Monday, January 25, 2016

Science and technology

Science: 1. The systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts. 2. The organized body of knowledge that is derived from such observations and that can be verified or tested by further investigation. 3. Any specific branch of this general body of knowledge, such as biology, physics, geology, or astronomy.
Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology.

Science, systematic study of anything that can be examined, tested, and verified.
“Science,” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2004.
For many the term science refers to the organized body of knowledge concerning the physical world, both animate and inanimate, but a proper definition would also have to include the attitudes and methods through which this body of knowledge is formed; thus, a science is both a particular kind of activity and also the results of that activity.
“Science,” Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. New York: Bartleby Com., 2001.

In common usage the word “science” is applied to a wide variety of disciplines or intellectual activities which have certain features in common, e.g. library science, computer science.
Science is generally viewed as cumulative and progressive.

Science method
An organized approach to problem-solving that includes collecting data, formulating a hypothesis and testing it objectively, interpreting results, and stating conclusions that can later be evaluated independently by others.
Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

  • Used by researchers to support or disprove a theory
  • Used to answer True-False questions only
Steps in scientific method
  1. Observation. You observe something in the material world, using your sense or machines which are basically extensions of those senses.
  2. Question. You ask a question about what you observe.
  3. Hypothesis. You predict what you think the answer to your question might be.
  4. Method. You figure out a way to test whether your hypothesis is correct. The outcome must be measurable.
  5. Result. You do the experiment using the method you came up with and record your results. You repeat the experiment to confirm your results.
  6. Conclusion. You state whether your prediction was confirmed or not and try to explain your results.
Science: classifications
Natural science: any of the sciences that deal with matter, energy, and their interrelations and transformations or with objectivity measurable phenomena.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Natural science may be divided into:
  • Exact sciences: in general characterized by possibility of exact measurement, e.g. physics, chemistry, mathematics
  • Descriptive sciences: includes those sciences which describe, i.e. include a method of description or classification that will permit precision of reference to the subject matter, e.g. biology, geology
    • Both exact and descriptive science may be called physical science.
Branches of science
Classifications of science are arbitrary. Some see science as composed of various branches such as:

  • Physical sciences
    • Investigate the nature and behaviour of matter and energy
      • Astronomy
      • Chemistry
      • Physics
  • Earth sciences
    • Examine the structure and composition of the Earth
      • Geology
      • Hydrology
      • Meteorology & climatology
      • Oceanography
      • Palaeontology 
  • Life sciences
    • All those areas of study that deal with living things
      • Biology
      • Medicine
  • Technology
    • Practical application of scientific knowledge
      • Engineering
  • To these three basic branches some add
  • Mathematical sciences
    • Investigate the relationships between things that can be measured or quantified in either a real or abstract form
    • Others feel mathematics is not a science but it is closely allied to the sciences because of their extensive use of it
Royal Society of Canada Academy of Science
Four divisions
  • Applied Science and Engineering
  • Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences
National Academies [U.S.]

Comprised of four organizations

  • The National Academy of Sciences
  • The National Academy of Engineering
  • The Institute of Medicine
  • The National Research Council
National Academy of Sciences [U.S.]
  • Recognises 31 scientific disciplines:
    animal sciences and human nutrition; anthropology; applied math sciences; applied physical sciences; astronomy; biochemistry; biophysics; cellular and developmental biology; cellular and molecular neuroscience; chemistry; computer and information sciences; economic sciences; engineering sciences; environmental sciences and ecology; genetics; geology; geophysics; human environmental sciences; immunology; mathematics; medical genetics; hematology and oncology; medical physiology and metabolism; microbial biology; physics; physiology and pharmacology; plant biology; plant, soil and microbial sciences; population biology and evolution; psychology; social and political sciences; systems neuroscience
Science literature
  • c. 95% of cited science literature from serials
  • English the dominant language of science
the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes; the employment of tools, machines, materials, and processes to do work, produce goods, perform services, or carry out other useful activities.
Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology
Systematic knowledge and action, usually of industrial processes but applicable to any recurrent activity.
Technology is closely related to science and engineering.
Technology deals with the tools and techniques for carrying out the plans. 
Engineering is the application of objective knowledge to the creation of plans, designs, and means for achieving desired objectives.
“Technology,” McGraw-Hill Encyclopaedia of Science & Technology, 8th ed.

Technology can be seen as the practical ways to use scientific discoveries profitably, or ways of turning scientific knowledge into useful processes and devices.

Simply put, science concerns itself with why and technology concerns itself with how.

Chronology of major events
A Brief History of Science

Science Timeline

Chronology of Scientific Developments

History of Science and Technology Timeline

Science, Science Education and Technology Timeline

Scientific communications
Garvey/Griffith Scientific Communication Model

Evolution of Scientific Information

Structure of scientific literature
How literature is structured

Chinese University of Hong Kong ULS Information Literacy Tutorial

Scientific publication cycle

Oregon State University Libraries. Scientific Publication.

Types of literature
(Based on “Literature of Science and Technology” reading from McGraw Hill Encyclopedia)

  • Primary sources
    • Periodicals; conference papers
      • reporting on research; conferences
    • Research monographs/reports
    • Preprints
      • before committing to paper
    • Patents; standards
    • Dissertations; festschriften
      • University PhDs, series, original essays
    • Manufacturers’ literature
      • instruction manuals; brochures; catalogues
  • Secondary sources (publications summarizing and pointing to the primary literature)
    • Indexing and abstracting services
    • Bibliographies
    • Reviews of progress
    • Treatises
      • In-depth look at a particular tool
  • Reference tools
    • Encyclopaedias
    • Dictionaries
    • Handbooks
    • Tables
    • Databanks/formularies
  • Tertiary sources
    • Textbooks
    • Directories
    • Guides to the literature
Primary literature
  • Research and development
    • Diaries, lab notebooks
  • Non-formal/preliminary communication, “invisible college”
    • Consultation with colleagues
      • Correspondence, memoranda
      • Seminars, colloquia
      • Letters to editors
      • Listservs, e-mail
  • Intellectual property
    • Patents, licensed technology
  • Report literature, “gray literature” [works not usually available through regular market channels because they were never commercially published, listed or priced]
    • Conference literature, lecture programs
    • Technical reports, patents
    • Theses, dissertations, engineering project for a degree
    • Catalogues, brochures, leaflets, posters
    • Personal websites, e-prints/preprints, etc.
    • Research and technical reports, dissertations, theses
  • Conference presentations and literature
    • Preprints, proceedings, reprints
Main functions of conference literature
  • Announcement of new knowledge
  • Exchange of information and experience
  • Education
  • Formulation of problems and strategies
  • Fact-finding and reporting
  • Negotiations and policy formulation
  • Progress reports
  • Status and ceremonial congregation
Primary literature
  • Standards and specifications
  • Journal literature
    • Preprint, article, reprint
    • Journals
      • Translations
      • Scientific (archival/refereed/peer-reviewed most prestigious)
      • Technical
      • Trade
      • Popular science
      • Electronic
Functions archival/referred journal
  • Communicate results of original research
  • Serve as permanent archive of completed research and observations of natural phenomena and events
  • Establish priority for an idea, theory, discovery or research finding
  • Maintain standards of quality of reporting through a system of editing and refereeing
Journal shortcomings
  • Failure to publish papers promptly
  • Excessive restrictions on length of papers
  • Wide scattering of papers in same subject area
  • Cost
Secondary literature
  • Indexes and abstracts
    • Abstracts are the most important reference source for researchers
  • SDI/Current awareness 
    • Selective Dissemination Information
      • Alert researchers about what is to be published or what has recently been published
        • Current Contents, Ingenta
  • Surrogate
    • A substitute used in place of an original item, for example an abstract or summary that provides desired information without requiring the reader to examine the entire document. In a library catalogue, the description provided in the bibliographic record serves as a surrogate for the actual physical item.
  • Bibliographies, catalogues, indexes/abstracts and SDI services are all examples of surrogation.
  • Repackaging contents of primary documents into formats which will facilitate speedier and easier access e.g.
    • Dictionaries
    • Directories
    • Tables
    • Handbooks
    • Yearbooks
    • Almanacs
Examples of compacted literature are:
  • Reviews
    • A comprehensive survey of the works published in a field of study, or related to a particular line of research, usually in the form of a bibliographic essay or annotated list of references in which attention is drawn to the most significant works. In scholarly journals that publish original research in the physical and social sciences, the first section of each article is usually devoted to a review of the previously published literature on the subject, with references in the text to a list of works cited at the end.
  • Monographs
  • Textbooks
  • Treatises
    • A book or long formal essay, usually on a complex subject, especially a systematic well-documented presentation of facts or evidence, and the principles or conclusions drawn from them.
  • Encyclopaedias
Secondary surrogation
  • Bibliography of bibliographies, e.g. Bibliography of Agricultural Bibliographies
  • Directory of directories
  • Guide to the literature
    • An overview of the kinds of material on a particular subject which lists specific books and other materials. It may include information on library use in general, or how to get started finding information and special features of reference works in the field.
Through the research process science and technology information is continuously recycled back into research and developmental activities.

Monday, January 11, 2016


  • Archives collect original unpublished material
    • Unique, irreplaceable
    • Fragile, vulnerable to improper handling
  • As a consequence, more stringent security procedures than libraries
  • Closed stacks
    • No borrowing by users
  • No borrowing
    • On site use in supervised reading rooms
  • Registration required
    • Name, address, phone #, email, area of research interest, date, signature
    • ID: driver’s licence, student card
  • National, provincial, municipal archives open to public by legislation
  • In-house private or corporate archives may allow access only to employees or those with permissions
  • Depositors may place restrictions on records, e.g. politician’s private papers may be closed for 30 years after death
  • Archives may restrict access to
    • Records containing defamatory, libellous, or personal info about third parties
    • Damaged records, or records in poor physical condition
    • Unprocessed material
  • Handling and security practices include
    • Pencils, laptops, voice recorders only
    • No food, gum chewing, or drink
    • No coats, briefcases, bags, umbrellas, etc.
    • Restriction on amount of material to be used at one time
    • Wearing white cotton gloves when handling fragile material
  • Determine copying policies and services
  • More time is generally needed to answer archival reference questions than library reference questions
    • According to a 1985 article by business archivist Cynthia Swank, inquiries to her archives required anywhere from ten minutes to fifty hours to answer
  • Cynthia G. Swank, “Life in the Fast Lane: Reference in a Business Archives,” The Reference Librarian 13 (Fall 1985): 42.
  • Reference/orientation interview may be required
    • Archival materials arranged very differently from library materials
    • Lack of user familiarity with archival description
    • Need to explain restrictions and policies
Typical reference procedures
  • Fill out registration form
  • Check personal belongings
  • Receive orientation to collection including
    • Procedures and fees for copying, restrictions on collections and rights to publish
    • Sign form indicating understanding and compliance
  • Participate in reference interview
  • Participate in reference interview with archivist
    • Area of research, materials required
    • Good idea to contact archives beforehand by phone, e-mail to assure resources and staff available to help
  • Fill out call slips for material identified
Issues in access and reference
  • Democratization of archives
    • Public right to know for government information
  • Privacy concerns
    • Conflict between principles of open access to information and protection of personal privacy
  • Non paper forms of records
    • Changing technologies mean either reformatting records or maintaining equipment to access information
  • Impact of technology
    • Documents in electronic form only, easily manipulated and changed
    • Demand for online access
  • Expanding user groups, e.g. genealogists, amateur historians, “professional” researchers seeking answers to specific questions, e.g. lawyers, environmentalists, criminal investigators

Monday, January 4, 2016

Manitoba Government Records Office



What We Do

About Records

About Records

What are government records?

Why keep records?

What is ‘recordkeeping’?

Why manage records?

Who is responsible?

Managing Records in the Manitoba Government

Retention and disposal of records

Transferring records

Retrieval and use


Archival records

Services to the Government

Records Advisory Services

Government Records Centre Services

Preservation Services