Syllabus for LS 556:  Bibliography of the Sciences

Summer Session II, July 9 - Aug. 10, 2001

Instructor:  G. Lynn Berard

Description of LS 556:  Survey of the literature and practice of librarianship in major areas of the sciences, including biology, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics, computer science and general engineering.   Prerequisite: LS 500.

This course has been designed to enable the student to:

Contact Info:

Head, Engineering & Science Library,
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Phone: (412) 422-3119  Fax: (412) 422-3119

Email is the preferred way to reach me but feel free to call if you wish. I will return calls as soon as possible.

Office Hours:

I will hold 2 chat sessions per week as office hours via Blackboard.  Times to be determined based on student needs once the course is underway.


Scientists at Work:  Profiles of Today's Groundbreaking Scientists From Science Times/ Edited by Laura Chang, McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Supplemental Texts:On reserve in the Carlson Library

-  Using science and technology information sources/ Ellis Mount and Beatrice Kovacs.   Q223 .M68 1991
-  Reference sources in science, engineering, medicine, and agriculture / H. Robert Malinowsky.
        Z7401 .M278 1994
-  Scientific and technical literature: an introduction to forms of communication / Richard D. Walker and
        C.D. Hurt.  Q223 .W34 1990
-  Mamual of Online Search Stategies, Volume 1:  Sciences.  Edited by C.J. Armstrong and Andrew Large.   Z699.3 .M36 1988
-  Guide to information sources in the physical sciences by David Stern.  rZ7141.S74 2000  (ref collection)

 I will keep this syllabus updated with detailed information on all of the course readings and projects and they will also be listed on Blackboard at each session.

Syllabus Web Site:

Student Web Site:

The above address will get you to information regarding web courses and how to login to Blackboard, where our class resides.   You will need to enroll in this course.  If you need technical assistance, please try calling the Computing Services Help line at Clarion, 814/393-2640.  There is also a help button available within Blackboard.    I will be sending you in email a short survey regarding your technology set-up.  I've learned about a few bugs in Blackboard and would like to assist you if I can.  There are some housekeeping rules that we should address at this point:


Grades will be based on regular class attendance, participation in class, and the completion of course projects.

Main course group project                                45%
Class/Discussion List Participation                  20%
Session assignments                                           35%    Due as assigned

TOTAL                                            100%


Session 1      (Week of July 9th)

-  Overview of the nature of scientific and technical literature
-  Information seeking behavior of scientists and engineers
-  The research and teaching environment in science as it operates in academic, corporate and public libraries
-  The research information cycle

Session 2     (Week of July 9th)

-  Professional societies and their publications

Session 3      (Week of July 16)

- Print and Electronic Journals

Session 4      (Week of July 16)

- Manufacture's literature, newsletters, current awareness tools, dissertations, bibliographies and conferences.

Session 5       (Week of July 23)

- Internet resources, specialized subject databases, and online catalogs.

Session 6       (Week of July 23)

- Reference and information services.

Session 7       (Week of July 30)

- Handbooks, manuals, almanacs, encyclopedia's, directories,  and lab notebooks.

Session 8       (Week of July 30)

- Patents and Trademarks.

Session 9       (Week of August 5)

- Technical reports and standards.

Session 10       (Week of August 5)

- Vendors and Publishers
- How to get familiar with your collection area
- Document delivery methods and suppliers


Main Course Group Project:
Your group has just been hired by WeBuiltIt, Inc., an international scientific research firm.  The company has 75 worldwide sites, with a main corporate library in Paris, France.  The firm's interests are varied and each location is specialized in one of the following areas:

Environmental Engineering
BioMedical Engineering
Ceramics and Plastics Research
Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems

At your site, no library collection currently exists. You were hired to build it.  Keep in mind that you will need a ready reference collection to answer inquires; a small book collection for in-depth study; a current journal section; and you will need to select appropriate online services (i.e. CDROMs, search services, databases, etc.).   You can call upon the services of the main corporate library remotely, but document delivery and assistance are slow.

Your assignment is to create a working list of your collection.  Choose one of the areas listed above and purchase away!  For each category, you will need to purchase:

Reference Collection = 8 items
General book collection = 10 items
Journal collection = 8 titles
Databases = at least 3

State each item selected and annotate it.  Describe how it can be utilized in your setting.  Feel free to use the Internet ­ go look at engineering and science university library home pages, bookstore web sites, society web sites and so on.

Length should not exceed 10 pages.  Introduce your collection and tell me about your services.  Extra points will be given for creative approaches.  This assignment is the major course assignment and will count 45% toward the final grade (out of a possible 100%).

1. Remember that your clients will ask non technical, general reference queries.
2. You can take advantage of document delivery services to purchase requested documents.
3. This is only a skeleton collection; a first pass at a beginning working collection.

Please feel free to ask questions about this assignment. DUE: Aug. 10, 2001

Session Assignments:
For each session there will be an assignment in the form of either a quiz, question set, search, etc.   Cumulatively these assignments count for 35% of your grade.  They are designed to assist you in becoming familiar working with science and technology resource materials and may operate as review material for future reference.  There will be no final for this course.


Special Needs: Students with learning disabilities and/or special physical requirements should make their needs known to me. I will make every effort to assist you.

Note: Clarion University of Pennsylvania regards student participation in class as essential to the learning process. Therefore regular classroom attendance is required. It is understood that absence does not excuse the student from course work and the responsibility to complete assignments on time. The instructor should be notified in advance of planned absences and arrangements will be made to complete missed work. The instructor is not required to give make up examinations or accept class work missed as a result of an unexcused absence.

Statement of Scholarly Responsibility:Students are expected to follow normal practice in acknowledging the source of facts, ideas, summaries, quotations, and paraphrases used in their written work. Direct quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks and the exact source acknowledged. The use of another's words without attribution and without enclosing the words in quotation marks is plagiarism. Using facts, ideas and summaries derived from another source without indicating the source is also plagiarism. A close paraphrase may also be considered plagiarism - even if the source is named. Submitting another student's work as though it were your own is always plagiarism - even if the original paper has been paraphrased or otherwise modified. If you are in doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism, you are encouraged to consult with the instructor. Any student suspected of plagiarism will have the suspect passage pointed out to him/her and will be given an opportunity to explain why it should not be regarded as plagiarism. Depending on the severity of the infraction, penalties for plagiarism include 1) receiving a reduced grade for the assignment 2) redoing the assignment on a different topic 3) receiving a failing grade for the assignment, or 4) receiving a failing grade for the course. Students who are dissatisfied with the instructor's decision in such a case may - without prejudice - refer the matter to the attention of the department chair, the college dean, the provost and academic vice president, and/or the university Conduct Board, as described in the Student Rights and Regulations Handbook.

Updated June 28, 2001
G. Lynn Berard