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.

Storify

Storify is a curation tool. You can grab social-media content (such as Tweets, photos, FaceBook entries, videos) on a topic and publish it. Because you can search for hashtags or terms it is great for summarising an event. You can embed them in blog post an share them socially to record an event. They are a really good way of reviewing a conference. This is a link to a storify I created about a conference I went to in December.

This storify follows the resignation of the Pope:

[View the story “Pope Benedict XVI stepping down” on Storify]

Storify

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

 

Twitter Tools for Research

Statistics

TweetStats

You can find out how often you (or anybody you know the twitter name of) is tweeting using TweetStats.

WeFollow

Use WeFollow to see who people with similar interests are following. It uses hashtags to categorize people by industry or hobby.

wefollow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xefer Twitter Charts

Xefer graphs Tweets and replies using Yahoo Pipes and Google Charts to display hour-by-hour information. The other cool thing about Twitter Charts is that it will show you all the @replies a person has ever used, sorted by person. You can quickly find out who they favor.

xefer

 

 

 

 

 

Searching Tweets

Twitter Search

This is Twitter’s search page. Use it to search for keywords. There is also an advanced search option

See what's happening right now

Snap Bird

Searches beyond Twitter’s history so you can search tweets further back than 10 days, in only friends’ tweets, within direct messages and within any user’s favourites. Really useful when you remember a tweet but forgot to favourite it and want to read it again.

Trendistic 

Allows comparative searches of terms within Twitter. It is great for contextual analysis since the visual data (that can span from 24 hours to 30 days) is supported by the inclusion of qualitative data (the tweets that were used to generate the visuals). It is also a great tool for analyzing words in context as well as observing emergence of trends and patterns of communication.

Listorious

A search engine for Twitter lists, which is helpful for finding users with interests similar to yours.

Twicsy

This searches for images in Twitter. It relies on user descriptions so can be a bit hit and miss.

Influence and Reach

 

TweetReach

Provides a comprehensive set of metrics about a search term or user impact on Twitter and complements the quantitative data with excerpts of qualitative inputs. An explanation of how the scores are calculated is available here. Calculating reach is useful when aiming to assess the number of exposures a message/account could gain as facilitated by its network.

TweetReach report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klout 

Klout scores range from 0-100 and measure the overall online influence of a Twitter account. The score is “a factor of over 35 variables broken into three categories: True Reach, Amplification Score and Network Score” where “True Reach is the size of the account’s engaged audience and is based on the followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that an account’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential an account’s engaged audience is, also on a scale of 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.”

TwentyFeet

Aggregates social media stats from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Analytics, Myspace and bit.ly. Once authorized it collects and produces visualizations based on activity metrics: followers, lists, mentions, RTs, favorites, links and more. It interprets data into categories: reputation (followers and lists), influence (mentions, RTs), conversation indicators (Tweets, RTs, @replies).

 

Archiving Tweets

The Archivist 

Archives twitter data and provides some visual interpretation by default. This makes the analysis process even easier than with TwapperKeeper . It has options for viewing and downloading the data. The Archivist has also a desktop application which would enable working with other datasets as well.

Other ways of archiving Twitter include back-up options reviewed by ReadWriteWeb. Of some relevance might beTwistory and TwInbox, both downloading data to calendars and Outlook Express respectively.

Prezi

Prezi brings even the dullest subject matter to life. It emphasises the connections between ideas and you certainly won’t experience death by powerpoint. Using Prezi can be a good way to ensure listeners remember your message!

It isn’t just for presentations but can be a very effective way of delivering information to be accessed without a speaker.  For example this guide I use on evaluating information.

Advantages of Prezi
Here is a video of Prezi’s Founder introducing Prezi:

Prezi is very flexible and  has two main advantages:

  • It presents ideas as continuous, not broken into slides. This ‘open canvas’ approach allows you to scale information and images according to importance. It is also useful to focus in on detail, then zoom out to show the bigger picture.
  • It does not require extra software. All you need to run Prezi is an online computer with Adobe Flash 10. This is particularly helpful in a conference situation, where laptops and flash drives can prove incompatible!

But there are others:

  • You can show online or download for offline use
  • Easily shared – you can work collaboratively on them too
  • Easily modified – and once embedded any changes will be automatically done
  • Good content can be killed by a bad PowerPoint but in prezi it’s probably harder to create something that doesn’t look visually exciting (even if the content is a bit iffy…) Remember we’re a shallow bunch.
  •  You can break free of the linear slide tyranny and tell a story in a dynamic stylish way.
  • Access anywhere!

‘Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely!’

This striking statement comes from Edward Tufte, Yale Professor of Political Science, Statistics and Computer Science, quoted in the London Evening Standard. Tufte is one of the most vocal critics of Powerpoint as a presentation tool, arguing that it eradicates nuance and limits creativity.

See the links under further information for other reasons to use Prezi over Powerpoint.

Here are some instructions on how to get started with Prezi.

Or watch this video:

Further information

How to create a good Prezi (a useful guide by Prezi founder Adam Somlai-Fisher)
Tips on navigating the canvas
Tips on grouping, framing and zooming
Sharing your Prezi
‘Why Powerpoint makes us stupid’ (an article that explores the dangers of presentation software)
Top 5 reasons to use Prezi instead of Powerpoint
Learn Prezi: http://prezi.com/learn/

Prezi For The Win? Ten Top Tips To Make a Good One

How to Create a Great Prezi by Adam Somlai-Fischer on Prezi

How To Make a Fantastic Prezi by Rochelle Mazar on Prezi
http://prezi.com/voswslsdta0o/how-to-make-a-fantastic-prezi/

 

Using the Biographies feature in Nexis

Biographies nexisThe biographies search feature in Nexis allows you to search for people. You can run searches on All Biographies and News which searches both the biographical information at the news information or you can search through the biographical sources (combined or individually).

The Biographical sources are:

  • Biographies de Acteurs Publics
  • Biographies of Ams (Welsh Assembly)
  • Biographies of Civil Servants
  • Biographies of Members of the European Parliament
  • Biographies of MLAs (Northern Ireland Assemblies)
  • Biographies of MSPs (Scottish Parliament)
  • Biographies of Peers
  • Biographies of Westminster Members of Parliament
  • Content5 Personen (Deutsch)
  • Content5 Persons (English)
  • Directory of Directors (Directors Profiles)
  • ICC Directors (Irish)
  • ICC Disqualified Directors
  • Le Trombinoscope
  • London Stock Exchange – Board Membership*
  • Marquis Who’s Who Biographies
  • Producer Sanction Report
  • Standard & Poor’s Corporate Register of Directors & Executives
  • The Associated Press Candidate Biographies
  • The CIO Directory
  • TOP 100 INTELLIGENCE ECONOMIQUE
  • TOP 100 LOBBYING D’ENTREPRISE
  • Top Management Biographies
  • Who’s Who in American Art
  • Who’s Who in American Politics
  • Who’s Who In European Business*
  • Who’s Who in European Business and Industry
  • Who’s Who in European Politics*
  • Who’s Who in France
  • Who’s Who in International Banking*
  • Who’s Who in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States*

This video shows you how to do a basic search.

How do I ensure that my search retrieves all articles containing the different spellings of a person’s first name and/or surname?

To use multiple name variations when searching for a person:

  1. Open the Biographies search form.
  2. In Surname, enter the surname of the person that you are looking for using the wildcard * to account for all single character combinations. For example, to find all variations of the name Clark, enter Cl*rk*, this will search for Clark, Clarke and even Clerk. Where you cannot account for all the variations using the *, use the or connector. For example, to find the surname McCallum enter maccallum or mccallum.
  3. In First Name enter the first name of the person that you are researching using the wild card * to account for any single character differences. For example, Tan*a will search for Tania or Tanya. Where the * cannot account for all the variations of the name, use the or connector. For example, to find the name John or Jonathan enter john or jonathan.
  4. Click on Search to retrieve your results.
How do I search for a person within a specific source?
  1. Open the Biographies search form.
  2. In Surname and First Name, enter the name of the person you are searching for.
  3. From the Sources drop-down list, select the source that you would like to search. It will default to All Biographies + News, but you can select a smaller source such as Executive Biographies.
  4. Click on Search to retrieve your results.

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:

Twitter: Keeping Up to Date

You have probably heard of twitter. I expect you have seen stories about celebrities tweeting and how news stories are broken on twitter but …

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging site. In plain English this is somewhere people can post information in 140 characters. Other people can then follow them to see their updates. People on the site then follow It is a skill to distill an idea into 140 characters!

How do I use Twitter?

Firstly – how you use it is up to you. Twitter is all about sharing, learning and gathering but you can be an observer or right in the middle of the conversation. Whatever suits you.

There are a lot of terms that you will hear used when people talk about Twitter. Twitter has a glossary but some key terms include:

# or hashtag: used to mark words or topics in a tweet. If you click in the hashtag you will see other tweets mentioning the same topic. This can be especially useful for tags for a conference or about a news story.

@ this is the symbol before the username I.e. @RHUL_library is our twitter username (or handle)

Mentions: when you want to mention a company or publicly message someone you can use their Twitter name.

Retweet: this is when you forward a tweet to other users. (abbreviated to RT)

Trending topics: when a topic is being discussed a lot on twitter it trends.

Why should you be on Twitter?

Learn about business – Find out what influential people in your subject area are thinking

Networking – start conversations and get to know your peers.

Keeping up to date – often Twitter is the first place people find out about major news events. It is also very useful if you commute or have to travel at all as this post I did illustrates.

Sharing – not just funny pictures of cute animals or you tube videos of dogs chasing deer but ideas, information and opinions (be careful on the opinions bit though. Tweets have a long lifespan).

Get answers – if you are stuck with something ask Twitter and often the answer will appear. There are a lot of clever people on Twitter.

Entertainment – Twitter is full of jokes, funny videos and quick wit. Follow celebrities, especially comedians and you will laugh a lot.

Compliment / Complain – had great service?

Tweet about it and let others know when a brand does well. Had bad service? Same applies. Also most companies take Twitter seriously so they will respond to complaints as they are public.

What do you have to do?

Nothing! If you want you can register for an account, follow people and not interact at all. However this won’t give you the best experience.

One top tip is to put up a photo. It doesn’t have to be you but it is good if it is. Otherwise you’ll just be an egg. Also put something in the profile, again it could just be “I like chocolate” but it makes you more “you”. If you want to get followers put in key words such as your subject area or location.

Unless you have protected your tweets anyone can follow you and you don’t have to follow them back but you can block people if you don’t want to see what people are saying.

Twitter works best when you take part in it. You need to interact with people on there otherwise you’re basically the person sitting in the corner listening in on other people’s conversations but turning away when people try to talk to you. It can be daunting sending that first message to someone you don’t really know but what’s the worst that will happen? They might ignore you but unless they’re a celebrity who gets hundreds or thousands of messages it’s unlikely (and if they are a celebrity they might just reply if what you say is relevant).

Twitter allows you to interact with people, you can retweet, reply to and ask questions of people you might ordinarily have no contact with but remember to be polite – say hello and introduce yourself.

This blog post gives some good points on Twitter etiquette but here’s a top 5:

1. Give as much information as possible in your Twitter Bio – so people know who you are and if they want to follow you.

2. Credit people when you share links or informatio – you don’t want to plagiarise do you?

3. Don’t just tweet your every move  – how boring would that be in real life? (and if for some reason you are tweeting more than usual i.e. at a conference warn followers so they can mute you (Muuter .com allows you to mute people or keywords)

4. Don’t expect anything in return for information  – it is all about gving not receiving.

5. Say Thank-you – if you receive information or someone retweets you then it is polite to say thank-you.

Of course if you don’t want to know the results of a TV show, football match or the Oscars you need to avoid twitter, much like that episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads where they spend the day avoiding the football score.

Get Tweeting (and don’t forget to follow us – @RHUL_library )

 

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

%d bloggers like this: