EEVL News and Enhancements
EEVL is the Hub for engineering, mathematics and computing. It is an award-winning free service, which provides quick and reliable access to the best engineering, mathematics, and computing information available on the Internet. It is created and run by a team of information specialists from a number of universities and institutions in the UK, lead by Heriot Watt University. EEVL helps students, staff and researchers in higher and further education, as well as anyone else working, studying or looking for information in Engineering, Mathematics and Computing. It is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) through the Resource Discovery Network (RDN).
In a recent article entitled "Turning gateways into portals" in Library + Information Update, Ruth Martin gave details of some exciting developments arising out of the Subject Portals Project (SPP). This work will result in major enhancements to the RDN Hubs, and over the coming year EEVL will integrate various new features into its service. In the meantime, however, there are a number of relatively minor enhancements to report upon.
Before we look at these, we are pleased to announce that the EEVL Internet Resource Catalogue now contains over 10,000 records. Quality, not quantity, is one of EEVL's bywords, and Web sites are not added to the Internet Resource Catalogue unless they comply with EEVL's Collection Development Policy. However, given that caveat, this is an important landmark for the service.
Some of the contributors to the EEVL service (from Heriot Watt University, University of Birmingham, Cranfield University, The Nottingham Trent University, Bell College) are shown above celebrating the news that the 10,000 landmark has been passed.
Ei Engineering Village 2, available via Edina Ei Compendex, now links to the EEVL home page from its Database Selection drop-down menu. Ei's interface for Compendex via Edina includes access to Scirus, US and European Patents, Standards and CRC Press Engineering Handbooks (table of contents included, full-text provision requires an add-on subscription with Ei), and to this has been added a link to EEVL's home page. This makes it easy for Village 2 subscribers to access yet another major engineering resource from the same interface. Does your institution subscribe to Ei Compendex?
Click here to find out.
Two new Virtual Training Suite (VTS) tutorials of interest to FE students in the subjects covered by EEVL have been released. They are: Internet for Maths & Adult Numeracy, and Internet for Health and Safety at Work.
Top 100 lists
For some time now, EEVL has featured a Top 100 sites in the EEVL Catalogue list. This is a listing of the top 100 sites which are accessed most frequently from the EEVL Catalogue. Now available are three other top 100 listings, one for each of our main subject sections. The new lists are: Top 100 sites in the EEVL Engineering Section, Top 100 sites in the EEVL Mathematics Section and Top 100 sites in the EEVL Computing Section.
Search default change
Regular visitors to the EEVL site may have noticed that, in order to bring things more in line with practices elsewhere, the default search limiter has been changed from Any to All (or, for those who like to think in terms of Boolean operatiors, from OR to AND). This change has been made throughout the site, and should help to ensure increased relevance of search results. Those wishing to search for any occurrences of words can still do so, by selecting the 'Any' option on search pages, and the results will continue to be ranked as before.
Search Result improvements
Search results pages have been improved, and now indicate the search term(s), plus section searched (if appropriate), and details of any filters used. For example, results from a simple search for resources on 'corrosion' from the EEVL home page is now indicated thus:
You searched for: corrosion
In all of EEVL, with filters:
Exact word ON.
Whereas results from a search for UK resources on 'corrosion' from the Engineering Section Catalogue page, limited to Society/Institution sites, is now indicated thus:
You searched for: corrosion
In the Engineering section of EEVL, with filters:
Exact word ON. Location: UK. Classification: Engineering. Resource types: Society/Institution.
Changes in Aerospace and Defence Classification
A Change in Description Prescribed
In the past, descriptions of sites in EEVL's Internet Resource Catalogue followed the structure of two paragraphs; the first giving a description of the resource, and the second detailed what content the site offered. For example:
The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit making association. ISWA's objective is the maximum exchange of information and experience world-wide on all aspects of solid waste management.
The site has information about the Association, a calendar of events, details of their publications, a discussion forum, and links to relevant organisations. Email newsletters and the annual report are also available.
Following various user comments we decided to change the focus of the first paragraph. As the results pages show only title, URL and description, it was noted that users wanted to know what the site offered/did not offer upfront in the description. i.e. whether a site contained tutorials, images or software, etc. It was decided to put the overall gist of why we include a site in EEVL in the first sentence. Therefore using the same site the description would now be:
This site has reports, position papers, news and guidelines on all aspects of solid waste management produced by the ISWA, an independent, non-governmental, non-profit making association.
Further information about the Association includes details of working groups, discussion forums, events, email newsletters and links to relevant organisations.
We hope this change will make it more quickly clear to users what a particular resource offers.
New Career Development news
A Career Development News feed giving the latest career development news from Science's Next Wave magazine has been added to EEVL's Engineering Jobs & Recruitment section. This is one of a number of RSS news feeds which will be added to the site over the next few months, and eventually these feeds will be incorporated into an 'aggregated news service' which will allow cross-searching and personalisation.
New lists of additions
EEVL now has four lists of new additions to the EEVL Catalogue. There is a generic list of New Additions for all three subjects, which was mentioned in the EEVL column in Ariadne Issue 32, and now there is a New Additions to the EEVL Catalogue: Engineering list, a New Additions to the EEVL Catalogue: Mathematics list and a New Additions to the EEVL Catalogue: Computing list. These lists of new additions to the catalogue are available as RSS Channels, and each gives the latest 15 additions to EEVL's various subject sections. RSS, which stands for RDF Site Summary, is a technology which allows headlines to be easily incorporated and shared between Web sites.
It is possible to include these RSS channels into a desk-top news feed reader, or alternately they can be included in any Web site simply by inserting a small snippet of code.
To include them in a reader, download FeedReader and then insert the following URLs as new feeds:
<!--EEVL New Resources for Engineering Mathematics & Computing - RSS-->
<!--End RSS -->
Or for the Engineering list:
<!--EEVL New Resources for Engineering - RSS-->
<!--End RSS -->
Or for the Mathematics list:
<!--EEVL New Resources for Mathematics - RSS-->
<!--End RSS -->
Or for the Computing list:
<!--EEVL New Resources for Computing - RSS-->
<!--End RSS -->
Site Map and modified Help pages
Last year, EEVL ran a series of Engineering Consultancy Groups with UK engineering academics and researchers as part of the JISC-funded Subject Portals Project. As a result of the end user feedback gained during these sessions the EEVL help pages have been extensively modified and a site map has been introduced. The changes are intended to provide a clearer picture of the resources available from EEVL and to help users make the best use of all of EEVL's services and features.
'What EEVL can do for you' information sheets
A few months ago we distributed 'What EEVL can do for you' information sheets to UK universities. For those who missed these distributions, the following links may be useful:
Another information sheet, aimed at those in Further Education, will be available shortly.
Web site search engines
There are now four different full-text Website search engines available on the EEVL service.
Available from the EEVL home page is the main Web site search engine, which searches the full text of all of the sites listed in the EEVL Catalogue. Over 120,000 Web pages are indexed. This index is automatically cross-searched from the EEVL home page.
Available from the engineering section is the Engineering Website search engine. This searches the full text of all of the sites listed in the engineering section of EEVL. This index is automatically cross-searched from the engineering section home page.
Available from the mathematics section is the Mathemetics Website search engine. This searches the full text of all of the sites listed in the mathematics section of EEVL. This index is automatically cross-searched from the mathematics section home page.
Available from the computing section is the Computing Website search engine. This searches the full text of all of the sites listed in the computing section of EEVL. This index is automatically cross-searched from the computing section home page.
The Web site search engines can be searched separately, or in conjunction with the various sections of EEVL, as described above. As they each search every word on the web pages of the sites listed, they provide an excellent way of finding subject-specific material in their respective areas.
Finally, an Accessibility Statement, detailing some of the actions which have been taken to improve the accessibility of the EEVL site, has been added.
Article Title: "EEVL News and Enhancements"
Author: Roddy MacLeod and Lesa Ng
Publication Date: 30-July-2003
Publication: Ariadne Issue 36
Originating URL: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue36/eevl/