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May 4, 2012 May 4, 2012

Posted by uwmathlib in Collection Moves, Scholarly Communications.
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UW Libraries’ AAUP post on concerns about the sustainability of the scholarly publishing system

1. A couple of weeks ago a story about Harvard’s Faculty Advisory Council declaring current journal pricing “unsustainable” appeared which got an interesting response in Time magazine’s “Techland”.

2. The “Elsevier Boycott”  still seems to be going strong with 11,035 signatures as of a couple of minutes ago… [11/49 UW signers are from mathematics and statistics]. If you have signed, and wonder what other actions you might take, SPARC (the  Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition ) has posted some ideas.

3. The other day Elsevier posted its second letter to the mathematics community, which Tim Gowers has rather neatly dissected on his blog. What’s noteworthy about that to us in the Libraries is Prof. Gowers’ thorough understanding of the way journal bundles work – lots of details there for those of you who may be interested.

4. Yesterday a story appeared in the Guardian about Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales being engaged by the British government to consult on furthering open access to scientific research results.

5. Closer to home, Patty Murray has just signed on as a co-sponsor of FRPAA (the Federal Research Public Access Act) . Elsevier’s opposition to that, among many other things, helped trigger the Gowers-led boycott.

Tim Jewell (tjewell@uw.edu)
Director, Information Resources and Scholarly Communication
University of Washington Libraries

MRL’s Big Shift is Done

Thanks to UW Libraries Circulation staff and students and Saundra and our students:

  • 2800 Dewey call numbered books were reclassified and relabeled to the Library of Congress call number system.
  • 14,500 monographs were moved from Math Storage and integrated into Math Stacks.
  • All books are now shelved on our two main Math Stacks floors, A to Z.
  • All journals were reclassified and relabeled as well.
  • 8,200 periodical volumes were moved  from our upper floor to Math Storage.
  • Then all periodicals were rearranged from title order and reshelved by LC  call number.  They were then shifted again to distribute the space.
  • All our journals are now online and/or in Math Storage.
  • A detailed inventory was taken of the newly integrated Math Stacks collection.
  • A title level inventory was done for the newly integrated Math Storage collection.
  • The small Math Periodicals Display area upstairs holds the few titles still received in paper issues.
  • Our two main floors were reshifted a second and final time to allow for growth and to  distribute space.
  • All in all, our entire collection was shifted at least twice for a total number of 120,100 items moved.

Collection Size & Capacity

As of May 1, 2012, Math Stacks is at 70% capacity and Math Storage is at 81% capacity.  10 years of growth has been left in the Math Storage for continuing sets.  We now have 33,939 books, 25,640 journal volumes, and 231 unbound journal issues. Only 75 items, .1% of our collection, are currently missing–an amazingly small number!


I have worked here a long time and am now off to the next phase of my life.  It has been my pleasure to work with you all.  Thank you for your strong interest in this library and your support over the years.  You have helped to give this smaller library a strong and viable presence in the UW Libraries universe.  Saundra and our students will continue to provide you with their great friendly service.  Soon, a new math librarian will come on board ready to meet and work with you in new and exciting ways.


PS:  I’d like to thank my friend, Judy West, for allowing me to use extracts of her fabulous photos.  If you have enjoyed them too, you can find her note cards at Katterman’s Pharmacy on Sandpoint.

March 2012 March 6, 2012

Posted by uwmathlib in Collection Moves, Journals, Scholarly Communications, Undergraduate.
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Author Rights

What are they?  Which should you retain?  Why?  How?

A fellow math librarian, Kris Fowler, U Minnesota,  has written an article in the Notices AMS (March 2012) about protecting your author rights when you publish journal articles.  She has a nice chart that shows which rights selected math publishers, both society and commercial, allow in their author agreements.  But, you can challenge those agreements!  Read more…

Mathematics Research Library Collection Shift

Our intrepid book movers, Meghan, Shane, and Ari, are making good progress on our collection move.  The majority of our books are now publicly available on our shelves.  The biggest remaining part, the early QAs, are slowly being shifted from Math Storage to our shelves.  We expect that book call numbers from A to QA272 will be on our first floor, and QA273 to Z on our second floor.

Then all journals, except any unbound recent issues, will be moved to Math Storage where they will be available upon request.  The majority of these journals are online, so be sure to check the online catalog first.  Any recent paper issues will be shelved on our display shelves on the 4th floor level until they are bound.

All MRL books and journals are now in the Library of Congress call number system.

This is a very complex project (akin to working a very large Rubik’s Cube) because of our space limitations and the 3 different shelving systems we had.  We have tried to limit the noisier activities to morning or after hours.  Math Library is profoundly grateful to UW Libraries’ Circulation Division for making it happen.

Open Letter from Elsevier

Elsevier responds to mathematicians.

Relevant proposed federal legislation:

U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced bipartisan legislation that directs federal agencies to encourage open public access to federally funded scientific research:

The Federal Research Public Access Act would require federal agencies with an extramural research budget of $100 million or more to make federally-funded research available for free online access by the general public, no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Math Sciences Undergrads:  Apply for $1000 Library Research Award

  • All undergraduates enrolled at the University of Washington are eligible.
  • The $1,000 awards are given in three categories: Senior Thesis, Senior Non-Thesis and Non-Senior.
  • Projects completed in Spring Quarter 2011 through Spring Quarter 2012 are eligible.
  • Projects must have been completed for UW course credit, for the Undergraduate Research Program (URP), or the Undergraduate Research Symposium.  MCM/ICM papers are eligible too.
  • A project may be in any format or medium.
  • Individual or group projects are eligible.  Each student will be judged individually.
  • Application deadline is May 14, 2012, 5 PM.

Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be judged on how well student researchers demonstrate:

  • Unusual depth or broadness in the use of library resources and collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media.
  • Extraordinary ability to identify, locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them in the creation of a project in any medium that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future.
  • Demonstration of significant personal knowledge in the methods of research and inquiry.

Please review the Student Tips carefully.  It contains a detailed description of how points are awarded.

A critical piece of your application is a 750-1,000 word reflective essay describing your research strategies, and use of library tools and resources. The essay is one of the most important parts of your application! Please see the essay guidelines and tips from past evaluators.  There will be drop-in advising sessions on applying for the award
Sun, April 1 – Mon, May 14, 2012,
Research Commons, Allen Library South.  Read more….

February 2012 February 7, 2012

Posted by uwmathlib in Collection Moves, Databases, ebooks, Journals, Scholarly Communications.
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Math Research Library Flips!

We have begun our project to move almost all math/stat books from Math Storage to our main collection, and, in turn, move all journals to Math Storage.  The books will flow in call number order from A to Z, main floor to upper floor.  Reuniting our book collection should make user browsing easier and will bring back immediate access to hundreds of classic titles.

Since the majority of our journals are now online, the paper volumes are used less and less.  Thus the decision was made to store all math/stat journals in Math Storage in call number order.  Anytime a paper volume is needed, though, don’t hesitate to ask for it.  Requesting volumes thru the catalog or via email ahead of your trip to MRL is a convenient way to get these materials.  MRL staff will retrieve on demand as staffing allows.  We usually go several times a day.

We will try to concentrate the louder activities involved with this move to the morning hours when fewer patrons are in the library.  We hope to finish this project mid-Spring 2012.

Mathematicians Protest Scholarly Journal Publishing

As you may be aware, a recent Timothy Gowers blog on commercial journal publishing problems ignited a protest joined by thousands of other academics.  You can follow the conversations and activities by exploring the links in our Scholarly Publishing Issues box to the right.

Etext Pilot Could Save Students $$

UW Information Technology will be running an etext pilot beginning in spring quarter focused on providing low cost etextbooks in a collaborative teaching environment. The pilot is designed to enable both access to high quality digital educational resources (eTexts) and new tools for teaching and learning with those resources, including the ability to search, highlight, and annotate texts, collaborate, and interact. UW IT is currently seeking instructors to participate in the pilot. Two vendors gave demonstrations in December: Courseload and Coursesmart. The CourseLoad product is strong on collaboration and annotation tools. CourseSmart provides more options for access and more readily available textbook content. Given the differences in the two systems it was decided to pilot both systems.

As seen an Indiana University pilot, substantial cost savings are available to eText users. This helps to reduce the financial burden on students, and to increase access to course materials.  More information is available on the web at: http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/teach/etext.html.

New Research Resource: Scopus

Elsevier’s Scopus database is available to UW users on a trial basis for the remainder of 2012.  The UW Office of Research coordinated this subscription.  Continuing access will depend on evaluation and funding.  The access url is http://www.scopus.com.  You can also access it as a tab on the SciVerse platform which includes Science Direct journals.  It is also listed on our homepage under the Research Resources link.

Scopus is an abstract and citation database and a competitor to ISI’s Web of Science.  Scopus covers more than 18,000  journals, mostly in the sciences and social sciences.  Many use it for citation analysis purposes.  For supporting documentation, take a look at http://www.info.sciverse.com/resource-library/subject/sciverse-scopus.

October 13, 2011 October 13, 2011

Posted by uwmathlib in Databases, ebooks, How Do I?, Library Skills, MathSciNet, Scholarly Communications.
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Welcome to the new academic year!

EBooks@UW Libraries:  Math & Stat

In addition to the thousands of volumes shelved in Math Research Library and elsewhere on campus, Math and Stat researchers have access to many ebooks in their disciplines.  Most math and stat ebooks can be found in these collections:

Springerlink–can download chapter PDFs, no use restrictions
SIAM EBooks–can download chapter PDFs, no use restrictions
EBL–chapter PDFs, use restrictions

The Libraries has put together a HOW DO I? web page full of handy hints such as:  How do I find electronic books available through UW Libraries?

UW researchers can access ebooks 24/7.  They are available remotely after logging in at  .  This button is located at the top of most UW Libraries webpages.

Applied Math students and faculty:  over 400 SIAM books are finally online for UW users. Here’s an Excel list of their holdings:


You’ll find the fulltext at:  http://epubs.siam.org/ebooks/


Scanner Now Available

All UW Libraries branch libraries now have at least one scanner available for public use.  These new scanners were funded by STF funds.  Ours is attached to MRL’s sit-down PC in the center of our main floor.  Users must log into this PC with their UWNetID.


In response to requests from MathSciNet users and librarians, MathSciNet now offers tutorials on how to get the most out of searching. These tutorials treat each of the tabbed areas of MathSciNet—Publications, Authors, Journals, and Citations—as well as Free Tools and Preferences. The tutorials help users to take advantage of the rich structure of the databases underlying MathSciNet–most will find a feature or search of use that they have not previously used.


Open Access Week banner

Sharing Ideas, Expanding Knowledge:
Open Access as a Scholarly Publishing Alternative

This exhibit marks International Open Access Week and is displayed in the Allen Library, North Lobby, Oct. 10-31, 2011.

Scholarly publishing is in a state of flux. While the book and journal remain the primary vehicles for communicating published scholarship, how their content is reviewed, packaged, paid for, distributed, discovered, accessed, and preserved has changed over the last few years and continues to change rapidly. Many traditions of scholarly publishing remain, but new options, driven by new technologies and changing economic models, are now available and are becoming increasingly accepted in the scholarly community.

We invite you to explore some of those options in this exhibit. We hope this content is informative, that it answers some questions while raising others, and that it brings to light some of the problems that the academic community faces in the current scholarly publishing environment.


UW Libraries Research Commons

The UW Libraries Research Commons, located on the ground floor of the Allen Library South, has many spaces available for students and faculty to support group research, presentations, seminars, and colloquia.   The Research Commons opened a little less than one year ago, and is designed as an evolving, flexible space that fosters interdisciplinary conversation and provides research support via the Libraries and campus partnerships.

Check for events of interest: http://commons.lib.washington.edu/news-events

Graduate Student Workshops: In partnership with the Graduate School, the Libraries is kicking off a new year of graduate student workshops in the Research Commons.

Drop-in Writing Consultations: The Odegaard Writing and Research Center is now offering morning drop-in consultations in the Research Commons — for graduate students only — twice a week. Tutors staffing these consulting hours are experienced in supporting graduate level research and writing for a wide range of academic and professional purposes.  Autumn Quarter: Mondays and Thursdays 10:30am-noon. No reservations required. First-come, first served.

New Collaboration Screens: Student Technology Fee funds enabled us to add large screens, which can be used with your laptop:  http://commons.lib.washington.edu/resources

New Presentation Spaces: The Research Commons has undergone a few changes based on user feedback to better support large group research work and presentations.  We’ve added a new room, Green A, that seats up to 25 people:  http://commons.lib.washington.edu/resources/green-a/green-a .

Whiteboard Capture:  The Research Commons features whiteboard surface tables, mobile whiteboards, whiteboard walls and dry-erase markers for checkout.  We also have an EBeam Edge interactive whiteboard system that can be checked out and used within the Research Commons to turn any whiteboard surface into a digital and interactive copyboard.  Use the EBeam to create a video or image capture of a presentation, brainstorming session, or TA consultation in the Research Commons.

Interested in seeing your students’ work displayed in the space for a poster session or longer-term exhibit?  Contact uwlibrc@uw.edu.

Visit the Research Commons website http://commons.lib.washington.edu or  blog http://uwresearchcommons.wordpress.com/ to learn more about the development of the Research Commons.

February 22, 2010 News February 22, 2010

Posted by uwmathlib in Book loans, Collection Moves, Library donation, Library Skills, Scholarly Communications.
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Publishing and Authors’ Rights Discussion, Tuesday, Feb 23

10:30 am  – 12 noon, OUGL 220

Whether you are starting out as a new author or already have a long list of publications you should find our panel on publication and authors’ rights of interest.  Panelists will discuss questions about publication practices, copyright transfer agreements and how authors can ensure that they keep appropriate rights to their work.  Other possible topics are public access mandates for research that is federally funded and the UW Faculty Senate resolution on publishing alternatives and authors’ rights.   Bring your questions and learn how trends in scholarly communication are likely to affect your research and publication.

  • Dave Eaton, Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences & Associate Vice Provost for Research
  • Clark Shores, Assistant Attorney General, Attorney General’s Office

The podcast is available at:  http://www.lib.washington.edu/scholcomm/AuthorRightsFeb10/rights.mp3

Ways to Help UW Libraries

A recent UW AAUP email exchange discussed ways to help UW Libraries weather the current economic situation.  While our math, stat, and applied math  faculty and departments have always been very supportive of Math Research Library, there are a number of ways you as individuals can help .

  • Faculty or students can volunteer as book reviewers for journals or databases such as MathSciNet.  Publishers send new books and reference sets for review.  Those not chosen for review can be given to Math Research.  This is particularly helpful when given in a timely manner so that we don’t purchase items that are later given to us.
  • Donate your books and journals when you are ready.  We review all items and select those that we need.  Please check with us ahead of time if this is a large collection.   While we may not need most items, our branch campuses, Bothell and Tacoma, or other nearby libraries may need some.  Most runs of journals are not needed.  Another good option for book and journal donation is the AMS Book & Journal Donation Program.  If an eligible institution needs your donation, the AMS reimburses your shipping expenses.
  • Designate a portion of a research grant for library support especially if research is in a new area.
  • Donate publisher in-kind honorarium to the library if allowed.
  • Join the Friends of the Libraries to advocate for UW Libraries on campus and off.
  • Raise your voices to support UW Libraries to UW administration.
  • Respond to UW Libraries surveys on your library use and needs.  Another survey will be conducted this spring.
  • Unlike some of the other library units on campus, we do not yet have a specific math/stat gift fund to provide support for research acquisitions.   For more information on setting up a donor fund to support mathematics, statistics and applied mathematics research materials, see:  http://www.lib.washington.edu/support/types_of_gifts.html.
  • Recently discretionary departmental funds helped us stretch our funds enough to purchase the online backfiles of Springer math and statistics journals.  This type of creative support really helps our dollars go further.

Loan Period and Hold Shelf Changes

Effective today,February 22, loan periods for faculty and graduate students will be 12 weeks for most books in all libraries.   Suzzallo/Allen Stacks, Auxiliary Stacks and East Asia will change faculty annual loans to 12 week loans.  OUGL, HSLIC and Curriculum Materials will change faculty and graduate students from 4 weeks to 12 weeks.

Effective February 16, 2010, the time on the hold shelf for UW materials is 7 days. Summit short loan materials will remain at 3 days (no change). ILL materials hold shelf time will vary.

Curriculum Materials Collection Moving

On February 10, Reference & Research Services staff began moving the Curriculum Materials Collection from the Allen north balcony to the shelving just west of the Suzzallo Reference Desks.  After several rounds of Suzzallo Reference collection weedings, we have consolidated that collection enough to make room for the Curriculum move.  The Allen north balcony was originally intended to be a ‘quieter’ study area, the study area with a view and plenty of natural lighting.  Soon more students will be able to enjoy it in just this way.

New Free Services

  • www.mathjax.org offers rich math display from LaTeX and MathML.  A MathJax display choice for Math Reviews will be released later in the year as an alternative to the current display choices of plain HTML and PDF. MathJax is an open source platform displaying mathematics in a wide range of browsers. Its development is supported by a consortium including the AMS, SIAM, Design Science, Elsevier and the APS.
  • www.latexsearch.com allows researchers to search Springer products directly for mathematical formulae that are typically trapped in text.  Because of the limitations of when Springer started applying metadata, this currently reaches back to titles in 2005, but is being expanded now.
  • www.authormapper.com is a free collaboration tool from Springer where researchers can search to see who is doing what research at what university, and when.  Springer is working with other publishers to make sure their authors and their research can be found as well.
  • www.springerexemplar.com allows researchers to enter a
    keyword, say “bootstrap”  and see the context in which it is used, the subject area, the country, the journal, publisher and break down from there. It currently only scours Springer data, but they are growing this to include other publishers.

Request for Public Comment re public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and technology agencies December 28, 2009

Posted by uwmathlib in Institutional repositories, Scholarly Communications.
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Public Access Policies for Science and Technology Funding
Agencies Across the Federal Government

AGENCY: Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President.

ACTION: Notice; request for public comment.


SUMMARY: With this notice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy
(OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President, requests input
from the community regarding enhancing public access to archived
publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and
technology agencies. This RFI will be active from December 10, 2009 to
January 7, 2010. Respondents are invited to respond online via the
Public Access Policy Forum at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open, or may
submit responses via electronic mail. Responses will be re-posted on
the online forum. Instructions and a timetable for daily blog topics
during this period are described at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open.

DATES: Comments must be received by January 7, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments by one of the following methods:
Public Access Policy Forum: http://www.whitehouse.gov/open.
Via E-mail: publicaccess@ostp.gov.
Mail: Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open
From the Federal Register Online via http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-29322.htm