UoL Library Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘searching’

It’s scaring Wikipedia

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 May, 2009

You might have seen the news articles or read in the press or bloggoverse about Wolfram|Alpha.  I confess I’d sort of noticed it, but not really paid attention.  This afternoon someone passed me a rather handy narrated demo of what the site can offer, and I must say it looks very impressive.  Able to handle natural language queries or short text and return with statistical information, factual stuff and very graphically friendly too.  Potentially I can see it is going to cause major problems for search services and maybe, dare I say it, librarians too.

Interestingly if you read the Wikipedia dicussion on the resource, you’ll see that there’s some fear that it’ll kill of Wikipedia itself.  I wouldn’t go that far, but it will certainly shake the search world up.  Wonder how Google will react?


Posted in Technology & Devices, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Let me google that for you

Posted by gazjjohnson on 25 November, 2008

Something slightly trivial this time, if fun.  A website that Googles (sorry, “google searches”) for you:

Say for example you wanted to find out about drinking tea


Try then and see.  Neat eh, though I can’t immediately see when I’d use it…

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Postgraduate sessions – a bit of a review

Posted by gazjjohnson on 20 November, 2008

Whilst the four sessions I’ve run recently for PhD students haven’t been packed, going on the feedback they were much appreciated by those who attended them.  I’ve just gone through the feedback for the sessions and I’ve been rather pleasantly surprised.

  • Advanced database searching fo Science Postgraduates
    • Overall, this session was
      • Very good 71%
      • Good 29%
    • This session was
      • Just the right length 86%
      • Too long 14%
  • Bibliographic Databases & Keeping up to date for Postgraduate Students
    • Overall, this session was
      • Very good 86%
      • Good 14% 
    • This session was
      • Just the right length 83%
      • Too short 17%

Not quite sure if I’d want to do more than 2 hours on RefWorks and EndNote AND keeping up to date!  But those aren’t bad results all in all.  I was very pleased that the elements on Open Access along with searching and using quality OA resources were especially popular, with students asking for more.  As they say ABM*! Best student review quote has to be:

“Excellent session, most useful one so far! All very useful and interesting.”

As for stuff they didn’t like…most said “Nothing” or “All things were necessary” which is very rewarding to hear.  On personal reflection there are a few elements I want to revise before running these sessions again; changing location to a smaller room given the numbers might be one I’ll try pursuing!  I also think I want to make use of a digital format possibly for the workbooks, as I estimate I’ve spent about 5 hours just photocopying and stapling materials for these 4 sessions alone.

Slides are available for those interested – Databases session & Bibliographic session

My one worry is that elements of what I was teaching may have overlapped a little to a lot with some of the session Keith, Selina and probably even Stuart have been teaching.  But then since the whole programme seemed to emerge from the fog fully formed without much input from our end, perhaps that is one thing we now need to look at in retrospect.  So the big question – is there going to be a course review meeting, and how do we ensure that the library is represented on it this time?

*ABM = Always Be Marketing

Posted in Open Access, Referencing, Research Support, Training | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »