Tag Archive 'science'

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 31 2009

User Submission: Cool Tools for School

Sharing is Fun!

This isn't a picture of Kristen M., but she understands sharing too!

Here at SfSS we’re celebrating today! We’ve had our first user submission of a resource, and we couldn’t be happier. Kristin M. sent us to to this list of handy tools for students, and there’s a lot of great stuff here. Some of our favorites:

  • This dynamic, interactive periodic table lets you quickly and easily visually filter the elements based on any number of criteria.
  • LiveMocha is a social network for language learners. It can help you connect with other students around the globe who either speak the language you’re learning or are learning it at the same time.
  • FoldIt is a game that lets you attempt to solve scientific puzzles — specifically, by competing with others to fold proteins in the most efficient way possible. The solutions you provide could be used by scientists to predict actual protein folding patterns!

One of the most intriguing tools (and one that’s received a lot of attention in the press) is wePapers, which is basically a site for sharing, browsing, and reading academic papers and participating in virtual study groups. There’s a wealth of academic information here, and many institutions are participating. In many ways, it embodies the greatest features of the Web by creating a platform for anyone to teach and learn. However, some folks worry that it’s just a huge repository of papers to be plagiarized. (NOTE: Here at SfSS we NEVER condone plagiarism. Not only is it a serious violation of UMW’s honor code, it’s just a sign of intellectual laziness and an unwillingness to really commit to your own education. Don’t plagiarize. It isn’t cool.) We’d be interested in hearing our readers’ take on sites like wePapers. Do you see yourself using it as a valuable study resource? Or do you think many students will just abuse the access to all of that academic content?

BTW, we’d never seen the site where this list came from: makeuseof.com. It’s a pretty cool tool in it’s own right. There are regular posts similar to what we’re providing at SfSS, pointing you to interesting online tools and tips. Check it out.

Thanks again to Kristen M. for the contribution. Keep sharing!

Creative Commons License photo credit: clapstar

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