Using the cloud for research
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Using the cloud for research



Date: 3rd April 2012

Date: 3rd April 2012
Find out how to store and share your documents and notes online, using cloud computing services like Slideshare, Dropbox and Google Docs.



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  • Google Docs and other Google Apps do not work well in IE7. Participants with no laptop may want to download Firefox Portable from and put it in My Documents. These slides are in Slideshare -
  • “the practice” definition from“Code that runs” definition from Computer Active, 8-21 December 2011, p.10Fuller definition - Oxford Dictionary of the Internet – “A term used to describe the Internet as a massive computer that can hold large amounts of data and where the individual hardware processors of the computer cooperate in order to carry out some computational task. In effect it is used to describe the hosting of computer applications in a distributed way rather than having them resident on a single computer. This is a revolutionary idea that challenges the whole idea of a computer or a locally clustered set of computers being used as a medium for applications.”Technical definition - Wikipedia – list of conditions to be satisfied if something is to be described as “cloud computing” - and EduCause Quarterly (reference later)NIST definition – see Becoming more possible with increased broadband speeds and with cheaper storage.
  • Can’t access your material if the server is down (or internet)Security – how secure is your stuff? Longevity – how long will the company be here for? What happens if they are bought out or stop the service?Regulatory and data protection implications of having personal information stored on an external server?Browsers – can you use the application with your browser (many will not work properly in older versions of Internet Explorer, for example). If you use Linux or a Mac, will the application work? These things may help you decide which cloud applications to use.Using with other applications – can you use, for example, RefWorks and Google Docs together (no, not very easily – we tried it in the workshop!)If you feel you can use the service, at least have strong password, and make sure you back up things locally.
  • Not going to cover Prezi in detail today.Not going to cover referencing things today at all.
  • Some applications do not work well in Internet Explorer 7 and so we downloaded Firefox Portable. You can put Firefox Portable on a memory stick and run it on any computer. Or put it in “My Documents” on a University computer.
  • Can upload and share without install of software. Install asks for paid/free option. Dropbox becomes option on “My Documents”. Put document in there, or on website, and it synchronises with the other place.Microsoft Azure and DuraCloud are also storage systems but paid for.Share document with anyone by putting it in Public folder and sending link. No need to be Dropbox account holder to see document.Share new or existing folder with anyone – need to sign up to be able to see shared folder.Can access documents shared by others.Who owns your stuff – Dropbox say you do, but they retain limited rights in order to offer the service.
  • Client to download – does not work without. Backup is main emphasis of this service. Get 2GB free storage although everything on my laptop comes to 12 GB!Zero knowledge privacy policy.Register for account – get temporary password for setup. Then need to download client. Create a device (eg laptop) and then select folders to monitor for backup (can’t see how to actually get it to backup!).
  • MS Office Online and Office 365 are alternatives but paid for.Cloud-Canvas is a suite of browser based tools including word is free suite of tools.Problem with Google Docs and IE7.
  • “Clipper” for Chrome takes details from websites and puts into Evernote. Can tag and comment. Can clip article, page or link (I have examples of all). Othernotetaking applications – Springpad (, Simplenote (, Catch (
  • Free model – all your presentations are public.Two paid for options – can make your prezis private. More expensive option gets Prezi Desktop.Free for educational use if you have an educational email. You do get “For educational use” displaying while presentations load. Can make presentations private and have support. Paid for educational model gets Prezi Desktop.
  • Look for cloud computing presentations.Zipcasting.
  • These are all in a public document in Dropbox available via

Using the cloud for research Using the cloud for research Presentation Transcript

  • Using the cloud for research Graduate School Media Zoo Keith Nockels University Library 2012
  •  “the cloud” = “cloud computing” “the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer” (Oxford Dictionaries) “code that runs the software is stored on a web server and does not run from your PC’s hard disk” (Computer Active)
  •  Perhaps ◦ Email ◦ Facebook ◦ Flickr, Picasa ◦ RefWorks ◦ Online banking Or perhaps ◦ Online storage ◦ Shared online documents ◦ Anything else?
  •  Access work from anywhere Sharing Upgrades and fixes Synchronise files with all your devices
  •  Outage Security Longevity Regulatory implications ◦ Data protection ◦ Do not place any research data that is potentially sensitive or commercial in confidence in external, insecure locations Browsers and operating systems Using with other applications Strong passwords! Backup!
  •  Storing documents ◦ Dropbox ◦ Spideroak Making and sharing documents ◦ Google Docs ◦ SkyDrive Calendars and organisers ◦ Google Calendar ◦ Remember the Milk ◦ Evernote (workshop planned)
  •  Presentations ◦ Prezi (GSMZ workshops on this) ◦ Slideshare References and personal libraries, social bookmarking ◦ RefWorks (regular workshops and training on this) ◦ Cite U Like ◦ Connotea
  •  Search for “firefox portable” Or go to x_portable. Save in My Documents and install
  •  Needs install of software Save file to one device and it will synch with other devices And with Dropbox website Docs, photos, videos Share folders or links to files 2GB free storage, get more if complete quest! Updates files automatically Not owned by Google or Microsoft!
  • 
  •  Backup, synch and sharing 2G free storage Refer friends to get extra storage Save all historical versions of a file Create ShareRooms Mac, windows and linux compatible
  •  Create, backup, store and share Online Access from any computer or smartphone Documents, spreadsheets, images, presentations, forms Multiple editors can work on documents Discussions Google Cloud Connect lets you share office docs (paid for)
  •  Backup, synch and share Works with MS Office Works by itself Online Access from anywhere 25GB Select people to share with Uses hotmail account
  •  Google Calendar ◦ 30boxes ◦ Remember the Milk ◦
  •  Make notes on desktop and online Accessible anywhere Tag and categorise Attach PDFs, sound files, images etc Clip from the web Search notes Access via Evernote app
  •  Online presentation editor Allows you to collaborate on presentations (Prezi Meeting) Allows you to show presentations where no internet connection (Prezi Desktop – paid for)
  •  Upload PowerPoint presentations Also upload documents, videos, PDFs Public or private Share them with other people Download other people’s presentations Embed them into websites Share via social media Slidecast: synch mp3 audio with slides
  •  Wikipedia JISC Infokit EduCause Quarterly 33(2) 2010 EduCause 7 Things (two) EduCause generally Guardian 6 November 2011 The Cybrarian’s Web
  • 
  • Thank you!