New Resource: SpringerMaterials

December 6, 2011 – 11:59 am

The SpringerMaterials online database is now available to Mason Library users.  It can be accessed through the Libraries’ database portal ( 

The SpringerMaterials database is the world’s largest resource for physical and chemical information in materials science.  It is based on the Landolt-Bornstein New Series which is a unique, fully evaluated data collection in all areas of physical science and engineering.  The database contains information on a number of topics including inorganic solid phases, chemical safety data, thermophysical properties, semiconductivity and superconductivity, magnetism, advanced materials, etc.

NSF Data Management Plans

December 6, 2011 – 11:53 am

The Data Services Office is offering two information sessions on creating data management plans for NSF grants.  These first session will be held on Friday, 12/9 at 1:30 PM and the second session will be held on Tuesday, 12/13 at 1:30 PM.  Both sessions will meet in Fenwick Library Rm. A214.  Please visit the Data Management section ( of the Data Services website for more information about how the libraries can help you manage your research data.

Open Access Panel Discussion

October 24, 2011 – 10:48 am

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, the Scholarly Communications Committee of the Mason Libraries is sponsoring a panel discussion on open access publishing as part of International Open Access Week. The panel, entitled will feature speakers from GMU, The American Institute of Physics and BioMed Central. The presnetation will be held in Research Hall, Room 163 from 1-3:30 PM. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Mapping the Brain’s Complexity

April 18, 2011 – 9:11 am

Scientists from University College London (UCL) announced recently that they are getting closer to developing a computer model capable of mapping the functions and connections of nerve cells in the brain.  The letter, which was published in the journal Nature (published online 4/10/11,  doi:10.1038/nature09880), describes a technique developed by the researchers that allows them to ccombine information about the functions of neurons with information about their connections.  The study was led by Tom Mrsic-Flogel (UCL) and the research is  part of  “connectomics,” a newly emerging field of study in neuroscience. 

To read a news report on the research, go to   

Reference:  Ho Ko, Sonja B. Hofer, et. al.  2011.  “Functional specificity of local synaptic connections in neocortical networks. ”  Nature,  4/10/11,  doi:10.1038/nature09880 .

Brain Shrinks Before Alzheimer’s Develops

April 15, 2011 – 3:11 pm

A research study published in a recent issue of the journal Neurology has found that MRIs of healthy individuals exhibited shrinkage in the areas affected by Alzheimer’s in the decade before the disease was diagnosed.  Healthy subjects in their 70’s were studied by researchers at Rush University and Massachusetts General/Harvard Medical School.   Subjects had brain scans done at the beginning of the study and researchers followed the subjects for 9 years.  The brains of subjects who developed Alzheimer’s disease during the study exhibited shrinkage in areas that are affected by the disease in the original scans.  The results are preliminary, but the findings could eventually lead to new ways to identify and diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. 

For more information:

Data Services Group at Mason Libraries

March 16, 2011 – 8:44 am

The new Data Services Group of the Mason Libraries combines the GIS Center, Statistical and Qualitative Research Services and Government Information  in one office. 

The Data Services Group provides:

  • Assistance with finding, acquiring and using numerical, statistical and geospatial data.
  • Help with using data archives such as ICPSR, the Roper Center, and more.
  • Offers access to GIS and statistical software packages, and assists with data translation.
  • Providing workshops and on finding and using numeric data sets and on GIS related topics.
  • Assist with the creation of data management plans as required by grant applications..
  • Provide support with data archiving.

The Data Services office is located on the 1st floor of Fenwick Library in Wing C.  For more details, see the Data Serivces Group website: .