Top Ten (10) Tech Tools for Information Management

Submitted by Dean Giustini on July 28, 2007 - 17:37
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Top Ten (10) Information Technology Tools

1. Movable Type - UBC faculty can use this excellent publishing platform for their blogging, which is an important aspect of my online learning. I use blogger.com as well, and like it.
2. Free Database Search Tools - PubMed is an astounding achievement for medical research. ERIC and Agricola are also free indexes to the literature in education and agriculture.
3. Google, Yahoo, MSN Search - these search tools have revolutionized the way we find things. At times, I'm disheartened by my inability to find stuff (and I'm a librarian), but perhaps the semantic web will help us in the future.
4. Bloglines - RSS feeds of my favourite news and blog services come directly to my account, and I check it all day, every day. Much more efficient than being on listservs and e-mail alerts.
5. Books - print (and online) books are the greatest technologies ever devised for learners. I am always so happy to find the book I want in a digital format. However, I still love my print books too.
6. Social Networking Tools - LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace - the list is growing.
7. Wikipedia(s) - this amazing, free encyclopedia appeals to my sense of information access, despite its problems with authority control. I love the MediaWiki technology we use for the UBC Health library wiki.
8. Sharing knowledge objects - SlideShare, Youtube, Oaister, del.icio.us - four good examples).
9. RefWorks - the bibliographic management system is among the best and easiest to use. Extremely useful for systematic reviews in health & education.
10. Mobile technologies - iPhones, T-Mobile MDA, Blackberry. Shall I go on?

What are your favourite tools to manage your information needs, knowledge objects and search requirements?

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Comments

Here's a great three part blog by Dr Sandra Porter:- http://scienceblogs.com/digitalbio/2007/05/finding_scientific_papers_for_3.php

Good post, but I find it a bit surprising you did not focus at all on Open technologies. I present you a shadow list with several:

  1. Blogs: Wordpress and its free online blog setup. Of course it appears your own blog runs drupal or some drupal variant, which is also Open. Movable Type and blogger.com are not yet open.
  2. Database tools: Spot on. Pub Med truly is accessible and open.
  3. That's a tough one, isn't it? Soon, perhaps Wikia search will take over.
  4. I do not use RSS feeds. Maybe somebody else could help?
  5. Books are great. There's project Gutenberg, Open Library, and probably a couple of othergood open ones.
  6. I am too old to play with such things, but I cannot imagine that they are safe in the least. Regardless, a quick search produced one open equivalent: Elgg. I haven't the slightest clue how well it works, though.
  7. Spot on. Fantastic resource. There's also Citizendium, which is by one of the same blokes, I think.
  8. All of those closed I believe. However, Internet Archive is a fantastic project that has been doing the same thing for even longer.
  9. I am still stuck managing my citations manually. Perhaps somebody else can contribute here.
  10. Open Moko is an excellent project soon to bear fruit on a mobile telephone.

Cheers,

John

Zotero is a F/LOSS project that is building a citation manager as an add-in to Firefox. I've been using it, and it's great! Check it out at their website.

By the way, kudos for choosing Drupal as your platform for openmedicine!

Thank you gentlemen for sending your suggestions.

I do know Zotero, and will look at it in more depth. John's suggestions provide much food for thought!~

Dean, OM blogger

I use Zotero but it only has very few output styles and is very limited compared to other tools.

Hi All!

I just wished to address some of the points that John presented. Firstly, Open Medicine uses the Public Knowledge Project's GPL-licensed Open Journal Systems for all the heavy lifting of the journal work. I highly recommend it, and would encourage anybody to get involved in development. For a few functions, including this blog, we use plain jane Drupal, of which I am personally a huge fan due to its versatility and ease of administration.

With regards to Wikia search, John seems to have posted at exactly the same time a deal was going on to improve and enhance Wikia search, which is great. However, I don't believe any truly usable Free/Open Source solution exists at the moment.

With regards to Zotero, wow! It looks very exciting, so I'll have to try it out.

Thanks for the lively discussion.

tarek : )

I've been using Connotea for the past year and find it the best tool for keeping track of and sharing online resources.

You can read more about this free Web tool here.

Wow. Just went through Connotea, and it is quite a setup! Also, their source code is freely available under the GNU GPL, which is a great thing..

tarek : )