All posts by Jean Ferguson

Tell Us What You Think About e-Books

The Duke University Libraries recognize that the format of the book, along with the content, plays an important role in the research process. The Libraries are committed to advocating for optimal e-book functionality in every phase of the research process. The guiding principle behind our E-Book Advocacy Statement is that e-books should have the described functionalities as an essential part of research support.

The Libraries are

  • exploring the complexity of the research process and how e-books fit within this process
  • learning from readers about their preferences
  • advocating to publishers on behalf of researchers’ needs
We want to know about your experiences with e-books.  Please leave your comments below on when you use an e-book, when you prefer print, your desired functionalities, or other thoughts about how e-books fit, or don’t, into your research process.

New York Times Online

Beginning March 28, the New York Times will start charging online readers who want to view more than 20 articles per month. Upon clicking the 21st article, users will be given an option of purchasing an online package.

As a print subscriber, the Libraries are investigating options in how we might offer access to Duke affiliates. Unfortunately, this option is not yet available.

Never fear, although we cannot offer access to current content through, we can offer access via several of our databases:

  • Factiva – The Newsstand feature of this database allows you to browse today’s edition by sections.  Searching older issues is also available using the Search Tab and then choosing Search Builder.
  • LexisNexis Academic – Gives you a variety of search features for today’s and past editions.
  • ProQuest – Searchable version of today’s and past editions.  Scroll down and click on the year, the month, and then the day to get a list of all of today’s articles.

These options work both on and off campus.  If you’re having difficulty with access, please contact the Perkins Reference desk at 660-5880, or through instant messaging.

Do you love your librarian?

Help them win $5k and notoriety through the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award!.

The award invites library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community.  Nominations will run through October 9 and are being accepted online at

Up to 10 librarians will be selected.  Each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times in December.  In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library.

Nominees will be judged by a selection committee based on quality of service to library users, demonstrated knowledge of the library and its resources and commitment shown in helping library users.

As they say in Chicago, vote early, vote often!

Social Networking for Scientists


We’ve been getting more and more questions in the library about how researchers can find information from other disciplines.  For example, how can someone working on membranes in Psychiatry connect up with someone working on membranes in Materials Science?  In a world where waiting for the published article is increasingly too late,  we’ve been trying to find new avenues.

To answer the question above, I thought, ‘I wonder if there is a social networking site for scientists?’, did a Google search, and voila – Labmeeting!

The interesting part about Labmeeting is that it is only freely available to scientific researchers.  You have to either get invited by a scientific researcher you know, or show online proof that you are doing scientific research.  Or pay $99.  Thus, not being a scientific researcher, nor willing to part with $99 for a look-see, I was unable to join.

A search on Duke presented 120 results and included the following:

  • Associate Professor at Duke University  interested in the following topics: Monomeric lambda repressor, Ribonuclease P protein, Protein A, NMR, CD, fluorescence, stopped flow, amide exchange, dynamic NMR
  • PhD Student at Duke University interested in the following topics: In vivo model systems, genetic screens, immunoblotting
  • PhD Student at Duke University interested in the following topics: Photonics

Give it a shot and let us know what you think:

Addendum:  As William Gunn points out in the comments below, there are other similar tools which you may want to try.  They include:

Upload research articles

Keep your research orderly.

  • Automatically match them to bibliographic records for reference management
  • Search the full text of all your PDFs
  • Mark them for fast retrieval and viewing
  • Recommend them to your colleagues

Items ‘Being Repaired’ in New Catalog

In our new catalog, there are books and other items which show as Being Repaired, like this one:

Items that are Being Repaired can be requested. Whether they are at the shop getting a new binding or up in one of the levels waiting to be processed, you can click on the title of the item to see more information.

When you get to the next screen, also called the Full Record, you will see a button in the top right part of the screen that says ‘Get this title’.

Click on this button to get to the Classic Catalog. There will be more information about the location of this item and often a Request link. Click on the Request link and fill in your NetID and password to let us know that we need to try to find this for you.

Some items may not have a Request link. In this case, stop by our Reference or Circulation Desk (or email us at and we will investigate the best method to find it for you.