All 119 entries tagged Researchers

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April 25, 2013

A highlight from UKSG: Altmetrics session with Paul Groth

Writing about web page http://www.slideshare.net/UKSG/2-groth-uksg2013-altmetricsstory

These are my notes from a very well presented session at UKSG. I've linked to the slideshare presentation, too.

You can't rank researchers or research, using altmetrics. (Yet, I'm thinking!)

Presence on social media does seem to correlate with other measures of performance, however: Birkholz et al's research indicates that researchers with a presence on LinkedIn have a higher h-index. (I googled for this. Closest I could find was: http://altmetrics.org/workshop2011/birkholz-v0/)

1 in 40 scholars are active on Twitter. (This comes from an article by Heather Piwowar in Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v493/n7431/full/493159a.html )

Like me, Paul thinks that academics should use all kinds of metrics to tell a good story about their work. He spoke about citations, Mendeley scores, html accesses and F1000 recommendations as an example of what a researcher could include on a CV. The measures that matter most will vary according to discipline.

The challenge seems to be to tie together activity around a published paper, such as the author's blog post announcing it and the pre-print on arxiv, and then to present all the measures surrounding the whole activity for that output of the research.

Media stories often never cite or link to the original research.

The Journal of Ecology apparently now ask for a 140 character, tweetable abstract for each article they publish. (Nice idea!)

In short, there are some really interesting things to keep an eye on, when it comes to altmetrics.


April 10, 2013

Tracking a twitter hashtag's activity

I'm just back from a Librarians' and publishers' conference, called UKSG, which used the twitter hashtag #uksglive... and I thought I'd put that hashtag into an infographics tool called visual.ly

Here is the poster it created for me:



create infographics with visual.ly


Am I really interested in Naymz?

Follow-up to Which tools monitor your social media influence & impact? from Library Research Support

The quick answer now I've investigated a bit, is "no", but I would like to explain:

1) I don't want to maintain another professional profile there when I already invested in my LinkedIn profile, and all the people I could ever want to network with online are on LinkedIn but not on Naymz.

2) I had a look at my repscore on Naymz: the Leaderboard picks up on people who declare themselves as Jedi knights, so I can't take the network or the score too seriously.

3) The repscore dashboard would be interesting if I did use Naymz for networking, and if I connected all my relevant social network profiles to it. I can't actually do that, because I use some networking sites that Naymz doesn't monitor.

I could use Naymz to watch just Twitter and LinkedIn, and I could make some more effort to use and link up Facebook or other social networking sites that it does measure. What does it tell me about other networking sites? It gives me numbers for:

- Contacts: "The number of contacts/followers on this network". This is interesting, to see where I have the maximum potential reach. But it's not actual reach if the people I'm linked with on this network aren't active users of it and will never see my posts or activity there.

- Posts: "Your recent posts on this network". I'm not sure how recent: I don't recall ever posting on LinkedIn, yet it can find 9 posts. I post a lot on Twitter, but it can only find 35 posts.

- Replies: "Replies/Comments on your posts on this network". Since I don't make any on LinkedIn, then I can't compare the level of interaction of my network members on these two networks, but it would be a potentially useful measure if I did want to compare.

- Likes: "Likes/Shares of your posts on this network". As with replies, this could indicate the actual reach of my presence on a network better than merely the number of contacts I have. I'm not sure how it counts them, though. By putting scores for all of my network profiles into one place, I could compare the networks and decide which one represented best value for my efforts.

The Naymz dashboard gives a percentage rank too, but as this is only in comparison with other Naymz members, who I am not interested in, then it's not so useful for me.

There are other measuring tools than Naymz (I mentioned a couple of others in my blog post that this follows on from), and they might count the interactions in a way that you prefer, if you're looking for a tool to do this.

However, I think that my main reason for not wanting to use Naymz or one of the similar tools, is that I'm already convinced that Twitter is a good route for me to reach the people who I want to reach. If I wasn't sure that the people I wanted to reach were active on Twitter, or I wanted to reach more people who might prefer one of the other networking sites, then I'd be glad to use Naymz and its like, to make comparisons.


April 02, 2013

Which tools monitor your social media influence & impact?

Twitter is the main social media tool that I would recommend to researchers, when it comes to influence and impact. Ideally, I think it should be used alongside blogging in some way: either your own blog if you want to build an online identity and audience for yourself, or as a guest on others' blogs. Guest blogging is a great way of benefitting from others' hard work in gaining audience!

If Twitter is my main social media tool then any tool for measuring online/social media influence and impact will need access to my Twitter account. A quick look at the "Apps" section of my settings on Twitter reminds me of tools that I've once thought might be of value to researchers for the purpose of increasing, measuring and demonstrating the impact of their research. I've not had time to investigate these properly, but I thought that it might be worth sharing which ones I'm interested in, which are:

Naymz - "Manage and measure your reputation. Get rewarded!"

Klout - "Klout finds the most influential people on every topic"

Crowdbooster - "Measure and optimize your social media marketing."

I had a quick look back at these three and found that Crowdbooster now charges a fee: this might be worthwhile, if it covers the social media channels that you use, though it has different pricing mechanisms for different numbers of social media channels.

Naymz - wants to co-ordinate my Google account, Yahoo account, email, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These are big hitters but not specific to academia.

Klout - lots more options here than there were for Naymz, but none specifically academic.

There are actually lots of tools for measuring social media influence out there, but to find the right tool for you then you need to know what you want to measure. I'm interested in Twitter, website visitors and my blog, but not necessarily combining the scores for them, since they serve different purposes. I do need to investigate more...

For those interested in reading more, this piece from Imperial College has a great summary and table comparing the tools available for measuring and monitoring, in terms of the social media sources they monitor:

http://research20atimperial.wordpress.com/optional-content/evaluation-tools/

There is no substitute for trying things out for yourself, though, and finding out not only which aspects of your social media activity can be monitored by which tools, but also how they produce their scores and what this means for your own work.


March 11, 2013

Things to do when you're leaving!

I shall be leaving the University of Warwick: my last day here will be on 30th April. Many researchers must go through the process of leaving an institution. What are the basic things that need to be done to make this a smooth transition?

Here are the things that I've been trying to put in order, as I prepare to leave Warwick:

1) Use my personal e-mail account properly - unsubscribe from all that junk mail that always clogs up the inbox and start creating meaningful folders there.

2) Use Evernote to forward useful e-mails and copy useful files to. Tags on all kinds of items in Evernote are more efficient than trying to replicate folder structures in e-mail and desktops and cloud based document stores. But then again, duplication guards against loss and acts as a back up, so I'll probably create an archive file from Outlook, too.

3) I have lots of online accounts that are infrequently accessed so I need to transfer the useful accounts to my personal e-mail address because password reminders going to a dead e-mail account are of no use at all! Or, make a note of the passwords to avoid needing to use those reminders.

4) Add my Twitter handle to my signature on my work e-mails: this will stay with me even when my e-mail address changes, and so it's a way for people to find me later when they want to contact me and all they've got is an old e-mail I sent them from my Warwick account.

5) Update/complete my profile on LinkedIn: I haven't done this yet but intend to. If there is a hierarchy of social networking sites, then this one is at the top of my pile: then others can be updated in time, too.

6) Start a new blog: well I created one over on Wordpress but I haven't got started blogging there yet. I plan to write a farewell post here and introduce my new blog at a later date. Not every researcher will be using their institution's proprietary blogging system and so need to transfer in this way, of course. Since I'll have blog content across two sites, I've been clipping my blog entries into Evernote, as a way of collating and curating them.

There's bound to be more that I need to do, but that'll do for starters!


March 01, 2013

Being organised with your information: Evernote is one useful tool.

Follow-up to Recording information when literature searching from Library Research Support

Organising your information is something absolutely imperative for researchers. There are lots of tools out there to help, and researchers all like to organise things in their own ways, so no one tool is going to suit all researchers. This means that you either have to investigate every new thing (ridiculous!) or listen to someone else's experiences and bear things in mind for one day when you might have a new need. This blog post is about my experiences with tools for organising stuff. I have a new need because I am preparing to leave the University of Warwick (30th April). Another experience many researchers will go through, as changing institution is very much a part of career progression for many.

In the past, I have blogged a few ways to be organised with your references, and have had guest posts from colleagues about reference management tools before, too.

I wrote here recently about organising bookmarks using online tools, and how I liked Diigo. Once or twice on this blog I have also mentioned Evernote, and that's the tool I'm currently playing with because it's been recommended by researchers at Warwick.

What I like about Evernote is that I can forward e-mails into it, and I can set it up to mirror folders on my computer so that all my e-mails and documents are tagged and accessible in the same place. I can also clip items from the web and create a copy of them to refer to later, and of course I can use my tags for them too. So I can get material from whichever source all into the same tagging system which is great, because I keep having to replicate my folder structures and it's much better to have all my re-usable stuff in one place, and tagged properly. Tags are sooo much better than folders, too, because you can have more than one per item!

I've been busy clipping my own blog entries into Evernote because this is a bit of an open notebook, and all my entries are tagged: I use this material when preparing workshops and presentations. Now I can just look on Evernote for my own blog entries, emails etc, and stuff I've clipped that has been written by others, all on the same theme. Plus, if Warwick ever decides to delete this blog after I've left, I'll have my own copies of my blog entries on Evernote.

I can use Evernote in at least three different ways:

  1. By logging into my account on the web.
  2. By opening up the software installed on my computer.
  3. By using the Evernote App on my phone.

I think that all three are going to be handy.

I will probably still use my folders, but Evernote provides a way of collecting items for a particular project or need, whilst also creating copies of them which is a kind of back-up for me.

I do wish that I could import all my bookmarks into Evernote from Diigo: that doesn't seem to be possible. But perhaps it is better to use both tools. I expect that I'll maintain my web bookmarks collection for when I want to record a whole website, but perhaps use the Evernote web clipping tool for when it's a particular page that I'm interested in, and that will also help me to overcome the problem of broken links that I get with my bookmark collection, because if the content is clipped then I will still be able to read it!

There might even be times when I will want to both bookmark on Diigo and clip onto Evernote, because Evernote is my own store, but Diigo is a route I use to share stuff with others. Incidentally, I don't have lots of network contacts on Diigo itself as a way of sharing, but I Tweet things that I bookmark on Diigo. I don't actually use Diigo's own feature for tweeting an item because it involves too many clicks and steps from me each time I bookmark. Instead, I've used IFFT (If this then that) to set up a rule for Diigo items to get automatically tweeted. But that is all about sharing my information and this blog post is meant to be about organising it! So many tools serve more than one purpose.

I expect that for proper research articles that I collect, I'll always want to use a reference management tool as well. Because they can create proper references for me by importing metadata and they can create lovely formatted references for me when I write anything formal, too. And they can do networking and sharing things, and "shout about my profile" things too.

Evernote isn't quite the "one ring to rule them all" for me to organise my information. But that's probably a good thing because I'd hate to rely on one tool for everything and then have it crash or want to bill me a small fortune for using it! And by using other tools as well, I get the benefit of all their other features for sharing and profile-raising.


Being organised with your information: Evernote is one useful tool.

Follow-up to Recording information when literature searching from Library Research Support

Organising your information is something absolutely imperative for researchers. There are lots of tools out there to help, and researchers all like to organise things in their own ways, so no one tool is going to suit all researchers. This means that you either have to investigate every new thing (ridiculous!) or listen to someone else's experiences and bear things in mind for one day when you might have a new need. This blog post is about my experiences with tools for organising stuff. I have a new need because I am preparing to leave the University of Warwick (30th April). Another experience many researchers will go through, as changing institution is very much a part of career progression for many.

In the past, I have blogged a few ways to be organised with your references, and have had guest posts from colleagues about reference management tools before, too.

I wrote here recently about organising bookmarks using online tools, and how I liked Diigo. Once or twice on this blog I have also mentioned Evernote, and that's the tool I'm currently playing with because it's been recommended by researchers at Warwick.

What I like about Evernote is that I can forward e-mails into it, and I can set it up to mirror folders on my computer so that all my e-mails and documents are tagged and accessible in the same place. I can also clip items from the web and create a copy of them to refer to later, and of course I can use my tags for them too. So I can get material from whichever source all into the same tagging system which is great, because I keep having to replicate my folder structures and it's much better to have all my re-usable stuff in one place, and tagged properly. Tags are sooo much better than folders, too, because you can have more than one per item!

I've been busy clipping my own blog entries into Evernote because this is a bit of an open notebook, and all my entries are tagged: I use this material when preparing workshops and presentations. Now I can just look on Evernote for my own blog entries, emails etc, and stuff I've clipped that has been written by others, all on the same theme. Plus, if Warwick ever decides to delete this blog after I've left, I'll have my own copies of my blog entries on Evernote.

I can use Evernote in at least three different ways:

  1. By logging into my account on the web.
  2. By opening up the software installed on my computer.
  3. By using the Evernote App on my phone.

I think that all three are going to be handy.

I will probably still use my folders, but Evernote provides a way of collecting items for a particular project or need, whilst also creating copies of them which is a kind of back-up for me.

I do wish that I could import all my bookmarks into Evernote from Diigo: that doesn't seem to be possible. But perhaps it is better to use both tools. I expect that I'll maintain my web bookmarks collection for when I want to record a whole website, but perhaps use the Evernote web clipping tool for when it's a particular page that I'm interested in, and that will also help me to overcome the problem of broken links that I get with my bookmark collection, because if the content is clipped then I will still be able to read it!

There might even be times when I will want to both bookmark on Diigo and clip onto Evernote, because Evernote is my own store, but Diigo is a route I use to share stuff with others. Incidentally, I don't have lots of network contacts on Diigo itself as a way of sharing, but I Tweet things that I bookmark on Diigo. I don't actually use Diigo's own feature for tweeting an item because it involves too many clicks and steps from me each time I bookmark. Instead, I've used IFFT (If this then that) to set up a rule for Diigo items to get automatically tweeted. But that is all about sharing my information and this blog post is meant to be about organising it! So many tools serve more than one purpose.

I expect that for proper research articles that I collect, I'll always want to use a reference management tool as well. Because they can create proper references for me by importing metadata and they can create lovely formatted references for me when I write anything formal, too. And they can do networking and sharing things, and "shout about my profile" things too.

Evernote isn't quite the "one ring to rule them all" for me to organise my information. But that's probably a good thing because I'd hate to rely on one tool for everything and then have it crash or want to bill me a small fortune for using it! And by using other tools as well, I get the benefit of all their other features for sharing and profile-raising.


February 22, 2013

Bookmarking websites: switching from Delicious to Diigo

Writing about web page https://www.diigo.com/user/jennyality

I used to use Delicious.com to manage my bookmarks and have recently switched to Diigo. I didn't like the recent changes to Delicious: it limited the ways I could manage my enormous collection of bookmarks.

In the past, I have used the browser bookmarking tools of Explorer and Firefox but of course you can only access those bookmarks on one PC or one login profile, and with one browser. Also, I like using tags better than folders as a way to organise my bookmarks, because a site can only be in one folder but can have several tags.

My enormous collection on Delicious is the product of years of work. What I want to do with my collection is:

  1. Sort by private/public: Delicious frustrated me for some time by not supporting this, but Diigo has imported my bookmarks beautifully, carrying over these properties and it allows me to sort in this way and review which need to be private.
  2. Sort my tags by the number of sites bookmarked with them. In this way I can look at the tags that only have one site and decide if I really need the tag: Diigo points out that I have 423 tags which is way too many! Delicious used to do this and I was slowly sorting my tags, but it's apparently not offered any longer.
  3. Find links that are broken. Delicious definitely couldn't do this for me. Not sure yet if Diigo can. Some of my links are old and broken, I know. I do like that Diigo displays the date that the bookmark was added, though, as it gives me a clue about whether my link is going to be live now or not.
  4. Replace tags that are obsolete with ones that I currently use. Delicious used to do this, but not any more. Diigo enables me to edit my tags very easily and I'm busy deleting useless ones to make them more manageable and useful!

Other things that I like about Diigo now that I've switched:

  • It has an "advanced" view that enables me to tick which bookmarks I'm interested in and then apply the action I choose.
  • One of those actions is "generate report" which displays the selected bookmarks in a nice way to incorporate into a report.
  • Another action that is possible is to add tags to the selected bookmarks, as a collection.
  • It seems much more sophisticated that Delicious, and I like the additional functions that I am discovering.

What I don't like about Diigo are:

  • the adverts that get in the way
  • it takes two clicks to create a bookmark record: Delicious' tool was a bit quicker, but then I haven't explored the sticky note feature or any other aspects of Diigo yet.

In general though, I do like find these bookmarking tools very handy!


February 10, 2013

Is my book the most highly cited in its field?

To answer this, you need data on how many citations there are to your book and to others in your field. There are two sources of citation data for books, that I know of:

  1. Thomson Reuters' book citation index. Not everyone will have access to this, of course, as it's a subscription product.
  2. Google Scholar: this is available to everyone and is the source I've investigated.

A simple search for your book on Google Scholar will tell you how many citations there are. Note that G Scholar does try to collate records for all versions of your book, but for books available in many editions and reprints, then it might not be too successful at this!

Next, how do you know if your book is the MOST highly cited in your field? It's impossible to tell really, but a good clue is to invstigate the "related articles" link in the results of your search that brought you data about your book. This will find items that are similar to yours so therefore are likely to be in your field.

Within that list, there will be citations and journal articles as well as books. You can look through the results and spot books quite easily: look at how many times the books have been cited. If any are more highly cited than yours, then you know that your book can't be the most highly cited in your field, at least as far as GScholar is concerned. Whether or not you choose to trust their data on citations is a separate matter!

If none of those citations are anywhere near your citation count, then it would seem that there is a good chance that your book is one of the most highly cited in your field. You probably know some of the competitor books to yours: try searching for them on Google Scholar too, to check.

If you don't already know competitor books in your field then I recommend looking on the COPAC union catalogue at the record for your book, and clicking on the subject heading links from within that record to find books in the same subject category.

Best of luck!


February 04, 2013

Measures of journal article quality?

Writing about web page http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/03/the-future-of-the-scientific-journal-industry/

The TechCrunch blog post linked to is by the founder of Academia.edu and it discusses the possible contribution that journal article metrics could make, to academic publishing.

In order to interpret readership metrics provided by sites/services like the three mentioned in that post, Academia, ResearchGate and Mendeley, researchers should ask, "what is the level and quality of activity on these sites?" My experience is that there are a lot of students amongst those "researcher" numbers advertised. Students can be readers too, of course, but we need to be clear about what the metrics are actually telling us. Activity and membership varies from one site to another and from one discipline to another, of course, so researchers would need to investigate for themselves. If you're investigating and interpreting for yourself then you're not going to be entirely comfortable with others using such metrics to make some judgement about the quality of your work!

My previous blog post was about publishers who display reader metrics. I wish I had time to investigate them some more!

Mendeley's metrics used to be available for others to use through an API: as ImpactStory, once called TotalImpact were doing. That seems to me to be the most useful model for researchers: then they can follow readership metrics for their papers from all locations. In my opinion, collated stats are great for researchers to track which activity affects their readership numbers most: their paper featuring on their mate's Twitter feed, or professor x's blog, or being delivered at a conference.

But are reader numbers going to lead to a new way of assessing a journal article's quality? They would need to be available from all sources where the article is displayed: publishers, repositories and networking sites would all need to count reader accesses in the same way, and share their data publicly, so that they can be collated and displayed in a reliable and consistent way. They would need to become trusted and used by the researchers themselves. That is going to take a lot of time and effort, I believe, if all the discussion about citation metrics and altmetrics that I've seen is anything to go by.

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