Steven Chu on Energy and Climate Challenge, September 10

Steven Chu will be speaking Wednesday September 10 at 4pm as the Nelson J. Leonard Distinguished Lecturer for 2014, presented by the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The presentation, entitled “The Energy and Climate Challenge:  We Need a Few Good Chemists” will take place in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom.

Poster of 2014 Nelson Leonard Lecture with Steven Chu

Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Humanities & Sciences and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, and served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy, where her oversaw expanded deployment of renewable energy.

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Events, INHS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

Should scientists handle retractions differently?

Read the full post from MIT.

It is one of the highest-profile cases of scientific fraud in memory: In 2005, South Korean researcher Woo-Suk Hwang and colleagues made international news by claiming that they had produced embryonic stem cells from a cloned human embryo using nuclear transfer. But within a year, the work had been debunked, soon followed by findings of fraud. South Korea put a moratorium on stem-cell research funding. Some scientists abandoned or reduced their work in the field.

But the case is not so simple: By 2007, other stem-cell researchers had found that the debunked research contained a few solid findings amid the false claims. While prior stem-cell findings remained intact, it took time to rebuild support for the field.

Now a study by MIT scholars quantifies the fallout for scientists whose fields suffer high-profile retractions, with a twist: Even valid older research, when intellectually related to a retracted study, loses credibility — especially if the retracted paper involves malfeasance. The fallout from a retraction does not land solely on the scientists who are at fault, but on people in the field more broadly.


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Avian Knowledge Network (AKN)

The Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) is a partnership of people, institutions and government agencies supporting the conservation of birds and their habitats based on data, the adaptive management paradigm, and the best available science. AKN partners act to improve awareness, purpose, access to, and use of data and tools at scales ranging from individual locations to administrative regions (e.g., management areas, states, countries) and species ranges. The Illinois Natural History Survey is a network partner.

AKN’s resources include data sets and data manipulation tools. You can also add your data.

Posted in Biodiversity, Downloadable Data, INHS, Institute Highlights | Leave a comment

Illinois Water Resources Center Annual Small Grants: Student Research Awards 2015 Call for Proposals

Via Lisa Merrifield at the Illinois Water Resources Center

Due: Friday, October 31, 2014

The Illinois Water Resources Center (IWRC) requests proposals to fund promising graduate and undergraduate student research projects addressing Illinois water resources. We are particularly interested in projects that seek solutions for or provide novel identification of pressing water concerns in Illinois. PI’s can request up to $10,000. Project duration is March 1, 2015-February 28, 2016.

For more information visit:


Lisa Merrifield

Posted in Funding opportunities, INHS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Water | Leave a comment

National Science Foundation FY2015 funding opportunities

The National Science Foundation announced the FY2015 funding opportunities for Clean Energy Technologies. Examples of research topics include carbon dioxide sequestration and storage. For complete details on proposal submissions, see the National Science Foundation website.

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Savvy Researcher Workshops

Forwarded from Merinda Hensley, Scholarly Commons Co-Coordinator, University Library:

Join us for 50 minute, hands-on workshops that will help you improve your research and information management skills. Upcoming sessions include:

• Intro to Data Management and Publication
• Getting organized with Mendeley
• Organize Your Life!: Productivity Tools and Personal Information Management
• Introducing Metadata: How to organize your Research Data and Resources
• Create and Manage an Online Scholarly Presence
• Scholarly Publishing with Omeka
• Database Design for the Non-Technical Researcher

And much more! For more details and registration:
All sessions held in the Main Library, Room 314 unless otherwise noted.

Those interested specifically in data management topics are encouraged to check out the many data management workshop offerings listed on the Research Data Service website.

Posted in Data Management, INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute, Training opportunities | Leave a comment

Data Purchase Program funds data purchases for researchers

Forwarded from Karen Hogenboom, Numeric and Spatial Data Librarian with the University Library:

Do you need “small data” for your research?  Small data cost $5,000 or less, and the library will explore purchasing the data for your use and the use of others on campus if you apply for the Data Purchase Program.  Details are at, including a full announcement that links to the application form.  Applications can be submitted at any time, but the deadline for first consideration is September 29, 2014.  Purchases from this first round of applications will be announced before December 1 and most data can be purchased by the middle of spring semester.  If you have questions, please contact Karen Hogenboom,


Posted in Funding opportunities, INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

The Quest to Scan Millions of Weather Records

Read the full story at CityLab.

Deep in the dusty catalogs of weather stations and meteorological offices all over the world are hidden treasures. They’re easy to miss if you’re not looking for them, often taking the form of piles of moldy papers. But on those pieces of paper are hundreds of years of weather records—data that could make climate science far more accurate.

The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO) estimates that there are 100 million paper-strip charts—records that list weather conditions—sitting in meteorological storage facilities throughout the world. That’s about 200 million observations unused by scientists, data that could greatly improve their models. Now, a few small groups of scientists are trying digitize these records, but they’re facing all kinds of obstacles.

Posted in Climate change, Data Management, ISTC, ISWS, Weather and Climate | Leave a comment

Current Awareness – Setting up Search Alerts

Online library resources make it easy to keep up with new developments in your research area.  You can save searches and have results emailed to you or subscribe to RSS feeds from publishers, literature databases, and web search engines.  This post has quick instructions for setting up topical search alerts for four key resources:

Free registration is required in most cases.    A guide with more detailed instructions for setting up alerts in these resources and others  is available here.  For assistance setting up alerts in these or other resources, contact your librarian.

Engineering Village

Engineering Village is not just for engineers!  It includes Compendex, Inspec, GeoRef and GEOBASE, and is an excellent source for literature on for environmental sciences and ecology, and even some archaeology.  For an email alert, registration is required, but you can create RSS feeds without registering.  To create an alert, perform your search, then click either “Create alert” for email alerts or “RSS feed” to generate the RSS feed link.   Engineering Village also includes the National Technical Information Service (NTIS, government reports), US and European patents.

Google Scholar
You do not need a Google account to create an email alert in Google Scholar.  To create an alert, perform your search, then click “Create alert” on the left side of the screen.  You can enter any email address into the alert form; Google will send a verification link to that address which you must click to begin receiving alert emails.  You can receive up to 20 results per email, and results are emailed as items are indexed in Google Scholar.  Only email alerts are offered, not RSS feeds.  Each email includes an “Cancel alert” link.  Google Scholar indexes new journal literature from many diverse sources very rapidly and captures grey literature which many traditional databases exclude.  More information about Google Scholar alerts is here.  Because Google Scholar searches full text, it is possible to mine for specific words or phrases within papers, which you cannot do in traditional databases.   This can be helpful if, for example, you want to track use of your online data or specimens from your collection in the literature.

Another way to stay current using Google Scholar is “My Updates.”  If you create an account and add your own publications to your “My Citations” profile, the “My Updates” link will retrieve publications that are similar to your own publications.  Click here to learn how to set up your Google Citations profile.

Scopus covers the physical, life, health and social sciences  and includes journals, conference papers, and books.  For an email alert, registration is required, but you can create and subscribe to RSS feeds from searches without registering.  Perform your search, then select either “Set alert” for an email alert or “Set feed” to create an RSS feed from the search.  You can subscribe to the RSS feed using one of the options offered in the Scopus interface or your favorite feed reader.  To add the feed to your Outlook account, copy the feed URL from Scopus, then in Outlook right click on “RSS feeds” (below your mail account), select “add a new RSS feed,” and paste the URL into the box.

Web of KnowledgeWOS
Web of Knowledge is a suite of core databases covering a wide range of topics.  Included in this resource are Web of Science, Current Contents Connect, Biological Abstracts, CAB AbstractsZoological Record and more.   Register with Web of Knowledge to save searches and create alerts.   To create an alert, perform your search, then click “Create Alert” to save the search and create an email alert.  RSS feeds are automatically created when you create an alert.   It is not possible to save searches for Web of Knowledge “all database” searches;  alerts must be set up in each database separately.  Your registration also allows you to create a “Researcher ID” and a researcher profile which you can use to share information about your work.

You can subscribe to an RSS feed using your favorite feed reader, or you can add the feed to your Outlook account, where it’s almost just like email.  To add a feed to Outlook, copy the feed URL from the popup window in Engineering Village, then in Outlook right click on “RSS feeds” (below your mail account), select “add a new RSS feed,” and paste the URL into the box.  For more information on RSS feeds, see Using RSS Feeds to stay current.

(This post is an update of a post made to this blog in November 2012.  The update reflects changes in user interfaces for some of the resources, and includes a link to the alerts LibGuide.)

Posted in INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Library resources, Prairie Research Institute, Tips, TOC alerts, Tools | 1 Comment

Lewis and Clark Fund: A Unique Funding Opportunity for Doctoral Students Engaged in Field Work and Specimen Collection

The American Philosophical Society’s Lewis and Clark Fund is accepting proposals from doctoral students engaged in field studies in a wide range of disciplines–including many directly relevant to the work of the Prairie Research Institute.   If your graduate students are engaged in field work and collection of specimens, please share this with them!

“Through its Lewis and Clark Fund, the society will award grants of up to $5,000 to doctoral students for exploratory field studies that include collection of specimens and data to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. The program supports projects within disciplines that have a large dependence on field studies, including but not limited to archeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, paleontology, and population genetics.”

Awards of up to $5,000 will be granted.  Proposals are due February 1, 2015, with letters of support due January 31, 2015.  For further information, see the full RFP (link below).

Posted in Archaeology, Biodiversity, Collections, Funding opportunities, INHS, ISAS, ISGS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment