Monday, May 21, 2007

A web of literature.

I've discovered that the world of information is multiplying in complexity faster than it is being simplified, and perhaps faster than I can keep up with.

The British Antarcitic Survey has a press release on its website, saying that an interesting article on climate change has been published 'this week' in Science magazine. I check, and I confirm that my library provides access to the contents of Science. I get to the website, but find no trace of the article in the latest issues. In desperation I do a search on the name of the lead author, and I find the paper half-way down a long list. But no, I don't have access to this version; it appears that it has been published in Science Express, which means it is available on the web only to subscribers to this specific service. Fortunately it will appear later in the print version too, so I just have to exercise a little patience, and hope that I will still be interested when that eventually happens.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The notebook: Anchor in reality.

I've discovered that some measure of antidote to the idea that "I've spent a year on this and have done nothing" is a good lab notebook. Just going back through the pages makes me see how much I've done. Of course much effort gets wasted on false leads and tangential things, but the notebook will show that stuff happened, even if not much was produced.