday.


  • Date: Friday February 15th, 2008
  • Time: 10:30AM – 2:30PM
  • Where: Lobby 10
  • Cost: FREE!!!

Learn about the LibX Firefox library toolbar in a video tutorial

Posted February 12th, 2008 by Remlee Green

libx toolbar

LibX is a handy tool that many members of the MIT community use already… Learn what it can do for you in this new video tutorial.

What is LibX, anyway?

  • Toolbar: LibX is a Firefox toolbar that allows you to quickly search the Barton catalog, Vera, Google Scholar, the SFX FullText Finder and other search tools
  • Right-click menu: when you have installed LibX you can highlight text on a web page or PDF and right-click for a menu of search options
  • Embedded links: LibX will also embed links on search results in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Scholar, NYT Book Reviews, and more that will lead you to MIT-only resources

For more information, check out the LibX – MIT edition guide.

Add a Firefox bookmarklet button to get easier off-campus access to journals

Posted February 12th, 2008 by Remlee Green

reloading bookmarklet

If you’re often off-campus, and you need to get your browser to route you through the Libraries’ proxy server, you may want to add a bookmarklet button to your Firefox browser to enable quicker access.

When you’re on a web page that you’d like to redirect through the Libraries’ proxy server, clicking this button will automatically reload the web page. To add the button, follow our FAQ on Inserting the Proxy String with a Bookmarklet.

Check out more MIT Libraries’ betas!

MITSO CDs from the Epstein years

Posted February 11th, 2008 by Christie Moore

EpsteinThe Lewis Music Library’s compact discs of the MIT Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) now include many CDs from the 1960s-1990s when David Epstein was the conductor. A multi-year project to convert old reel-to-reel tape recordings of the orchestra to digital format was funded by the Epstein family, MITSO alums, and other donors.

Library staff have checked the audio and inserts for 55 of the 72 concerts. As each is done and ready to circulate, the Barton catalog status is changed from Received/Not Available” to “In Library.” A MITSO playlist in iTunes is also being built, so if you are close enough to Bldg. 14 you can listen to sample tracks there.


MIT Symphony Orchestra: April 9, 1967.
PhonCD M69275 mit 1967 Apr9
Contents: Antonin Dvorak, Symphony no. 4 in G major, opus 88; J.S. Bach, Brandenburg concerto no. 4; Roberto Gerhard, Dances from the ballet “Don Quixote.”

MIT Symphony Orchestra: May 10, 1975.
PhonCD M69275 mit 1975 May10
Contents: George W. Chadwick, Overture to Rip Van Winkle; Arthur Berger, Three pieces for string orchestra; Aaron Copland, Orchestral variations; W.A. Mozart, Symphony no. 35 in D major, K. 385 (Haffner).

MIT Symphony Orchestra: December 9, 1995.
PhonCD M69275 mit 1995 Dec9
Contents: José Luis Elizondo, Estampas mexicanas: Ferial; Danza del pájaro sagrado; Teotlalli; Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano concerto no. 2 in B flat, op. 19; Johannes Brahms, Symphony no. 1 in c, op. 68.

Want to find others? Here are two suggestions for searching them in Barton:

  • Author keyword: MIT Symphony Epstein
  • Call number browse: PhonCD M69275 mit

Music CDs and DVDs 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.

Find Country Profiles

Posted February 8th, 2008 by Katherine McNeill

Looking for profiles of countries? Need information on:

  • doing business in another country
  • risk analysis
  • economic and political conditions
  • history and factual summaries

Try these databases from the MIT Libraries:

  • Business Monitor: Industry sector, economic, political and company research on 175 countries. Includes political and economic risk analysis.
  • CIA World Factbook: Brief factual and graphical surveys of the economic, geographic and political conditions of 267 countries, dependent areas and other entities.
  • Doing Business (World Bank): Objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 178 countries and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.
  • EIU Country Intelligence: Analysis of historical political, infrastructural, and economic trends; forecasts of economic and political conditions; and information on operating conditions, commercial laws, and business regulations for individual countries.
  • Europa World Yearbook: Detailed country surveys containing analytical, statistical and directory data for over 250 countries, territories, and regions.
  • Market Research Library: Information on the business and economic situations of foreign countries and the politics as it affects U.S. business. (Select Market Research Library, then under Report Type pick Country Commercial Guides [CCG]).

New Podcast: John Wilbanks on Barriers to the Flow of Scientific Knowledge

Posted February 5th, 2008 by Ellen Duranceau

In the latest in the series of podcasts on topics related to scholarly publication and copyright, the Executive Director of Science Commons, John Wilbanks, discusses how and why Science Commons is working to improve the flow of scientific knowledge so that complex scientific, technical, and medical problems can be solved more quickly.

Download the audio file (14:35 minutes; 13.9MB)


Following the recorded interview, Wilbanks agreed to answer just one more question, which we did not have time to include in the recording: Ellen Duranceau: I understand you majored in Philosophy as an undergrad. Is there is particular philosopher’s work that you draw upon to support his efforts with ScienceCommons?

Wilbanks responds: “Philosophy has turned out to be directly relevant to our work at Science Commons – the principles behind the Semantic Web are essentially the same as those investigated for centuries by philosophers from Hume to Plantinga. In terms of influence, I could list a dozen philosophers that have influenced one element or another of our work. I know that Thinh Nguyen, our counsel, is deeply influenced by the work of Daniel Dennett (and everyone involved in science should read Dennett’s “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea“). But I’m probably most influenced overall by Thomas Kuhn, who wrote “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” and introduced the idea of the paradigm shift.

Now, paradigm shift is a devalued phrase today. It is justly mocked in commercials and cartoons (the Simpsons do it justice above all) as a catch phrase for managers without a clue. And “Structure” is not a thrilling read. But the core arguments about how ideas emerge in science, are beaten down by the establishment, and have to force general changes in the overall knowledge structure of science – those arguments resonate deeply with me. And a huge part of what we’re trying to do at Science Commons is enable the overall acceleration of the cycles Kuhn describes, to make it faster and faster and faster for ideas that deserve to emerge to emerge, and to let as many people into the process as want to be there.

This mix of accelerating research cycles and increasing participation in science through lowered barriers means that we get more revolutions, faster. It’s one of the only non-miraculous approaches available to us. We need theoretical breakthroughs in fields across the sciences, we need more revolutions, and Science Commons is trying to deploy the infrastructure of knowledge and that can make those revolutions easier to achieve.”

The other episodes in the podcast series are available on the scholarly publication website. To subscribe to the MIT Libraries’ Podcasts on Scholarly Publishing, paste this link into iTunes or another podcast reader:

We encourage and welcome your feedback, which you may direct to

New Video Tutorial: Customize PubMed with My NCBI

Posted February 1st, 2008 by Remlee Green

myncbi1.bmpPubMed Logo

Watch our new video tutorial to learn how to get more out of PubMed by using the customizable tool, My NCBI. Save searches and results, set up automatic update emails, store citations, and more.

Watch and learn at your own convenience! Check out our full list of online video tutorials.

Archives February exhibit: Boston’s Mayor Curley and MIT President Compton on snow removal methods, 1948

Posted February 1st, 2008 by Lois Beattie

Snowflakes on black backgroundFor its February Object of the Month the Institute Archives and Special Collections focuses on snow removal, exhibiting a 1948 letter from Mayor James M. Curley to MIT President Karl T. Compton, and Compton’s reply. Curley communicates his concern about snow removal and possible spring floods, makes a few tentative suggestions on methods, and expresses his hope that Institute researchers will tackle the problem.

The letters exhibited are from the Records of the Office of the President, 1930-1959 (AC 4) which span the tenures of Karl T. Compton and James R. Killian, a period of enormous change at the Institute and in the world. The subjects documented in this rich collection range from MIT administrative history, through scientific research during World War II and the postwar period, to science policy. The records are available for research in the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, Building 14N-118, Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.