Collaboration is important to AIP. External collaboration is beneficial to all and indispensable in today's business environment, where partners and customers are often the best sources of innovative ideas. AIP is no stranger to collaborative arrangements. As a federation of learned societies, we are perhaps more adept at the art of collaborating than other organizations, and we effectively use this advantage in working with outsiders by collaborating across competitive boundaries. One example is Scitopia.org, a new vertical search portal.
Scitopia's 15 founding members include—in addition to AIP—five AIP Member Societies (APS, AGU, OSA, ASA, and AVS) and five Affiliated Societies (SPIE, ASCE, ASME, ECS, and SIAM). The other founding members are the Institute of Physics, IEEE, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Automotive Engineers. In addition to searching the more than three million journal articles, proceedings, and other content of these 15 societies, users will be able to search patents from the U. S. Patent and Trade Office, the European Patent Office, and the Japanese Patent Office and the Department of Energy's Information Bridge database.
Collaborating organizations' representatives meet every week for web teleconferences and use wiki technology to keep the project moving. The service will be formally launched at the Special Libraries Association's meeting in early June. The initial launch features include powerful searching, the ability to create "clippings" lists of research results that can be printed or emailed to colleagues, and the ability to sort search results by publication date. One advantage of Scitopia is that it is a federated search performed in real time, not an index like Google Scholar or Microsoft's Academic Live. Furthermore, the collaboration will continue and grow after the launch, with new features and additional learned societies' content to be added continually.
While external collaboration is crucial, internal collaboration is even more essential to AIP's well-being. Despite potential challenges encountered when collaborating externally, internal collaboration can sometimes prove more difficult. One of my goals at AIP is to encourage even more collaboration inside and out, ensuring it is a part of AIP culture. I hope you will join me in this effort.
Really simple ... saves
A valuable new feature, RSS Saved Searches, was recently released on Scitation®, allowing users to save their search criteria as an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. All Scitation® search results now display a prominent RSS button and a help box to explain RSS feeds and how to add the search results to an RSS reader. A user can automatically receive the bibliographic record and abstract of articles tailored to his/her personalized search requirements. Scitation® is one of the few publishing platforms to offer this capability.
PACS hits high gear
Production of the new edition of the Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme® (PACS®) is now in high gear. At their April 20, 2007 meeting, AIP's Subcommittee on Classification and Information Retrieval (an oversight body) approved revisions proposed by working groups made up of volunteers from the scientific community. Every two years, PACS undergoes a revision process with several major sections updated for each new edition. The new PACS 2008 will be released in early Fall 2007.
Celebrating diversity in Sigma Pi Sigma
The Education Division's theme for 2007 is "Meeting our Members." Consequently, we instituted a practice of having staff members attend local Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ) functions. The latest in our local jaunts was the ΣΠΣ induction ceremony at Howard University on April 26, attended by five staff members. Howard inducted two students, both women, shown in the photo: Fana Gibson (left) and Nyasha George (right). Gary White, Assistant Director of Education and a ΣΠΣ member, delivered the induction talk. Students and faculty alike enjoyed the ice cream sundaes we brought to help celebrate the occasion. Howard University installed its Sigma Pi Sigma chapter in 1949 and was the first historically black institution to support a chapter of the physics honor society.
Making sense of "Spidey" science
DBIS Senior Science Editor Emilie Lorditch wrote a news story relating the new movie "Spiderman 3" to spider facts. It was sent to the Inside Science News Service (ISNS) network of journalists and pitched to publications that cover movie reviews. The story garnered good coverage in the media including National Geographic, the NBC Today show, Fox news.com, and others. To read this and other ISNS stories, go to www.insidescience.org.
Faster backups, quicker restores
Publishing Technology and Business Systems & Operations are working together to implement a new Virtual Tape Library (VTL). Backups will now be stored on a Storage Area Network (SAN), a centralized disk storage area. Nightly backups using this new system will be twice as fast as before. During the day the disk backups will be "cloned" to tape cartridges and sent to Iron Mountain, AIP's off-site storage vendor. Restorations are very fast and can now be done from the VTL, without having to wait for tapes to be brought back from the vendor. A 10GB restore from a tape takes about 45 minutes; the same restoration from the VTL takes 5 minutes.
For your eyes only
Whether your interest is Stephen King or James Patterson, you can take advantage of the free Lending Library in the AIP Human Resources (HR). Pick out your favorite title and sign the book out for up to four weeks at a time. You can also make suggestions for adding new titles by sending an email to Judy Rance or Linda Dombroski. Many current professional development materials are also available, such as "Who Moved My Cheese?" and "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." For the complete lists of materials and books available, go to Lending Library on the HR website.
Astronomy is one of the most exciting and dynamic fields of physics. Astronomical research in the past few decades has literally changed our understanding of the Universe. The most ancient of the sciences, astronomy began with the earliest recorded history, when the sky was first observed and debated. Only in modern times have we truly discovered our place in the Universe—we live on a relatively small planet orbiting a rather normal star in an average galaxy which hosts countless stars, many with planets around them. Each new discovery raises more questions and creates new technological needs, spawning creativity and innovation. Astronomy adds meaning to our human existence, captures the public's imagination, and inspires young people to pursue careers in science and technology.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is the primary membership organization for professional researchers in astronomy and aligned sciences in the U.S. From the Sun to galaxies, from planets in our solar system to planets around other stars, from the distant past of our Universe to its ultimate fate, members of the AAS study all aspects of the Universe (except everything here on Earth).
AAS has five divisions, 7,000 members, two large society meetings per year, and several division meetings each year. It publishes the leading research journals in the field of astronomy. Additional activities include lobbying Congress through direct and grassroots efforts, and extensive educational and education-related activities focused on all levels of learners and educators (with emphasis on the undergraduate and graduate levels). Membership benefits include a newsletter, calendar, membership directory and access to members-only content on AAS website. AAS also offers small research grants, travel grants and various prizes and awards. The demographic composition of AAS membership is changing rapidly. Of members older than 50, roughly 12% are women. Of members younger than 30, roughly 40% are women. We welcome this change in our membership and support both women and minority astronomers through special programs.
AAS values its membership in AIP which includes support for a wide range of activities that the AAS could not undertake on its own. The vitality of AAS is tied to AIP and the friendly service it provides. Thanks to all AIP staff for your past, current and future assistance to AAS.
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