Tuesday, May 19, 2015

HB270: Organize your Sources

The tidal wave of information on the web
can quickly become overwhelming unless you have
a strategy and tools to manage it.
Photo Credit: sorazu via Compfight cc
Even at its best, searching for information on the web can be a case of "too much of a good thing" - there are so many sources that you can't sift through them all. At its worst, web searching can be too much of a bad thing, with sources containing one or two useful facts but much more fluff. Making the research process collaborative can make it more manageable, and in this session we reviewed three free tools available that facilitate this.

First up is Pinterest, a social bookmarking service that lets you create virtual corkboards where you pin images and webpages. You can create a shared board that others can post to as well. This makes Pinterest good for class brainstorming projects and casually gathering research.

Diigo builds on the capabilities of Pinterest and is suitable for serious online research. With Diigo you can highlight and annotate webpages directly in addition to creating private groups to be used for collaborative research. You can also tag your sources to assist with organization.

Zotero is the most academic of the tools and should be used for research papers and other projects demanding thorough research across multiple media. It allows you to store sources directly from the web or add source information manually for print sources. You can add notes and tags to your sources and share them with a public or private group you create. Most importantly, Zotero integrates with Microsoft Word and LibreOffice to let you easily insert in-text citations and bibliographies and automatically format them according to MLA, APA, or other citation styles.


HB270 session notes

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