Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why the scientific publishing system sucks the big hairy dog, part 2 of X

I spent a good part of Saturday in at work trying to look up some papers referenced by this article I’m trying to review. I eventually figured out that our university no longer has the paper copies of Philosophical Magazine B, while the electronic subscription does not cover the early 90’s, so I was SOL. At the time, I was tempted to write a huge angry rant about this, since the one thing that the blogosphere is desperately short on is long, angry rants. But in time, cooler heads prevailed, so I decided to change angles and make a meme out of it. ‘cause the internet needs more memes.

So here you go folks:
The library adequacy meme:

This meme takes a little bit longer than the ones designed to determine your romantic compatibility or psychological similarities to dead white people, but it will hopefully be more informative as well.

Grab the nearest paper handy to your desk that is not written by you. Flip to the first page of references.

Look up each reference on your library system (Those of you in the real world can do a predetermined subset if you lack infinite time).
Of those references,
-How many are available electronically?
-How many are available locally on paper?
-How many are not available, but are in your personal stash (paper or electronic)?
-How many of those papers do you not have access to?

Since I blog from home, the answer for me is obviously 0/0/0/100% at the moment, but I’ll give it a go when I check the references for this review and plug the numbers in.

3 comments:

Chuck said...

I forgot the most important part of this post!

If anyone out there has a pdf copy of Boyd et al. '94 (Phil Mag B 69 1149-1153) and/or Kiflawi et al. '94 (Phil Mag B 69 1141-1147) that they feel like sharing, please drop me an email (see sidebar for how to do that).

ScienceWoman said...

I'll add your meme to my to-blog list and get to it in a year or so when I am caught up! But I actually like it when our library doesn't have something. Because then they will interlibrary loan it from someplace and I'll get a PDF delivered right to my desktop a few days later.

There really is a Philosophy Magazine B? Excuse my incredulity.

Chuck said...

Yes, and it is a materials science journal.

Name leftover from a previous centry.