Science News & Announcements

PubAg: new search engine for published USDA research

National Agricultural Library“The National Agricultural Library (NAL) has unveiled PubAg, a user-friendly search engine that gives the public enhanced access to research published by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. NAL is part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

PubAg, which can be found at, is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014. New articles by USDA researchers will be added almost daily, and older articles may be added if possible. There is no access fee for PubAg.”

Text from the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

The Science Writing Prize for College Students accepting submissions for 2015


The annual John Crerar Foundation Science Writing Prize for College Students honors the memory of John Crerar – industrialist and philanthropist whose estate established the John Crerar Library.

This competitive award for excellence and clarity in science writing acknowledges the ability of a University of Chicago College student to produce a paper, on a scientific topic, which is thorough in its arguments but accessible to a broad readership.

Students will submit a 2,500-3,000 word essay on a topic in science, medicine and/or technology. Essays should describe how the topic is relevant to the student’s studies and describe the topic’s impact on society today and into the future. Submissions must be scientifically and technically accurate, make reference to the relevant literature, and be accessible to a readership with a general knowledge of science. We encourage and welcome submissions from all perspectives.

  • First Prize is $1500
  • Second Prize is $500
  • Deadline for submission is: APRIL 20, 2015


Click here for more details and competition guidelines.


Email questions to





Save the date: 4th Biennial Kathleen A. Zar Symposium, May 1, 2015

CrerarGuide09_arch_color2Save the date for the 4th Biennial Kathleen A. Zar Symposium, “The Changing Ecosystem of Scholarly Communication,” held on Friday, May 1, 2015 at the John Crerar Library. 

Scholarly communication in the sciences is in a state of rapid evolution.  In addition to conventional journal and book publishing, scientists have many modes of consumption and dissemination of research: videos, interactive charts, linked data, blogs, social media, visualizations, and more.  The metrics system has also had to adapt, as impacts are now measured far more extensively than by citations alone, including downloads, bookmarks, blog posts, Tweets, and mainstream news coverage.  Technology is a big driver of change, but so too is a dynamic funding landscape, with mandates for wider public sharing of research. Researchers, librarians, and publishers all benefit from field guides to this novel ecosystem.  The 2015 Zar Symposium will explore this new information ecosystem and its impacts on those who inhabit it.

Information about previous symposia is available at

Introduction to EndNote Online Version: workshop

When: Monday, January 12, 2015 12:001:00 p.m.
Where: Crerar Library, Computer Classroom
5730 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL
Description: EndNote offers an online version of its popular citation manager that is available to the University of Chicago community freely through the Library. The online version offers the key features of the popular EndNote software, but with added enhancements of cloud storage, syncing, and the ability to easily share and collaborate. Come to this workshop and see if EndNote’s online version works for you.
Contact: John Crerar Library
More info:
Tag: Workshops, Training, Graduate Students, Staff
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787.
Information on Assistive Listening Device

Lecture: Dynamic Execution for Exascale Computing – Thomas Sterling, Jan 14

thomassterling-mw2015Friday, January 15, 2015, 3:00-4:30 PM Lecture
Dynamic Execution for Exascale Computing
Thomas Sterling
Professor, Informatics and Computing, Indiana University | CREST, Executive Associate Director, Chief Scientist
Kathleen A. Zar Room, John Crerar Library

The challenge of achieving useful exascale computing will demand innovations in computer architecture, parallel programming models, and system software. This presentation will describe the areas where advances are anticipated and the concepts behind them. It will provide examples from experimental systems demonstrating early results that support these approaches. The talk will include current findings from the recently developed HPX-5 runtime system and the new XPI asynchronous programming interface.

Speaker biography: 

Dr. Thomas Sterling holds the position of Professor of Informatics and Computing at the Indiana University (IU) School of Informatics and Computing as well as serves as Chief Scientist and Executive Associate Director of the Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST). Since receiving his Ph.D from MIT in 1984 as a Hertz Fellow Dr. Sterling has engaged in applied research in fields associated with parallel computing system structures, semantics, and operation in industry, government labs, and academia. Dr. Sterling is best known as the “father of Beowulf” for his pioneering research in commodity/Linux cluster computing. He was awarded the Gordon Bell Prize in 1997 with his collaborators for this work. He was the PI of the HTMT Project sponsored by NSF, DARPA, NSA, and NASA to explore advanced technologies and their implication for high-end system architectures. Other research projects included the DARPA DIVA PIM architecture project with USC-ISI, the Cray Cascade Petaflops architecture project sponsored by the DARPA HPCS Program, and the Gilgamesh high-density computing project at NASA JPL. Thomas Sterling is currently engaged in research associated with the innovative ParalleX execution model for extreme scale computing to establish the foundation principles to guide the co-design for the development of future generation Exascale computing systems by the end of this decade. ParalleX is currently the conceptual centerpiece of the XPRESS project as part of the DOE X-stack program and has been demonstrated in proof-of-concept in the HPX runtime system software. Dr. Sterling is the co-author of six books and holds six patents. He was the recipient of the 2013 Vanguard Award. In 2014, he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

*Refreshments will be served*

 For more information contact RCC at or 773-795-2667

Introduction to Endnote (Desktop Version), Wednesday, Jan.14, 12-1 PM

Endnote imageLocation: Crerar Library Computer Classroom.

Learn how to use the bibliographic software EndNote.  Topics covered include creating and managing libraries, importing references from online databases, importing and managing PDFs and creating formatted bibliographies and citations in Microsoft Word. Registration is required.  Register for this section.

Coal Swamp Fossils: The Robert Springfield Fossil Collection – new web exhibit

Calamites sp.

A branch of Calamites sp. that shows multiple spore producing cones of a sphenopsid.

A web version is now available of the current Crerar Library exhibit: Coal Swamp Fossils: The Robert Springfield Fossil Collection.  The physical exhibition, consisting of 16 fossils, is on view in the Crerar Library’s First Floor Reading Room for the 2014-2015 academic year.  It was curated by Benjamin Rhind, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools high school senior.

Exhibit Description: This collection of fossils was collected by Robert Springfield in mines in southern Tennessee and northern Alabama.  They contain many fossils from the Carboniferous Period, ranging from 330,000,000 -300,000,000 BCE.  The period was defined by the large deposits of coal beds that it left behind.  This massive amount of coal was because of the development of bark bearing trees and the fact that a lower sea level during this age left behind large lowland, swampy forests.  Plant life during the period was diverse, and although this collection of fossils contains several different genera and species, they all fit into one of three categories: sphenopsids, lycopods and pteridosperms.

The University of Chicago Library is grateful to the Springfield family for their gift of fossil specimens, which brings unique materials to the Library’s collections.  The Robert Springfield Fossil Collection is on loan from the Library’s Special Collections Research Center.


Best of science and medicine in 2014

Here’s a look back on some of the best and most read of science and medicine in 2014:


imedapps’ Best Medical Apps Released in 2014

Cleveland Clinic’s Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2014

Hercules A galaxy

Hercules A galaxy (Photograph by X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO, Optical: NASA/STScI, Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA)

Docphin’s Top 50 Most Viewed Medical Journal Articles in 2014

Read by QxMD’s Top 50 Articles from 2014



Science’s Breakthrough of the Year 2014

Nature’s 2014: The Year in Science

Wired’s The Craziest Sci-Fi Fantasies That Got Closer to Reality This Year

Science Friday’s The Best of 2014

National Geographic’s Nature Photo of the Year

National Geographic’s Best Space Pictures of 2014

Something’s Brewing web exhibit launched


Drawing of beer barrels in storage.

Something’s Brewing. The Art, Science and Technology of Beer Brewing 

(an online exhibit)

There is more to brewing than barley and hops. Beverages have been brewed from beans, oatmeal, honey, molasses, rye, wheat, old bread, and even whole chickens. Ancient Egyptians, medieval monks, and Chicago city founders have all practiced the art of brewing.

The Crerar Library exhibit, Something’s Brewing: The Art, Science and Technology of Brewing, was originally shown January 8 – March 31, 2007 and explored the development of brewing, from the ancient Sumerians’ rice-based beverages to the rise and fall of the Chicago brewing industry.  The Library is pleased to present a web version of the exhibit, including links to original works in digital online libraries where available.  

This exhibit was curated by Andrea Twiss-Brooks and Debra Werner.  The images and text were adapted for the web exhibit by Jennifer Hart and Andrea Twiss-Brooks.

NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system getting a new look

In January 2015, a redesign of the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system will be launched.  The redesign includes a new interface, streamlined log in and manuscript submission processes, and screen-specific help information.  Additional details about the new interface are at

More information about the NIH Public Access Policy is available on Crerar’s NIH Public Access Policy Guide.

new NIHMS home page preview

Preview of the new NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) home page.