This week I’m blogging at (and mostly about) the 13th EAHIL conference in Brussels. EAHIL stands for European Association for Health Information and Libraries.
The second Continuing Education Course (CEC) I followed was given by Tiina Heino and Katri Larmo of the Terkko Meilahti Campus Library at the University of Helsinki in Finland.
The full title of the course was Visibility and impact – library’s new role: How the library can support the researcher to get visibility and generate impact to researcher’s work. You can read the abstract here.
What I especially liked in the hands on session is that the tutors had prepared a wikispace with all the information and links on the main page ( https://visibility2012.wikispaces.com) and a separate page for each participant to edit (here is my page). You could add links to your created accounts and embed widgets for Mendeley.
There was sufficient time to practice and try the tools. And despite the great number of participants there was ample room for questions (& even for making a blog draft ;)).
The main message of the tutors is that the process of publishing scientific research doesn’t end at publishing the article: it is equally important what happens after the research has been published. Visibility and impact in the scientific community and in the society are crucial for making the research go forward as well as for getting research funding and promoting the researcher’s career. The Fig below (taken from the presentation) visualizes this process.
The tutors discussed ORCID, Open Researcher and contributor ID, that will be introduced later this year. It is meant to solve the author name ambiguity problem in scholarly communication by central registry of unique identifiers for each author (because author names can’t be used to reliably identify all scholarly author). It will be possible for authors to create, manage and share their ORCID record without membership fee. For further information see several publications and presentations by Martin Fenner. I found this one during the course while browsing Mendeley.
Once published the author’s work can be promoted using bookmarking tools, like CiteULike, Connotea and Mendeley. You can easily registrate for Connotea and Mendeley using your Facebook account. These social bookmarking tools are also useful for networking, i.e. to discover individuals and groups with the same field of interest. It is easy to synchronize your Mendeley with your CiteULike account.
Mendeley is available in a desktop and a web version. The web version offers a public profile for researchers, a catalog of documents, and collaborative groups (the cloud of Mendeley). The desktop version of Mendeley is specially suited for reference management and organizing your PDF’s. That said Mendeley seems most suitable for serendipitous use (clicking and importing a reference you happen to see and like) and less useful for managing and deduplicating large numbers of records, i.e. for a systematic review.
Also (during the course) it was not possible to import several PubMed records at once in either CiteULike or Mendeley.
What stroke me when I tried Mendeley is that there were many small or dead groups. A search for “cochrane” for instance yielded one large group Cochrane QES Register, owned by Andrew Booth, and 3 groups with one member (thus not really a group), with 0 (!) to 6 papers each! It looks like people are trying Mendeley and other tools just for a short while. Indeed, most papers I looked up in PubMed were not bookmarked at all. It makes you wonder how widespread the use of these bookmarking tools is. It probably doesn’t help that there are so many tools with different purposes and possibilities.
Another tool that we tried was Altmetric. This is a free bookmarklet on scholarly articles which allows you to track the conversations around scientific articles online. It shows the tweets, blogposts, Google+ and Facebook mentions, and the numbers of bookmarks on Mendeley, CiteULike and Connotea.
I tried the tool on a paper I blogged about , ie. Seventy-Five Trials and Eleven Systematic Reviews a Day: How Will We Ever Keep Up?
The bookmarklet showed the tweets and the blogposts mentioning the paper.
Indeed altmetrics did correctly refer to my blog (even to 2 posts).
I liked altmetrics*, but saying that it is suitable for scientific metrics is a step too far. For people interested in this topic I would like to refer -again- to a post of Martin Fenner on altmetrics (in general). He stresses that “usage metrics” has its limitations because of its proness to “gaming” (cheating).
But the current workshop didn’t address the shortcomings of the tools, for it was meant as a first practical acquaintance with the web 2.0 tools.
For the other tools (Faculty of 1000 Posters, Pinterest) and the services developed in Terkko, such as ScholarChart and TopCited Articles, see the wikipage and the presentation:
*Coincidentally I’m preparing a post on handy chrome extensions to look for tweets about a webpage. Altmetric is another tool which seems very suitable for this purpose
- A New Social Network For Science Could Change How We Make Discoveries (fastcoexist.com)
- All Researchers To Be Allocated Unique IDs (news.slashdot.org)
- Orcid (programmableweb.com)
- An inventory of experts, but beware (montagueinstitute.wordpress.com)
- Scholars are quickly moving toward a universe of web-native communication (blogs.lse.ac.uk)
- Mendeley: a “Facebook for Researchers”? (scienceintelligence.wordpress.com)
- Social Bookmarking finally comes to serious cancer journals? (pharmastrategyblog.com)
- Mendeley: A new good tool for our computers (litteramedia.wordpress.com)