How do I . . . Decipher Journal Abbreviations?

February 28, 2007

A question came up the other day about finding the full title of a journal from an abbreviation found in a citation. This is particularly important because the JOURNAL LOCATOR and the Five College Library Catalog require you to know the full title of a journal when trying to determine what Smith College owns.

Here are some of my favorite places to search for full journal titles:

  1. PubMed’s Journals Database (primarily for science-focused journals)


    After logging into PubMed, notice the PubMed Services menu on the left-hand side of the screen. When you click on Journals Database, you are provided with a search box (that looks just like the normal PubMed search box). In this box, you can type in the abbreviation exactly as you see it. In most cases, you will find the full title with ease.


    Here we can see the full title:


  2. JAKE (Jointly Administered Knowledge Environment)


    JAKE is actually an OpenURL link server (much like our SCLinks service). But, I like to use it to find journal abbreviations. JAKE is a nice alternative to the PubMed Journals Database, because it has non-science and more obscure science titles.

    Simply type in your abbreviation of interest:


    There may be several results listed, since JAKE is searching various databases. In this case, I can easily see the title of my journal.


  3. CASSI (CAS Source Index)

    If you are physically in the Young Science Library and have an obscure journal abbreviation that you can’t decipher, I recommend using CASSI (QD 1 C46 1907-1989). This 3-volume set is located on the tall wooden table adjacent to the computers on the first floor of the library. CASSI has many foreign and no longer published titles that other resources might not list. This resource is organized alphabetically by ABBREVIATION; simply look for the BOLD lettering and match it to your journal abbreviation.

Questions about any of these journal title tools? Ask A Librarian!


Science Events this week

February 26, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

  • 2:40 p.m., Weinstein Auditorium (Wright Hall)

    The Landscape Studies 100 Lecture Series presents Gary Hartwell, Project Manager of Campus Operations & Facilities at Smith College, on Monday, February 26, at 2:40 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. His lecture is titled “The Invisible Landscape (Underground Smith).” This is a free presentation and is open to the entire Smith College Community.

  • 4:30 p.m., Weinstein Auditorium (Wright Hall)

    Biological Science Colloquium
    : Influenza Today and in the Future: Peril and Promise

    Dr. Anne Moscona, an influenza virus expert and infectious disease specialist at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, will present a lecture entitled “Influenza Today and in the Future: Peril and Promise” on Monday, February 26, at 4:30 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium (Wright Hall). Moscona is Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology and Vice Chair for Research of Pediatrics at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

  • 4:00 p.m., Tea in Math Forum (Burton Hall, 3rd Floor)
  • 4:30 p.m., Lecture in McConnell Hall, 404

    How far can a stack of n bricks hang over the edge of a table?
    It took 5 mathematicians—Mike Paterson, Yuval Peres, Mikkel Thorup, Uri Zwick and the speaker (Peter Winkler, Dartmouth College)—to finally solve (asymptotically) this 150-year-old problem, and the answer is not what most people thought.

Database Alerts

February 23, 2007

Many databases to which the Smith College libraries subscribe allow you to set up a search ‘Alert.’ Alerts are also known as CAS (current awareness service) or SDI (selective dissemination of information). I prefer Alert because it is self explanatory: the service ALERTS you to new information.

I have alerts set up through PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO – as well as some other science databases. You can have many different alerts set up in the same database – based on your various research needs.

Today, I am going to show you how to set up a simple alert in PubMed.

As with most alert services, you need to set up an account in the database of interest. In most cases, you must be a Smith student, faculty or staff to set up an alert with the subscription databases. However, because PubMed is a free service to anyone with internet access, the account function is available to everyone. In the case of PubMed, the account is called My NCBI. There is a link to My NCBI in the upper righthand corner, and also in the left sidebar.


Once you have an account set up, you can perform the desired search you want to set up as an alert. In this example, I want to set up a search on: breast cancer AND tamoxifen


At this point, you want to click ‘Save Search’ (see the link to the right of the search box?) If you are not already logged into your account, you will be prompted to do so. You will be given the option of naming your saved search, and deciding if you want to receive email updates for new search results. By indicating YES, you do want email updates, you are setting up an alert.


You are usually allowed to determine the schedule that you are notified of new items. The great thing is, as soon as you set up the alert – you no longer have to think about performing that particular search! You will receive email updates listing only the new literature based on your search strategy.

Questions? Ask A Librarian!

Science Events this week

February 21, 2007

Seems that a lot of great science-related events are happening on campus this week! Here is a rundown:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

  • 7:00 p.m., McConnell Hall B05

    The film Forgotten Genius, which is a production of the PBS series Nova about Percy Julian. This event is just one of several on campus this week honoring minorities in science. For all the week’s events, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

  • 3:00 p.m., Campus Center 205

    A CDO workshop, “Careers in Medicine and Science,” will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 3 p.m. in Campus Center 205. This is another event honoring minorities in science this week. For more information, CLICK HERE.

  • 7:00-8:00 pm, Carrol Room in the Campus Center

    Intellectual Courage and Scientific Ballooning: Exploring Landscapes Near and Far

    Julian Nott has broken 79 world ballooning records and has been described by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum as “the leading figure in applying modern science to manned balloon design over the last 20 years”. His lecture, illustrated with beautiful slides, shows how ballooning is a microcosm of science that teaches lessons about intellectual courage and the advancement of human knowledge.

    A reception will be held immediately after the talk. Sponsored by the Picker Engineering Program and the Office of the Provost / Dean of the Faculty

  • 7:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room

    Slide Lecture on New England Alpine Summits: Join naturalist and photographer Allison Bell for a slide show of the fascinating ecosystem that exists above treeline on New England’s highest mountains. Here a rare collaboration of latitude, elevation, and climate creates high islands of habitat where an array of specialized plants thrives despite extreme conditions. In June, the display of delicate alpine flowers is dazzling. Bell is co-author with Nancy Slack of Appalachian Mountain Club’s “Guide to the New England’s Alpine Summits” and “Adirondack Alpine Summits, an Ecological Field Guide”, published by the Adirondack Mountain Club.

Friday, February 23, 2007

  • 4:30-5:30 p.m., McConnell Hall Foyer

    Life Sciences Poster Symposium featuring presentations by student researchers. Refreshments at 4 p.m.

  • 8:30-9:30 p.m., McConnell Hall rooftop

    Astronomy Department Star Party: The Astronomy Department will be having a Star Party Friday, February 23, 8:30-9:30 p.m. Come see the moon, Saturn, and other celestial objects through the telescopes on the roof of McConnell Hall. All are welcome–dress warmly!

To keep up-to-date with other Science Center events, visit the Clark Science Center homepage.

Know of another event which should be announced? Please leave a comment!

Talk and Tea with Rally Day Medalist Sarah Chasis!

February 20, 2007
  • WHEN: Tuesday, February 20th, 3 p.m.
  • WHERE: Neilson Library Browsing Room
  • WHAT: “Influencing Environmental Policy: A Case Study involving Marine Conservation”
  • WHO: Rally Day medalist Sarah Chasis (Class of ‘69), Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council And Director of NRDC’s Water and Coastal Program

Tea follows from 4-5 p.m.

For the past 30 years, Sarah Chasis has dedicated her life to preserving the health of the oceans, to supporting sea life, and to maintaining and improving water quality of beaches, coastlines, and marine fisheries.

Recent publications from the Clark Science Center

February 19, 2007

Just a couple weeks ago, I overhauled the ‘Recent Publications from the Clark Science Center’ display in the foyer of the Young Science Library. This display will continue to change frequently and evolve as new research is published. If you find yourself with a couple of minutes before class, come and see the amazing literature being produced by Smith College faculty, staff and students.

In an upcoming post, I will show you how to set up a database ‘Alert.’ Many databases will allow you to perform a particular search on a schedule, and then have the results sent to you via email . . . that is, alerting you to new literature. This is very convenient since you no longer need to remember to rerun the same search over and over.

One way I use alerts is to search specifically for Smith College authors. This allows me to find out about the newest literature by Smith students, faculty and staff without having to visit multiple databases each week or month. While this may not provide me with ALL the literature published by Smith researchers, it certainly helps me find a significant portion of new publications.

Here are a few of the new papers on display (Smith authors in bold). To view more Smith research, click on “New Smith Research” over on the right-hand side of the screen.

Albertson MO and Mohar B. 2006. Coloring vertices and faces of locally planar graphs. GRAPHS AND COMBINATORICS 22 (3): 289-295.

Rhodes AL, Guswa AJ, and Newell SE. 2006. Seasonal variation in the stable isotopic composition of precipitation in the tropical montane forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH 42 (11): Art. No. W11402.

Wincze JP, Steketee G, and Frost RO. 2007. Categorization in compulsive hoarding. BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY 45 (1): 63-72.

Zufall RA, McGrath CL, Muse SV, and Katz LA. 2006. Genome architecture drives protein evolution in ciliates. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION 23 (9): 1681-1687.

Environmental Science and Policy Program Lunchbag

February 16, 2007
  • WHEN: Friday, February 16, 12:00 PM
  • WHERE: Bass Hall 102
  • WHAT: “Hydrologic Alteration and Fragmentation Along the Connecticut River and Its Major Tributaries.”
  • WHO: Connecticut River Program Director Kim Lutz

Environmental Science and Policy Program Lunchbag…about the Connecticut River. “Hydrologic Alteration and Fragmentation Along the Connecticut River and Its Major Tributaries.”

The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization, with offices throughout the United States, Central and South America, and the Asia-Pacific region, established a Connecticut River office, based in Northampton, Mass., in 2004. During the 2006 field season, the Conservancy focused its efforts on gaining a better understanding of the paired threats of altered hydrology and fragmentation in the Connecticut River Watershed. Connecticut River Program Director Kim Lutz will share their findings and describe strategies the Conservancy and its partners are deploying to protect New England’s largest river system on Friday, February 16, at noon in Bass Hall 102. Lunch provided.