Sciences Library Stress Relief During Finals Week

Do you need a break from studying for your finals? Sciences Library will have games, color pages, Leogs, Wii ,and KNex to help you relieve some of that stress. We will also have snacks and drinks. So come join us.


M-Th 8:30am – 10:00pm

Sat 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Sun 1:00pm – 10:00 pm

Good luck!

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Nature announces exaggerated “free to view” program

On Tuesday Nature published a news item with the following headline, “Nature Makes All Articles Free to View”, which from the headline alone sounded pretty good. Upon further inspection it looked like Nature had created a new form of access, that has been coined “Beggar Access”  (see Bonnie Swoger’s blog post). Two days later the Nature news article was corrected, and the title now reads “Nature promotes read-only sharing by subscribers” (see the corrected Nature news post here), which is a more realistic depiction of the new program. Comments from others, skeptical of the program, have now been included in the article. See excerpts from the corrected Nature news post below.

Annette Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Science and Education, says that under the policy, subscribers can share any paper they have access to through a link to a read-only version of the paper’s PDF that can be viewed through a web browser. For institutional subscribers, that means every paper dating back to the journal’s foundation in 1869, while personal subscribers get access from 1997 on.

Initial reactions to the policy have been mixed. Some note that it is far from allowing full open access to papers. “To me, this smacks of public relations, not open access,” says John Wilbanks, a strong advocate of open-access publishing in science and a senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri

Peter Suber, director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that the programme is a step forward by providing immediate free online access, in contrast to Nature‘s self-archiving open access policy, which still requires a six-month embargo. But, he notes, if authors prefer to share links rather than actually deposit their manuscripts in an online repository, the programme could be a step backward, because repositories host copies independently from the publisher, and those copies can be printed or saved and are generally more reusable than a screen-only file.


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Database of the Week: Business & Economics Portfolio

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Business & Economics Portfolio (The Conference Board)

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under B in the databases A-Z list. portfolio

Use it to find:

  • “Essential economic data coupled with superior business management research and insights from the world’s most widely-quoted source of management and economic research.” (from the website)
  • Economic data sets, including: Historical Data for Key Economic Indicators, the Conference Board Total Economy Database (macroeconomic time series on global output, input, and productivity for over 100 countries)
  • Business Management Research publications database. Topics covered include: Consumer Dynamics, Corporate Governance, Global Value Chains, Labor Markets, Risk Management, Sustainability, etc.

confernence_boardTips for searching:

  • Search Business Management Research by clicking on the search button
  • Browse by topic unless you know the report title or number
  • You can also do a keyword search, but it only searches within titles
  • Reports are listed with most recent at the top

Want help using Business & Economics Portfolio ? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Get Cooking; Saturday is Microwave Oven Day


Raytheon’s Radarange. Source: How the microwave oven became a super success (

In 1942, while Dr.Percy Spencer was testing a magnetron, a candy bar in his pocket melted. This was Dr. Spencer’s ‘aha moment’ when he realized that radioactive beams can cook food. The Raytheon Company filed a patent application for Spencer’s  invention on October 8, 1945. Then the company built the first commercially available microwave oven calling it the Radarange. It debuted in 1947 standing six feet tall and weighing over 700 pounds.1

Obviously, this model did not become popular in the average American home. However, during the 1970s, “electronic ovens” started to make their way into the ordinary kitchen. At first, they were used reticently because the radioactive waves were considered harmful. However, the convenience of microwave cooking outweighed the fear factor. During the 1980s, the market was saturated with microwave cookbooks and products such as microwave bacon trays. Even Dire Straits references the kitchen appliance in Money for Nothing. Today’s average microwave cooks between 1000-1200 watts and is America’s sweetheart appliance for fast and convenient defrosting of frozen foods, rewarming of leftovers, or popping of corn. Bon appétit!

How does a microwave oven work? “A microwave oven produces high-frquency electromagnetic waves. Passing through food, the waves reverse polarity billions of times a second. The food’s water molecules also have polarity, and they react to each change by rapidly reversing themselves. Friction results, heating the water and cooking the food.2 For a visual explanation, watch the video, “How a Microwave Oven Works” by Bill Hammack from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


US Patent 2495429

Spencer, Percy L. Method of treating foodstuffs. U.S. Patent 2,495,429, filed October 8, 1945, issued January 24, 1950.

1 National Microwave Day (December 6, 2009)

2 Langone, John. How Things Work: Everyday Technology Explained. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006, p.14. Engineering Library T47 .L2923 2006

3 Spencer, Percy L. Method of treating foodstuffs. U.S. Patent 2,495,429, filed October 8, 1945, issued January 24, 1950. Source: Google Patents

Books and Standards

Crupi, Giovanni, Editor. Microwave De-embedding : From Theory to Applications. Waltham, MA: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2014. Engineering Library TK7876 .M53 2014

Hwang, Ruey-Bing. Periodic Structures: Mode-Matching Approach and Applications in Electromagnetic Engineering. Department of Electrical Engineering, National Chiao-Tung Universit, Hsinchu, Taiwan. Singapore: Wiley, 2013. Engineering Library TK872.F5 H93 2013

Maas, Stephen A. Practical Microwave Circuits. Boston: Artech House, 2014. Engineering Library (on order)

Pozar, David M. Microwave Engineering, 3rd. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley, 2005. Engineering Library TK7876 .P69 2005

Rohde, Ulrich L. RF/Microwave Circuit Design for Wireless Applications, 2d. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2013.

Engineering Library TK7876 .R65 2013 Subcommittee F02.15 on Chemical/Safety Products microwave oven standards (Source: ASTM)

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Try it: Value Line LibraryElite

Value Line, online version, is available as a trial subscription through the University of Iowa Libraries.  This resource provides reliable, unbiased information, with accurate and insightful investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies.

The Value Line trial ends December 24, 2014.  Please send comments to Kim Bloedel.

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IRO November 2014 Usage

We regularly look at usage information for Iowa Research Online. The software shows us the 10 items receiving the most downloads overall (total use is averaged out across how long the item has been publicly (freely) available), which allows new items to enter the top ten. However, this list tends to remain similar from month to month (and day to day). Looking at the number of downloads for a specific month sometimes highlights different items, but typically the most used items remain similar across months.

The most used items for November were:

Other than the first item, they all appear on the most popular papers list.

In order to find other items that are seeing an increase in their usage, we have begun comparing the use of an item with the previous month. These items may not have had the largest use overall, but the number of downloads was quite a bit higher in November than in October.

Congratulations to the authors of the works!

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Need a Lift?

Motorized Inventory Robot Patent

Mountz, Michael C, et al. Inventory system with mobile drive unit and inventory holder. U.S. Patent 7,402,018, filed October 14, 2004, issued July 22, 2008.

December 1st is Cyber Monday, a day created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Employees returning to their desks after the holiday, stuffed full of turkey, are considered prime to shop on their high-speed internet connections at work. Warehouses, such as Amazon, are stocked to the brim with merchandise, and according to the Wall Street Journal, its order-fulfillment plans for this year’s holiday season will involve 10,000 robots. “Hugging the floor like a Roomba, and about the size of a big suitcase, these bright-orange bots lift and carry shelf-stacks of merchandise to warehouse workers who pack items for shipping. The idea is that it’s easier for the humans to stay in one place rather than tromp around a cavernous facility.”1, 2

Kiva Systems, now owned by Amazon Inc., has been engineering automated guided vehicles (AGVs) since the early 2000s.3 But as early as the 1970s, robotic lifts were being developed. In 1976, a self-propelled “Wheeled vehicle adapted to turn on the spot” with a load-carrying body or platform was issued by the US Patent Office.4

Basic components of an electric forklift. Source:

Basic components of an electric forklift. Source:

However, before the days of high tech, and still widely used, manual and motorized fork lifts move heavy items from one place to another. The first fork truck was the two-wheeled hand truck made of wrought iron axles and cast iron wheels Then, “in 1906, an official of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Altoona, Pennsylvania added storage battery power to a baggage wagon, producing what was probably the first powered platform truck. The controls were placed so that the operator had to walk out in front.” Between 1913 and 1919, trucks were engineered to lift small cranes both horizontally as well as vertically and forks and rams were introduced.”6

The Industrial Truck Association represents the manufacturers of powered and non-powered industrial trucks (forklifts) who do business in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It assumes responsibility for the Safety Standards for Low and High Lift Trucks as well as the Safety Standard for Driverless, Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles and Automated Functions of Manned Industrial Vehicles.7,8


1 “Amazon’s Warehouse Robots, at Work and Play,” by Rob Walker. Yachoo! Tech, November 20, 2014.

2 “Amazon Robots Get Ready for Christmas,” by Greg Bensinger. The Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2014.

3 Mountz, Michael C, et al. Inventory system with mobile drive unit and inventory holder. U.S. Patent 7,402,018, filed October 14, 2004, issued July 22, 2008. Source: Google Patents

4 Folco Zambelli Gian Matteo, “Wheeled vehicle adapted to turn on the spot.” U.S. Patent 3,938,608, filed January 18, 1974, issued February 17, 1976. Source: Google Patents

5 “History of the Fork Truck” by Rick Leblanc. Packaging Revolution, October 17, 2011.

Excellence in Warehouse Management book cover6 Emmett, Stuart. Excellence in warehouse management : how to minimise costs and maximise value. Chicheser, West Sussex, England : Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2005. Engineering Library HF5485 .46 2005

7 Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks. ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2012 (Revision of ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2009) (PDF)

8 Safety Standard for Driverless, Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles and Automated Functions of Manned Industrial Vehicles. ANSI/ITSDF B56.5-2012. (Order from

9 Steering a New Course” by Jack Maxwell. Standardization News, ASTM International.

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Surviving the Arctic

Surviving the Arctic

Surviving the Arctic

The Sciences Library has a new exhibit Surviving the Arctic. With artifacts loaned to us from the Natural History Museum.

Each shelf represents different aspects of  Inuit life. Magic and Belief, Hunting: Sea and Water, Hunting Land and Camp and Home life.

Thank you to the Natural History Museum for the loan and for setting up this case.


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Human Rights Studies Online – Trial ends 25 January 2015

Human Rights Studies Online is a research and learning database sharing documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide. The collection is growing to include 75,000 pages of text and 150 hours of video that give voice to the countless victims of human rights crimes in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Please send additional comments to Brett Cloyd.

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