Saturday, November 12, 2011

Research @ University of Johannesburg Faculty of Science

Find out more about the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Science Departments and their Research & Teaching focus.

These are the 2011 Departmental Newsletters from:
I have been promoted to the Faculty Librarian for Sciences position in October 2011. Currently I provide subject specific support via the UJ Sciences Librarian Portal, where the Sciences users can find anything from library databases to literacy support.

Pavlinka Kovatcheva

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ScienceDirect: Top 25 Hottest Articles Jan-Mar 2010

  ScienceDirect: Top 25 Hottest Articles
January-March 2010
Check out the the hottest articles per subject area!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Peer Review: Guide for Researchers

The Research Information Network has published in March 2010 a Guide to provide researchers with an understanding of the peer review process and some of the current issues surrounding the debate about peer review
Download the Peer Review: Guide for researchers (16 pages)
Read more about the Guide

The issues discuss are:
  • What is peer review?
  • How does it work?
  • Support and criticism.
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it fair? Subjectivity and transparency
  • Is it efficient? Speeding it up and lightening the burden
  • New challenges and opportunities

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I have found on the news 1-2 weeks ago, the announcement for a new search engine - “Wolfram Alpha Knowledge Engine”. I have spent some time searching, but definitely more time is required to get to know it better. It is different from any other search engine I had used. It could of great interest to the sciences & engineering users; health sciences, education , finances, etc.

Read the “iLibrarian” post: Wolfram Alpha Knowledge Engine Launches, which also provides additional articles.

“Searchers using this engine can enter a question or a calculation, and rather than return relevant results, Wolfram Alpha uses its algorithms to digest the query and compute the answer based on its collection of data” …. “Scientists, researchers and techies alike will be interested in this new computational search engine which is running on R Smarr, the world’s 44th largest supercomputer, created by launch partners, R Systems…”
Do you like this search engine? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I have participated in Gaining the momentum: Open access & advancement of Science and Research workshop, that took place on May 14, 2009 at CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. The workshop was organised by Susan Veldsman, Director: Scholarly Publishing Unit, ASSAf, & Iryna Kuchma, Open Access program manager,
The workshop presentations are available HERE.
Some of the important papers were:
  • Open Access for researchers: enlarged audience and citation impact, tenure and promotion. Advanced and enhanced metrics. The evidences that Open Access leads to advancement of science and research. Iryna Kuchma, You can view the presentation on
  • Academic Participation, Prof Arthur Sale, Australia: open access, mandate, participation, incentives, self-archiving, repository
  • Why SciELO? A strategic Approach to Research Publishing in South Africa, Susan Veldsman.
  • National federated searching. Prof Arthur Sale: open access, search engine, federated search, repository, Australia.
  • DuraSpace: Digital Information All way, always (European Open Repositories)

Tell us how you feel about Open Access and the benefits for Sciences and Research? Leave a comment.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Want research summaries by experts? Look to SciTopics

SciTopics is a free expert-generated knowledge-sharing service for the scientific community. Developed (by Elsevier) to serve as an information and collaboration service for researchers, SciTopics offers authors a dynamic, quick, informal yet authoritative online publication platform.
Following an extensive trial period, scientific researchers, editors and authors can now quickly and efficiently find science-specific, trustworthy and up-to-date information from experts by consulting one single website, thanks to SciTopics.

Each SciTopics page features a summary, created by an invited author considered an expert on a specific scientific, technical or medical topic. In addition to a summary, each page includes references and links provided by the author as well as automatically generated links, including the Most Recent and Most Cited Articles from Scopus, plus relevant results on the Web and news results via Scirus.
Scirus is Elsevier's free, science-specific search engine. Scirus allows you to search for peer-reviewed journal articles, books, patents, theses and dissertations, and scientific web pages e.g university sites, scientists' homepages.
Scirus News indexes scientific news from established news sites, such as the BBC, CNN, Eurekalert, Nasa, New Scientist, NY Times, Reuters, USA Today, Wired, Nature, etc. The news index is updated several times per day, and results are deleted from the news index once they are 30 days old.

SciTopics allows scientists to locate authoritative and dynamic information on scientific topics and to network and find potential collaborators for future research projects.
For authors invited to create summaries, SciTopics provides an additional channel by which to publish their research and further enhance their reputations.
Finally, editors can use SciTopics to locate reputable reviewers and authors for their journals.

SciTopics guarantees high scientific standards due to a very strict editorial policy safeguarded by subject-specific editors.
Frequently Asked Questions!

What else should you know:
  • You can Register: As a member you are able to comment on SciTopics pages. In the near future you will be able to sign up for a particular SciTopics page of your interest in order to follow it closely and engage in scientific discussions
  • You can request to become an author
  • Each topic has a summary, further reading references, selected links, recent & most cited articles, Scirus web search results, latest news, useful keywords and related pages (SciTopics). Once registered you can leave a comment.
  • Help with SciTopics

Highly Recommended! Visit SciTopics NOW ! Leave a comment!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beyond the Impact Factor: JCR enhancements

Journal Citation Report (JCR)
The Impact Factor can be a very valuable metric—but it can also be misused and viewed in the wrong context. A significant enhancement to Journal Citation Reports (JCR) offers new metrics and data that complement the Impact Factor, and helps users more fully understand their journals’ place in the scholarly world.
Librarians have long relied on Journal Citation Reports (JCR) to evaluate their journal collections. JCR now delivers a wider context for this evaluation—and assures that the Impact Factor is not used in isolation from other metrics, resulting in a limited picture of journal performance. New metrics depict a more precise view of journal citation results, from a broader range of scholarly disciplines in farther-reaching contexts.
Expanded analytical capabilities include:
  • Five-year Impact Factor Trend Graph: View a longer time span to see a broader range of citation activity and get a more informative snapshot over time. For journals in subjects where citation activity continues to rise through several years, this allows more of their total citation activity to be included in a critical performance metric.
  • Eigenfactor: Discover the metric that uses citing journal data from the entire JCR file to reflect the prestige and citation influence of a journal by considering scholarly literature as a network of journal-to-journal relationships
  • Impact Factor boxplots: Visualize Impact Factor by journal category
  • Rank-in-Category Tables: Evaluate journals in the context of multiple categories.
  • Journal Self-Citations: See how self-citations affect Impact Factor

More information on the Impact Factor and Eigenfactor! New types of journal metrics grow more influential in the scientific community.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online

The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online!
Click HERE for access.

Only this site contains Darwin's complete publications, 20,000 private papers, the largest Darwin bibliography, manuscript catalogue and hundreds of supplementary works: specimens, biographies, obituaries, reviews, reference works and much more.

For decades available only to scholars at Cambridge University Library, the private papers of Charles Darwin, one of the most influential scientists in history, can now be seen by anyone online and FREE of charge.
The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online (or Darwin Online) began in 2002 to assemble in one scholarly website all of Darwin's published writings and unpublished papers. Read MORE.....
This is the largest ever publication of Darwin papers and manuscripts, totalling about 20,000 items in over 100,000 electronic images. Charles Darwin's private papers and handwritten manuscripts are preserved in public institutions and private collections around the world. The online images are mostly scans from copies of early black and white microfilms produced by the Cambridge University Library Imaging Service, mostly in the 1990s.
Searching Darwin Online!
You can use this USER GUIDE to help you with retrieving information from Darwin Online!
Click on ADVANCED SEARCH for advanced search of the collection!
Enjoy exploring Darwin Online!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Essential Science Indicators: Fast Moving Fronts, Emerging Research Fronts & Hot Papers in Science

Fast Moving Fronts – January 2009
From the database of Essential Science Indicators from Thomson, this list of Fast Moving Fronts – January 2009, has been generated by a comparison of the data sets for the current period of September 31, 2002-August 31, 2008, and the previous period of July 2002-June 30, 2008 (sliding 6-year period).
The following Sciences fields are represented:
Agricultural Sciences; Biology & Biochemistry; Chemistry; Computer Sciences; Environment / Ecology; Mathematics; Physics, etc.
"MULTILAYER GRAPHENE," from the field of Physics was selected for mapping as a Fast Moving Front as well as a Top Topic for this period. View a list of only Fast Moving Front Maps, or all Research Front Maps (site-wide)
Essential Science Indicators, contains data on Research Fronts (see Research Front Methodology) which are updated every two months. As part of this bimonthly processing, Special Topics identifies the Research Fronts that are appearing for the first time in each of the 22 major fields covered by Essential Science Indicators. A new Front consists of core papers not previously included in any prior Front.
Every two months, Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters lists a new crop of what it calls hot papers in science. Hot papers are selected by virtue of being cited among the top one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) in a current bimonthly period. Papers are selected in each of 22 fields of science and must be published within the last two years. Because the hot papers are updated every two months, new papers are added with every update, and tracks these new additions.


Keeping up-to-date with the scholarly literature just became much easier, thanks to a new service called ticTOCs - Journal Tables of Contents Service.

What it is?
ticTOCs is a new scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs) service.
It’s FREE, its easy to use, and it provides access to the most recent tables of contents of over 11,000 scholarly journals from more than 400 publishers.

It helps scholars, researchers, academics and anyone else keep up-to-date with what’s being published in the most recent issues of journals on almost any subject.

How to find Journal Titles

Using ticTOCs, you can:

* Find journals of interest by TITLE, SUBJECT or PUBLISHER;
* View the latest TOC;
* Link through to the full text of over 250,000 articles (where institutional or personal subscriptions, or Open Access, allow)
* Save selected journals to MyTOCs so that you can view future TOCs (free registration is required if you want to permanently save your MyTOCs).
* ticTOCs also makes it easy to export selected TOC' RSS feeds to popular feed readers such as Google Reader and Bloglines, and in addition you can import article citations into RefWorks (available through the UJ Library web page. Contact your librarian for assistance and training where necessary ).
* You can select TOCs by ticking those of interest - thousands of TOCs, within a tick or two (hence the name ticTOCs).
I have searched for journals per SUBJECT. The following number of journals are available (24/01/2009) for:
Zoology - 87 titles
Botany 125 titles
Biology - 291 titles
Microbiology - 110 titles
Biochemistry - 223 titles
Chemistry - 170 titles
Analytical Chemistry - 51 titles
Inorganic Chemistry - 22 titles
Organic Chemistry - 70 titles
Physical Chemistry - 72 titles
Mathematics - 363 titles
Statistics - 31 titles
Astronomy - 48 titles
Physics - 255 titles
Biophysics - 34 titles
Geophysics - 49 titles
Nuclear Physics - 39 titles
Geology - 89 titles
Geography - 70 titles
Earth Sciences - 58 titles
Computers - 81 titles
Computer Security - 23 titles
and many more.....
For help use the available HELP menu or ask your librarian for assistance!

ticTOCs has been funded under the JISC Users & Innovations programme and has been developed by an international consortium consisting of the University of Liverpool Library (lead), Heriot-Watt University, CrossRef, ProQuest, Emerald, RefWorks, MIMAS, Cranfield University, Institute of Physics, SAGE Publishers, Inderscience Publishers, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), Open J-Gate, and Intute.

For the full press release, click HERE.

Since the launch, several hundred more journal Tables of Contents have been added to ticTOCs: over 60 titles from Palgrave, over 185 former Haworth Press titles, 82 open access titles from Libertas Academica, 27 Edinburgh University Press journals, and titles from Longwoods Publishing, Living Reviews, IM Publications and others.

Journals from 431 publishers are currently included in ticTOCs. Read more about the latest news HERE!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

UJ Sciences Librarian News (APK)

Compliments for the New Year!
The 2009 academic year is just around the corner. In the library you can see number of students, but mostly the work we do is behind the desks. I'm busy with annual reports, preparing statistics' forms, finalising the information for the subject web pages; creating useful information to help teaching, learning and research; books for reserve; preparation for training sessions, etc.
For the latest UJ Sciences Librarian News (APK) visit THIS web page (NEW!). The following information is available:

Please note, that this information will be re-packeged and soon will be available through the subject webpages.

Learn about the library hours during January

Extended membership for postgraduates until 28th February 2009 (access to databases)

Who & how can have access in the UJ Library

Postgraduates & academics can request access to other University libraries. Learn how?

Circulation/Lending Desk products & services

How to place items both in PRINT & ELECTRONIC form on Reserve for the 1st semester & year course.

How to place items & search.

Students always want to know what questions have been used at previous exams. Lecturers can learn how to submit previous exam papers and students can learn how to access them.

Do you know that you can request book/journal article from other UJ Campus Library? Learn more.

UJ Academics, staff and Masters & PhD's, learn how can ILL help your research & teaching needs.

Need to contact UJ Sciences Librarians for help. Find the contact information.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 for Reserchers

This is a message from Dr. Richard Price:
With a team of people from Stanford and Cambridge, I've just launched a website, which does two things:
- It shows academics around the world structured in a 'tree' format, displayed according to their departmental and institutional affiliations.
- It enables academics to see news on the latest research in their area - the latest people, papers and talks.
We are hoping that will eventually list every academic in the world:
- Faculty Members, Post-Docs, Graduate Students, and Independent Researchers.
Academics can add their departments, and themselves, to the tree by clicking on the boxes.
Academics are joining the tree rapidly. More than 15,000 academics have added themselves in the last two months.
Some professors on the site include:
We're trying to spread the word about as much as possible. It would be terrific if you could visit the site, and add yourself to your department on the tree.
If your university is not there, you can add it by clicking on the arrows coming out of the university boxes.
Independent researchers - if you are a researcher that is not associated with university, I encourage you to add yourself to the "Independent Researchers"portion of the tree at
And do spread the word to your friends and colleagues if you can.
This information was distributed through list-serve by: Ingrid Thomson, UCT Library

ScienceDirect Top 25 Hottest Articles: July - September 2008

All UJ users can access the latest Top 25 Hottest Articles July-September 2008 on Science Direct. Select your subject of interest and read the articles' full-text.

View this LINK if you are non UJ user.

Research Tools

These are some useful links to explore in your free time during the holiday:

"100 Useful Tips and Tools to Research the Deep Web" (thanks to Kelly Sonora, for letting me know. I’m using at least 1/3 of these 100 tools)
- Meta-Search Engines
- Semantic Search Tools and Databases
- General Search Engines and Databases
- Academic Search Engines and Databases
- Scientific Search Engines and Databases
- Custom Search Engines
- Collaborative Information and Databases
- Tips and Strategies
- Helpful Articles and Resources for Deep Searching

Some old blog posts as a reminder:
Chemspider: Chemical Search engine
Lumifi: Research Search Engine
Golonka: E-Math, E-Physics, E-Chemistry for Africa

Faculty Acknowledge: Blogs contribute to Scholarly Communication

Faculty Acknowledge Blogs Contribute to Scholarly Communication
By (Eric Schnell) on communications

One of my more recent hot topics is the need for librarians to expand how we define our own scholarly communications to keep up with changes in the practice of librarianship. A new report by the Ithaka Group being distributed by ARL explores how (non-librarian) faculty / scholars are making use of digital scholarly resources in the course of research. In the report entitled Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, authors Nancy Maron and Kirby Smith detail the various digital resources that expands the definition of what is a scholarly resource. Such resources include electronic-only data, e-journals, and blogs.

The report states that blogs are “being put to interesting use by scholars” and contribute to scholarship by providing a forum for discussion. Faculty acknowledge that blog postings allow scholars to share research findings and open up a dialog that can help to further shape and refine their ideas. Blogs can add a layer of commentary to published literature and can give frequent updates of researchers’ opinions rather than just facts and can also attract well established, well known writers in specific disciplines.