May 10, 2007
Social Bookmarking, Part 4: More Things to Do (Research Support)
Now for some ways to use social bookmarking to support your work in research.
Collect items for a bibliography.
This lets you collect the articles in one spot while you are looking at them on the screen. If your campus uses a proxy server, the URLs may not work for a friend or colleague at another institution, and if you are off campus, they may require that you login to make the URLs work again. However, you have all the articles you want for a specific project collected in one space, which is handy when you start writing.
A tip for making this work well is to tag each one consistently with what it is (for example, "articles") and another tag to indicate the project. This allows you to then assemble the list later with a URL that will combine both tags with a plus sign (+). For example:
Save your searches. When you are working and doing a complicated search, save your search strategy as a bookmark, then you can come back to it at a later time. You can also then share the search strategy with colleagues, partners, or students. Imagine assigning an assistant to work through the search results after you perfect the search!
Notice that the example search strategies include both web searches in Google as well as database searches in PubMed. You can also save searches from Yahoo, Google Images, Google News, and many other tools. Sometimes it requires special finagling to make this work (like with PubMed); sometimes the strategy is shown in the URL (the web site address), and all you have to do is save. If you need help finding out if this will work with your favorite online search tools, ask a librarian.
Have students or assistants search for you, select items, and tag them for you.
Remember in the first page of examples that you could use for: tags to mark something for a friend or colleague? Well, people can do the same for you. If you are having a student or assistant do preliminary searches and select items for you to review, there are two ways you could do this.
The first (and usually worst) way would be to log in to your account or give the assistant your password. That is bad for all the same reasons it is usually bad to give anyone any of your passwords. When is it OK? When the account is a shared account already, and the assistant is a member of the group of people who are already allowed to edit the account.
The second way is to ask the assistant to make their own account. It is free, so there is no cost involved. Ask the assistant to do the searches logged in as themselves, and tag them with your account name. You can review their selections, whatever tags they added, and make your own decisions. You will need to review them to add them to your account, but this will still be a whole lot faster than doing it yourself!
Posted by pfa at May 10, 2007 08:00 PM