Author Archives: Benjamin Toon

About Benjamin Toon


Organize Better with Bibliographic Managers

If literature research is a part of your current workload, using bibliographic managers can save you time by simplifying how you organize sources, write papers and share reading lists with others. Over the past 20 years BibTeX has been the … Continue reading

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Making the Case for Information Literacy 1

Introduction The new University Curriculum rolling out this academic year brings attention to teaching information literacy skills to the undergraduate population. In this series of blog entries, I will discuss what information literacy is, how it can be considered in … Continue reading

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Mourning Aaron Swartz

In October I noted the pending case against Aaron Swartz, an MIT fellow and proponent for the open access movement who was caught illegally downloading millions of academic journal articles from JSTOR.  This past weekend Aaron’s suicide hit the national … Continue reading

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New Springer Web Site

Springer quietly relaunched their e-book platform this month, with the old gaudy orange interface soon going away.  Two primary ways to access material are by using the search box at the top and browsing by disciplines listed along the left … Continue reading

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New Engineering Research Guide

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to access online resources for engineering, check out the new research guide at  This new site integrates all the prior research guides serving the engineering program, and adds new pages … Continue reading

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Harnessing Databases Seminar Slide Deck

We wrapped up our second and final session of “Harnessing Databases for Better Research” and most of our attendees wanted to get a copy of the slide deck we used.  Here’s the link: HarnessingDatabases_Fall2012 Next semester we’re planning more seminars … Continue reading

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Mexican Drug Cartels Kidnap Engineers

Mexican Cartels Enslave Engineers to Build Radio Network By Robert Beckhusen, November 1, 2012 One gruesome side effect of the rise of large drug cartels in Mexico is personal safety of engineers. The Zeta cartel, one of the largest … Continue reading

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Peek Inside Data Center Innovation

Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center By Steven Levy, October 17, 2012 North Korea has nothing on the nature of secrets when compared to Google’s data centers. For years reporters, competitors and network nerds have tried … Continue reading

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Other Voices, Other Blogs:

Curious about presidential candidate’s position on science issues?  So are the National Academies, the Council on Competitiveness and a host of professional and academic groups, which created the web site  The site hosts “Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s answers … Continue reading

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Library Services – Interlibrary Loan

While we often boast of our 2+ million books and having access to thousands of journals at our fingertips, SMU libraries doesn’t have the budget or space to acquire everything. Interlibrary loan (ILL) is one of our workhorse services, giving … Continue reading

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