Guiding researchers to the web tools they need: The rationale behind a Web tools for researchers’ guide


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Presentation by Miggie Pickton, University of Northampton. ALISS Summer Conference
20th July 2011

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  • We recommend in particular that:University computing and information services should:• raise awareness of tools and services, and the uses to which they can be put;• publicise examples of successful use and good practice;• provide guidance and training;• help set standards for curation and preservation.RIN (2010) If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0., p.9. Available from:
  • Invisible’ = beyond the reach of search engines, including:Dynamically created web pages (e.g. returned in response to a query on a database)Pages not linked from other web pages (no entry route for crawlers)Password protected contentTechnically protected content (e.g. pages which actively prevent crawlers)Non HTML content (e.g. text hidden in image files or file formats not handled by search engines)Volume of ‘invisible’ content estimated to be many times greater than ‘visible’, but boundaries are blurring
  • ‘Network effects’ (RIN, 2010, p.47) – the benefits for each user increase with the number of users.
  • Guiding researchers to the web tools they need: The rationale behind a Web tools for researchers’ guide

    1. 1. Guiding researchers to the web tools they needThe rationale behind a ‘Web tools for researchers’ guide<br />ALISS Summer Conference<br />20th July 2011<br />Miggie Pickton<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br />Introduction<br />The research process<br />Web tools and the research process<br />Tools for searching<br />Tools for communication<br />Tools for collaboration<br />Tools for dissemination<br />Tools for keeping up to date<br />Tools for managing the research project<br />
    3. 3. “The services most likely to succeed are those where researchers are actively involved in uncovering, exploring and exploiting new capabilities, and adapting them to their own purposes, in accordance with the broader cultures and contexts in which they undertake their work”<br />Research Information Network (2010) If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0., p.9. Available from:<br />
    4. 4. The research process<br />How can web tools support the research process? <br />
    5. 5. Tools to support the research process<br />Web tools can support researchers in:<br />Finding stuff (people, resources, policy... etc) <br />Keeping in touch with each other<br />Working together<br />Disseminating their work<br />Keeping up to date<br />Planning and organising their research project<br />
    6. 6. Searching (and finding)<br />Scholarly resources<br />People<br />Conferences<br />Funding opportunities<br />Images and video<br />Public policy<br />Statistics<br />Government and business<br />...and much more<br />
    7. 7. Searching the visible web<br />Different search engines give different results - Thumbshots<br />Try out several search engines – TurboScout, Trovando<br />Categorise the results – Yippy<br />Limit to scholarly content – Google Scholar, Scirus<br />Search visually – Search-cube, Quintura, oSkope<br />Search the blogosphere – Technorati or IceRocket<br />Find images or video – Google, Yahoo, Flickr, Vimeo<br />
    8. 8. Searching the ‘invisible’ web<br />‘Invisible’ web - beyond the reach of search engines<br />Directories:<br />Infomine – US based ‘virtual library of internet resources’ gathered by librarians<br />CompletePlanet – browseable categories, includes content from dynamically searchable databases<br />Intute – UK based collection of subject resources selected by subject experts (but closing soon)<br />Search engines:<br />OAIster or BASE – harvested from open archives using OAI-PMH e.g. digital repositories<br />
    9. 9. Communication<br />With research colleagues<br />With current and potential research partners<br />With potential employers<br />With project participants<br />Between supervisor and student<br />
    10. 10. Tools for communication<br />Email is out. ‘Social’ media are in.<br />Join a social (or professional?) network – ResearchGate;; Graduate Junction; LinkedIn<br />Arrange a web conference – Google Plus, Adobe Connect; GoToMeeting (not all are free)<br />Chat one-to-one – Skype; Windows Messenger<br />Join an existing network or start a new one.<br />‘Network effects’<br />
    11. 11. Collaboration<br />Generating ideas<br />Project planning<br />Gathering and sharing data<br />Working on documents and presentations<br />Sharing resources<br />
    12. 12. Tools for collaboration<br />Use Google docs to collaboratively create, store and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations online <br />For mind mapping try, Freemind, Mind42 or Mindmeister<br />Share favourite websites using Delicious, StumbleUpon or Diigo<br />Organise and share bibliographic references with CiteUlike, Mendeley, Zotero or Connotea<br />
    13. 13. Dissemination<br />Report ongoing progress<br />Publicise research outputs<br />Build a body of knowledge<br />Publish in an open access journal<br />Keep permanent copies of research outputs in an open access repository<br />
    14. 14. Tools for dissemination<br />Create a blog or wiki using Wordpress or Wetpaint<br />Contribute to Wikipedia (and drive more traffic to a personal or research group website)<br />Share project news or follow others on Twitter or Tumblr<br />Submit an article to an open access journal or publish a new one using Open Journal Systems<br />Deposit research outputs in an institutional or subject repository such as NECTAR or ArXiv (also available as an iPhone app)<br />
    15. 15. Keeping up to date<br />Receive the latest news by email or RSS feed<br />Tables of contents<br />Subject specific mailing lists<br />Funding opportunities<br />Search alerts from scholarly databases or search engines<br />
    16. 16. Tools for keeping up to date<br />Receive up to date information by email or RSS feed:<br />Search alerts from scholarly databases e.g. Science Direct, Proquest or search engines e.g. Google alerts<br />Tables of contents e.g. ZETOC, TicTOCs<br />Publisher alerts e.g. Sage ‘My Tools’<br />Subject community mailing lists e.g. JiscMail<br />RSS feeds from favourite web pages e.g. JISC, AHRC<br />Gather RSS feeds through website or browser e.gGoogle Reader, Bloglines<br />
    17. 17. Organising and managing<br />Project management<br />Visualising the research<br />Data collection<br />Arranging meetings<br />Presentations<br />Manipulating data<br />Writing<br />Personal development<br />
    18. 18. Tools for organising and managing the research project <br />Set a meeting date using Doodle or Meet-o-matic<br />Run an online survey using SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang<br />Create a different type of presentation using Prezi, or share a powerpoint on Slideshare<br />Summarise text in a word cloud such as Wordle or TagCrowd<br />Personalise your web browser with iGoogle, Pageflakes or Netvibes<br />...the list is endless!<br />
    19. 19. Health warning<br />Web tools come and go – or get taken over by other providers (think of Google Wave, Viewzi, Bloglines...)<br />Users (usually) have no control over their development or their longevity<br />Important to have an exit strategy for when they cease operating<br />... but in the meantime, there are some really useful tools for research!<br />
    20. 20. And if you’re not convinced of the value of web tools...<br />see Gary Hayes’ social media counts<br />
    21. 21. Contact details<br />Web tools for researchers guide is available at<br /><br />Miggie Pickton<br />Research Support Specialist<br />Department of Information Services<br />The University of Northampton<br /><br />Tel: 01604 892245<br />