Category Archives: Digital resources

Let’s Talk About D.O.I.

No, that doesn’t stand for Dead On Inspection. DOI is the digital object identifier that creates permanent URI’s (uniform resource identifier) for digital objects from journal articles to data sets to GIS layers. Using the DOI system, researchers can easily cite digital materials and track back to the original creator which means a bit more transparency when working with data sets and GIS layers.

The DOI system is overseen by the International DOI Foundation which manages ISO 26324.   Registration agencies are charged with assigning DOI’s for the huge amount of information being generated globally.  The two of most interest are CrossRef and Datacite.   CrossRef generally handles publications and other documents.  Datacite handles data sets & other supporting information.

The StreamNet Regional Library is looking into how to provide this service with the GIS-Data work group at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.   If you have questions about publishing your data, please contact Henry Franzoni, Denise Kelsey or the library and we’ll try to answer.


Library Card?

Yes, the StreamNet Regional Library does offer a “library card” for clients.  However, unlike most libraries, we don’t seek to fatten your wallet or weigh down your keychain with another piece of plastic.  Rather we assign a username for you.  The username gives you access to the wonderful world of subscription databases via Ebsco. You’ll also be able to use the library catalog to create bibliographies and request materials.

Having you in our system allows you to place holds on books which is a quick way to alert us that you’d like us to scan something to email for you.  With the oppressive heat in the Pacific Northwest, we are concerned for your comfort.

And we don’t ask a bunch of questions or make you prove your identity either.  Just send an email to oftl ‘at’ with I Want To Join as the subject and your name in the message.  I’ll send back your username and you’ll be able to get started on researching right away.

What are the databases we are offering?

  • Environment Complete
  • Water & Oceans Worldwide
  • Fish, Fisheries & Aquatic Biodiversity Worldwide
  • Future subscription databases to be added


Reminiscing Internet Past

Reminiscing about the good, old days as I clean out files and other materials from the library move. The latest thing from 1996: What the Internet Is…

a loose collection of home pages, photos, and neat stuff that you can collect.
a home publishing kit, a photo album, a refrigerator door, a vanity press on drugs
a public forum for ideas, concepts, arguments, flames, support, analyses, teachings, and discussions
Democracy at its best
Anarchy at its worst
a tool for marketing, a way of getting your products, services, or ideas out on the line for all to see
a wonderful tool for communication – a way to reach family, a really cheap phone call, a virtual meeting room, a virtual classroom
a load of hype, a lot of misunderstanding, a heap of misconception, something hip to put on your business card
a vector into the future, a new tool, a new society of communities
an information rich source
a lousy information system

How many of these are still true today? I think most. Has the internet/world wide web evolved? Not sure. Certainly the web has grown, but has the information really changed? We still have to look at all the sources with a jaded eye and verify sources to make sure the information is credible. Though the rules have generally not changed.

1. Bite off what you can chew-there is always more to learn. Learn one or two useful things and then build on what you have mastered. Drowning in this stuff is a common occurrence.
2. Always read the screen-there are almost always some very useful instructions there.
3. Don’t type anything that goes over the net that you don’t want seen by others.
4. Don’t type in CAPS-it is the equivalent of shouting and will be perceived as a rudeness by others.
5. If an exchange begins to get emotional-GET OFFLINE.
6. Don’t leave your connection running unattended.

And some random terms from the 1996 glossary (how many do you remember?)

Baud rate
Veronica (Jughead & Archie)

Verifying Name Changes for Fish Species

We are settled in our new library and finally continuing our work to catalog and organize the wealth of information on the Columbia Basin.  One of the first sets of books that I picked up to catalog was on Pacific lamprey.  Knowing the importance of this species and wanting to make sure the information was findable by scientists, I’ve been adding the scientific name to the catalog records as much as possible: Lampetra tridentata.  Saying this name out loud has been difficult for me because the common name and genus are so similar.  But I digress.

Looking at the title page of the first document in the stack, Pacific lamprey are identified as Entosphenus tridentatus.  Huh?  When was this document written? 2011.  Wow.  Over to Fishbase to verify the scientific name.   Searching for Lampetra tridentata pulls up Entosphenus tridentatus.  Ok then.  Just for the sake of curiousity, I now need to know when the name change occurred. Unfortunately, Fishbase doesn’t have that information.

Turning to the Encyclopedia of Life‘s entry, there are several name sources running about 50% for old & new names.   Ok. Back to searching for the year the name was changed.  Common & Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada & Mexico, 7th Edition was just published in April, 2013.  While the electronic copy is mostly available, the free digital version does not include name change information.  So, we’ll wait for our print copy to arrive and update this post when more information is available.

Lesson: While fish species name changes are accepted by the American Fisheries Society, they are not necessarily broadcast.  The promulgation of name changes seems to come from organic, word of mouth between species biologists.  Using Fishbase seems to be the best source of verifying the currently accepted scientific name.

Library Without Books?

Many have asked the question, “How can the StreamNet Library shrink from 4300 sq. ft. to 1700 sq. ft. with so many fewer shelves.  60,000 cataloged items won’t fit in that space.  Well, yes, and no.

Physical copies of materials that are needed, commercially published or otherwise not available digitally will be available in our new space.  As will comfortable seating, tables to work on and public access computers for folks to look stuff up.  We will probably start discussing the options of adding e-readers to our collection for folks to download some of our electronic titles.  We’ll be following the model being set by libraries around the country:  The Future of Libraries Short on Books Long on Tech

Many items will still be retained in storage on high-density shelving.  You’ll just have to give us time to fetch those items you need to hold in your hands.  And with the drops in pricing for computer memory, we actually have unlimited space to add materials to our collection, preserve copies of everything we can and make your research life easier.  Really, just ask and we’ll get you all set up in front of a computer with access codes and all to research, save citations, etc.



Free research databases

Here are some free databases that you can use in addition to the Ebsco databases to which we subscribe.


Microsoft Academic has been around for a few years (Microsoft Windows Live
Academic was around from 2006 – 2008), but seems to be much less well known
than Google Scholar.

The idea with both Microsoft Academic and Google Scholar is basically the
same – connecting students and researchers with peer-reviewed scholarly
works and doing so without those pesky logins that libraries require.

Microsoft has taken a completely different approach from Google Scholar in
terms of content and the user interface.

Unlike Google Scholar, which crawls the web for academic content, Windows
Live Academic Search gets information directly from publishers. So the
content comes from a trusted source, the publisher of a scholarly journal.

Microsoft Academic includes over 38 million publications. Citations
include links to fulltext sources if available and links to purchase

Search results display subject headings on the left which can be used to
narrow a search. Or start your search on the keyword search page and use
the domain drop-down limiter. Advanced search allows you additional means
of narrowing, such as for a specific conference.

A visual explorer
citation trends covering the publications and number of citations.

The visual explorer page displays co-author relationships among scholars.
The more papers two authors write together, the closer their nodes are
positioned. Clicking on the line between the two authors retrieves
citations for their papers. Just like in virtual reference, it’s all about

An export button allows you to download citations in standard bibliographic

Google Scholar is better known, maybe because it’s Google, and it does have
some unique features. Since 2004, Google Scholar has been working on
improving how results display. It has added legal materials and patents,
making it a resource also for lawyers and law librarians. However, being
Google, there’s no transparency in terms of indexing practices. Which
makes it a nice tool for browsing and exploring, but not for conducting a
comprehensive literature review.

On the other hand, Academic Search says this about itself:

…objects in the search results are sorted based on two factors: 1) their
relevance to the query, and 2) a static rank value calculated for each item
in our index. The former denotes the extent to which the returned result
meets the information need of a given query. The latter encompasses the
authority of the result, including important details such as how often and
where a paper is cited.

One thing Academic Search may be especially useful for is searching for
grey literature.

More details about Academic Search’s various visualization features,
setting up RSS for a search, and much more are on the help

One more academic search engine is BASE
(Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)

This search engine was created by a university library (yay!) in Germany.
It’s unique as a source for open access documents and for what it does in
terms of collecting and indexing metadata. I haven’t explored this one
much, but it’s one more tool we can call upon.

Electronic Resource?

What’s an electronic resource in the call number?  This designation means the material can only be found online.  Physical copies are not available in the StreamNet Library.   When you click on the title, there should be a link field that says something like “Click here for digital document” or “Environment Complete (Ebsco)” or “Vol. 1 : Report.”  Clicking on that link will take you to the resource.

In the case of Environment Complete (Ebsco), you will need to choose the link based on your location.

  • If you are within the IP range of the StreamNet Library (meaning you are within the same physical building as the library), choose the link with the note “Available in StreamNet Library only.”  This link will take you to a log in screen that should be automatically filled in based on the computer’s IP address.
  • If you are somewhere else, choose the link with the note “Available with StreamNet Library ID only.” You will need a StreamNet Library patron ID to access this link.  Please contact the library to activate an account.  Simple process that will take less than 5 minutes.
  • Another item to note is the date included in the note describing which link to use.  This date is the beginning date for full text availability.  The number of months in the time delay is when the full-text of new issues will be available.  A 12 month delay means articles published in June 2012 will not be available via the database until June 2013.

Gaps & Lost Pages

Moving from a file directory structure to a content management system is just not that easy a move.  The content management system folks would have you believe otherwise, but it’s just not so.

Take for instance, Subbasin Plans.  We had a lovely file directory with multiple HTML pages to link to various document sets that were used as references in the subbasin plans.  Supposedly, they were imported. Yeah, uh, not so much.

We are taking the time to go through these old webpages and rebuild what was lost.  Under Digital Collections, you will now find Subbasin Plans, which includes a submenu for the Related Documents.

Hopefully, our navigation has improved some as we work on making the site a bit more whole and user-friendly.  Let us know how we’re doing.

Continuing to Update

Thank you for all your patience. We’re busy updating this site and moving our interface here. If we are missing anything from the transition from, please let us know. We’ll be happy to make changes from customer requests. We appreciate all your support and hope that you will use the StreamNet Library services frequently to support your research.

Aquatic Commons

The Aquatic Commons is a digital library being developed by the International Association of Aquatic Marine Science Libraries Information Centers and will be hosted by the IODE/ODINS (Intergovernmental Oceanic  Commission, Ocean Data and Information Networks)  (more…)