The Sciences Subjects Portal project has taken nearly a year to emerge, with many ups and downs. Finally the Sciences users will have their own specific portal for library services and resources. Since early January the project (individual subjects portals and supporting information) started coming to life with many updates and changes.
The Sciences Librarian Portal and the Sciences subjects portals have been created on a “wiki” software, which allows collaboration between selected members (currently the collaboration is not yet implemented). This portal was developed and is currently updated by Pavlinka Kovatcheva, Sciences Librarian at the Kingsway Campus of the UJ. The Portal can be used by all Sciences users across Campuses.
The use of this social software platform serves as a library experiment, which implements various social tools (Web 2.0) into the academic library (wiki, blogs, IM, Taggs, Social Networking, Widgets, etc). In this way the Library tries to enhance its services to its users and potential users, allowing easy access to subject specific resources and interaction with the library by using the Instant Messaging tool and the opportunity to comment on the blogs post.
The Sciences Portal also gives you direct access to the Top Sciences Resources.
Sciences subjects currently available through the Portals are: Apllied Mathematics & Mathematics; Astronomy & Astrophysics; Biochemistry; Biology; Botany & Plant Biotechnology; Chemistry; Information Technology; Energy; Environmental Management; Geography; Geology; Human Anatomy & Physiology; Microbiology; Physics, Statistics and Zoology. Information currently available on most of the portals includes:
Support to Undergraduates and Postgraduates;
UJ Library services & resources links;
University & Sciences links;
Top Research Resources;
Top Subject Resources;
Electronic Reference works (some also have suggected prints);
Subject specific full-text journals, abbreviations links;
How to find full-text journals, etc.;
Associations, Councils, etc. links.
Researchers will find support to their research needs on this portal. It will answer many of their library and research questions, such as starting with their research proposal, conducting and managing literature review, submitting Theses & Dissertations to the library, finding the best academic journals for publication, etc. New updated information is coming soon.
For their teaching, lecturers will find a special section with relevant information on: how to place books on Reserve, how to obtain copyright, submitting previous exam papers; how postgraduates submit Theses and Dissertations to the Library, how to access Education Resources for their teaching needs, etc.
Students will find abundance of subject specific information to assist them with their preparation, study and assignments. The general information should enhance their understanding of the library and its workings. Although the sections on Support to New Students and Undergraduates are still under development, it is neverthless a relevan source.
Library and Information Literacy skills are important to all users in becoming life-long independent information users. The Sciences portal gives you an opportunity to view various guides and tutorials, to set an appointment for library training with your subject librarian or just to use the services of the general librarians. Go to: Training Guides & Tutorials; Need help: Ask-a-Librarian (APK); Library User Education to Sciences: First year students; Undergraduates; Researchers for more information.
The content of these portals are updated regularly. Your contributions and suggestions are welcome.
To keep you abreast with the latest information about the UJ Library and its resources, you can make use of the Sciences Library News blog. Learn about trials, new and cancelled databases, library hours, library services and much more. To keep you current with the latest in the Sciences & UJ Research, the UJ Sciences Librarian blog will provide this and much more useful information. These two Current Awareness tools are also embedded into the Sciences portal and soon will be available through the subjects portals.
Additionally the subjects portals have interesting embedded “widgets” or “gadgets”: Sudoku (Appl. Maths & Maths; Statistics), National Geographic News, GIS Search Engine (Geography), Energy Citation Database, Energy Search Engine (Energy & Env. Management portals); Astronomy Picture of the Day & Stars and Planets gadgets (Astronomy) and many more comming. Why I’m using these tools? Because they visually entice users to participate in them in search for information for research and pleasure.
I hope that the hard work I put into this project and the new skills I learned by creating and developying these portals will be of help to all of you. For any suggestions and contributions, please contact me: Pavlinka Kovatcheva, Subject Librarian APK, firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: 011 559-2621