Category Archives: Research

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking services allow you to save or bookmark your favourite web sites online and to share them with others. Using a Social bookmarking service is like saving favourites to Internet Explorer or any other web browser but with added benefits:

  • You can access your bookmarks from any computer or device with an internet connection
  • You can share your bookmarks with others (although you can also keep any that you don’t want to share private!)
  • You can “tag” bookmarks with relevant keywords to help you (and others) to retrieve them easily.

Services 
The following services offer Social Bookmarking: Delicious, Diigo, Digg, Connotea and Stumbleupon. For a longer list see http://www.philb.com/iwantto/webpages.htm

More about Tagging
Tagging is a facility used by many Web 2.0 services – not just bookmarks. It allows you to associate keywords or phrases with particular items (for example pictures, videos, bookmarks, catalogue records etc) in order to make them easier for you and others to retrieve. You can add as many tags as you like which makes it easy to describe items that cover many different concepts.

It is also possible to use “shared tags”. These are tags used by people who want to share items on a particular topic. To facilitate this, users tag relevant items with an agreed shared tag. For example if you look to the right on this blog you will see a Tag cloud of all the tags related to posts on this blog. Click on a tag and you will find other posts with that tag.


Diigo (Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other Stuff)
Are you fed up of finding good websites and then not being able to re-find them? Do you want to share useful websites with your colleagues? Then Diigo could be for you! Diigo allows you to save and share your favourite websites. It works in a similar way to the Delicious service that some of you may be familiar with (but Delicious is up for sale and faces an uncertain future).
With Diigo you can:

  • Bookmark your favourite websites and then access them from any PC that you login to.
  • Tag (or index!) your favourite websites so that you can easily search for them later on.
  • Highlight or annotate your chosen websites, making notes that will be there the next time you visit the site.
  • Share your favourite websites with colleagues. You might want to think about sharing sites across your team.
  • Search for websites and view other people’s reviews and comments.

This video explains a bit more about Diigo.

 

Academia.edu

Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company’s mission is to accelerate the world’s research.

Like LinkedInAcademia.edu focuses on professional connections. Academia.edu is essentially a LinkedIn focused on the academic world, so it provides improved features for things like listing publications. LinkedIn and Academia.edu profiles tend to feature high in Google searches, so a well-constructed profile can be a great way to develop your online brand.

You can search for people, research interests and universities to build up connections.

You can view members for Royal Holloway here.

It is about more than networking, you can search for papers and promote your own research there too. You can easily link to your papers in  Royal Holloway Research Online.

There are other sites where you can post your research profile and link to papers, which we will look at in future blog posts. It is useful to post on several of them to publicise to the biggest audience of people.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a serendipitous web-discovery tool.  You let it know you interests and it will find relevant pages.  ‘Like’ or ‘dislike’ pages, and it learns your preferences. Makes finding and rating new sites easy, especially with the SU toolbar and SU icons on other sites.

You can follow channels to find information quickly for example the TED channel will keep you updated on TED information.

StumbleUpon can also provide media and resources for keeping teaching sessions fresh and up to date.

Use the StumbleUpon getting started guide to begin stumbling.

When you have created an account you just click the Stumble button in the top right hand corner to start stumbling and finding webpages.

Stumble bottom

This video shows you how to use the lists feature:

This video shows you how to manage your interests, connections and channels:

 

 

Zanran Numerical Data Search

It can be very hard to find data such as pie graphs, bar graphs etc and Zanran fills that gap. Like a Google for data but it works much better than Google for data. When you put words into Google you simply get lots of pages of varying quality and relevance which you have to work through.

If you run a search in Zanran when the results appear run the cursor down the PDF or Excel icons and an image from the document appears.

zanran

 

zanran2

You can add limits as well, such as saying that the the site must be less than 2 years old, that the site must come from a certain country or search for specific sites (for example searching *.gov.uk will bring up only material from UK government sites).

zanran3

 

Using Twitter for Academic Research

Twitter is an excellent resource which is often underused in Academic research. Largely because of common misconceptions of Twitter including:

  • It’s only for teenagers
  • It’s all celebrities telling us what they have for breakfast
  • It’s time consuming

This is unfortunate, because Twitter is a valuable resource for academics. If you’re allowing  inaccurate stereotypes to deter you, you’re missing out.

Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford (From Blog post: A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic, Tuesday 14 June 2011. Accessed 10th February 2013)

You don’t need to follow everybody, you can select who you follow so that you don’t have to know what Lady GaGa has had for breakfast.

To stop the “noise” on twitter be selective about who you follow and run keyword searches to seek information you want.

Think of it as a radio that is playing all the time in the background. You can tune in and out of it when you want to and if something particularly good has happened you can search for it – just as you could look up a radio show on BoB or iPlayer if you missed it but everyone says you should hear it.

Twitter is excellent for networking and connecting with researchers with similar interests. You can also follow most conferences on Twitter using hashtags, so even if you can’t get to a conference or seminar you can find out what is happening.

A big concern for many researchers is managing their online identity. This video from the University of Warwick explains why you don’t need to worry too much:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-OoKA2RGRM

If you need more convincing here is a personal journey through Twitter:

http://youtu.be/sY6hqkGvb1c

When using Twitter for research it is helpful to ask effective questions. This blog post gives some advice.

We also have an introduction to Twitter here.

Further information:

Registering for Endnote Web

You must register on a university computer but you can use it anywhere

  1. Go to the EndNote Web website at: www.endnoteweb.com
  2. Under the Quick Links menu on the left of the screen select EndNote Web login
  3. On the login page, click on the link New to EndNote Web? – “Sign up for an account” (Note: If you have already registered for an account with Web of KnowledgeSM, ResearcherID, Thomson InnovationSM you won’t need to register. Login with the details for that account) Sign up Endnote web
  4. This will take you to a registration page which you will need to complete. You will be asked to supply an email address and a password. This does not need to be your university email and password.
  5. Once registered, you need to enter your email address and password on the login page to access your account. You can also go straight to the EndNote Web login page from www.myendnoteweb.com
  6. If you do not use EndNote Web for 12 months you will have to renew your account.

Getting started Endnote Web

Google Reader

What is Google Reader and what are RSS feeds?

  • Use Google Reader to keep up with websites that have frequent updates, e.g. blogs.
  • Google Reader uses stuff called RSS feeds – found on loads of websites.
  • If you see this symbol, you can add the site to your feed reader:  RSS Symbol

This video explains Google Reader in Plain English.

Why bother?

  • Create feeds from your searches on some databases and see them in Google Reader
  • Efficiency: you only have to check one place
  • Remember sites of interest to you
  • Basically, you’re personalising the internet

Mendeley

Mendeley is a reference manager with a difference, it allows you to discover and share material with colleagues and like minded researchers.

Described as the largest crowd sourced library in the world, Mendely can put you in touch with reseach you didn’t know existed and offers customised and peer recommendations for what to read next. You can view and select popular papers, or browse subject disciplines to select the topics of most interest to you. You can install the Mendeley web importer tool to enable you to import papers as you find them online.

This video quickly tells you what Mendeley is:

http://vimeo.com/user5499963/what-is-mendeley

On a practical day-to-day basis, Mendeley will allow you to:

  • drag and drop files into your Mendeley desktop
  • import bibliographic data from web documents, everything from catalogue records to Wikipedia
  • annotate and highlight your documents
  • create custom citations and bibliographies in your MS Word and OpenOffice documents
  • choose from a range of citation styles
  • export your bibliography in a range of formats

Further help:

You’ll find a useful getting started guide is automatically downloaded into your Mendeley Library.

Register for Mendeley

Download for desktop

Download from apple store

Videos and tutorials

Mendeley Resource Center

Follow on twitter