Tag Archive 'research'

Feb 12 2010

You Are What You Annotate

Now that the semester is moving forward you are probably trying to focus on being a productive student. So you came here to find some help in, right? Of course right. If you spend a lot of time researching on the internet there is a site called Diigo that you should check out.

To put it briefly Diigo is a highlighting, bookmarking and site sharing tool.

One of the reasons I started using Diigo was, it gave me the ability to highlight and place sticky notes on webpages. When I have to read a long online text for class a tool like Diigo gives me the option to directly annotate (take notes) on those pieces. So instead of printing out a bunch of pages I just bring my laptop to class and read my (searchable) notes. Plus, I am saving the environment, right? The notations have different setting: private, public, or shared with group. So depending on your need there are different settings. A fun little bonus to using Diigo is if anyone else has it installed on their computer and they place a sticky note on a webpage and make it a public note then anyone else who also has diigo can see it too.

Another great feature of Diigo is the ability to archive webpages in html and image formats. This is more than just being able to bookmark a page for later use, it gives you the ability to capture a site at a moment in time. This can come in handy for websites that have an ever changing face, like Wikipedia. Once you have saved a page in this format through Diigo they become searchable within your personal archive. So, if you can’t remember what words you used to tag a bookmark (or didn’t tag at all, shame on you!) you can find the page by remembering words that appeared on the page itself.

Whether it is strictly for your own personal use or for building a list of resources in a community, Diigo is a powerful way to organize and annotate the content on the web.

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Aug 12 2009

Zotero-iffic Redux

As a dedicated Stuff for Starving Students reader I’m sure that you remember the post we did a few months ago on the Firefox add-on Zotero. So I am assuming you know the basics and have been using that add-on for many months now. If not, I would definitely take a look at the post then come right back here for the latest update to one of the sweetest Firefox add-ons.

When we first talked about Zotero it could only live on one computer but the upgrade that everyone has been waiting for has occurred. Now, Zotero allows you to access your library from any computer so you no longer have to worry about being at your computer to access your research information. Even better is you can now collaborate with other users through group libraries, so sharing the information you have come across in your research is even easier.

Zotero Groups Screenshot
cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

Now with the access to your library anywhere and collaborative group libraries you have no reason not to use this add-on for your research. I know you are probably so used to doing things a certain way but, try it for at least one paper or project and I am sure you will see what all of us at Stuff for Starving Students love so much about Zotero. If you are not satisfied we have a money-back guarantee so what are you waiting for? 😉

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Aug 04 2009

ResearchGATE: Get Your Science 2.0 On

Attention all you budding young scientists (and you older ones too!), here is your chance to make some scholarly connections. If you’ve been around the internet you’ve probably noticed the plethora of social networking websites, tools for collaboration, discussion, and search engines. If you are a scientist and have been looking for a place that brings all the previously mentioned tools together (and more), pull out your microscope and take a closer look at ResearchGATE.

First of all ResearchGATE acts as a social networking site that allows you to create a profile that lists all your important information (your papers, interests, skills, etc). You can then add other researchers and scientists as contacts. This opens the door for possible research partners in the future. Like other social networking sites ResearchGATE allows the users to create groups around interests and topics. The significance of have such a feature for researchers has already been seen during the current swine flu crisis. At the end of April 2009, ResearchGATE blogged about a group that had formed to discuss influenza research. Within a short time the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) contacted ResearchGATE to offer their support for the activities of the research group.

A key feature of ResearchGATE is its ability to allow researchers to collaborate more effectively and efficiently over the web. It enables easy document sharing and participation so there is limited confusion on edits and saves time on e-mailing documents back and forth.

Lastly, ResearchGATE’s powerful search engine gives you the semantic advantage when searching. There is not only internal access to the documents other researchers put up on the site but, it also can search externally with access to over 30 million documents publication metadata. In addition, the Similar Abstract Search Engine (SASE) lets you submit an entire abstract and the intelligent design of the search algorithms will bring up relevant and related research, very cool. The search capabilities of the site allow you to easily discover other peoples work and keep track of the research you are most interested in.

Signup is free and most basic services come at no charge and as you know, we like free.

ResearchGATE brings many robust features together in one place and is encouraging more thoughtful and effective collaboration between researchers. We here at Stuff for Starving Students have to wonder are sites like this the next step in the evolution of research? If so, what are the implications of this paradigm shift in communication between researchers? Only time will tell but, it is exciting to see the glimmer of what the future might hold.

Image in post is cc licensed flickr photo shared by pheezy

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Jan 02 2009


The Dock and KM2P

Never Use These Again!

In our last post, we were up-front with you and admitted that we’re Firefox fanboys and girls. We hope you appreciated our honesty. Today, we want to share about one add-on that made us fall in love with Firefox in the first place: Zotero.

If you’ve ever struggled with keeping your research sources straight — particularly the ones you find while traversing the tubes, you’ll love Zotero. Once you download it, a spiffy little “Zotero” icon will show up in your browser’s bottom menu bar. Click on it, and a small panel will appear. This spiffy little panel is desisgned to automagically gather information about internet sources by scraping data off Web pages.

Basically, whenever you visit a site that has a source which can be captured, a small icon will appear in your browser’s address bar. When you click on it, Zotero will grab the bibliographic information and populate a little virtual index card. You can edit the card, tag it, annotate it and link files to it. You can also organize all those cards/sources into various collections and export them into standard bibliographic formats.

Right now, your Zotero collection can only live on one computer, but a new version is coming that will allow you to sync your collections across multiple machines.

Zotero can scrape information out of all kinds of Web sites: library catalogs, newspapers, journals, even some blogs. And if a site doesn’t work automatically with Zotero, you can always add items manually.

Remember, our philosophy at SfSS is to just try it out. So, if you’re not sure how Zotero could work for you, download it, install it, and start playing.

Creative Commons License photo credit: hawkexpress

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