Monday, June 30, 2008

Teaching Patent Applications and Issued Patents: Specialized Databases of the United States Patent and Trademark Office - Charlotte Erdmann, Purdue

Erdmann suggests looking at the PAIR data for Dean Kamen’s US7370713 Personal Mobility Vehicle and Methods 1999 as a interesting example.

PAIR ( includes the history of patent and assignments of published application including “file wrapper” which in the past could be purchased. She finds that the application number is the most effective way to search however there are other fields that can be (control #, PCT #Manual of Patent Examining Procedure ( if you really wish to know how this process works.

To use PAIR you will need to navigate the tabs along the top of each record. Transaction history gives a rundown of dates and activities associated, including “non-final rejection,” “Request for Continued Examination” etc. The image file wrapper includes all files associated which users can download. Continuity data includes reexamination of certificate and some claims may be cancelled.

Finding ASME technical papers – Scott Curtis, Linda Hall, Head of Reference

Why ASME technical papers? Because they are fun! Published since 1880+ and c.1928 there were even “misc papers,” evolving identification schemes, engineering societies library, and inconsistent indexing. Scott tells us that the ASME paper number didn’t appear until 1944. Example: 76-GT-105 (year, gas/turbine, paper number). There are over 50 letter codes put into use in 1945-1960 alone. The Linda Hall Library has card file on ASME papers (~1946-1990) and also has annotated papers. Contact them with any questions on this, they are glad to help you decipher and track down ASME and other technical papers.

15 links to useful or interesting stuff from ASEE 2008

  1. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2007) Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
  2. Patent Lens -
  3. Patents at Mach 2: Workshop wiki -
  4. PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval ) -
  5. TRAIL-Technical Report Archive and Image Library: a collaborative project to digitize, archive, and provide persistent and unrestricted access to federal technical reports issued prior to 1975:
  6. Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering -
  7. Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, published by the National Science Board, provides a broad base of quantitative information on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise
  8. Management & Economics Library Business Research Concept Map at Purdue:
  9. Engineering Libraries Division Conference 2008 – Schedule/PowerPoints & handouts -
  10. ASEE ELD Blog – Conference Notes -
  11. NSPE Code of Ethics and the Engineers' Creed - (Wichita State U library incorporated into their online tutorial)
  12. Vivo: Cornell’s Research & Scholarship portal -
  13. Richard Sweeney’s Millenial 2-page overview handout -
  14. John J. Meier and Thomas W. Conkling, Google Scholar’s Coverage of the Engineering Literature: An Empirical Study, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, May 2008. John is working on a follow study to determine where the references are coming from. -
  15. Entrez – the life sciences search engine -

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thoughts on improving conference papers -- an interesting posting by an ASEE member on blog

Just came across this blog entry 'Alice's late-nite pointers to writing conference papers"
on a blog titled 'Science and an Engineerbeing the change we want to see.' The author, Alice Pawley, in this post asks, 'What are your thoughts on what would improve conference papers?'. There are some interesting comments posted underthat, I think, will make a useful reading.

The author points out three shortcomings in many ASEE papers. One of them is:

"... Lots of papers seem to set out good arguments at the beginning for trying to figure certain things out, but then never return to that set of arguments in the methodology and the conclusion".

Today, during the Professional Issue Forum, we all witnessed the dyanamic and spirited discussion on 'Publish to Present' issue led by Amy Van Epps.

So, I thought this post will make an interesting reading for everyone who may consider writing and presenting a paper during the 2009 ASEE conference in Austin, Texas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BioMed Informatics and Engineering Libraries

“Informatics: A Primer”
• Dr. Mary Lou Klem, U. Pittsburgh
• “The study and use of information and communication systems” – Coiera, 2003
• “Analysis and dissemination of data using computers” – NLM, 2005
• “Interdisciplinary study of the design, application, use and impact of IT” – UCI ICS
• Practice: informational and computing sciences (info retrieval, ontology/vocabulary, evaluation/research methods, cognitive/human factors and interfaces, database design, etc.) – Friedman, NIH/NLM, 2004
• Why such a hot topic in health sciences?
• #1 Information explosion – 16 million records in Medline
• 1881: NLM Director predicted geometric progression of medical publication – would require all those not writing it to catalog/index it
• #2 Growth of molecular databases –
• Librarian role: collection development, education/training, communication – Helms, 2004
• Collections: manage site licensing vs. multiple licenses - 05/06 estimated savings = $200,000
• Education/Training: workshops & consultations in use of molbio software/databases; http://search.hsls.molbio portal utilizing Vivissimo cluster software (tabbed: databases/software, filtered PubMed articles, NCBI genes/proteins, pathways, protocols, recommended articles)
• Communication: hired Head of MolBio Service with PhD in biochemistry, assistants with PhD in biology or neuroscience (and maybe MLIS)
• Search tools:
• Evidence-based practice – clinicians need to consult the “best” evidence when making a patient decision (prognosis, therapy), not what their colleagues or teachers said
• Best = current and most rigorous published studies, varies by type of question
• Few health care professionals have these search skills
• McMaster U. – developed “search queries” or “hedges” – canned searches that were tested for relevancy, accuracy, precision
• Therapy (individual randomized controlled trials) = “clinical trial” in Title/Abstract OR clinical trials in MeSH OR linical trial in Publicatio Type OR random* in Title/Abstract OR “random allocation” in MeSH OR “therapeutic use” in MeSH Subheading
• Prognosis (individual cohort studies or follow-up studies that assess morbidity mortality or survival) = “Incidence in MeSH OR mortality in MeSH OR follow up studies in MeSH OR prognos* in Title/Abstract OR predict* in Title/Abstract OR course* in Title/Abstract
• PubMed: Search by Clinical Study Category – etiology, diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, clinical prediction guides; scope: narrow & specific or broad & sensitive

“Bioinformatics and Engineering Libraries”
• Amy Stout, MIT
• “using computers to solve bio problems, usually on molecular level”
• “new phase in genomics - making bio discoveries not at lab bench but at a computer terminal”
• sequence alignment, evolutionary biology, genome annotation
• Data intensive - mining huge data sets, high through-put data
• Engineering: synthetic biology, sequencing microbes, computational neuroanatomy – circuit diagram of neurons in brain tissue
• Libraries: support researchers and students, data coming under purview of academic libraries, databases like any other (but tools require more specialized knowledge)
• MIT: hired bioinformatics specialist, created website, strengthened collection development, online tutorials, 1.5 hour session on introductory bioinformatics, expert speakers
• Entrez, PubMed, Gene, CoreNucleotide, BLAST (ex: gabra1)
• CoreNucleotide – library catalog-like; each gene has a “bibliographic” record, but also includes actual GATC sequence
• BLAST – find analog to gene in animals (ex: human) other than the one in which you originally found research record (ex: mouse)
• Gene – like review or encyclopedia articles for gene sequences – associated functions (ex: alcohol dependence, history of blackouts, age at first drunkenness, etc.) with links to scholarly literature backing it up

“Biomedical Informatics in Engineering”
• Sheila Young, ASU
• ASU: Dept. of Biomedical Informatics, under School of Computing & Informatics, under School of Engineering
• Bioinformatics (molecular/cellular processes), imaging informatics (tissues/organs), clinical informatics (individuals), public health informatics (populations)
• Bioinformatics: “develop computational tools for the analysis of biomedical data and systems”
• Clinical bioinformatics: “develop novel IT, CS and KM methodologies for disease prevention, treatment, patient care delivery, knowledge access”
o Medical record construction – loss of anecdotal data?
o Medical decision-making
• Imaging informatics: “develop IT and computational tools to manage and analyze biomedical images”
• Public health informatics: “systematic application of information and CS to public health practice, research and learning”
• Engineering – have done similar work for systems biology (modeling and model analysis)
• Computer science, physics, and engineering literature, in addition to PubMed – various thesaurus terms and classification areas
• New interdisciplinary journals
• “Publishing” the data, as well as the narrative

Q: Where does translational science fit in? ISI is releasing a database, new journals, NSF funding.
A: NIH putting huge emphasis on it, funding centers. Pulling researchers from bench to bedside and forcing them to talk to one another.
A: Translational genomics - personal gene reports.

Q: How do the canned searches handle changes in MeSH terms?
A: Assume McMaster is monitoring.

Q: PubMed vs. Medline
A: PubMed contains all Medline records, plus additional or more recent records, from a variety of fields (some may not get indexed) – engineers love how PubMed maps from one database to another.

Q: How handle the $200,000 issue?
A: My understanding is that the library took over the cost from the labs; there are more restrictions on research funding driving this.

Engineering Resources Off-the-Beaten-Path

“Conference Proceedings at Risk”
• Tracy Gabridge, MIT
• Refworks account of faculty conference publications
• Vulnerable = less collected expensive proceedings, degrading CD-Roms, ephemeral online proceedings, annually changing procedures/policies
• [ideally, faculty would deposit to IR upon acceptance]
• Some publishers deposit in 3rd party archives
• Some small conferences have published directly through libraries
• At risk: 31% of 1,037 conference proceedings in their study
• Variation among disciplines
• # conferences (high to low): EE, Aero, ME, CS, Mat, CEE, NE
• Per faculty (high to low): Aero, EE, CEE, ME, ChemE, Mat, NE, CS
• At risk (high to low): Chem E (52%), Nuclear (50), Mat (45), CEE (44)…
• Can advocate for better publishing practices – create guides for organizers
• Can cooperate to create endangered list
• Can educate our own faculty
• Can support policy development for institutional repositories
• Promote successful models of preservation or open access
• Monitor trends
• Comment: some conferences are conduits to journal publication (knowledge is preserved)
• Comment: British Library good in cproceedings

“Tracking Patents and Applications”
• Charlotte
• Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) - USPTO made available within past 5 years
• $200 to get file wrapper to see entire document
• “Patent Assignments” database tracks ownership changes
• Patent filed in 1999 was just recently issued (7370713)
• Questions about whether a patent’s term has expired, and what influences that event
• Independent inventors are the only ones who file their own patents – not recommended
• Very detailed transaction histories available – received, verified, forwarded, rejected, etc.
• If you don’t pay maintenance fees on time, your patent expires before 20 years – announced in Patent Gazette

“Google Scholar vs. Compendex”
• John Meier, Penn State
• Available on Slideshare and ELD site
• What GS searches is nebulous – can’t be measured, no list (although some in news releases)
• Some just citations, others abstracts or full text links
• Databases cost thousands, tens of thousands of dollars – every year
• Some other disciplines/databases have been compared to GS
• 1950-2007, keywords in 8 subject areas [problematic]
• Percentage discoverable in GS increased over time in all subjects, approaching 90% in last two decades
• Best = Aero, NE, CS, EE
• Weaker in early decades = Eviro, Civil, ME, Industrial
• It’s about where GS gets data from – open access
• Aero: CSA, NASA tech report server, stormingmedia site, STINET, NASA ADS,, NASA Langley server,
• Civil: STINET, publisher sites,,…
• Computer Engineering: Publisher sites, ACM, IEEE,, CSA,,,, OSTI,, SPIE,,
• EE: IEEEXplore, CSA,, NASA ADS, publisher sites,, freepatentsonline, OSTI, search…
• Environ: CSA, Springer,,,, OSTI,,,,,,
• Industrial:, publisher sites, CSA, SAE, STINET, IEEE, PubMed,,, Google patents, personal websites
• ME:, publisher sites, Google patents, CSA, NASA ADS, cat.inistfr,,, Google books, …
• NE: publisher sites, OSTI, IEEE,,, aps, CSA,,
• All decades: publisher sites, heavily government information
• International bibliographies contribute to all but Enviro
• Pre-prints and repositories – expected more
• Strongest = publishers and societies, including Elsevier

Ethics in Engineering Education (non-ELD session)

[note: this session may be of interest to some members, though it wasn't sponsored by ELD]

Engineering Ethics & Climate Change
• Joseph Herkert, ASU
• Little written about ethics and climate change
• Gardiner 2004:
o Uncertainty = red herring: issue isn’t lack of smoking gun, it’s how we act in absence of smoking gun
o Not either/or – we have to take action to minimize climate change, AND we have to adapt to climate change that is going to happen
• Codes of Ethics as written aren’t the answer: “paramountcy clauses,” environment/sustainability, intergenerational equity (future), objectivity/truthfulness, public understanding
• Codes: written with microethics perspective, not macroethics

“Web-based Professional Ethics Modules”
• Byron Newberry (Baylor U.) and Greta Gorsuch (Texas Tech U.)
• Professional ethics and regulations vary by culture
• Includes intellectual property, plagiarism, data integrity
• Brought in an applied linguist
• MS Word statistics – writing to 9th/10th grade level = shorter sentences, limited vocabulary, embedded definitions [ex: ConceptTutor]
• Indexing software – substitute more frequently used, common words for more infrequently used, more complex words

“Lowering the Barriers to Achieve Ethics Across the Engineering Curriculum”
• Kristyn Masters (BME faculty) and Sarah Pfatteicher (Asst. Dean), UW-Madison
• Big, research-focused university
• Want to increase instructor comfort for teaching ethics
• Students and instructors more comfortable with numbers - measurable outcomes
• Sarah gets asked to give a guest lecture on ethics, to address ABET requirement
• Module in ethics problem-solving that is reusable
• Case study ethical problem, students given 20 min. quiz to “solve”
• Control group: full lecture and open-ended answer, expeimental groups: full lecture and DISORDER framework, b) short overview and DISORDER framework
• A) NIH constrains hESC strains you can use – not very good; b) Federally funded equipment can’t touch non-approved lines, c) Privately funded stem cell lines in lab next door, and they’re willing to share (?)
• Open-ended responses = 65% a) keep using crappy cells and not get anywhere with research, or b) steal cells – unsatisfactory polarized answers
• DISORDER framework (from “Doing Good and Avoiding Evil”) – mimics design process; undergrads do 6 semesters of design, so very comfortable – bringing uncomfortable topic into their comfort zone
• Framework inspired huge % of students with alternative answers, and increased # alternative answers per student; final solutions chosen flipped to alternatives; zero illegal answers
• Paradoxically, more structure = more complex and innovative answers
• Even a short overview had a big impact
• 19 instructors – positive feedback
• Kristyn – funded by CAREER award (CBET – 0547374)
• Q: What does DISORDER stand for? A: Defining the problem, and gathering the Information were the most important steps – what questions would they ask the client for a design project?

“Preparing Engineering Grad Students for Ethical Problems in Research”
• UT-Austin
• Many ethical research issues in news lately
• ORI finds research misconduct more frequently among grad students than any other group
• Online materials and 4-hour workshop
• We talk about rules of research conduct as if they’re immutable; but they arose from humanities-baesd disciplines – therefore, cognitive dissonance or unwritten rules that are discipline-specific
• Engineers are averse to quotation marks, even for direct quotes – but they’ll cite sources
• Grad student plagiarism at Ohio University – 20 years of misconduct – plagiarizing the literature reviews of other masters theses – followed the model for 20 years
• What is “plagiarism”? Different in engineering vs. humanities? How paraphrase a process description – “readers don’t want to have to look this up elsewhere.”
• Engineers don’t see “words” as their product (intellectual property) – value lab research over “book” research
• Grad students are thrown on existing research projects and expected to produce – other students have done the lit review, so they never do
• We need engineering-specific standards, and not just for the lit review: Collaborative authoring, selecting data, presenting data – “nobody is addressing this, except maybe BME faculty”
• Q: I saw a lot of instances of faculty treating grad students inappropriately
• A: My question when grad students get accused is always, “where was the faculty advisor?”

Get Acquainted: Scholarly Communications discussion

Recent activities:

  • UW-Madison - Scholarly Communications Committee (but not much faculty/campus admin participation), faculty resolution adopting CIC author addendum, institutional repository, BibApp tool (portal, open acess check ith Sherpa/Romeo, setting up for batch loads to repository), NIH public access law, liaison copyright retention and open access, CIC conference on e-research and data management

  • ELD “Punch list” of best practices (?) – interest in updating

  • ELD SC committee is dormant

  • Seeing many ads for SC librarians (in title) – are they being filled? is it a full-time job?
    o Binghamton: hiring SC/grant writer
    o MIT: half-time SC, half-time ?
    o Julia Gelfand: Training/development, website, program development – don’t see as full-time, tech services is out of the loop
    o University of Pennsylvania: SC librarian defining his job as he goes along, from humanities/social sciences background; may merge in data management
    o U. Washington: only have 2 AULs which is on the light side; adding directors of topical areas that report to UL (Assessment – on ARL road show, Collections/E-resources & SC); IR is under IT
    o UW-Madison: GLS IR Librarian, Ebling Library Assist. Dir. for SC, Wendt Library Collections/E-resources & SC
    o ? – Assistant Dean for SC – defining his job as he goes along
    o Colorado State U. – Assistant Dean for SC – acquisitions, collection development, public services; IR Librarian

Institutional repository issues

  • How convince faculty to deposit in IR? Better response if have mandate from admin?
    o Brown U.: linking to papers, rather than “depositing” them
    o What about author disambiguation? Big issue.
    o Iberonke Q: Do you start with defining what goes into IR? If not, you could get a mishmash. A: MIT’s narrow scope backfired – turning into e-bookshelf – anything of interest to our researchers – not just MIT-authored
    o Our researchers are interested in disciplinary repositories
    o What is the definitive copy? (CIC conference)
    o U. Washington: using Manikin; Asian bark drawing images – used for actual research; renaming ResearchWorks@Washington – creating portals to just interact with Faculty ResearchWorks, Student ResearchWorks; concerned about faculty reaction to mishmash
    o CalTech: using e-Prints (not dSpace); grad students interested in updating bib for CV
    o Can our IRs be used to help populate DRs? Vice versa? Anyone tracking what’s going into PMC etc.?
    o MIT: beginning ethnographic study of researcher publishing practices
    o Julia: Once they get the letter of acceptance, they’re done with that article and on to the next thing; we need tools like Madison’s [BibApp]
    o How reliable is Sherpa/Romeo? Not completely up to date.
    o Faculty response – there are already so many NIH rules and regulations, this is no big deal; Office of Sponsored Research has ultimate responsibility – they had no clue this was going on before libraries brought it to them – unfunded mandate
    o Publishers are asking people to contact Congress against it; ALA the opposite
    o Iberonke: sponsored a Faculty Research Day; invited NIH funded researchers and Office of Sponsored Research; made inroads
    o CSU: Anyone using IR as PR tool? We use Fedora; library website team wants to highlight; very time intensive to review for author disambiguation
    o Some faculty hand us their CV and say “do what you want”
    o U. North Texas: Provost requiring “Faculty Profiling System” (unfortunate name) just for CV so can create institutional profile

ASEE “Publish to Present” requirement - no longer “Abstracts Only” option

  • ASEE publications require complete transfer of author copyright
    o Costs money to submit to Smoothpaper
    o Doesn’t affect guest speakers, panel sessions, ELD poster session (have to call it panel session)
    o Will we still be able to post on ELD website? Don’t know.
    o ELD has spoken with ASEE about adopting transfer of publishing rights only – response was NO.
    o Flip side – May get ASEE to agree to author addendum, specifying what author does have rights to (laundry list)
    o Current PIC IV chair does not yet understand this issue (she’s outgoing) – she said each individual can ask for their rights back when they need it [note: she spoke a bit on this issue at the ELD board meeting]

Why I love ELD?

I just wanted to share some thoughts and reflections of my past 10-11 years of association with ELD.

I did not know when I attended the 1998 conference in Seattle for the first time, I would fall in love with ELD right away. ELD to me is like a big family with everyone is eager to support each other in a variety of ways. We share our experiences with each other, and in the process, develop a bond of togetherness. We try our best to come up with innovative ideas for implementation that benefit our profession tremendously. In every session, I learn something new. Creativity and talent shown by our members always inspire me to contribute in some creative ways in the field of engineering librarianship.

Our members are extremely proactive and they bring up many intellectual ideas for further discussion. It is this interactive dialog among us that really sparks critical thinking among ourselves allowing us to take ELD to the next higher level. This year's conference, workshops and various technical sessions truly reflect dedication and commitment of our members to this regard.

During the past 3 years, I garnered much support from our senior ELD members that truly helped me survive my ELD officer terms.

ELD has helped me grow..and it will continue to do so...ELD experience is the experience of my life-time, an experience that is so dear to me.

Thank you so much, ELD!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Tools for Information Literacy

Moderator Patricia Watkins introduced the speakers and a very full room sat in anticipation of seeing innovative tools. William Baer was the first to speak on Using Videos to Teach the Ethical Use of Engineering Information. He had early communication with faculty who were concerned about plagiarism and expanded the topic to include ethics, which is a particular focus by Engineering (Code of Ethics). His students had little experience writing citations, and he noted a special need by Graduate Assistants also. After working out some technical requirements, he recorded four short videos including tests in Blackboard and a worksheet. Assessment by pretest and post test showed improvement after the videos with notable early low score by students who had already completed an ethics course (!!) and greater improvement by female students.

Eric Resnis spoke next on Smart Searching: An Online Information Fluency Tutorial. At Miami of Ohio he saw a need for specialized tutorials for Engineers in addition to their general E-learn initiative. His tutorial included some notable innovations. First was a blog (for all sections) where he could remind students of their assignments regarding the tutorial. The next was rotating ads for library services and databases included on the website. Lastly there were quizzes available to grade the students after completing the tutorial. His results of studying the quizzes and homework from the students showed good scores in academic integrity, peer review, OhioLINK, but bad performance on Journal citations and Choosing resources. Scores have gone up after survey was revised, but the problem areas remained the same.

Adriana Popescu presented a non-technology based report on Exploring, Reading and Writing Scientific Literature in English. In an entertaining way she showed the difficulty of international students with library jargon and English scientific literature. They developed two non-credit 6 week courses that started with a reading assignment with posting reactions to a message board. The first choice of content was actually articles on the difficulties of non-native English students. This continued with more readings, discussions in class (slow with many accents, but she had one too!), and writing drafts for practice. The results of questions she asked about how they find articles frequently found Google in the answers.

Finally Lisa Dunn presented a unique program at the Colorado School of Mines in Flexible Information Literacy Strategies for Engineering Design in EPICS. EPICS (Engineering Practices Intro. Course Sequence) has a strong formal relationship to the libraries, it keeps librarians on their toes by having VERY interesting project topics that are decided very near to the library sessions with the project teams (5 teams of 5 for each of 18 sections in 1 week!) The team based library session had a diminishing lecture component, laptop work groups, customizable worksheets that provided multiple tasks for each team to complete in smaller pairs then share with their teammates. Interviews with faculty were positive, but included some contradictory expectations (also advice from Lisa to LISTEN when doing those interviews). She also made sure to address the planning of the project in the context of Marketing, which was useful and insightful.

Two items: 1. Importance of student feedback 2. Donna Beck winner of daily prize drawing

I attended a portion of a session 1530: Design: Content and Context (Educational Research & Methods Division) in which presenters of a paper addressed issues dealing with the teaching of engineering design to undergraduates, as well as using a design paradigm in the context of curriculum enhancement. One of the issues that was discussed dealt with the importance faculty feedback to students on their submited responses to the given assignements. Just merely providing grades to students make them feel that the faculty members are 'not serious' about their learning or educational achievements. More meaningful and detailed feedback is absolutely necessary.

It reminded me of Sunday afternoon's workshop presentation on 'What Every Librarian Should Know about Assessment' by Gloria Rogers from ABET, in which she pointed out that providing feedback to students on their assignments is extremely critical and important. Good feedback inspires and motivates students to learn those subject areas in which they did not do well before.

I also saw on the ASEE blog that Donna Beck of Carnegie Mellon University won a personal DVD player in the daily prize drawings category. Congratulations, Donna!

ELD Photos 2008

Thanks to everyone for letting me capture the day and evening activities on "film." Check back throughout the conference for additional photos at my Flickr site :

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Tools and Techniques for Information Literacy

"Using Videos to Teach the Ethical Use of Engineering Information"
  • William Baer, Wichita State University
  • Cornered by faculty, who were worried about plagiarism

  • NSF was also considering mandate requiring copyright education

  • Expanded the original topic to NSPE Code of Ethics, copyright, and citations

  • Classroom time is limited, faculty don't want to fit something else in; "WU-torials" were a good fit (WU is the university mascot)

  • Focused on educational objective, rather than entertainment

  • Wanted instructors to be able to insert into Blackboard course management system

  • 4 shorter videos = faster download, faculty choice

  • Got permission to use an existing worksheet about plagiarism available online

  • Created a test in Blackboard, could be imported into faculty grading if wanted

  • U.S. citizens scored higher than non-U.S. on both pre/post; but both improved by same # of points, so bigger impact for non-U.S. citizens

  • Students with ethics class did worse on pre-test (?) but better than other students on post-test

"Smart Searching: an online information fluency tutorial tailored specifically to introductory engineering students"

  • Eric Resnis, Miami University

  • Existing tutorials: TILT (Texas Information Literacy Tutorial), Georgetown University's, ACRL's PRIMO (peer-reviewed instructional materials online)

  • Wanted an engineering-specific tutorial = "Smart Searching: Finding, Citing & Evaluating Information"

  • "Smart searching" is brand, includes variety of instructional modalities

  • Each module has: Introduction (learning outcomes), Tools, Techniques, Practice

  • Printable handout links from within tutorial

  • "A la carte" content: link to WordPress blog = timely information for students

  • Tutorial "ads" - worked with technologist librarian to create content management system, output would be clickable image for website that rotate every 10 seconds

  • 2007: Quiz required; created question bank, randomly generated set of 10 questions

  •, /eas102

"Exploring, Reading and Writing Scientific Literature in English: The Non-Native English Speakers' Perspective"

  • Adriana Popescu, Princeton U.

  • Heart and soul tools, not technology tools

  • How librarians can help international students integrating into American educational system

  • Dictionary of American Idioms - "hit the hay," "hit the ceiling," "horse around," "smell a rat," "pay through the nose," "stick your neck out" - frustrating to communicate

  • Library terminology - many don't know what "reference" or "interlibrary loan" or "stacks" mean

  • Princeton: over half of engineering grad students are international; many international students in electrical engineering, economics, and chemistry

  • Bottom line: solid basic knowledge of resources and services available to them

  • Faculty want grad students to be able to write; seeing copy/paste problem; may not have had to write as undergrads in their countries

  • Combine Writing Program, Libraries, engineering college - but students not just in engineering

  • Goals: experience, understanding of technical communications, collaboration, critical thinking about research articles

  • Informal: online discussion board for reactions to readings

  • Formal: 1500 literature review

  • Met with Writing Center to help them learn about engineering literature - taught how to search databases, helped choose classic papers, talked about scholarly communication and publishing trends, plagiarism

  • Readings: 2 articles about international students (why less likely to take advantage of resources/services, interact mostly with people of same language/culture)

  • Asked them how they keep up with their field, how do you get from a citation to finding the paper? (Google)

  • Assignment: find out where your field conducts its business

  • Caught their attention: RSS feeds - you can get news from your country every da; Interviews - what were the latest papers published by your interviewers?

"Flexible Info Lit Strategies for Engineering Design in EPICS"

  • Lisa Dunn, Colorado School of Mines

  • Our EPICS (Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence) doesn't relate to other campuses

  • Library has formal teaching session for freshman EPICS course; informal support for rest

  • Information overload: how process and retain?

  • Projects with real clients; change every semester; information requirements vary

  • Variety of adjunct faculty - don't know what library can do

  • Smaller lecture over time, larger team activity component

  • Set up space with students facing each other, using laptops

  • Modeled after real world: each person gets a different piece of the project, then communicates with the others

  • Marketing - awareness (capturing information from your user - not a dialogue) + change + response (demonstrating the benefit) - Pat Wagner, Pattern Research, "Marketing As If Your Library Depended on It"

  • Generally, instructors noticed enhanced team environment, time on task, finding relevant information

  • Instructors asked us to do things that we were already doing - communication problem

  • Different instructors wanted different things

Plenary: Charles Vest, NAE President

Challenges of the freshman engineering curriculum
  • 1967: how to make 1st year exciting, communicate what engineers do, understand business processes, think about ethics and social responsibility
  • 2008: all these things, plus nano/bio/info, large complex systems, new life-science base, computation/storage capabilities, globalization, innovation, leadership, teamwork across disciplines/fields/nations/cultures, experiential learning (conceive/design/implement/operate), entrepreneurship, product development/manufacturing, sustainable development
The global engineer is...
  • Technically adept, broadly knowledgeable, innovative and entrepreneurial, commercially savvy, multilingual, culturally aware, able to understand world markets, professionally flexible and mobile
  • 20th century: physics, electronics, high-speed communications and transportation
  • 21st century: biology and information, energy, water, food, sustainability
  • Payoff from bridging the frontiers: bio-based materials, biomemetics, personalized/predictive medicine, synthetic biology, biofuels, etc.
  • U.S. declined: domestic R&D, scientific publications, S&E BS degrees, new U.S. patents, scientific researchers, new S&E PhDs
  • “Venture capital is the search for smart engineers” – venture capitalist friend
  • “Open innovation” – borrow best ideas from anywhere (Henry Chesbrough, Harvard Business School)
  • Employment growth driven by small and medium companies
Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering
  • Based on what works
  • Engineers are creative problem solvers
  • Engineering is not static – 21st century science/engineering/medicine interdependent, blending in new ways
  • Engineering is about systems: nanobio devices to (aging) largescale infrstructure to (adapting to warming) earth itself
  • Engineering is essential to our health, happiness and safety
Grand Challenges for Engineering
  • Doable in next few decades
  • "Advance Personalized Learning"
  • After 17 years at MIT, I’ve learned: Making exciting, creative, adventurous, rigorous, demanding, empowering environments = more important than curricular details
  • Innovation: CDIO (conceive, design, innovate, operate), UROP/UPOPP (professional opportunity in small companies), WebLab (run real experiments from dorm room), new schools like Olin College, Second Life, mega multi-player games, business plan competitions (how to communicate clearly), studio learning, computer-assisted learning, projects, experiential learning
  • Digital resources for education: cyberinfrastructure, inexpensive/limitless memory, digital archives (JSTOR, ARTstor, Ithaka, PLOS, Google Library, etc.)
  • Learning isn’t just sitting in front of a box and listening; role of IT is multidimensional; role of neural/cognitive science – more than putting books on the shelf, even more amazing things to do with IT – very fast, can be modified
U.S. advantage
  • Rest of world is focused on engineering education as practical subject – U.S. has clear and unrecognized advantage within our universities that mix together arts, humanities, social sciences – adds component to thinking
Question: "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" controversy
  • National Academies halfway through “America’s Energy Future” study
  • One uniform document with technical and economic facts for each technology with likelihood of being major players – generation, distribution, conservation
  • Pursued huge range of funding – no one asked us to do this – didn’t want to be accused of bias based on funder
  • Taking on another study on global change, asked by Congress – state of science, adaptation strategies
  • Everything may be okay now, but it won’t be in the future if we don’t work on it now – America Competes Act
Question: What can we do?
  • #1: Urge you to talk to Congresspeople to keep K-12 education on the front burner
  • #2: Local action on energy and sustainability issues in health and security context; get young people involved

Get acquainted / special interest information

Just in case you miss the comment from Patricia to the first post, here's the details on the info folks submitted in advance of this session.

A bit late, but the Member Update and Get Acquainted information has been gathered. I'm sending it out to the ELD list so you will all get it when you get back to your desks. A few copies will be available at the first special session tomorrow (Monday) at 10:30. Join us there and get reacquainted with your peers.

Here is a PDF copy of the gathered information from division members.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

ASEE and global collaboration

Today's PIC IV Division Business meeting reminded me of the new ASEE supported INDO-US Collaboration for Engineering Education initiative.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), along with academic and business leaders from leading US and Indian universities have launched an initiative to build US-India collaborations in order to make engineering education and research more relevant to the needs of the global society and to the aptitudes and aspirations ofnew generations of youth.

The 2008 Indo-US Engineering Faculty Leadership Institute commenced on the Infosys campus in Mysore, India on May 26, 2008. The goal of the partnership is to improve the quality and global relevance of engineering education in the U.S. and India.

Souce: ASEE Action Newsletter, June 2008

See also: INDO-US Collaboration for Engineering Education and IUCEE Initiative

Several white papers on topics such as collaboration, curriculum development and teaching engineering through case studies are available at: White Papers


I'll be taking pictures througout the conference. I'll add some of them to the blog, but the others can be found on my flickr site. The set for the conference in Pittsburgh can be seen at the following address:


CUEBALLS Saturday night

Several ELD members met and headed over to the Pirates game on Saturday night. The evening started quite nicely, and got a bit wet by the end of the game. We were under cover, so that wasn't bad, it was the walk after the game when we got wet.

The Pirates won 6-3 over the Blue Jays.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Workshop: Patents at Mach 2: Technology on the Cutting Edge

In 2007, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received a record-breaking 450,000 new patent applications. Worldwide patent filings are on the rise, with innovations in information and computer technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology driving much of the increase. This hands-on workshop will introduce you to advanced techniques and tools for searching patents using case studies from biomedical engineering, biotechnology, electrical and mechanical engineering. You will learn how to use the U.S. and International patent classification systems to improve your search results and explore new online tools for keeping up to date with emerging technologies.

Date: Sunday, June 22nd
Time: 9 am

Location: Benedum Hall, University of Pittsburgh
3700 O'Hara, 12th floor, Room 1221

For more information, handouts and further reading, please refer to:
Patents at Mach 2.0: Technology on the Cutting Edge

Transportation has been arranged so that workshop attendees meet at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, 1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA at 7:45 am and leave no later than 8 am. The main entrance to the hotel is on 10th Street not Penn.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Welcome to Pittsburgh!

Here we are at the start of another ASEE annual conference, this year in Pittsburgh, PA, June 22-25.

Watch this space for updates on conference happenings, session summaries and commentary from members of the Engineering Libraries Division as the conference progresses.

Thanks in advance to all who add content to this blog over the next week and a half.

ELD program chair, 2008