Department Blog

Physical Sciences & Engineering Library

Please give us feedback about the arXiv

September 12th, 2014 by Phoebe Ayers

The UC Davis library is conducting an informal survey about arXiv ( to collect your suggestions and comments about this resource. The UC Libraries are an institutional member of arXiv, so we provide  financial support for maintaining the site. Members have been asked to collect feedback from faculty who use arXiv to find out if the site is currently meeting researcher needs, and to get suggestions for improvements as arXiv is developed in future.

Please reply to Phoebe Ayers at by September 26, and feel free to send this to colleagues who would be interested in providing feedback. Responses will be anonymized, collated, and shared with the arXiv staff.

1) Do you use arXiv? As a reader, paper submitter, or both? Are there other archives or repositories that you prefer to use, and if so why?

2) What role does arXiv play in your research or scientific communication?

3) Are there features that you need (as a reader or submitter of papers) that arXiv is not providing? Are there features that would make arXiv more useful to researchers in your field?

4) Are paper classifications appropriate and useful? If not, how could they be improved?

5) arXiv tries to strike a balance between quality and openness: submissions are reviewed by expert moderators to verify that they are on-topic scientific contributions that follow accepted standards of scholarly communication. Submissions may be rejected or  reclassified based on moderator input. In your opinion, are arXiv standards and processes adequate and appropriate for ensuring quality?

6) What do you see as the up-and-coming needs of graduate students, and what would you suggest arXiv do to help meet these needs?

7) Anything else you wish to share about arXiv?


If you would like the librarians to follow up with you, or would like more information about arXiv or this survey, please give your name and email:
Thank you very much for your time!

Phoebe Ayers
UC Davis Librarian for Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Geology

Bob Heyer-Gray
UC Davis Librarian for Mathematics, Statistics,  Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, and Transportation Studies

August IEEE & MIT Press – eBook Alert

September 4th, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray



August 29th, 2014 by Phoebe Ayers

Here is a good link to various resources, including webcam feeds, to follow the two volcanic eruptions that happened recently: Bárðarbunga in Iceland and Mount Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea. An overview news story about both eruptions from NPR is here, and a story from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about Mt. Tavurur is here.

For Iceland, you can follow volcano news through the Icelandic national broadcasting agency in English here. For Tavurvur, there is an overview page and link to news here. You can also follow global volcano reports through this site from the Smithsonian and USGS. Here is a Q&A from National Geographic about Icelandic volcanoes.

Want to know more about volcanoes in general? See the Volcanoes page of the Geology LibGuide for reference books and databases.

August New Books List @ PSE Library

August 27th, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray

Curious about the new books added by PSE this Fiscal Year? The New Books list will be updated monthly and posted to the blog near the end of each month. The most recent PSE New Books list dated 8/25/14 is now available.

Earthquake resources

August 25th, 2014 by Phoebe Ayers

The USGS has a page with scientific information about the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that hit the Napa area this weekend. You may also want to use their “Did You Feel It?” service to report if you felt the earthquake; this helps build a “community intensity map” of impact.

If you want to know more about earthquakes in California in general, see the USGS California Earthquake page, and for library resources visit the Earthquakes section of the Geology Libguide to find databases for articles, reference works, and the contact information of the Geology librarian.

Professor John Rundle from Geology gave a TV interview on the history and the science of the quake, which you can see here.

Synthesis Update from Morgan & Claypool Publishers

August 21st, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray
The following titles were published in June & July.



U.S. Department of Energy Launches PAGES

August 5th, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray


Image credit:  Sergey Sus.  License:  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.  From Flickr:

Image credit: Sergey Sus. License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


On August 4, 2014, the US Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled its plan to increase access to the research that it funds, as required by the White House OSTP directive of February 22, 2013.

Now available is a beta version of the Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (PAGES).  The DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information website provides links to the full plan, FAQs, as well as this short summary:

” In response to the OSTP directive, OSTI has developed and launched the DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy and ScienceBeta – DOE PAGESBeta.  When fully operational, this new resource will offer free access to the best available full-text version of DOE-affiliated scholarly publications – either the peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript or the published article – after an administrative interval of 12 months. ”

According to Nature News Blog (August 4, 2014), the PAGES approach will make up to 30,000 papers per year “free to read”, but open access advocates are concerned that the approach may not provide for bulk downloading, re-distribution or creative re-use, such as text-mining.

More description of the PAGES approach from the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information website:

” The portal that OSTI has prepared employs a hybrid model of centralized metadata and primarily decentralized full-text access to accepted manuscripts or articles hosted by DOE-funded national laboratories, universities, and other institutions or by individual publishers.  In this way, the gateway builds on DOE’s existing scientific and technical information infrastructure and also integrates publishers’ public access efforts.  For publisher-hosted content, OSTI has been collaborating with the publisher consortium CHORUS, or the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States.  OSTI is also engaging with other stakeholders’ initiatives to advance public access, such as the university and research library community’s Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE). ”

For more information:

ScienceInsider Blog

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE)

Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS)

July New Books List

July 31st, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray

Curious about the new books added by PSE this Fiscal Year? The New Books list will be updated monthly and posted to the blog near the end of each month. The most recent PSE New Books list dated 7/28/14 is now available.

UCD expands ASME Digital Collection access

July 16th, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is the premier professional membership organization for more than 127,000 mechanical engineers and associated members worldwide.  ASME also conducts one of the world’s largest technical publishing operations in the world, offering thousands of titles including some of the profession’s most prestigious journals, conference papers and proceedings, and ASME Press books.   The entire collection can be searched via the ASME Digital Collection.
The ASME Digital Collection (, previously known as The ASME Digital Library, is ASME’s repository of current and archival literature and UC Davis is pleased to be able to expand our access to now include:
ASME Journals Front File (2000- )
ASME Journals Archive (1960-1999)
ASME Conference Proceedings (2008- )
ASME Conference Proceedings Archive (2002-2007)
ASME eBooks

July IEEE & MIT Press – eBook Alert

July 16th, 2014 by Robert Heyer-Gray

New eBooks from IEEE and MIT press on the IEEE Xplore Digital Library platform for the month of July include: