UoL Library Blog

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Innovations in Reference Management Part 1

Posted by selinalock on 19 January, 2010

So, on Thursday January the 14th I made my way down a very foggy M1 to the Innovations in Reference Management Event, hosted by the JISC Telstar Project in Milton Keynes. 

I’m going to break the event down into a couple of posts, so this first one deals with the interesting things people are doing with RefWorks.

Telstar Project: Integrating References into VLE: Moodle & RefWorks (Owen Stephens and Jason Platts)

 The aim of this part of the project was to bring together references in a standard, structured format which could be inserted into course materials, and various parts of the VLE. It also allowed students to download, copy of annotate references so that they could become more active participants.

All OU material and sites have to sue the standard OU Harvard style for references, which has been made available via RefWorks. What bliss, to only have one style for the whole University!  We can only dream…

Reference links with the moodle course site have persistent, dynamic links via OpenURL/SFX where possible, or no links if it’s a printed resource. The students can select the references and export into their moodle, MyStuff area, or RefWorks or collaborative area or download as RIS or RefWorks XML content.

Constructing the reference lists: option in moodle to import the references from a standard data set, which then interacts with RefWorks to produce a OU Harvard style reference list. the same can be done via a RefShare RSS feed. The same system is used for inserting references into OU structured course content using a Word template.

MyReferences moodle module: powered by RefWorks. A “RefWorks Light” that allows students to use RefWorks functionality without leaving the VLE.  So they can create bibliographies within moodle as well. All the data in MyRefs automatically appears in their RefWorks account as well, in case they want to use the full RefWorks functionality at any time (e.g. the cite’n’write options). Staff have extra functionality which allows the creation of shared accounts and reference lists.

To allow students to share references within te VLE they can export them from a reading list to the collaborative area. This creates script which they can then cut and paste into forums etc and it will then be rendered in the MyRefs format to allow others users to select/export etc.

I thought this looked fab for OU students, so they can easily get all the references from their course into their own area and create bibliographies in the OU style, which could be cut and pasted into their assignments. Obviously not an option for Leicester as it is based aroud Moodle modules and no mention of Blackboard equivalent.

Feed me weird things: Using RefWorks RSS for new title lists (Paul Stainthrop, University of Lincoln)

Their catalogue doesn’t have an option to create lists of new resources bought/received so they were still creating manual/printed lists for their users. Paul looked for a way to do this electronically using existing or free resources.

Solution: Subject librarians imported new book data into RefWorks ~ shared the RefWorks folder and created RSS feed ~ yahoopipes was then used to process the feed (takes the ISBN & scrapes Amazon for product description), it formats the html and inserts the book cover from Amazon, creates link back to library catalogue for the title & creates a “clean” RSS feed ~ Googlefeedburner then used to create a short URL & allow email subscription to feed & gives usage stats ~ used Feed2JS (freeware) to create a java script that could be embedded in Blackboard etc.  also includes buttons fro links to services such as export to RefWorks, Catalogue, GoogleBooks & xISBN service (allows notification of new eds).

This looked like a nifty and ingenious solution for a service short on time and resources. Paul was concerned about the stability of the service and whether he’s created an expectation that the same thing could be done for journal table of contents!

With our current RefWorks subscription here at UoL we can’t create shared folders or RSS feeds because we don’t have the RefShare functionality, which is a separate subscription for us early adopters! All newer RefWorks subcription get it included (like Lincoln). In response to me asking about RefSahre at the event one of the RefWorks reps told me that all subscriptions should include RefShare in future, so *fingers crossed* we’ll get extra functionality to play with in future.

The rep also confirmed that the license now includes alumni use – which means any student who creates a RefWorks account while studying with us can continue to use that account free of charge after they leave as long as the University still has a subcription. Yay! Just waiting for official email confirmation before advertising this to students.

5 Responses to “Innovations in Reference Management Part 1”

  1. Please tell me someone played Telstar at the event…

  2. Claus Wolf said

    Hello Selina,

    Thank you for this post, I really enjoyed reading your view of an event I wasn unable to attend myself, due to a flight cancellation.

    Let me check on the status of RefShare for your institution and get back to you by eMail. Feel free to contact me at claus.wolf@refworks-cos.com at any time, if you have questions.

    Greetings

    Claus Wolf
    European Operations Manager
    RefWorks-COS

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by STLock: Innovations in Reference Management part 1 https://uollibraryblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/innovations-in-reference-management-part-1/

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