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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 …

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

Published in: Education, Technology
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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.
  • Transcript

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