You’ve been using Google for years. In fact, you use it every day. And you always get tons of results, so you must be an expert searcher, right? Not so fast… Getting more results is not always helpful! Do you really have time to go through 264 pages to find what you want? What you need are better results, which come from better searches. So here are some tips that work in more »
Even the most experienced scholars can find it difficult to keep up with new research in their fields. So much is being published in journals and online every day that it can be overwhelming. So I’ve put together a list of websites to help you wade through the rising tide of research. These resources are available free to anyone via the Internet and offer useful tools for discovering new research in a wide variety of subject areas.
This past week, you might have noticed the many news stories about killer cats. The research study about domestic cats’ impact on nature concluded that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion mammals every year. Did you happen to pick up that the senior author on the paper was Peter Marra of the Migratory Bird Center, a research unit of the National Zoo, and one of his cowriters was Scott Loss, also of the MBC? While we are always excited by and proud of the research output of the Smithsonian, this is an example of a scholarly article having an impact in the public sphere—i.e. beyond just the scientific community. Does that matter? How does it matter? Is there a way for the organization sponsoring that research to measure impact of research output like this? These are the kinds of questions we can finally begin to tackle with the use of altmetrics.
Have you ever been working on a research project with a group of people and wished for a better way to share your work online, or “in the cloud”? Well, a number of tools exist for just this purpose – including the two reference managers I told you about in my last couple of Library Hacks posts. In my final post on these tools, I’ll discuss how both Zotero and Mendeley offer ways to help you collaborate and communicate with colleagues to make sharing research easier. So far, these tools may have seemed pretty similar, but this is where you will see some distinct differences between the two.
The end of an era has come to the Smithsonian Libraries and a new one begins! The current model of a library, with a physical location, books and journals on the shelves and a librarian to manage it all is so 2011. A hip, new model of a ‘ librarian-as-reference-resource-person-embedded-in-research-department’ has come for the National Zoological Park/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in 2012!
Old typewriters are pretty cool, but did you ever try adding footnotes to a paper using one? Not so easily done. Thank goodness for modern innovations! In my last Library Hacks post, I introduced Zotero and Mendeley, two free “reference managers” that help you collect and store all kinds of materials – from PDF files to book citations to webpages – in your own online library. Now we’ll look at how these same tools can help you add footnotes, citations and bibliographies to a paper as you’re writing it. And it’s a snap!
Here’s the latest post in our series, Library Hacks, where we take a look at cool and interesting online resources from the Smithsonian Libraries and the cyberworld at large. We librarians are all about the organization of information. It’s what we live for! (Well, that might be overstating it a bit.) So when we find great tools for keeping track of info/data/stuff, we get pretty excited. While you may not have the same level of enthusiasm for this that we do, you still can find such tools useful for everything from doing research on a topic of interest, to writing a report for school or work, to collecting your favorite recipes from foodie websites.