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Issue No. 58 November 2005

Eureka! Information Skills for Life Long Learning

"Eureka!" was supposedly exclaimed by Archimedes when he discovered the principle of water displacement in the bathtub. It is a Greek word meaning "I have found (it)", and is also the name of a new general education course to be offered by the Library - GNED 008 Eureka! Information Skills for Life Long Learning.

The Library provides access to hundreds of high quality databases to our users, along with electronic and paper journals and books. These information sources are crucial for students' academic success. But learning which ones to use, and how best to search them can be difficult.

GNED 008, to be offered in Spring 2006, is a 1-credit course with 14 lessons (50 minutes a week for 14 weeks). It takes a problem-solving approach to introduce key databases and sources in different subject areas. Students will learn general searching principles and particular techniques to help them find the "gold" in the information sand-pit. Each student will also choose a specific research topic as a final project and use several databases and other sources to find relevant sources that help answer their research questions.

As stated in the President's message in the HKUST Newsletter, university graduates will need a truly all-round education to meet the challenges of an ever-changing environment. And the key to covering the breadth and depth of knowledge required through one's life is to learn how to learn. This course will provide students with the information literacy skills needed for self-directed life-long learning that will last beyond graduation, helping in their future working and personal life.

Research has shown that students equipped with effective information search skills not only find information quicker, but they are also able to find more important sources and thus improve the quality of their research as a result. Watch out for the Spring semester's announcement for this exciting new course.


Providing optimal access to the Library collections in all formats has always been one of the primary service objectives of the Library. To better meet the needs of our users, the Library has added many e-journals from major academic publishers over the years, bringing the total number to over 13,000 titles. The recent policy change of certain publishers that allows users to retain permanent access to their purchased reference items and the sophisticated searching and powerful hyperlinking capabilities introduced by the various platform providers prompted the Library to carefully appraise the major reference works so that we can gradually bring these reference resources to our users' desktops. This resulted in adding over 120 online encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and manuals to the collection. Some highlights are:

Encyclopedia Britannica Online, which provides integrated searching of its 32-volume set and other accompanying materials including the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and World Atlas.

Oxford Reference Online, providing access to the full-text of over 100 dictionaries and other reference works published by the Oxford University Press in all disciplines including English and bilingual dictionaries, business and management, engineering, humanities, social sciences and science.

Fourteen titles from the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), including classical general reference works such as the Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary and the Encyclopedia of World Biography. Titles in specific subject areas include the Environmental Encyclopedia that provides current status, analysis, and suggested solutions to the worldwide coverage of environmental issues. Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce that features 470 essays covering terms, topics, events and legislation related to e-commerce and profiles of the top e-commerce companies and biographies of e-commerce innovators.

A total of eight Wiley Electronic Major Reference Works (eMRW) including the well-known Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology and the Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry were also added to our collection.


The Library recently subscribed to a major multi-disciplinary database, EBSCOhost ( It consists of seven databases which together provide the abstracts and full text/images of a huge collection of journals, magazines, reports, and newspapers in various disciplines.

Business Source Premier (BSP) contains the full-text/images of 8,000 business publications, including 1,100 peer-reviewed journals, 1,200 trade journals and magazines, and 6,000 country, industry, and market research reports. Backfiles to 1965 or the first issue published are available for about 250 journals. Some of the prestigious titles include Administrative Science Quarterly (1956-), Academy of Management Journal (1958-), Harvard Business Review (1922-), Journal of Marketing (1936-), Journal of Marketing Research (1964-), MIS Quarterly (1977-), Accounting Review (1926-) and Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis (1966-). The database also covers profiles for 10,000 of the world's largest companies as well as the SWOT analysis for 1,000 companies.

Academic Search Premier (ASP) is a multi-disciplinary database. Subject coverage includes Science, Technology, Medicine, as well as Humanities and Social Sciences. The database contains the full-text/images of 4,500 publications, including 3,600 peer-reviewed journals, about 1,900 of which are indexed in ISI's Web of Science.

The other five databases are included in the BSP and ASP subscriptions. Professional Development Collection contains the full-text/images of over 550 education journals. Newspaper Source and Regional Business News provide the full-text of international and U.S. regional newspapers. ERIC and Medline, which are also available through the Ovid and Cambridge Scientific Abstracts platforms, are the world's most comprehensive abstract databases in education and medicine respectively.

The EBSCOhost interface is both powerful and intuitive. It allows you to search across the seven databases; refine searches by publication type such as academic journals, magazines and newspapers; save search history; print, download or email multiple articles; and link to articles in those e-journals subscribed to by the Library if the full-text is not included in EBSCOhost.

EBSCOhost and ProQuest are two of the largest multi-disciplinary full- text/images aggregator databases in the market place. Despite a considerable overlap of content between them, each database also holds a lot of unique titles.

Institutional Repository Update

The HKUST Institutional Repository is the storehouse of the University community's scholarly output. Since May 2003, it has grown to over 2,000 journal articles, conference papers, presentations, preprints, working papers, theses, and research and technical reports in 135 collections from 40 departments, institutes and centers. This collection of papers is openly accessible, permanently archived and widely disseminated over the Internet.

In the past few months, several functions were added to the Repository's DSpace software. You can now see the access data of the previous twelve months, excluding access by most robots. The "Top 20" most accessed documents are also featured. In September alone, Prof Kai Tang's (MECH) Visual Computer journal article on Achieving developability of a polygonal surface by minimum deformation was accessed 291 times. Researchers can also replace a previously submitted working paper with a new version by using the Document Replacement Form. The revision will bear the same unique handle number as the original version (e.g., In addition, a document can be e-mailed to a third party by clicking on the "Recommend this item" link.

In spring 2004, the subject librarians provided information sessions to 45 faculty members and doctoral students on emerging developments in open access and the HKUST Institutional Repository. They demonstrated that papers archived in the Repository can be discovered more easily and appear at the top result list by any search engine, such as Google Scholar, which is dedicated to search specifically for scholarly literature ( Some databases have also begun to publish web citations statistics, which provide the citation counts of a work posted on the web. In this way, the Repository can greatly increase the exposure a work will receive. The attendees expressed their interests and raised some concerns on copyright issues. They were assured that we comply fully with publishers' copyright policies, as most publishers allow some kind of self-archiving. Some of their suggestions were followed through and made feasible through software enhancements.

In order to link up with the University's research reporting system, the OCGA Research Output Report Form was given an option for faculty to indicate their intention to archive the paper reported. By October 1, we have received over 600 confirmations from faculty to make their papers openly accessible and permanently preserved in the Repository. Over one hundred papers have been received and processed. If you have not yet sent your electronic copies, please do so by e-mailing

MEDIA: Improving Your Study Skills

In order to get into HKUST, students have taken at least two sets of big exams: the HKCEE and the HK A-levels. But, university students often need skills that studying for and passing these exams do not provide. HKUST Library's Media Resources section has a small collection of videos on how to become a more effective university student.

Your instructors may assign far more reading than your high school teachers. Thus, increasing your reading speed may be a key new skill to develop. The video, Speed reading: fun & easy: Speed eez, speed reading (Media Resources LB1050.54 .S664 1988) may help. It is a very short online course that covers basic and intermediate skills required to help you read faster and with better comprehension.

One of the key skills in university is how to take good notes in lectures. The A+ student: how to take notes and study (Media Resources LB1049 .A11 1987) teaches some tricks on not just how to take good lecture notes, but how to learn from them as well.

In addition to these practical skills outlines above; the video series, Success4students (Media Resources LB1049 .S83 2002 v. 1-5) helps students learn to take control of their lives and develop better study methods. Of special interest are the topics about getting motivated and time management.

Students using these resources may make their time at university more enjoyable and more fruitful.

New Electronic Document Delivery Service for Faculty

The Library has been delivering copies of journal articles or book chapters requested from other libraries electronically to one's ILLiad account. Beginning September 2005, faculty members can also request the Library to deliver copies of journal articles or book chapters in the HKUST Library collections electronically to their desktop. Documents requested under this service are provided free-of-charge, with a quota limit of 50 documents per person in one academic year. The limit on library-subsidized interlibrary loan requests will remain at 140 items per year.

Faculty may send the citations to the Library via the HKUST ILLiad system just like making interlibrary loan requests. PDF files of the requested documents are then posted to your HKUST ILLiad account for viewing or downloading. The Library will only scan documents from books, printed journals, and microforms; e-journals are not included as users can easily access them online. We hope that this improved service will prove useful for UST researchers ?please let us know what you think of it.

WEB: New Room Booking System

At the start of this semester, the Library rolled out a new online study room reservation system ( Library Systems staff had been working to find a replacement for the previous system for several months, with the primary goal of allowing you to make your own bookings, instead of having to go to the Reference Counter for assistance.

In fact, the new system has allowed for a great number of enhancements:

The system also allows you to view all of one day's groups study room bookings on a single screen to make it easier to identify an available time slot.

In addition, the system can be viewed in several languages, including Chinese. The language will be selected automatically based on the preferences set in your Web browser.

The reservation system is based on the open source Meeting Room Booking System from The HKUST Library has been a long-time supporter of open source software, and this program is a perfect example of why. Many of the features we needed were not available in the MRBS software. But because it was open source, we were able to do some programming work to add those capabilities - and then to contribute those changes back to the community of MRBS users.

For more details of the system, please refer to the Help page at And if you have any suggestions for ways to improve the software, please let Library Systems know by e-mail to

Splendors of China - Cheung Ping's Innovations in Photography 中華好風光 - 張平創新影藝展

The Library is going to stage an exhibition of the works of the renowned Hong Kong photographer, Cheung Ping, seven years after Mr. Cheung's very successful exhibition in 1998. Apart from featuring Cheung Ping's exquisite and lyrical photographs of China, this exhibition will for the first time in Hong Kong exhibit the artist's recent works created using digital technology.

Cheung Ping Photo Painting

In 2004 and at the age of 78, Cheung Ping started to learn computers and used Photoshop to manipulate photographs. The advancement in technology has brought the artist a new horizon in photography. With his unique visual sensibility and many years of experience in photography, Cheung Ping has amazingly blended western and oriental, traditional and modern art in his photographic creations.

About 100 photographs will be on display. Most of these have been exhibited in France as one of the "China-France Cultural Year" events. Viewers were inspired and moved by these wonderful pieces and also deeply impressed with the creativity and innovative efforts of the artist.

The exhibition will run from 19 November 2005 to 31 January 2006. An Opening Reception will be held on 18 November at 4:30 pm. All are welcome. Please join us in welcoming Cheung Ping back to HKUST!

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