June 20, 2006

LISA V: Beyond ADS and Google

First batch of sessions on the second day of LISA was discussing what was beyond ADS and Google. These are my notes, not detailed transcriptions, and may include my own opinions.

L. Robbins: Astronomy & Astrophysics Resource Information Survey

Surveyed patrons at U. Toronto and U. Chicago to find out exactly what people were actually doing. Presented statistical results – unsurprising that most patrons used astro-ph and ADS to keep abreast of recent developments. What about for info older than 2 years? Most replied ADS. Observation vs. theory as a research focus showed very different results; while they use the same tools, they’re using them very differently. With the info that astro-ph is possibly going to be split into five different areas, it would be interesting to re-survey in the future.

G. Burkhardt: ARIBib – Where is it and where is it going?

ARIBib is an online database for astronomical bibliography in the reference format; Presentation on the history of ARIBib, and then the focus of their future work. ARIBib is the living online biography in astronomy for literature from ancient times until the first half of 2000…. ! Access is free for everyone. Very small staff working on this! Remember, though, these are only references, not original works. Tour of ARIBib’s web options, how it deals with accents in author names, etc.

M. Gomez: Evaluating ADS, ISI and SCOPUS in the context of two astronomy libraries in Spain

Why evaluate? Subscriptions expire at the end of 2006; must decide whether to re-subscribe or not. Does the ADS really cover their patrons’ needs? Can ISI or Scopus be complimentary, or do our patrons not even need them? They evaluated all three services looking for similarities, differences and search results, then they surveyed their patrons to see how they really used them. Results were interesting; ADS is clearly out ahead. They found that ISI and Scopus could be complimentary, but only for non-astronomical literature; for astronomical literature, ADS was the definite winner. The patron survey also had ADS coming out ahead, with most patrons using Google as their default search engine. The final results of the study were that ADS and Google were the keys to information for their patrons.

D. MacMillan: Making Space for Specialized Astronomy Resources

Studies online at library.ucalgary.ca/u.php?id=167

What are the students using? Google, E-journals, Scirus… natural language is very important. What should students be using/ ADS, Inspec or WoS, etc. Why? Comprehensive and retrospective coverage, transparency, advanced capabilities, etc. How do we get students to use what we feel they should be using? Instruction, assistance, web pages.


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