University of Minnesota
Institute of Technology
myU OneStop

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Engineering Lit: How Changes in Technical and Scholarly Publishing are Affecting What You Read

Janet Fransen
U of MN Libraries

The list of journals and conferences you’re interested in may have evolved over the years, but what’s really changed is how you keep up on them. Most proceedings and journals in electrical and computer engineering have moved online, along with an increasing number of books. You may not be spending any time in the Walter Library stacks, but it’s still University Libraries that’s connecting you to the information you need. As we all rely less on browsing shelves of items, it’s even more important that you know about the tools the Libraries has to make the process of searching and finding easier, and that I understand your information needs.

In the coming months, the Libraries will be reviewing our collections—including subscriptions—to make sure they represent the best possible value for University of Minnesota researchers. Some evidence of value will come from usage statistics, but to advocate effectively for ECE faculty and students I need a more complete picture than clickthrough and search numbers can provide.

In this colloquium, I’ll present an analysis of sources cited in recent ECE theses and dissertations and discuss how I might use the results to inform collections decisions. I’ll also introduce you to Libraries tools that make it easier for you to connect to the kinds of sources ECE students and faculty need. Finally, I’ll be asking for your input: Have you found that tools and sources that once were indispensable are now rarely used? Are there tools you find unwieldy to use, or sources you wish we had access to? Now is the time to make sure I know what you need and use.

Janet Fransen is an assistant librarian at the University of Minnesota, where she is the liaison for Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, and History of Science & Technology. Jan attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1986 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and a BA in Speech-Communication. Jan combined her technical skills with her interest in teaching others to build a career in the software industry, where she worked as a consultant, trainer, and writer until 2008. At that time, with a Masters of Library and Information Science from Dominican University, Jan returned to the University of Minnesota as a librarian. 21st century librarianship allows her to combine her interest in technology with her passion for bringing together people and the resources they need.