Category Archives: journal

Is there a doctor in the house?

Interesting article about physical therapists in California who possess a DPT degree now being able to use “Doctor” as a title.

In other news, UK PubMed Central is now up and available.

Call for Papers

Two of my colleagues have started up a new journal, Communications in Information Literacy. Here’s the Call for Papers.

Library Student Journal

Well color me proud of the students at my alma mater. A group of them have formed a peer-reviewed journal, entitled aptly enough, Library Student Journal. Open access so click away.

Citation chasing

Lots and lots of questions lately involving incomplete citations, supplements, and my personal bĂȘte noir, conference proceedings.

Add these to the list of things I wish they had taught me in library school.

Citations aren’t so bad. PubMed’s Single Citation Matcher is a thing of beauty. Unless of course we’re talking about non-medical citations. Although Web of Science and Google Scholar are pretty helpful with those.

Supplements, I’ve come to accept as an inevitable part of my working life.

And then there are conference proceedings. There’s really no gold standard search for finding the little darlings–good luck if they’re incomplete or incorrect. They won’t show up in MEDLINE or PubMed. Papers First and Proceedings First are not comprehensive. I’ve had some luck with the aforementioned Google Scholar, but I always feel like I’m looking for a needle in the haystack.

I do have to say though that there is nothing quite like the rush you get when you track down the darn thing for the patron. It’s even better when they’re impressed.

It’s a green book

I got a call from a faculty member trying to track down the full citation to an article the person wrote. Turns out the professor wrote this back in the fifties, or sixties. I started asking the questions I would have asked anyone.

Do you have the title?
–Well, I know Something-something was in the title.
Was the professor the sole author?
–Oh, no.
Who were the other authors?
–Well, possibly Dr. So-and-So or Dr. Other-So-and-So.
Can you spell those names for me?
–Well, I don’t really know. It was a long time ago.
Any idea what journal this was in?
–Hmmm, I think it was Proceedings of Such-and-Such. In 1952 or maybe it was 1954. Wait, it was in 1962.
What was the article about?
–It was about Topic X. [Very definitively] Yes, it was about Topic X.

This is what I like to call an offshoot of “The Green Book Phenomena.” Quite possibly I heard that somewhere else or this has a real name. If so, let me know. Anyone who has ever worked in a bookstore or library has experienced this. The person cannot provide you with any real solid info. They don’t know the name of the book; have no clue as to author; can’t even tell you what it’s about–but they do know the book had a green cover (or red or pink or whatever).

Not usually a searchable field in a catalog or database.

And then somehow, miracle of miracles, you find it.

Since working in academia, I’ve encountered this little offshoot a bit more often. It astonishes me how frequently faculty have forgotten what they’ve published.

Several dusty print indexes, a couple of database searches for the heck of it, Google, Google Scholar, more print indexes (print is not dead), a call to another librarian, and a database I almost never use, we came up with one remote and doubtful possibility.

Journal name was different, title did not have the words the faculty had said were there. Authors were partly right. He mixed up first names and initials. His date possibilities were way off and the subject of the piece was not what he’d told us it was.

So it was with trepidation that I presented this to the professor, who subsequently was overjoyed. It was, in fact, exactly what the professor was looking for.

Go figure.


Been playing around with CiteULike for the past week or so. It has a lot of potential. I’ve found a number of articles that I ordinarily might not have, but … it’s heavily skewed toward the hard and health sciences, which is fine, but most of my lit is not accessible from his list of supported sites. Still it’s a free source and has a lot of potential applications.