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Posts Tagged ‘software’

Mendeley Institutional Edition

Posted by selinalock on 25 April, 2012

Mendeley Institutional Logo 


Mendeley (the academic reference manager and social network site) have partnered with library suppliers Swets to produce the Mendeley Institutional edition, and I had a webex meeting with product manager Simon Litt to find out more.

Mendeley End User Edition

The end user edition is bascially what is already available for free from Mendeley:

  • Desktop reference management software, which allows you to organise nd cite a wide range of reference typs.
  • Desktop software also allows you to upload, read and annotate PDFs.
  • Desktop links to a web-based system which allows you to synch and share your references.
  • Web system also works as an academic social network with groups etc.
  • 1GBWeb space, 500 MBPersonal, 500 MBShared, 5 Private groups, 10 Users per group

Mendeley Institutional Edition

  • Upgrade to end user edition (normally £4.99 per month) to
    • 7GBWeb space, 3.5 GBPersonal, 3.5 GBShare, 10 Private groups, 15 Users per Private group
  • Upload a list of library holdings (journals) to allow fulltext access for institutional members.
  • Turn on institutional OpenURL.
  • Institutional groups – any mendeley users signed up with an institutional email will automatically be added to institutional group & can add further members.
  • Analytics – who’s publishing and reading what.
  • Reading tab – See what your users are reading (adding to Mendeley) by journal title and compare with library holdings.
  • See most read/popular articles.
  • Publishing tab – where your members are publishing.
  • Impact tab – worldwide usage of your members published articles e.g. most read.
  • Compare your institution with other Mendeley institutions with regards to impact/how read your institutions articles are.
  • Social tab – what groups your users are in.

The main thrust of the institutional edition is the analytic functions that Swets have worked with Mendeley to add. The pricing models are currently being worked on so no idea what the price this would be.

When I previously reviewed Mendeley (alongside RefWorks, EndNote, CiteULike & Zotero) in 2010/11 the main issue with using it an institutionally recommended product was that the desktop software needed admin access to be installed and updated regularly on user machines. As far as I can tell this issue hasn’t been addressed in the institutional edition, as user would still download the free desktop software from the Mendeley site or just use the wbe interface.

My questions surrounding the institutional edition would be…

  • Would it be able (be accepted as) a replacement for EndNote and/or Refworks? As there seems little point in getting the institutional edition for the analytics if our users were not using the desktop/web reference software.
  • Do the analytics give us enough “added-value”?
  • How does the analytical information compare with other types of bibliometris from IRIS or InCites?
  • Are the analytics only going to be useful to certain disciplines as they currently only look at journal articles and titles?

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

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.

Posted in Meetings, Referencing, Research Support, RSS | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Teaching with online documents

Posted by selinalock on 27 November, 2009

A few weeks ago I asked if anyone could recommend an alternative to using wikis in a teaching session.  A few ideas were suggested including using twitter to get comments from, and interaction among students. An appeal to twitterers also yielded the idea of using

I decided that I would try out etherpad as it allows simultaneous (real-time) online document editing, which would allow me to achieve the same kind of aim as I had with using a wiki. That is to set students tasks using the online document and then get them to make comments on the results of those tasks during the session. The free, public etherpads expire after a week, but I wasn’t expecting the students to go back to the documents after session. I was just after something that could be used as a primer for thinking and talking online about issues surrounding the use of Wikipedia, tips for using search engines, sites they would recommend for their course etc.

Etherpad itself turned out to be a very useful tool with interesting features: I created 10 version of the same document and split the class of approx 68 (I think only about 40 actually showed up) into groups. The software coped very well with the simultaneous editing and there were other useful features such as a chat function at the side of the document, and a time slider feature so you could review all the changes that had been made.

Some of the students thought it was an interesting way to run a session, but I had not banked on the anonymous nature of the software causing issues. Basically, once the students realised it was anonymous because they didn’t have to register to use the documents there was a lot of inappropriate behaviour – posting of inappropriate links, deleting of the whole document while other students were trying to use it, using the chat facility to comment on one another etc.

So, overall I think Etherpad could be used in interesting ways in the classroom, you just have to be careful what ground rules you lay and what groups you use  it with!

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

Alternatives to using a wiki to teach?

Posted by selinalock on 29 October, 2009

I’m looking for some advice or suggestions on alternatives to using a wiki during a session.

Last year I blogged about my experience using a wetpaint wiki with 1st year computer scientists which overall went well as the students liked the option to interact online, rather than interact verbally in the classroom. We found last year and so far with the group this year that they are far happier doing things in front of a computer!

Anyway, there are up to 70 students and I would like them to comment on issues such as the pros and concs of wikipedia during the session. The wetpaint wiki would not allow several people to edit at once so most of the students entries were lost or overwritten last year.

If anyone can recommend an alternative solution?

– wiki software that will let multiple people edit?

– chat room software that can deal with a big group?

– discussion forum software?

– would a blog allow lots of people to comment at once? Or would it fall over?

I only really need the software during the session, as I’m not expecting them to add to it afterwards, so it needs to be free and easy to use/register for. I would have used a Blackboard discussion board but this module isn’t using Blackboard!

Posted in Subject Support, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Have a Hunch?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 4 September, 2009

Came across Hunch yesterday while reading CILIP Update.  Hunch claims to be a “decision-making tool, built by its users. In ten questions or fewer, Hunch gives you its best hunch of what you would like.”  What Hunch does is ask a series of multiple choice questions to get a feel for your decision making and views – and then offers you a range of topics to which you might want to be guided to an answer.

On your way to each decision Hunch will ask you more questions to clarify matters, and then presents you with four possible answers (ranked 1-3 and Wild Card).  As an application it feels rather like a Facebookapp, rather than a serious decision making tool.  Certainly a lot of the topics suggested are trivial and very USA centric – giving it more than a little feel of Wikipedia (see the entry on BBQ for how the US is the only country with any real BBQ heritage apparently…bias, what bias?).  On the other hand given that registered users can create their own topics, there’s no reason why over time more serious questions and options will be added – for example I’ve just tried out the “What Profession is best for me?” – though Security Engineer, Scientist or Patent Attopnry were the main suggestions.  Not a librarian then – I considered entering this as an option, and discovered someone already had (it was #19 on my list of options – after Cording, something I had to look up on Wikipedia to understand!)

So it’s not a perfect resource by a long way, and it seems to be very much geared as an entertainment tool – but it does demonstrate something that could have a more practical application in time.  Go have a play with it yourself and let me know what you think

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

Thompson Reuters InCites Bibliometrics Meeting (part 3)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 25 March, 2009

[Continued from parts 1 and 2]

Emma Swann (Target Account Manager) started to talk more about InCites. Previously TR was able to produce these kinds of reports as on-demand CD outputs. InCites is the Web based version of this, in basic and premium versions.

Basics offers citation reports and indicators (benchmarking contrasts with other institutions). Premium is a more customised service, that is set up working with an institution. She demonstrated the information that the system would pull out, which was rather impressive – stuff that would take me several days to generate could be produced more readily. I was glad to have worked at the coal face generating this data, as it enabled me to readily see the importance of the information proceed. That said there were some metrics I’d produced [link] that weren’t evidenced produced. Possibly InCites could still produce them, but I’d need some time hands on before I could say that. All the same the time the system would save in generation of this information would allow the manual discovery of this information if push came to shove.

Emma showed how it was possible to generate custom benchmark reports for a range of institutions at an author, discipline or institutional level. It was even possible to rank all of an institution’s researchers easily.

Basic InCites package includes:

  • 1 standard citation report with all current metrics back to 1981
  • One standard indicators report
  • Quarterly data updates
  • Internal distribution only

Premium package includes all this plus:

  • Allows posting of data on external website
  • Can use researcher ID (RID)
  • PubMed ID match
  • Match retrievable service with WoS

In terms of cost (depending on institutional JISC band A-E):

  • Basic
    • U$D10-25k
  • Premium
    • U$D16-40k
  • API Citations
    • U$D6-15k

Wellcome talked about their funders point of view, and how identification of authors was only the start. What they wanted was a system that would interact with their own databases allowing them to call up extensive data on researchers they fund – in essence answering the questions “Is this person worth what we are funding” along with “Are there areas of funded research excellence that we are not funding but should”.

Comments from the HEFCE representative continued the discussions about on unique RIDs and carry forward between institutions. UCL commented that with 1,100 address variants it was a real problem IDing researchers. Some researchers identify with a unit or division and not an institution more readily and thus ensuring all are covered can be a problem.

The HEFCE rep suggested that bibliometrics probably won’t be used for Arts/Humanities and many social sciences reviews, noting that the finer detail of bibliometrics has a long way to go in being resolved. For example some subject areas publish in low level journals, because the whole field is publishing in these journals – it’s all relative.
HEFCE also commented that the 2010 bibliometrics exercise may be developmental rather than a full review, but this while this is not a certainty, the time taken for the pilot was far in excess of what they expected. They have a commitment to run something, but it might not be what everyone initially expected. It should be possible for institutions to see where they stand with the first real funding related REF taking place in 2013. Autumn consultation workshops will be run in 2009 to inform REF, and then later workshops to inform submission guidelines. A comment was made that provided your publications management system is robust and embedded in custom and practice then you may have less to worry about w.r.t. REF.

On the subject of competing products that do a similar job to InCites, the representative from UCL suggested that there were other resources they were looking at, but declined to name them.

Finally HEFCE talked about the CERIF metadata schema, which may well be a REF requirement. It has a high use on the continent, but much lower in the UK. Scandinavian countries have been using it a lot for example. EuroCRIS and JISC are involved and advocates of it. Noted that a number of Scottish Universities are piloting it.

As you’ve seen in this and the previous parts of this post, this was an especially information rich day with a lot useful, and sometimes surprising, information coming out. What does this mean for the REF and bibliometrics at Leicester? I think it’s too soon to say, but it certainly means I’ll be having a lot more conversations about them in the near future I suspect!

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Thompson Reuters InCites Bibliometrics Meeting (part 2)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 25 March, 2009

[Continued from Part 1]

Jon continued mentioning that an API is available to extract the data from InCites– although it does need to be enabled by Jon or Emma as a request. Another ability of the software is the creation of create researcher ID (RID) profiles (unique). Using the WoS article matching tools it is possible to find records and create links to them. From this you can create local database of publishing output.

A comment from the UCL representative was that academics haven’t been that keen to sign up for these IDs and noted that there are other unique identifiers such as HEFCE. Jon countered that with these IDs it is much easier to ID researchers and works. A short debate followed discussing the practicality of academics keeping these unique IDs between institutions. It was felt that for simplicities sake most institutions would issue new unique IDs to new staff, which rather made the usefulness of this aspect of the service somewhat diminished.

For repositories that use the UT tag on various records, it is possible for InCites to make use of local data (if your research IDs and data are clean/clear enough).

Can evaluate citations counts from institutional repository contents possible to purchase other institutions data, but can’t expose the information. There was a discussion noting that what the REF wants is driving this as a central process, but unclear what HEFCE wants – hence everyone is adopting a wait and see until the June results of the REF pilot are presented. It was noted that whilst the word bibliometrics is much muttered, but in terms how, what and why remains very unclear within most institutions.

The question of citations from patents was raised (e.g. Derwents Citations Index) – would these be of value? The answer wasn’t currently clear. The question of staffing challenges was raised, which whilst the Thompson tools would help wouldn’t alleviate all the challenges.

UCL spoke about their experience as a pilot for the REF – the experience has been a valuable one and a bit of a shock too. Went beyond where just REF wants them to go, and where the data would be of see and found that the systems they had weren’t good enough and neither was the data. More pressingly there was a need for a cultural overhaul in how researchers record their research output and usage. As a result they have a separate a project to address this.
The HEFCE rep present commented that academics still keep sourcing their own research data from different sources for different purposes, and that this was not necessarily a good thing.

[Continued in part 3]

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Thompson Reuters InCites Bibliometrics Meeting (part 1)

Posted by gazjjohnson on 24 March, 2009

On Monday I travelled down to London to a meeting organised by Thompson Reuters (TR), providers of the ISI Web of Knowlegde and Journal Citation Reports to name but a few key resources. Principally the day was to introduce and give an overview of their new InCites bibliometrics product (to be launched in May 2009), but thanks to the mix of people there from universities (myself, Kingston, UCL) and funders (Wellcome, HEFCE) some very interesting discussions around the subjects demonstrated were presented. All of this naturally is related to the REF.  As this is a long report on a very full discussion, I’m going to break it up into multiple posts.

The day and background to the product was introduced by a senior manager, who talked about the breadth of coverage of TR’s products, noting the importance of everyone having access to the same quality data for evaluation. He mentioned that the acquisition of Evidence (based in the UK) has allowed the provision of services and tools along with access of the data themselves, even the generation of customised reports. Finally he talked about TR’s development of grant application systems as one of their next major launches.

Jon Stroll (Key Account Manager) presented on aspects of research analysis including using data integration within institutional work flows such repositories. Focussing first on the Web of Science (WoS) and mentioning that the conference database is now also a citations database. However, Jon was unsure if the REF will take account of this data. In terms of quality TR use manual and machine harvesting of each article’s data. InCites is essentially a benchmarking citation analysis tool. He noted that currently the HEFCE Pilot,the US National Science Foundation and EU are all using the data from Thompson Reuters

Key questions that InCites can help answer include:

  • Over all published output in 10/20 years
  • Impact and how frequently has it been cited
  • Which papers are the most influential and how do they compare to the benchmarks?
  • Who are the top (H Indexed) authors and therefore where should research funding be focussed
  • What research do our researchers pull on – are they citing the right material

The extended license allows for use of ISI bibliographic data within IRs (populate the meta data using ISI WoS data). The current policy is now that you can use the data and expose externally with no additional charge. The only mandatory requirement is that you have a WoS subscription. A comment from Susan Miles that the repository community are currently unaware of this and would really benefit from knowing.

[To be continued in Part 2]

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