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Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

I came across this very useful and interesting guide developed by ‘University of York Information’ on how to make effective use of Twitter in academics. Twitter undoubtedly has lot of potential in sharing information and also helps in building academic collaborations.

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Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata. In social bookmarking system users want to save links of web pages, they would like to remember and share privately or publicly. Most of the social bookmarks are stored publicly, however there are options to store and make them available only to certain people or groups or networks.  These are made available on social bookmarking site such as Delicious chronologically, by category or tags or via a search engine.

Until recently these were universal in nature and not specifically limited to particular subject field such as Delicious, Zigtag etc.  However, now there is a big revolution in social bookmarking targeting academia  encouraging academicians working in different fields to make use these tools. This is a certainly a leap forward for researchers to make use of Web 2.0 to undertake collaborations or network with the community working in their subject field of study.

I had a chance to come across some such tools in a Online Information 2008 conference and exhibition currently being held in London (2nd to 4th December, 2008). I think it is a herald of new services on the Internet to unleash the potential of researchers in a big way thus reducing the time taken for research. Some the interesting tools, I came across are biomedexperts.com for biomedical sciences, IET discover for engineers and scientists and knol for researchers in all fields. This is addition some already existing tools such as citeulike to share the articles bookmarking.

Biomedexperts uses Pubmed database to find out researchers output and their collaborations and also uses Mesh subject headings for tagging. It wonderfully sketches their collaborations in a map linking the main author with his/her collaborators. I very much impressed with this product on its use of controlled vocabulary. The IET discover allows researchers in science and engineering to collaborate with each other and also allows to set their own groups. Like Delicious it also allows users to add their own tags for the entries and also provides cloud of tags for easy navigation. Knol a product of Google tries to harness tacit knowledge of people working in different areas, who are interested in sharing it with others. It encourages collaboration between the author and others and allows the author to control the changes to his/her article. All these products are available for FREE to encourage researchers to make use of them.

I think there are lot more tools are expected to come on the web in the near future. For example Collexis the company behind biomedexperts is already in talks with other authoritative database holders to bring this service in other subject fields as well. Some of these tools in a way help information intermediaries like us to undertake studies to know the research output of a particular researcher/s.

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