musings and reference questions

January 31, 2006, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Check this out, from Google employee #1:

“My guess is about 300 years until computers are as good as, say, your local reference library in doing search,” says Craig Silverstein. “But we can make slow and steady progress, and maybe one day we’ll get there.”

from URL:

And some Google tips:

Biology 131 proposals are due
January 24, 2006, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was having difficulties helping students with the topic “Hunting or fishing as a means of evolution or natural selection.” At least I think that’s the topic. Here are some tips:

1. If the student can idenify a particular species, it makes things a bit easier.
like, instead of searching wolf or wolves anywhere, try canis lupus as a descriptor

2. Zoo. Record
line 1
evolution OR selection as descriptor
to expand your search
line 2
– hunt* as a descriptor
this gets you things like:
influence of hunting by humans, Hunting impact on population dynamics in primeval forest, human hunting relationship
OR for line 2 and 3
-hunt* AND pressure anywhere instead of the above
if you’re doing fishing try
line 2 and 3
– fishing [no truncation] AND (pressure OR impact) anywhere
line 3 or 4 (you’ll have to add a line to get this)
– review searched anywhere gets you some review articles
– you can try adding the name of the species but remove review

-evolution and adaptation is a Subject heading
-hunting is a keyword
-narrowing by latin name for wolves not so useful in this search and this database

4. ASFA (Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts)
***Please use this if you’re doing fish***
Use the words impact or pressure or selection anywhere
But, evolution as a descriptor doesn’t seem to really work
Fishing anywhere or possibly as a descriptor

5. Words to use from Dean. Not clear which database he used:
selective pressure of hunting
hunting and speciation
poaching as a selective pressure on rare species
many terms for fishing

6. Several searches work really well in Web of Science (the ands are important in these searches)

selection and hunting and sheep
selection and hunting and elk
selection and hunting and deer

selection and fishing

evolution and hunting and human

Please feel free to come in and ask about how to impliment the above. I’m not sure how clear this is as an email.

2006, a New Year and a New Quarter
January 5, 2006, 12:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am doing research on Marguerite Thomas Williams (b.1895 – d.sometime around 1991), the first African American to get a Ph.D. in geology. She was a full professor by the end of her career and the head of the Division of Geography at Miner Teachers College/University of the Disctrict of Columbia. I can’t even find an obituary for her. Luckily there are lots of places to try. None of the actual people I have spoken to have been particularly helpful. Goodness, what fine insights I’m getting on the nature of doing research in libraries.

I’m also working on editing my blogs presentation so it isn’t so scary. And, I’m working on coming up with something short and snappy for one Environmental Studies class and something more ponderous for another.

And check this out:
REBINDER, is truly recyclable and reusable because it is a corrugated cardboard binder. Vinyl binders are neither recyclable or reusable.