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citeulike

DiRT (Digital Research Tools) has a new home! Please visit Bamboo DiRT to explore this excellent collection of research tools.

 

 

 

 

Website: http://www.citeulike.org/

Date of first review/ name of reviewer: 5/25/09 [Leah Suhrstedt]

Additional reviewer(s):

Produced by:  Springer

Cost: Free

Description: CiteULike is a free service to help you to store, organize and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details and works from within your web browser (there's no need to install any software). Because your library is stored on the server, you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection.

License: Dependent upon the sources that have been uploaded and the license specifications of the site where the article is from.

Maturity: Open source, so contents depend on how many users they site has and how often those users upload articles.

 

Features:

  • Groups feature-- there are seemingly endless groups that users can join and explore in order to find sources.
  • "Citegeist"-- displays the most popular articles within CiteULike, based on how many times they have been uploaded in the last seven days (and you can also change this day range).
  • Tagging
  • Alphabetical listing of digitized journals
  • "Context Menu"-- appears whenever a user right clicks in CiteULike, and varies whether the user is viewing their library, someone else's library, or the group library. The options that appeared can be customized by the user, and basically act as shortcuts for navigating the site.
  • "Neighbours"-- people who have bookmarked the same articles as you. CiteULike complies this information automatically.
  • "Watchlist"-- pages that the user decides to "watch" and receive updates on.
  • Connections-- people user is connected to on CiteULike; user manages this. Messages can be sent back and forth between users.

 

Advantages:

  • Ability to tag articles and see how others have used the tagging feature
  • Easy to use-- quickly and simply installs a browser button to use when you find a source to import, and it's also easy to explore your personal library and others' sources as well.
  • While it certainly doesn't rival bigger search engines, they do have fairly large holdings. As of 25 May 2009, they had 2,527,795 articles, with 3,401 added today.
  • Breadth of topics covered
  • Forum for questions and conversation
  • All of the opportunities for communication and connections (Watchlist, Neighbours, Connections).

 

Disadvantages:

  • As an open source, CiteULike is completely dependent upon building a community of users and participating sites, so while they have made significant progress, time will only tell how successful they will become and how far-reaching their reach will be.
    • With competition like Zotero, there is no question that CiteULike faces challenges. They are certainly not the only service to be doing something like this right now.
  • Right now, the biggest disadvantage is their ability to export sources. Whether or not their system is able to pull all relevant citation information is dependent upon whether or not other sites (for instance, WorldCat) participate. At this point, the number of participating sites is limited and scattered.
    • Even if they can't import the information, though, the entry form is easy to complete. So until they get this import feature figurd out, they have an easy way for users to capture information.
  • Pretty much just articles are included at this point. They have options to add books and other types of sources, but for now they're mostly about articles.

 

Tips:

  • Spend some time going through all the options under the "citeulike" and "myciteulike" menus at the top of the pages. Just 20 minutes or so really shows how many different things users can do with the site.

Tutorials:

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