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Conference Reflections: A Chemistry Librarian Discovers the Digital Humanities

Header image for LAUC-B 2017 conference

Every year librarians from across the UC System come together to learn about emerging trends in library and information science at the LAUC-B conference. The 2017 theme was, “Focus on the visual: Digital Humanities and Libraries.” As the Chemical Information Librarian at UC Berkeley some people might wonder, what do I have in common with the digital humanities?  I am an experienced chemist, but am a  new librarian at UCB and have a lot to learn about the amazing work being done by my colleagues. The UC system supports many departments at the top of their field, so as you can imagine, the librarians  for those departments and the entire system are often passionate and talented individuals.

Barack Obama Bust
3D Printed bust of President Barack Obama.

As a subject liaison, I feel strongly that interdisciplinary and collaborative projects are leading to some incredible outcomes, spanning across the humanities and sciences. My favorite talk of the day came from the Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of the California Digital Library (CDL), Günter Waibel, who delivered the opening keynote and outlined his work doing the first ever 3D printed bust of a sitting President, which had a great societal response.  As librarians we always hope our work will touch people in powerful ways, it’s still unclear to me what my contribution to the field will be. As long as I can attend events like the LAUC-B conference, I am sure to find a great idea.

Reaxys 2.0 Migration

 

Logo for Reaxys Database

Reaxys is a web-based tool for the retrieval of chemistry information and data from published literature, including journals and patents.Chemists at Berkeley are active users of Reaxys, doing 1000’s of searches/month!

Elsevier has rolled out a new version of Reaxys (Reaxys 2.0) that has a number of enhanced features, including:

  1.       An increasingly simple user interface.  The opening page has spaces to (a) type in the search query in a search bar or (b) type in the name of the structure or draw the structure.
  2.       Search functions using the querylets to increase the specificity of the search and reduces the time that the user has to filter the results post search.
  3.       Search functions that contain auto suggest. Similarly it also searches for singular/plural and synonyms
  4.       Using Boolean operators (obviously one of Elsevier’s strengths)
  5.       Listing hits in the initial screen (post search).  No secondary search needed.
  6.       A big increase in the number of searchable Asian patents

The migration is Reaxys 2.0 is ongoing, but migration should be completed by November 30, 2017. Soon UCB users will be directed to the new interface, but will continue to have the option to use the old interface for the foreseeable future.

Wiley Spectra Lab: Search the world’s largest NMR spectral collection

Do you need a fast, easy way to access spectra and identify an unknown compound?

Wiley Spectra Lab has acquired spectral data from Wiley, Wiley-VCH, Bio-Rad Sadtler and others to present the world’s largest collection of curated spectral data. Current licensing includes C-NMR, H-NMR and X-NMR spectroscopies.

You can search Wiley Spectra Lab in OskiCat or access it through the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library Guide under Properties and Data. Contact the Chemical Information Librarian, Kortney Rupp with any issues or questions.

An infographic describing Wiley Spectra Lab
Infographic for Wiley Spectra Lab

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