Scitation C³: Building a better roadmap for the information highway
As most of the world's scientific literature becomes available online, scientists and students of science are faced with a dilemma: The potential availability each year of 1.5 million new articles in more than 25,000 scholarly journals makes it difficult to find even a subset of articles of interest, much less the time to read one of those articles. Studies conducted of scientists' reading habits over the past several decades—spanning the print-to-online transition—show that scientists are accessing and reading many more articles but spending far less time on any one article. The key to dealing with the information overload is to develop tools that allow scientists to search the literature rapidly and find the relevant information.
AIP is responding to those end-user needs and expectations by continuously upgrading the content and search tools on Scitation, AIP's online platform. On October 7-8, representatives from most of the 28 partner organizations that use Scitation convened in Garden City, NY, for the annual meeting to learn about the platform's newest offerings. Scitation's major upgrade, begun in 2008, has been rebranded as the C³ initiative. During the meeting, online services director Paul DeCillis and online services development manager Larry Belmont discussed in-depth the C³ infrastructure and AIP's vision and strategy for the platform. The Scitation C³ initiative is designed to exploit XML's full potential: to enrich content, enable delivery to mobile devices, and enhance connections to our readers.
John Haynes, vice president of Publishing, gave an overview of scholarly publishing, with a particular focus on physics-related journals. That market has grown dramatically, from 700 titles to 900 in the past decade. Haynes emphasized that AIP is leading online journals' move from providing simple digital copies of printed articles to being a portal for all types of digital information, such as the raw data behind a figure or video files that can be embedded. The group was treated to guest speaker Kristian Hammond, a professor of computer science at Northwestern University. Hammond drew parallels between the fate of newspapers and scholarly publishing. The newspaper industry made its primary content online available for free and has not been able to replace significant ad-revenue losses with new sources of revenue to compensate for the lost funding.
To stay relevant in the digital age, information providers have to constantly innovate and upgrade services and products. AIP used the Scitation partners meeting to highlight several new services for the online platform that will result in increasing usage of our content and related revenue. Scitation's new eBook service, introduced during the meeting by Carolyn Barry of the Online Services division, will allow users to find content across a publisher's entire catalog. Tim Ingoldsby, director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development, described AIP's new product UniPHY, the world's first literature-based scientific networking site for physical scientists that will connect its users to more than 2 million articles and 300,000 authors. Our partners expressed excitement and provided positive feedback about the new developments.
Congratulations to editor-in-chief David K. Campbell
Congratulations to David K. Campbell (left), the founding editor of Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, who is co-recipient of APS's 2010 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize. He shares the award with Professor Shlomo Havlin of Bar-Ilan University "for pioneering new approaches to the study of complex systems, using the complementary approaches of nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics, and for communicating the excitement of this new field to diverse audiences." AIP's journal Chaos succeeds in such outreach. For example, each published article includes a lead paragraph that describes, in terms accessible to the nonspecialist reader, the context and significance of the research problem studied and the importance of the results. In addition to his leadership of Chaos, Campbell is provost of Boston University, where he is also professor of electrical engineering and physics.
Collaboration in action at the 2009 PXP meeting
In early October AIP hosted its fourth annual Peer X-Press users' group meeting at the Melville Publishing Center. The participating PXP clients exchanged ideas, learned more about PXP features, and previewed some exciting new enhancements about to be released by the PXP team. This year's meeting fostered collaborative planning and included a brainstorming session that challenged participants to suggest new features and solutions for the optimal peer-review process. Much of the meeting was devoted to one-on-one working sessions between visiting journal staff and members of the PXP team; they talked about best practices, addressed journal-specific issues, and examined PXP's newest features. Peer X-Press is AIP's online feature-rich peer-review and editorial management solution, which helps journal staff shorten production times by streamlining peer-review and editorial-office functions; click here to discover more about this robust service.
Who's hiring physics bachelors?
The Statistical Research Center recently updated its popular online resource entitled Who's Hiring Physics Bachelors? The site identifies many of the employers who have recently hired new physics bachelor's degree recipients. The job market for bachelor's tends to be local, and employment opportunities vary geographically. For those reasons, the SRC organized the employer lists to be searchable by state. The lists may be useful to job seekers in identifying prospective employers and to physics departments that want to strengthen contacts with their local employers.
SPS Council looks to the future
In September the Society of Physics Students National Council gathered for a packed weekend in Washington, DC, to plan for the 2009-10 academic year. This elected body of faculty advisors and student representatives passed an official statement on the importance of encouraging a diversity of people to excel in physics:
The Society of Physics Students recognizes that there is a vast untapped intellectual resource in all groups underrepresented in physics. For this reason, the Society of Physics Students is committed to making physics more accessible to everyone. We are committed to providing programs, resources and opportunities that encourage greater participation in the community of physics from members of all groups.
The council members will offer leadership throughout the year in their respective regional "zones," and continue committee work on the national level, to advance issues of importance for SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma. One committee, for example, is tasked with following up on several recommendations generated by participants of the 2008 Congress of Sigma Pi Sigma. The council selected a fitting theme for 2010—"Exciting the Imagination"—to complement LaserFest, a yearlong celebration marking 50 years of laser innovation.
Who we are—Business Systems and Operations
Business Systems and Operations (BSO), directed by Wendy Marriott (see the AIP organizational chart, page 12), is responsible for the development and implementation of core infrastructure and information services. To help fulfill the AIP mission now and in the future, BSO staff work with stakeholders to create and execute integrated solutions that effectively combine internal and external resources and external service providers.
Main areas of responsibility include network and communication services, infrastructure services, application services, IT policy and computer-related budget preparation, business continuity and computer operations, and help desk and office automation services. To ensure the smooth operation, availability, and scalability of our critical information technology environment, BSO is organized into three divisions: Business Continuity and Operations, Infrastructure and Communications, and Applications Development. The latter two areas will be featured in this column over the next two weeks.
Stephanie Finnegan manages the Business Continuity and Operations area. The two-person group is responsible for monitoring, troubleshooting, safeguarding, and ensuring the integrity of backups and restores for more than 175 servers and associated data in the Melville Data Center. They also provide accurate and timely data processing services. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that information systems and operational units have appropriate and tested business continuity and disaster recovery plans. The staff manage vendor contracts to ensure that required equipment and services will be in place to continue operations remotely if necessary.