More Citizen Science!

Citizen Science Month may have ended, but citizen science continues! Join NASA and the Citizen Science Association for the first CitSciCon, online on May 21-22, 2021. Attend informative sessions and learn about citizen science projects sponsored by NASA.

  • Identify new planets, exoplanets, or comets
  • Paint images of coral reefs
  • Map penguin populations
  • And more!

Visit NASA’s page at SciStarter ( to register for events and learn more about projects.

Citizen Science Month

April is Citizen Science Month, and here in Rodgers Library we’re excited about all the events and projects that are coming our way in the next several weeks.

But what is citizen science, you ask?  It’s simply the opportunity for regular citizens–like you and me, our friends and families–to contribute to real scientific research.  That could mean collecting data, analyzing video, or even playing games on your phone.

A great place to get a look at the full range of projects is  SciStarter brings together thousands of science research projects and millions of citizen scientists, resulting in a space where everyone can explore their scientific interests and make a contribution.

Since April is Citizen Science Month, there are activities for every day, so check out the calendar!

A few upcoming online events:

Thursday, April 8, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Participate in Citizen Science
Relaxed, hands-on session led by Boston College Libraries

Saturday, April 10, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Get Started with Citizen Science
Learn about citizen science and see two demos of actual projects; led by SciStarter and volunteers from Verizon

Monday, April 12, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Turn Your Curiosity into Impact with SciStarter & OLLI at ASU
Another session where you can learn about citizen science and see demos of projects

Other sessions offer interviews, panels, demos of projects, and more!

Welcome to Citizen Science Month!

Searching PubMed Programmatically

Earlier this semester, we taught a workshop on how to use the NCBI Entrez Direct (EDirect) [1] tool to search and compile PubMed and related data from a Unix Shell. EDirect is a great tool and has an approachable learning curve. You may consider using EDirect if, for example, you would like to compile custom bibliographic datasets, perform many searches, or discover related linked data.

All of our workshop materials including code and slides are openly available on GitHub:

Check it out and let us know if you have any questions. We would be happy to help you.


Finding Citations to Non-indexed Resources in Web of Science

The Clarivate Analytics Web of Science database ( has a powerful Cited Reference Search that is useful for discovering records that have cited a particular publication. A typical use case that I have used many times is to start with a known article and discover references that cite that article.

Recently, while reading a few articles [1,2], I happened upon a use case I had not thought to try in a Web of Science Cited Reference Search; that is, searching for citations to non-indexed items like theses, databases, or software applications. For example, many software applications or web resources may not have a formal publication associated with it and so researchers may cite the application name or a website URL where the application can be accessed.

This was intriguing as I regularly use a cheminformatics toolkit, RDKit, that does not yet have a formal publication describing the software. Some experimentation and searching for “RDKit” in the Cited Reference Search, revealed that reference index matches to RDKit vary greatly and can appear within the Cited Author, Cited Work, or Title fields. Here are few examples to illustrate this, where the Cited Author is the first column, Cited Work the second column, and Cited Title the third column:

‘RDKit’ | ‘OP SOURC CHEM’ | ‘ ’

‘RDKit’ | ‘OP SOURC CHEM’ | ‘ URL:

‘Landrum, G.’ | ‘RDKIT’ | ‘ URL:

‘[Anonymous]’ | ‘ OP SOURC CHEM’ | ‘RDKit:…URL:

We can search each of these fields separately [3], select the candidates of interest, and then remove any duplicates to find all citations to RDKit. Here is a summary of what I found for ‘RDKit’:

Cited Author Search: 51 relevant variations, with 160 citing articles.

Cited Work Search: 7 relevant variations, with 13 citing articles

Cited Title Search: 15 relevant variations, with 33 citing articles

A quick sort of the combined titles revealed 6 duplicates, so in total, we found 200 RDKit citations via the Web of Science Cited Reference Search. That’s pretty cool. There are certainly many limitations with this method which I have not explored yet, but overall, I think it will be useful when trying to find non-indexed resources through citation searching.



[3] Note I did not limit to a particular index, so this includes the Science Citation Index Expanded as well as others.

Rodgers Library Reopening

Library tables with chairs spaced for social distancing

Rodgers Library is taking first steps toward reopening for our users. From June 30 to July 2, Rodgers Library will be open in the afternoons from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. From July 6 to the end of Summer II (July 31), Rodgers Library will be open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Visitors to the library during Summer II will immediately notice changes. Access will be limited to UA faculty, staff, and students, and visitors much swipe their Action card at the door to enter. Visitors much wear a mask at all times and observe social distancing by staying 6′ from other persons.

The second floor of Rodgers is currently closed, as is the Scholars’ Station; visitors are invited to use the learning commons area on the first floor. Many of the computers have been disabled to create 6′ of separation between users. Likewise, only one user may be seated at each study table. Group study rooms are closed. The library will not be circulating equipment such as laptops. The circulation desk has been reconfigured to be accessed from the lobby area.

Staff are present and ready to assist users. Visitors are encouraged to ask for help at the circulation desk. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (e.g., for wiping computer keyboards) are available at the circulation desk. It’s our goal to create an environment where you may use library resources safely.

Welcome back to Rodgers!

Schedule for Summer II
June 30 – July 2: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
July 6 – July 31: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

We’re here for you!

The Rodgers Library building might be closed, but our enormous collection of electronic journals, ebooks, and databases is still available to you at any location 24/7 through the website at  Likewise, our science and engineering librarians and staff are working from home to continue to provide support for your teaching, learning, and research.

For a quick response, you can send a question to the University Libraries’ chat service at  You can also submit a question by email using that site, or you can contact one of the Rodgers librarians directly.

  • Mangala Krishnamurthy,
  • Lance Simpson,
  • Vin Scalfani (on sabbatical until May 1)

For guides to using databases and information sources, see

For the most up-to-date information regarding University Libraries’ resources and services, see our library guide at

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance!

Be safe and be well!


3D Tech Fair at Rodgers Library

Rodgers Library is holding a 3D Tech Fair on Thursday, October 24 from 11 am – 1 pm to showcase the 3D technology available to library users. 

All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the Rodgers Library 3D Tech Fair on Thursday, October 24, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm.  Learn more about Oculus Rift, structure sensor, 3D printing and scanning, and 3D stereoscopic vision.  

During the Tech Fair you can try out the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, take a look at the professional-grade 3D printers, etc. You can also sign up to get 3D printing training at Rodgers Library. For more details about the training and 3D printing, visit Makerspaces Guide.

Welcome to Newest Rodgers Librarian

Please welcome Lance Simpson, who recently joined the library faculty as Research and Instructional Services Librarian in Rodgers Library.

Lance Simpson comes to us from Tuscaloosa Public Library. He holds a BA in English and Spanish from Berry College, and earned his MLIS from The University of Alabama. For the past several years, Lance has worked with makerspaces and learning labs in public libraries to create mentor-led, STEM learning environments for teens. He is passionate about developing student-led learning spaces as a compliment to academic instruction, and providing opportunities for students to share their research.

As the liaison to the College of Engineering and to the Department of Biological Sciences, Lance is available to faculty and students to assist with research consultations and library instruction sessions for classes. Please contact Lance by email at, or by phone at 348-2108.

Machine-readable Data and The International Year of the Periodic Table 2019

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table. The United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO have proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (#IYPT2019). There are many activities, projects, and celebrations planned this year promoting the Periodic Table of Elements listed on the IYPT2019 website:

You may also be interested in reading some of our print and electronic books related to the Periodic Table: Scout Search for TI(periodic table).

At Rodgers Library, we have been interested in interacting with machine-readable periodic table data. As such, we were excited to learn that the U.S. National Library of Medicine recently released an interactive PubChem Periodic Table of Elements that allows both human and machine access to the underlying data. For example, here is a variety of associated element property data in machine-readable JSON format from the PubChem Periodic Table of Elements:

JSON data can be processed using scientific software and/or programming languages. We have created an example tutorial using MATLAB code. In the tutorial, we download the PubChem machine-readable periodic table JSON data and assemble a table of element names and corresponding International Chemical Identifiers (InChIs). We then create plots of Melting Point/Boiling Point vs. Atomic Number. Check out the MATLAB Live Notebook below, you are free to use and adapt the code as desired:

Plot of Temperature (Celsius) of Melting/Boiling Point versus Atomic Number.
Plot of Temperature (Celsius) of Melting/Boiling Point versus Atomic Number.

Enjoy, and have fun with the Periodic Table of the Elements!

Fair Use Fundamentals

We’re celebrating Fair Use Week! We’ve been defining fair use as an exception to the copyright law that allows us to use copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder, within certain limits. You might be wondering what those limits are! Check out the infographic below to see just what is involved in determining whether something is fair use and learn about the four factors that are used to make that decision. Then join us in the celebration!

Page one
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Books on Women in STEM

Women in STEM

photo of whiteboard with written text "I am a chemist, wife, reader, dog lover, woman in science" Photo of whiteboard with written text "I am a Ph.D. student in geology"

Book collection at Rodgers Library for Science & Engineering: With a Concentration on Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). And to support WISE (Women in STEM Experience) on UA campus.

Have a look at the latest additions of books to UA Libraries collection that we think you’ll enjoy, or have a browse to find something you like.

Suggestions for some fun read this summer –  General science reading along with WISE focused books.

Book cover of "Headstrong"

Headstrong: 52 women who changed science – and the world,

TheDiscovery of Jeanne Baret : A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe.

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet

Eyes on the street : the life of Jane Jacobs

Lab girl

The Manga Guides   is a series of educational Japanese Manga books. Each volume explains a particular subject in STEM areas.

Book cover of "A crack in creation"

A crack in the Creation : Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution

Jennifer Doudna, professor and co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing  – In her own words about how her interest in science deepened –  “ thanks to a chemistry teacher, Miss Wong, who “taught us kids that science was about solving puzzles — it was about asking questions and figuring out how to answer them.”

For more books check out UA Libraries.

Chemical & Engineering Data and Mathematical Functions available from NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides public access to a multitude of compiled chemical and engineering experimental and computational data ( Much of the data available from NIST is critically evaluated and extracted from the primary literature; however, there is also unique data available, collected at NIST facilities. For example, NIST obtained the Radionuclide Half-Life Measurements.

To browse a full list of these specialized NIST data resources, we recommend using the NIST Data Gateway:

Within the NIST Data Gateway, you will see a full list of data available from NIST, such as the Atomic Spectra Database, Chemistry WebBook, Ionic Liquids Database, and Property Data Summaries for Advanced Materials. There are also useful Mathematics resources like the NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions and Guide to Available Mathematical Software. These mathematics resources contain an index of mathematical functions along with an index of software than can compute mathematical functions.

So, check out the NIST Data Gateway, and let us know if you need help navigating any of the NIST resources!

Clarivate Analytics Web of Science and Publons

If you are a Web of Science user, you may have noticed the addition of a Publons tab near the top of the Web of Science interface. Publons is a platform to track, share, and receive recognition for your peer reviews. The Publons platform integrates into ORCID, which allows you then to populate your ORCID scholarly profile with peer review data. Registration for a Publons account is free and if you have an ORCID, you can register with your ORCID credentials. After creating your Publons profile, peer reviews are added and verified various ways depending on the relationship of the publisher to Publons.  For example, some publishers will send peer-review data directly to Publons in an automated workflow, while other publishers require a manual process such as sending Publons the confirmation e-mail you receive after completing a peer-review.

Here are a couple of Publon profiles from faculty members at The University of Alabama:

The review information displayed on the Publon profile varies by publisher. Some publishers allow the actual text of the review to be publicly displayed such as PLOS One, while others like RSC Advances only allow the Journal title to be displayed. You can browse the individual Publon Journal policies here.

Publons is an interesting platform and one certainly worth exploring more as peer review is an activity generally not visible to the public. As more scholars create Publon profiles, we may even start to see integration into information databases.

Take a Journey in Science

Take a Journey in Science 2018 Welcomes All – 5th in the series

 What:  A series of lightning talks on high-interest topics in science that shape our understanding of the world.

They are short talks on high-interest topics in STEM Disciplines  presented by UA faculty.

When:  February 2018

Where:  Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering

Audience: All UA students.  Faculty welcome too.

How long:  Presentation about 10 minutes, plus Q&A

Schedule of presentations
Speaker Title of Talk Date/Day/Time
Sara Kaylor

Capstone College of Nursing

“Leadership Characteristics and Attributes of Baccalaureate Nursing” Feb. 01, Thursday,

11:00- 11:15 am

Claudia Mewes

Department of Physics and Astronomy / Center of Materials for Information Technology (MINT)

“Spintronics – let’s spin”

Feb. 08, Thursday,

2:00 – 2:15  pm

Fred Andrus

Department of Geological Sciences

“Making skeletons speak: records of climate change from Biominerals” Feb. 13, Tuesday,

11:00 – 11:15  am

         Qiang Huang

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering /Center of Materials for Information Technology (MINT)

“Nanotechnology – Things Behave Differently Down There” Feb 20, Tuesday,

2:00 – 2:15 pm

Sevgi Gurbuz

Electrical and Computer Engineering

“Nature-Inspired Bio-mimetic Design of Next-Generation Cognitive Radar” Thursday, Feb 22

3 -3:15  p.m.

Sponsor:  Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering.

Join the fun and learn about science

Contact:  Mangala Krishnamurthy,, 205-348-2109

Take a Journey in Science Talks: Past Programs

Research News at UA

UA Research Facilities

Undergraduate Research and creative Activity Conference at UA

3 MT ( Three Minute Thesis)

WISE (Women in STEM Experience)

USA Science & Engineering Festival

Welcome to New Rodgers Librarian

Megan Carlton

Welcome to the newest librarian in Rodgers Library!  Megan Carlton joins us from the Walker Library at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).  She hold a BS in Animal Science from MTSU and an MLIS from the University of Tennessee.  Megan’s professional interests include incorporating instructional technology into the classroom.

Megan is the Rodgers Library liaison to the Department of Biological Sciences and the College of Engineering.  She is available to faculty and students in those departments for research consultations and library instruction.  She can be reached at 348-2108 or

For a complete list of instruction options, please consult the Rodgers Library instruction guide.

Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017


Total Solar Eclipse visible in the Continental US on August 21, 2017

Moon passes between the sun and the earth on August 21 and blocks all or part of the sun for several hours. On this day, all in  North America will be treated to a total solar eclipse, nature’s most amazing sights.  The last time  U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. If we miss this one on August 21, the next total solar eclipse in U.S. will be visible on April 8, 2024.

Diagram showing the Earth-sun-moon geometry of a total solar eclipse.

Source:  NASA 

Visit Rodgers Library for Science & Engineering to check out books and other resources on the topic.   ex:  Your Guide to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

For safe viewing tips, please  visit:  NASA , American Astronomical Society

Other sites of interest:

25 spots for watching the total solar eclipse crossing the U.S.

Southeastern Traveler

Dr. Isabel Hawkins (Astronomer and Project Exploratorium ) describes her experiences with eclipses and what to expect for the 2017 Great American Total Solar Eclipse.

3D Stereoscopic Vision Service Launched

3D Stereoscopic Vision Service is now available in Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering. 3D stereoscopic vision allows users to view images and videos in three dimensions when using wireless glasses, 3D monitors, and specialized software. Rodgers Library has two workstations with six (6) 3D vision glasses. Recently, we hosted a biochemistry class that viewed biomacromolecules in 3D and a paleontology class that viewed CT scans of vertebrate fossils in 3D. We look forward to seeing many other applications of this technology in your teaching and research. This service is offered from the Rodgers Library 3D Printing Studio, located on the 1st floor of our building.  Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about this new service.

Contact:  Vincent Scalfani

Access to UA Libraries journals from within a PubMed Record

Using PubMed just got easier. We have linked our electronic journals within PubMed, allowing you to access content even faster. Look for the Alabama Script “A” logo under the full text links within a PubMed record. Then, follow this link and you will be immediately directed to access options for the article.

To use the full text linking feature, access PubMed from our library databases page or directly at the following link:

Screenshot of PubMed article abstract