Tag Archives: Zotero

Tech Sharecase, 5 November 2010

Frank Donnelly, Stephen Francoeur, Gerry Jiao, Ellen Kaufman, Jim Livornese, Rita Ormsby, Ryan Phillips, Stella Varveris, Michael Waldman, Kevin Wolff

Overview of Browser Wars
Today’s meetup focused on comparing different browsers. Prior to meeting, we sent out a survey to library staff about their browser preferences (you can still take the survey or just view the latest results).

Maxthon Browser
Ryan Phillips showed his favorite features in the Maxthon browser:

  • Features the ability to sync favorites to multiple locations and soon will sync browser settings and history as well
  • Allows customizable speed dial on your start page
  • Has dual rendering to optimize display for old and new web sites
  • Customizes your preferences for searching by mouse, open and closing new tabs, mouse trails et cetera
  • Includes Smart address bar that suggest links and results by viewed sites

One issue that we have to keep in mind when using browsers other than IE or Firefox is that they may not be supported by the college to work in various applications and services we have licenses for.

Opera Browser
Frank Donnelly demonstrated the aspects of the Opera browser that appeal to him:

  • Has built in AVG anti-virus and malware detectors that alert you to pages that may be security risks
  • Since the browser is less popular, it is less likely to be targeted by hackers
  • Speed dial when you open up new tabs
  • Turbo feature can speed up rendering of slow-to-load pages
  • Has a built in HTML validator
  • Has a recycle bin that lets you easily view a list of pages you recently closed in a tab
  • Works across many operating systems

It was noted, though, that not all pages render properly in Opera, including pages on the Census.gov site.

The discussion of viruses and malware prompted a quick discussion of the spam filtering technology we use at Baruch (Proofpoint) and the disparate amounts of daily spam caught on our behalf by the filter (some people get 30 spam messages caught a day, others get hundreds or more)

Chrome Browser
Stephen Francoeur showed his favorite features and extensions in Google Chrome:

  • Nearly as fast as Opera and much faster than Firefox and Internet Explorer (at the moment)
  • Speed dial feature is automatically populated as you surf; items added are the most visited pages; you can customize which items are on the speed dial
  • The Evernote extension lets you clip web pages into your Evernote account. When you search Google, the search results page from Google also includes search results from your Evernote account.
  • The Google Translate extension will recognize that a page is in a foreign language and offer to translate it for you.
  • The Chrome Notepad extension gives you a clipboard on the toolbar where you can save snippets of text; this content will get synchronized across multiple Google Chrome installations that you may have set up on different computers

Firefox Browser
Stephen Francoeur switches between Chrome and Firefox regularly. Firefox’s advantages are:

  • The Zotero add-on for citation management. It was recently announced that Zotero will eventually release a desktop client and extensions so Zotero can be used in Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
  • Web Developer add-on, which is great for any web design work.

Next Tech Sharecase
Today’s somewhat planned meetup was an experiment. It was agreed that we should try it again, though maybe not every meeting. The next Tech Sharecase will not feature any topics scheduled in advance; the one after that, though, will be a day for all us to share various Microsoft Office tricks.

Microsoft Office 2010
Jim Livornese showed us a bit of the help pages and tutorials that are now available on the BCTC pages to help the Baruch community get up to speed on Microsoft Office 2010.

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Tech Sharecase, 21 May 2010

Robert Drzewicki, Stephen Francoeur, Gerry Jiao, Ellen Kaufman, Louise Klusek, Wilcina Longdon, Jin Ma, Kannan Mohan, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath, Mike Waldman

Database Trial Reviews
We discussed briefly the pros and cons of writing up reviews of database trials on the reference blog and the library’s internal mailing list.

Bike Route Maps and Directions
In celebration of Bike to Work day, we looked at a number of options for finding bike route maps and directions:
  • maps can be downloaded and added to Google Earth
  • missing some of the human element (insider knowledge about safest, easiest routes, etc.)

Call Numbers in Catalogs and Library Floorplans
We tried in vain to recall what library has a catalog that lets you click on a call number in the catalog to show you the location of that item on a floorplan. As we tried to remember which library has this feature in its catalog, we looked at the catalog from the library at the University of Huddersfield (UK), which offers on the item record a visual shelf browse feature, a QR code for the book (which probably leads to the permalink for the item), and circulation stats for that item (see for example this record for The Iliad of Homer).

At the recent OpenSciNY conference at the Bobst Library at NYU, a group of librarians, scientists, and publishers got together to talk about open access publishing, open source software, and opens notebook science. Among the more interesting things talked about were:
  • Flickr and Astrometry.net: amateur astronomers are uploading images they’ve taken with their telescopes to Flickr. One of the presenters at OpenSciNY, David Hogg, worked with some colleagues to put together a service that uses the Flickr API to identify any images that have been recently tagged with “astrometry.” Once tagged in this way, an image on Flickr will be analzyed by the Astrometry service and a comment appended to the image that details the celestial objects visible in the image (see this one from Flickr as an example)
  • ChemSpider: Antony Williams from the Royal Society of Chemistry talked about the problem of finding reliable and comprehensive information on chemical structures on the web. ChemSpider describes itself as a “chemistry search engine” that “has been built with the intention of aggregating and indexing chemical structures and their associated information into a single searchable repository and make it available to everybody, at no charge.”

Substitute for EtherPad
EtherPad, a recently shuttered free service that allowed for collaborative editing of documents, released its source code, thereby allowing a number of clone services to be created. One such service is Sync.in

Discovery Tools
We talked a while about the difference between discovery tools (like Summon and EBSCO Discovery Service) and federated search tools (like 360 Search, which we use for our own Bearcat Search). It was noted that with the new discovery tools, the thing that takes the longest to set up is getting your catalog records into the system. What makes a discovery tool different from a federated search one is:
  • With a discovery tool, you are searching one, centralized index of records that the vendor has assembled; with federated search, your query is being transmitted simultaneously to all the vendors that you can connected to your fed search tool. Search results are returned faster in discovery tools because of this difference.
  • The vendor of a discovery tool can normalize all the data stored in its index, making results more consistent (and helping to speed up the delivery of search results) and manipulable (the facetting of results works better in discovery tools).
We wondered if many faculty outside the library use Bearcat as a means to identifying databases that were previously unknown to them but might be useful for their research needs.

ERM System

We might have demos of two different ERM (electronic resource management) products this June.

Citation Management Tools

We wondered to what extent faculty and students are aware of and maybe use citation management options available to them:

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