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!

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

Software Training at Rodgers Library 2017


Friday, February 10, 3:00-3:30 PM

SolidWorks Demo: How to Create a Wireframe Cube

This SolidWorks Demonstration is aimed at new users of SolidWorks and 3D Design. We will showcase how to use SolidWorks to design an open wireframe cube. Attendees will learn how to use the SolidWorks Sketch Plane, Extruder Boss, and Extruder Cut features. Lastly, we will explain how to prepare and export the wireframe cube for 3D printing.

Monday, February 13, 1:00-2:00 PM

Programmatic Access to Information Using Matlab

This workshop will be an introduction on how to programmatically access data and information from web APIs (Application program Interfaces) using Matlab. We will cover two examples using publically accessible U.S. Government data APIs. The first example will use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle API to access data about vehicles such as manufacturer details, models, and vehicle identification numbers. The second example will demonstrate how to use the National Cancer Institute’s Chemical Identifier Resolver to acquire chemical substance information. Attendees should have some basic exposure to Matlab before attending this workshop.

Friday, February 17, 3:00-3:30 PM

SolidWorks Demo: How to Create a Double Cube Assembly

This SolidWorks Demonstration will build upon our prior Wireframe Cube Demonstration. Attendees will learn how to add moveable parts to their 3D objects. We will add a moveable cube inside of a wireframe cube using the Reference Geometry, Scale, Mirror and 3D Sketches tools within SolidWorks. Finally, we will cover how to prepare and export the double cube assembly for 3D printing.

Tuesday, February 21, 11:00-12:00 PM

Visualizing Data with Origin Pro

OriginPro is a scientific graphing and data analysis program. This workshop will introduce OriginPro and cover how to import data, graph data, and export figures for publication. We will look at an example of how to import data from Knovel (a UA Libraries provided database) and visualize the data with OriginPro. This workshop is for new OriginPro users; no prior experience is needed.

Tuesday, February 28, 3:30-4:30 PM

Text Analysis with Mathematica

Wolfram Mathematica is a technical computing program with a wide variety of applications in areas such as engineering, mathematics, data analysis, and text analysis. The workshop will introduce attendees to text analysis with Mathematica. We will select an eBook from Project Gutenberg, import the text into Mathematica, normalize the text, and then analyze the text finding the most common words and most common phrases. We will also look at how to create some basic visualizations of the text. This workshop is for new Mathematica users; no prior experience is needed.

All Demos/Workshops in the Rodgers Library Scholars’ Station (Room 119).  Contact: Vincent Scalfani, Science and Engineering Librarian,

A Short History of 3D Services at Rodgers Library

Our 3D services started back in November 2012 where we made 3D printing available to the entire UA community. We had one Bits from Bytes 3D Touch Printer. I think we got more use out of that 3D Touch Printer than it was ever designed for! Students and faculty quickly started to fabricate 3D parts for scholarly work and classroom projects. We have seen so many exciting projects from art sculpture to robot parts to laboratory equipment.

Since 2012, we have gone through multiple 3D printers, have trained hundreds of users, and have successfully 3D printed thousands of parts. After the 3D Touch, we purchased a couple of MakerBots, and then two 3D Systems Cube Pros. We quickly outgrew the aforementioned hobbyist level 3D Printers and are now running two professional Stratasys uPrint SE 3D printers. About a year ago, we added a NextEngine 3D scanner and by early next year we will have two 3D stereoscopy workstations to further advance our 3D operations and services for the UA community. A huge thanks to our administration, Rodgers Staff, College of Engineering, and all of our users across campus for making our 3D Studio such a success.

Interestingly, while our 3D printers and training courses have evolved rapidly since our debut in late 2012, our core mission for 3D services has never changed. Rodgers Library 3D services are a self-service operation. We provide the tools and training, and then you do the 3D printing.

We are very proud of the scholarship that has been created across campus using the Rodgers Library 3D Studio. One of the areas that we have been focused on in Rodgers Library is 3D printing molecular structures. Over the past several years, we have had the pleasure of collaborating with numerous researchers on and off campus to help advance molecular visualization with 3D printed molecules, extended solids, and polymeric structures. Check out some of our work below (all open access too!):

Scalfani, V. F.; Williams, A. J.; Tkachenko, V.; Karapetyan, K.; Pshenichnov, A.; Hanson, R. M.; Liddie, J. M.; Bara, J. E. Programmatic conversion of crystal structures into 3D printable files using Jmol. Journal of Cheminformatics 2016, 8, 66. DOI: 10.1186/s13321-016-0181-z

Scalfani, V. F.; Turner, C. H.; Rupar, P. A.; Jenkins, A. H.; Bara, J. E. 3D Printed Block Copolymer Nanostructures. Journal of Chemical Education 2015, 92, 1866-1870. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00375

Scalfani, V. F.; Vaid, T. P. 3D Printed Molecules and Extended Solid Models for Teaching Symmetry and Point Groups. Journal of Chemical Education 2014, 91, 1174-1180. DOI: 10.1021/ed400887t

If you have not visited our 3D Studio in Rodgers Library, I highly encourage you to do so!  You can take a short training course with one of our staff members and then immediately get started fabricating 3D parts independently. Check out our Standard Operating Procedures here for more information:

Oculus Rift – Virtual Reality at Rodgers

Experience virtual reality.  Oculus Rift arrives at Rodgers Library on April 1.   Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset.  The headset and associated hardware is located in a large black box near the Rocket room on the 1st floor.  To get started check out a key for the box at the Circulation Desk.  The Rift features/offers:

  • OLED display
  • Integrated headphones with 3D audio effect
  • Rotational and positional tracking system
  • 3D space

Some content is preloaded for users to test, including a handful of virtual worlds and 360 ̊ video examples.  The system is completely unrestricted allowing users full control.  The account is auto login, a local administrator account, so users can install programs if so desired.  Users can experiment and have the flexibility to do so.

The system has the Unreal gaming engine installer and Unity for users to setup if interested in developing a virtual world. These two programs enable developers to create 3D worlds which can be tested on the Oculus.

Take Oculus Rift for a road test.  It’s an impressive piece of modern technology.  Enjoy!

Chromebooks Here

Rodgers Library is now circulating Dell Chromebooks. Chromebooks are laptops that run the Chrome operating system. Chromebooks boot quickly and automatically connect to the University’s wireless network. The Chrome browser loads, and apps such as Word and Powerpoint can be opened as tabs in the browser. Documents can be saved in the cloud or onto a flash drive. Users can sign into the Chromebooks with a guest account, myBama account, or personal Google account (e.g., an account at or Come by Rodgers Library first floor Circulation Desk to check one out.

This post was originally posted by Karen Chapman on Bruno Library blog.

Tip 13: 3D Printing

Tip 13:  3D Printing.  About three years ago we opened a 3D Printing Studio in Rodgers Library.  Services offered include: 3D printing, 3D scanning, training workshops, and do it yourself 3D printing.  Supporting 3D design and conversion software is installed on the workstations within the 3D Studio. The 3D printers are capable of creating a multitude of 3D plastic objects.

GO to Rodgers 3-D printing.

Go to College of Engineering 3-D printing.

Tip 8: Instruction

Tip 8:  Instruction.  Rodgers Library likes to share information about its services and collections and further help users achieve information competencies.  We can prepare custom lectures or workshops focused on any topic of interest.  If you choose, a librarian can come to one of your departmental meetings or a class which you teach to do a presentation.  In addition, we often conduct instruction inside Rodgers Library on high-interest topics.  If you have a request, please contact us or submit a request using this form.

Go to Instruction Request.

Tip 5: Academic Software.

Tip 5:  Academic Software.  Software plays a central role in learning and research.  As such Rodgers Library offers both productivity and special software loaded on desktop computers.  Examples include Adobe Creative Cloud, MATLAB, SAS, and Microsoft Project.

Go to academic software.

EndNote is Ready to Use

EndNote, a citation management tool, is ready for all UA students and faculty. Here are some of the major characteristics of EndNote highlighted at a workshop offered by Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering on Friday:

• End Note is a citation management tool
• EndNote is a desktop application while RefWorks is a web-based application
• Start by creating a new EndNote library
• Most databases have an export function to EndNote (examples, SciFinder and Scopus)
• When you are ready to export choose RIS format
• With tabs on the far right side of your EndNote Library you can import citations, metadata, and articles in PDF format
• Simply highlight citations in your EndNote Library and then click on FIND FULL TEXT and it will import PDFs (if we have access to the resource)
• Existing articles on one’s hard drive can be imported to EndNote as well
• EndNote has many bibliographic styles to choose from and many more can be added
• Word has an EndNote Plug In for citing within text and preparing references at the end of documents
• If a citation is incorrect while in Word, make a change in EndNote and the Word document will update automatically

EndNote is a powerful piece of software. It streamlines and simplifies citation management. As an added bonus EndNote creates a fully searchable library for later use. EndNote information.

Submitted by Mary Ann Robbins

Academic Software Training

The University Libraries provides access to more than 150 academic software packages to support a variety of academic disciplines and programs. Our Academic Technologies blog  provides information about and resources to support the use of these software packages and other technologies that have a primary relationship to research and scholarship. For more information go to Academic Technologies blog.

Abundance of Desktop Computers

Most students in science and engineering bring their own laptops to Rodgers Library when working on class assignments or doing research. This works fine in most cases. But when assignments require a more robust computing environment, students can use desktop computers provided by the library. The desktop computers are hardwired to the Campus network. You can easily connect to Campus resources and the Internet.

The desktop computers are loaded with productivity software and many kinds of special academic software. Some desktops have double monitors for multitasking. Work space near the machines makes it convenient to collaborate or just spread out and get the job done. Our desktop computers are located on both the first and second floor. Enjoy!

Makerspaces on UA Campus

Over the past year, UA has brought in a tremendous amount of new fabrication resources to help complete your research project. We recently created this Makerspace subject guide to help you learn about topics such as 3D printing, laser cutting, Arduinos, and much more. Check it out here:

If there are any books or other resources we do not have for your project, send a recommendation to Vincent F. Scalfani.

Access to Library resources

Access to UA Libraries electronic resources on campus is straightforward; computers on the network are recognized as UA affiliated and are permitted access. Off-campus access is easy too.  After you enter the UA Libraries Web site, you may be asked to authenticate.   This is done simply by executing a login with your myBama ID and password.  Once this is completed you are ready to search, read, and download electronic resources.

Use of UA VPN for off-campus access to library resources isn’t necessary, so this approach is not recommended. 

Enjoy Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering.

New Version of Scout Arrives on August 10

A new version of Scout, the UA Libraries online catalog, will be available on August 10.  The all new Scout offers enhanced searching, more content, superior presentation, and lightning speed.   More significantly, the new edition of  Scout indexes many kinds of content, including books, journal articles, and technical reports.   

 When using Scout, patrons can: 

  • Search for and download electronic books and technical reports
  • Search for and download electronic scholarly articles
  • Easily create  links to specific content
  • Search for and locate hardcopy books in libraries’ collections
  • Locate bound journal titles in the libraries’ collections
  • Request journal articles and books housed in the UA Libraries Annex 

Scout is a robust, modern discovery system.  From a clean and simple interface, patrons can search for and acquire much of the content they need for study, instruction, and research.  Scout delivers!  Try it today.      


Academic Software Available in Rodgers

Rodgers Library offers a variety of specialized software on its computers. In addition to the normal suite of library and productivity software, several desktop computers are loaded with Maple, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, ChemBioOffice, MATLAB, Minitab, CHEMCAD, and Microsoft Visual Studio. The academic software is installed on several machines on the 1st floor in an area called “SciTech Software Lab.” And four Dell machines, loaded with academic software, are located on the 2nd floor. Departmental computer labs are still the best option for working on academic computing projects. But with Rodgers Library open more hours than departmental computer labs, students now have a choice of where to go when a class project requries use of specialized software.

iPad is Way Cool!

Are libraries ready for the iPad? Or put another way, will library patrons decide that the iPad is a nice alternative to laptops and desktops for finding and using information?  If capabilities and glitz of the iPad are any indication, then librarians take notice. Browsing the Web with Safari is an awesome experience with the iPad. Web pages and e-journal articles look amazing on the tablet-sized screen. And e-books are in the mix on the iPad. With superior connectivity, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G (depending on the model), the iPad gives students convenient and speedy access to content offered by the UA libraries. At only 1.5 pounds and small in size, the iPad makes a nice companion for students. When the goal is consuming information, students will likely go for this device over a laptop. The iPad is going to make using the library a snap and at the same time a pleasurable experience. This is a transformative device for libraries and their users! Now if students can just find the dough to buy one!

Discover Oil and Gas Pubs With OnePetro

Beginning in 2010, UA students and faculty have access to OnePetro.  This major database with over 80,000 publications covers oil and gas exploration and the oil and gas industry.   Classic papers from the API Drilling and Production Practices and Secondary Recovery of Oil in the United States are included.  Meeting papers and journal articles from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, more than 50,000 documents, some from as far back as 1927,  are included too.  The database features search and full-text downloads.  OnePetro is an amazing resource for teaching and research.

Springer offers MyCopy Service

 Rodgers Library has purchased thousands of e-books from Springer. You can find/search these books on the Springer platform at

While using SpringerLink, you can view and download content as you choose. This service is free. The books are paid for.  The Springer e-books that we purchased are a part of the University Libraries’ permanent collections. And the e-books are listed in the Libraries’ catalog.

Springer offers another way to capture a hardcopy version of a book, with a service called MyCopy. When viewing a book online in SpringerLink, you can click on a link to “Buy a Print Copy of this Book.” Next add the book to your shopping cart. Should you move forward, you’ll be asked to complete your purchase using a credit card (your personal credit card).

By this action, you will buy a nice paperback copy of the book. Springer will send the book to your business or home address.


New Discovery Interface Launches

The University Libraries lunched a new discovery interface this week.  The interface, called DiscoverySearch, is based on a piece of software from AquaBrowser a leading vendor in the library marketplace.   DiscoverySearch looks deceptively simple, but it offers a very powerful way to find and access books and other materials listed in the University Libraries’ catalog.   The beauty of DiscoverySearch derives from faceted searching.  Following a keyword search, often a huge number of items display.  With DiscoverySearch, the search results can easily be refined.  For example, if a search on engineering mechanics pulls up one-hundred books but you just want electronic books, a click on a facet labelled electronic books changes the results to e-format only.   Other facets such as date, topic, series, and author work in much the same way.  A word cloud on the left side of the screen helps you locate other related materials that may be of interest.  It’s very nice and will improve your productivity.