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


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Guiding researchers to the web tools they need: The rationale behind a Web tools for researchers’ guide
Presentation by Miggie Pickton, University of Northampton

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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 need The rationale behind a ‘Web tools for researchers’ guide ALISS Summer Conference 20th July 2011 Miggie Pickton
    2. 2. Outline• Introduction• 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. 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. 4. The research process Identify new research areaHow can webtools support Evaluate Produce research performancethe research proposalprocess? Disseminate Bid for funding Conduct literature Write up review Collect and analyse data
    5. 5. Tools to support the research processWeb 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. 6. Searching (and finding)• Scholarly resources• People Identify new research area• Conferences Evaluate Produce research performance proposal• Funding opportunities• Images and video Disseminate Bid for funding• Public policy• Statistics Conduct literature Write up• Government and business review• ...and much more Collect and analyse data
    7. 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. 8. Searching the ‘invisible’ web• ‘Invisible’ web - beyond the reach of search engines• Directories: – 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. 9. Communication• With research colleagues Identify new• With current and research area potential research Evaluate Produce research partners performance proposal• With potential employers Disseminate Bid for funding• With project participants• Between supervisor and Conduct student Write up literature review Collect and analyse data
    10. 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. 11. Collaboration• Generating ideas Identify new• Project planning research area• Gathering and Produce Evaluate research performance proposal sharing data• Working on Disseminate Bid for funding documents and presentations Conduct literature Write up review• Sharing resources Collect and analyse data
    12. 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. 13. Dissemination• Report ongoing progress• Publicise research Identify new research area outputs Produce Evaluate research performance• Build a body of proposal knowledge• Publish in an open Disseminate Bid for funding access journal• Keep permanent copies Conduct literature Write up review of research outputs in an open access repository Collect and analyse data
    14. 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. 15. Keeping up to date• Receive the latest news by email or Identify new RSS feed research area• Tables of contents Evaluate performance Produce research proposal• Subject specific mailing lists Disseminate Bid for funding• Funding opportunities Conduct• Search alerts from Write up literature review scholarly databases or search engines Collect and analyse data
    16. 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.g Google Reader, Bloglines
    17. 17. Organising and managing• Project management Identify new• Visualising the research research area• Data collection Evaluate Produce research performance proposal• Arranging meetings• Presentations Disseminate Bid for funding• Manipulating data• Writing Conduct literature Write up review• Personal development Collect and analyse data
    18. 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. 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. 20. And if you’re not convinced of the value of web tools...see Gary Hayes’ social media counts
    21. 21. Contact details Web tools for researchers guide is available at for-researchers Miggie Pickton Research Support Specialist Department of Information Services The University of Northampton Tel: 01604 892245