Open Access Science Resources

Matthew Von Hendy has written a post for the Special Libraries Association’s Social Science Division blog on open access (AKA free) science resources. Many of these resources provide full-text or links to full-text if available but a few only provide citation information.

Note that you can also find excellent science information through your local library, which more than likely also provides access to a number of subscription databases as well.

HowOpenIsIt?: Open Access Spectrum (OAS)

PLOS, SPARC and OASPA have collaborated to create a guide that identifies the core components of OA and how they are implemented across the spectrum between “Open Access” and “Closed Access”. The guide provides an easily understandable, comprehensive, and quantifiable resource to help authors make informed decisions on where to publish based on publisher policies. In addition, funders and other organizations will have a resource that indicates criteria for what level of OA is required for their policies and mandates.

This OA guide is aimed toward a wide audience of researchers, authors, and policy-makers. The goals of the guide are to:

  • Move the conversation from “Is It Open Access?” to “HowOpenIsIt?”
  • Clarify the definition of OA
  • Standardize terminology
  • Illustrate a continuum of “more open” versus “less open”
  • Enable people to compare and contrast publications and policies
  • Broaden the understanding of OA to a wider audience
  • Determine how open a publisher is by using the grid

Extreme Weather and Climate Change in the American Mind

Download the document.

This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Interview dates: August 31, 2012 – September, 2012. Interviews: 1,061 Adults (18+) Total average margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. It was funded by the Surdna Foundation, the 11th Hour Project,
and the Grantham Foundation.

Executive Summary

  • A large and growing majority of Americans (74%, up 5 points since our last national survey in March 2012) say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.”
  • Asked about six recent extreme weather events in the United States, majorities say global warming made each event “worse.” Americans were most likely to connect global warming to the record high temperatures in the summer of 2012 (73%).
  • Americans increasingly say weather in the U.S. has been getting worse over the past several years (61%, up 9 percentage points since March).
  • A majority of Southerners (56%) say the weather in their local area has been getting worse over the past few years. Half of Midwesterners (50%) say this as well.
  • Half of Americans recall unusual weather events in their local area over the past year (52%).
  • Six in ten Americans (61%) recall unusual weather events occurring elsewhere in the United States in the past year (other than their own local area), perhaps reflecting extensive media attention to the record-setting drought, high temperatures, and strong storms in the summer of 2012, as well as the unusually warm winter of 2011-2012.
  • Half of Americans (51%) say that droughts have become more common in their local area over the past few decades, an increase of 5 points since last spring. This national change was driven primarily by a major shift of opinions in the Midwest (66%, up 25 points since March), which was hit hardest by the summer drought.
  • A majority of Americans (58%) say that heat waves have become more common in their local area over the past few decades, up 5 points since March, with especially large increases in the Northeast and Midwest (+12 and +15, respectively).
  • More than twice as many Midwesterners say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave (83%, up 48 points since March) or drought (81%, up 55 points) in the past year.
  • Northeasterners are more likely to say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave (52%, up 10 points since March) or drought in the past year (23%, up 6 points).
  • Southerners who say they personally experienced an extreme heat wave increased to 61 percent, from 50 percent in March.
  • An increasing number of Americans in the West say they experienced either an extreme heat wave (49%, up 13 points since March) or drought (41%, up 10 points).
  • One in five Americans (20%) says they suffered harm to their health, property, and/or finances from an extreme heat wave in the past year, a 6 point increase since March. In addition, 15 percent say they suffered harm from a drought in the past year, up 4 points.

Putting more energy into sustainability

Read the full story in Sustainable Industries.

Educational institutions, state and local governments, businesses, and other organizations worldwide are striving to achieve the triple bottom line of economical, ecological and social responsibility. These values for measuring organizational success can be secured by embracing a commitment to sustainability.

As citizens of a global community, it is the social responsibility of companies, organizations and institutions to collectively minimize energy consumption, reduce carbon footprints, protect air and water quality, and build a stronger society. In short, they must work together to achieve sustainability worldwide.

Many organizations are finding that they can dramatically accelerate their progress by combining on-site renewable energy generation with energy efficiency measures.

Advanced Energy and Water Recovery Technology from Low Grade Waste Heat

Download the document.

The project has developed a nanoporous membrane based water vapor separation technology that can be used for recovering energy and water from low-temperature industrial waste gas streams with high moisture contents. This kind of exhaust stream is widely present in many industrial processes including the forest products and paper industry, food industry, chemical industry, cement industry, metal industry, and petroleum industry. The technology can recover not only the sensible heat but also high-purity water along with its considerable latent heat. Waste heats from such streams are considered very difficult to recover by conventional technology because of poor heat transfer performance of heat-exchanger type equipment at low temperature and moisture-related corrosion issues. During the one-year Concept Definition stage of the project, the goal was to prove the concept and technology in the laboratory and identify any issues that need to be addressed in future development of this technology. In this project, computational modeling and simulation have been conducted to investigate the performance of a nanoporous material based technology, transport membrane condenser (TMC), for waste heat and water recovery from low grade industrial flue gases. A series of theoretical and computational analyses have provided insight and support in advanced TMC design and experiments. Experimental study revealed condensation and convection through the porous membrane bundle was greatly improved over an impermeable tube bundle, because of the membrane capillary condensation mechanism and the continuous evacuation of the condensate film or droplets through the membrane pores. Convection Nusselt number in flue gas side for the porous membrane tube bundle is 50% to 80% higher than those for the impermeable stainless steel tube bundle. The condensation rates for the porous membrane tube bundle also increase 60% to 80%. Parametric study for the porous membrane tube bundle heat transfer performance was also done, which shows this heat transfer enhancement approach works well in a wide parameters range for typical flue gas conditions. Better understanding of condensing heat transfer mechanism for porous membrane heat transfer surfaces, shows higher condensation and heat transfer rates than non-permeable tubes, due to existence of the porous membrane walls. Laboratory testing has documented increased TMC performance with increased exhaust gas moisture content levels, which has exponentially increased potential markets for the product. The TMC technology can uniquely enhance waste heat recovery in tandem with water vapor recovery for many other industrial processes such as drying, wet and dry scrubber exhaust gases, dewatering, and water chilling. A new metallic substrate membrane tube development and molded TMC part fabrication method, provides an economical way to expand this technology for scaled up applications with less than 3 year payback expectation. A detailed market study shows a broad application area for this advanced waste heat and water recovery technology. A commercialization partner has been lined up to expand this technology to this big market. This research work led to new findings on the TMC working mechanism to improve its performance, better scale up design approaches, and economical part fabrication methods. Field evaluation work needs to be done to verify the TMC real world performance, and get acceptance from the industry, and pave the way for our commercial partner to put it into a much larger waste heat and waste water recovery market. This project is addressing the priority areas specified for DOE Industrial Technologies Program’s (ITP’s): Energy Intensive Processes (EIP) Portfolio – Waste Heat Minimization and Recovery platform.

Higher education sustainability news roundup

University Expands Sustainability Promotion with Workplace Certificate Program
The University of Michigan’s Office of Campus Sustainability has launched Sustainable Workplace, a certificate program that assist offices in creating greener workplaces across campus through simple adjustments in employee behaviors and equipment settings.

Parkland purchases hybrid car and charging station
Parkland College [Champaign, IL] has been gaining recognition around the community for their decision to go green. Just last February, the college received a grant from the non-profit TKF Foundation to design urban, green spaces around the campus as part of the TKF Foundation’s “Open Spaces Sacred Places” program. This fall, Parkland College is making way for several changes to the campus as part of their green efforts. In addition to celebrating National Sustainability Day Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety got a new hybrid police car last Tuesday. Plans are in place to order more of them.

Appalachian State University installs mulch replacement outside Lovill Hall
Over fall break, a new paving material was installed outside Lovill Residence Hall. The substance, called Flexi-Pave, replaced mulch which has washed away in heavy rains and tracked into lobbies by residents.

University of Michigan, DTE Energy begin solar energy installation on North Campus
Ground was broken this week for a new solar energy installation at the North Campus Research Complex. The partnership between U-M and DTE Energy is part of DTE Energy’s SolarCurrents program and will result in a ground-mounted solar array capable of producing up to 430 kilowatts.

Anaergia Selected by Michigan State University for Largest College Campus-Based Renewable Energy Biogas Plant in the U.S.
Anaergia Inc. today announced that it has been selected and initiated development on the largest college campus-based anaerobic digestion system in the United States.  The anaerobic digestion system will be located at the Dairy Cattle Teaching & Research Center on the South Campus Farms at the Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing,Michigan.

University of Michigan Launches $9 Million Effort to Strengthen Great Lakes Restoration While Advancing Research & Education
A new $9 million University of Michigan Great Lakes research and education center will guide efforts to protect and restore the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes by reducing toxic contamination, combating invasive species, protecting wildlife habitat and promoting coastal health. With a $4.5 million, three-year grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the new University of Michigan Water Center will provide a solid scientific framework for more efficient and effective Great Lakes restoration. U-M scientists and their partners across the region will use research and on-the-ground collaboration to inform Great Lakes restoration projects. The initiative was announced today by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, who said the university will add an additional $4.5 million to the project over three years.