Archive for March 2011
The 2011 annual conference of the NFAIS (National Federation of Advanced Information Services), was dedicated to Information obesity, abundance, overload, tsunami, etc.
Some of the slides are freely available, including those of brilliant speakers like Rafael Sidi (Elsevier Sciverse), Victor Camlek (Springer), Dan Pollock (Nature), etc.
… with paper.li, it is the suggestion of Bjoern Brembs to solve information overload and unability of scientists to share and diffuse their knowledge…
We all now enjoy social technology facilitating information transfer such as Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed… (…)
There are some efforts to use this technology in an academic setting such as citeUlike or Mendeley, but the efforts are comparatively small, without major scientific funding agency support and unfortunately rather isolated…
One particular aspect that has been bugging me for years is the ridiculously tedious way in which we have to deal with the scientific literature. We browse through tables of contents, save database-keyword searches in various places, subscribe to press releases or other alerts in again various other places and listen to podcasts…
I spend somewhere around 10h every week sifting through irrelevant stuff only to find one or the other nugget in there every other week or so. This discovery per search time ratio is just anoyingly low.
Here’s another example how innovation in the general sphere solves an analogous problem, while scientists still don’t have anything comparable at their disposal: paper.li. They parse all the URLs in the Twitter feeds you subscribe to and (using ‘paper.li magic’) generate a ‘newspaper’ with the most prominent stories of the past 24h.
This works so well that by now I’m selecting who I’m following on Twitter partially by what kind of links they post. I rarely ever read Twitter posts or post there myself – but I do at least scan my paper.li every morning.
When will scientists be able to get a newspaper like this on their desktop every morning?
Scientists need information technology to efficiently search, filter, rank and discover what their colleagues are publishing about. Paper.li provides a glimpse of what such a technology might one day look like, but so far, only the general public is allowed to use it, scientists are still stuck with stone-age technology. When will science catch up with modernity?
When will we have something like paper.li for scientific publications?
This article might finish to convince you that Mendeley is not only the best citations tools but as well a wonderful collaboration network…
Zaugg, H., West, R.E., Tateishi, I., Randall, D.L.
Mendeley: Creating communities of scholarly inquiry through research collaboration (2011) TechTrends, 55 (1), pp. 32-36.
Abstract: Mendeley is a free, web-based tool for organizing research citations and annotating their accompanying PDF articles. Adapting Web 2.0 principles for academic scholarship, Mendeley integrates the management of the research articles with features for collaborating with researchers locally and worldwide. In this article the features of Mendeley are discussed and critiqued in comparison to other, similar tools. These features include citation management, online synchronization and collaboration, PDF management and annotation, and integration with word processing software. The article concludes with a discussion of how a social networking tool such as Mendeley might impact the academic scholarship process
Thus far, social networks built around academic research have not become widespread, perhaps for two reasons. First, researchers have little time for another social network unless its functionality benefits them and improves their research. Second, academics and researchers might hesitate to openly post their developing research lest they get pre-empted by another researcher or receive public criticism for their still-evolving research. (…) . Mendeley, a free open-source tool available at http://mendeley.com , seeks to address these concerns. (…)
Mendeley focuses on researchers’ libraries instead of on the researchers themselves. Thus, networks can be formed around strands of research and specific articles…
The off-line version of Mendeley is an effective and user-friendly citation tool competing with tools such as Endnote, Refworks, and Zotero while incorporating PDF management and annotation features.
Mendeley can report how often articles are saved by different users and how articles are being tagged. This enables two important features. First, it creates a useful list of keywords relating to different articles. Second, it enables the researcher to see how often different articles are being read, or at least accessed. This has the potential to improve upon popular citation indices that rate an article’s popularity only by how often it is cited. Mendeley’s approach potentially gives a truer sense of an article’s impact by showing how often an article is accessed or looked at.
Mendeley is a time-saving free tool for researchers, creating value regardless of how much the social networking potential of the tool is exploited…
However, the real power of Mendeley lies in the potential to collaborate, either within a known group or team or with unknown researchers. A researcher may set up a research group with fellow collaborators.
Thomson Reuters has launched a research management system called Research In View to provide universities with a comprehensive view of institutional performance
The solution aggregates and standardises data from disparate sources to provide a unified database and analytic interface for managing, searching and reporting on university activities and performance.
Developed by the company’s research analytics business in consultation with university administrators worldwide, it aims to enable universities anywhere in the world to track and associate people with projects, strategic goals and with traditional measures such as classes taught or published journal articles.
My opinion: to compare with Elsevier SciVal?
See also: Information World Review, 28/02/2011
The educational website published by Nature for genetic & biology courses is well rated this month by the Best of the Web in GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology news)…
“The website is beautifully organized, and there are valuable resources for scientists at all stages of training“.
I already mentioned this source, in early 2010: