Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Endnote and Refworks

We had quite a chat about whether we should buy RefWorks in MML yesterday and agreed that there is no hurry to rush into it. A higher priority is to do a better evaluation of EndnoteWeb (ENW), which we already have access to at no extra charge.
I have been working on a helpsheet for ENW for some time and have sent it out to most of you by email.
I have put at at:
N:\PVC-T&L\Library\Functional Documents\Information Services\Guides_2008
I would be good if a number of LLs could give ENW a really good test and feedback to me.
We really need to answer these questions:
  • Is ENW a viable and reliable enough web based bibliography system for undergrads?
  • Could we transition most undergraduate training and support to it rather than traditional EndNote?
  • Is there any prospect of shifting our labs to ENW rather than continuing with the complex two yearly upgrades of labs to a new version?
Answers to these are needed. We should be thinking about what to do for semester 1 next year.

Postscript: Linda Forbes sent this extra useful information:
Yale have a table comparing EndNote Web with EndNote and Refworks - http://www.library.yale.edu/cite/whichone.html - thought it might be useful in your present discussions.

UWashington has one too - http://www.lib.washington.edu/help/endnote/endnoterefworks.pdf - which has references at the end to others.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Yes this is a web search engine!

Is this really the future of "Search"?
You've got to 'check out' MSDEWEY.
...and don't foget to try the "Best of.." button a few times.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Great short Web 2.0 tutorials

Have a look at the wonderful short tutorials "...in Plain English", all made by the same folks at Common Craft:

These clever videos are all shorter than 4 minutes but pack in a lot of information.
The Common Craft site has other interesting things to offer as well.

Most importantly, thanks to Juliet, who alerted us to a useful tutorial on how to avoid a zombie attack (Zombies in Plain English).

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

EBooks and University presses

Some university presses are now releasing e-books for Amazon's portable reader Kindle two weeks prior to the print release date. Princeton University Press apparently unsuccessfully experimented with e-distribution in the past but reckon the time is now ripe for scholarly material to be disseminated in this way.

Read more

Evaluating Information Skills Training

Karmen and I are currently doing an interesting and potentially very useful course called 'Evaluating Information Skills Training' delivered online by the University of Sheffield, UK.

I'm sure you will hear more about this in the future but in the meantime here's the bibliography for the course http://foliozinfoskills2.pbwiki.com/f/bib.doc

Thursday, 11 September 2008

What researchers want

"What I would really like to see here is a way of pivoting my view of the literature around a specific item. This might be a paper, a dataset, or a blog post. I want to be able to click once and see everything that item cites, click again and see everything that cites it. Pivot away from that to look at what GoPubmed thinks the paper is about and see what it has which is related and then pivot back and see how many of those two sets are common. What are the papers in this area that this review isn’t citing? Is there a set of authors this paper isn’t citing? Have they looked at all the datasets that they should have? Are there general news media items in this area, books on Amazon, books in my nearest library, books on my bookshelf? Are they any good? Have any of my trusted friends published or bookmarked items in this area? Do they use the same tags or different ones for this subject? What exactly is Neil Saunders doing looking at that gene? Can I map all of my friends tags onto a controlled vocabulary?"

from Science in the open

Sounds good, I don't imagine it would be all that difficult if Scopus, WoS etc wanted to cooperate with other vendors and create a product. Perhaps Google are listening.

Maybe when this happens computers can start publishing their own literature reviews too.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Google puts papers' archives online

From The Guardian:

Speaking at the TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco late yesterday, Marissa Meyer, the vice-president for Google search products and user experience, said the company had been working with the New York Times and Washington Post since 2006 to make their full archive available through Google News.

Google has been working with 100 newspaper partners, including the 244-year-old Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph and specialist firms Heritage and ProQuest, which integrate news archives on microfilm.

more here

Monday, 8 September 2008

Information Literacy Logo

An official logo to represent information literacy has been established. It was designed as an entry in a competition run by UNESCO and IFLA to produce a logo which can be an internationally recognised symbol to be attached to organisations and particular project dealing with information literacy. You can read about the competition and download the logo from here.

Found via ResourceShelf

Friday, 5 September 2008

Interactive whiteboards

Here's a rare article on the use of Interactive Whiteboards (which we now have available for use in Morris Miller Rm 1.1).
It comes from the free online journal Communications in Information Literacy.
I say 'rare' because there has been little research reported on the use of this technology in higher education (mostly K-12) and only one known simple study (reported in this article) on its use in Library instruction.
Worth a read if you are thinking of using the IW.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Great business infolit tutorial

The Beginner's Guide to Business Research is an award winning infolit tutorial from Baruch College, City University of New York.
I found it so good I did the whole tutorial and quizzed out as a "research guru" at the end!
This would be a great template or model to adapt for an Australian business online infolit resource.

Future of reference - Stephen Abram's scenarios

Stephen Abram has created a list of possible scenarios for the future of reference services. I found it a worthwhile addition to our ongoing discussion about this topic.

article here

Monday, 1 September 2008

Libraries and e-Learning Master Class

This was a great seminar presented by Robyn Tweedale from USQ, who has experience in implementing elearning projects. Although this covered no new territory for us at Utas it pulled together many ideas and gave the tools to plan and think about our elearning intiatives.

Main Points

  • Importance of stakeholder buy in from the beginning of any project, particularly from academics. Students won’t use eLearning unless compelled to, or recommended to
  • Spend time determining the scope of eLearning intiatives, what is appropriate for your users, what can you achieve in terms of time and budget
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel (we certainly know about this point!), use collaboration and piggy backing wherever possible
  • eLearning is learning, that is it should follow sound pedagogical principles
  • eLearning should be a balance of technological innovation and pedagogical innovation
  • eLearning is most effective at point of need or integrated into curriculum

To elaborate on “don’t reinvent the wheel” – Robyn stressed the value of looking for opportunities to share and borrow and emphasised the value of quick wins. USQ has adapted the original QUT Pilot tutorial ( which is freely available), added some content from University of Washington Library’s Research 101 tutorial. Robyn’s team is still working on adapting this and asked the group if any team would be interested collaborating to make Pilots better. Could this be an opportunity for Utas?

Robyn made clear that she did not see the tutorial being used in its entirety by students, but rather something that could be used to create learning objects, saved in Equella, that could then be adapted quickly and easily for specific courses and units, be placed in MyLo etc.

There are many examples of eLearning used in libraries currently listed on the Wiki for the course


If you want to look at these I can give you the user name and password.

Much of the day was spent looking at our gaps in services, our strengths and weaknesses and how to plan an eLearning intiative. Materials to assist with this are also on the Wiki. I feel that we have lots of expertise in the content of elearning but at the moment no clear direction in which to head. There is also a lot of expertise in the Uni to draw on, CALT and flexible learning units in the Faculties.

I think our next eLearning project should be small in scope, tailored very specifically to a course and lets have a quick win we can build from!

Other useful tips from the day:

  • Robyn preferred to use Adobe Captivate over Camtasia as she said it was easier to make changes when you need to update material.

  • Don’t give your elearning products fancy names. After using focus groups USQ decided to call their product “Finding Information Tutorial”, and their multiple database search product is called “multiple database search”.