Archive by Author

Week 7

14 Mar

Is it nearly Easter yet?

The 25 Research Things team think it should really be Easter by now, so we have designated this week, ‘Play Week’ for all 25 Thingers. We hope this will give you chance to catch up if you need to, but we also have two things to keep you busy!

Easter Morning by testpatern

21st Thing – MyExperiment or

We have two options for you this week both JISC funded projects. You can either check out if you are science, technology or social science based, or if your research is in these areas. You may want to look at both!



The myExperiment Virtual Research Environment was launched in November 2007 and is brought to you by the Universities of Southampton, Manchester and Oxford. It enables researchers to share digital items associated with your research, in particular it enables you to share and execute scientific workflows. It is used by 3,000 members ranging from life sciences and chemistry to social statistics and music information retrieval.

Take a look at this video which explains more about the project:

Step 1:
Have a look around the myExperiment site, you can register and search for groups or people in your research area.

Step 2:
Blog about what you found, will you use this for your research? Will you create your own group? guide to digital humanities & arts

Another project, this time supported by the JISC, the Arts and Humanities Funding Council and Kings College, supports research in the supports and advances the use and understanding of digital tools and methods for research and teaching in the arts and humanities.

Step 1:
Have a look around the site. Anyone can join, as a member you are encouraged to contribute information about your projects, tools and research, to publicise events and conferences, and to take part in and set up discussion forums register and search for groups or people in your research area.

Step 2:
Blog about what you found, will you use this for your research? Will you create your own group?


22nd Thing – Wikipedia

You either love it or loath it, but we admit that we use it all the time! Wikipedia is often the first place people look for information.

No matter what your view on Wikipedia is, watch this short film to see just how useful wikis can be…

Step 1:
Search Wikipedia for a research topic that interests you. Write about it in your blog; is it accurate, does Wikipedia flag it as not citing any references or sources? Be sure to click on the discussion tab on the article to see what people are saying about it.

Step 2:
If you have found an entry that does not cite any references or sources, why not create an account with Wikipedia and improve the entry using your research knowledge. Or why not write your own entry? Don’t forget to blog about it!


Week 3

14 Feb

Organising your favourite content

7th Thing – Tagging

Last week we looked at Technorati and the blogosphere, this week we’ll spend a bit more time looking at tagging.

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorising things that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & blog posts). Tagging is designed to be both personal – you choose which tags you want to use – and collaborative – others can see the tags you’ve assigned, and can choose to follow you in using them.

[ Image by cambodia4kidsorg from Flickr ]

You may find this idea inspiring or think it is opening the door to anarchy, however, tagging is perhaps one of the defining elements of web 2.0’s user-generated content, and it’s not going to go away.

Step 1:
Look back on your blog posts and organise them by adding more tags. This can be as formal or as fun, as workmanlike or as personal, as you like – you decide how you want to present your information! Blog about whether you think this is order or anarchy.


Know how when you save a bookmark in the ‘Bookmarks’ menu of your browser, you have to choose a folder to put it in? And it can only go into one folder (unless you want hideous duplication)? Irritating, isn’t it …

In the first 25 Research Things we talked about using Delicious, but the very week we promoted it, Yahoo seemed to start to wind it down after many years as THE social bookmarking site – see the End of Delicious.

Highlight the Web With Diigo from CogDogBlog

The good news is that Diigo (pronounced as Dee’go. The name “Diigo” is an abbreviation for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff.”) is a looking to plug the gap. The even better news for Delicious users is that you can migrate your old Delicious bookmarks to Diigo.

Here’s a video clip to introduce Diigo …

Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo.

…or take a tour to learn more

How is that social?

Diigo is much more than a place to keep tabs on your websites. It allows you to share what you have found with others via Twitter, blogs etc. You can build a personal learning network to see what others are reading. You can set up research groups (public, private or semi-private) and group tag! Everything on Diigo is there because someone has thought it’s worth saving; it can be nice having a human filter for the endless amount of stuff out there!

Step 2:
Now create a Diigo account for yourself and discover how this useful tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list. Now use their ‘Send to Blog’ feature to share your research..

Step 3:
Is tagging a good idea? Create a blog post containing your thoughts.

You’ll be doing more with tags in some later Things, particularly Flickr.


8th Thing – LibraryThing

As a researcher you will soon build up a collection of your own books. But are they hidden away on a shelf somewhere? Or left in a box? Do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you.

Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to create an online catalogue of your own, it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes. Add a book to your catalogue by just entering the title and find other users who share your reading tastes. There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget to display titles that are in your catalogue.

Watch this short video which tells you about LibraryThing…

So why not create your own library online. With over 1,000,000 users and 50 million books catalogued, you’re bound to discover something new.

Step 1:
Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.

Step 2:
Add a least 5 books to your library.

Step 3:
Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalogue. How popular were your books? Did you find any discussions about your favourites?

Here are some useful LibraryThing links:


9th Thing – Mendeley

Cited in the Guardian as ‘most likely to change the world for the better’ in July 2010, Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network founded in 2007 in London. It combines Mendeley Desktop, a PDF and reference management application (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) with Mendeley Web, an online social network for researchers.

In the Guardian article Victor Henning, founder and director, was quoted as saying:

“What’s more, our database of research papers is doubling every 10 weeks. We’re now reaching 30m papers – we’re confident we’ll overtake the 40m papers at Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge by the end of this year.”

Here’s a video clip to introduce Mendeley…

Dr. Michael Hohl in the School of Art, Design and Architecture uses Mendeley:

What I like best about Mendeley is being able to see what other researchers are reading at the moment. It helps to keep track of trends but also get new ideas and find new connections of bodies of knowledge.

It allows me to add and manage references that I regularly refer to, such as books, newspaper articles, journal articles, web pages and even films. Managing means I can group references around a certain topic and also add notes and tags.

All of this usually takes time but there also is a ‘web importer’ button that allows to easily add an item found on the web.

Extremely helpful is also the instant conversion of citation styles which can be a tedious and time consuming business, such as manually converting from “Chicago” to “Harvard” style.

Step 1:
Take a look around Mendeley and create an account.

Step 2:
Take a look at the research papers in Mendeley by searching for your research interest and see if there are any groups out there that you might be interested in joining, or why not create your own group!

Step 3:
Blog about what you think to Mendeley. Did you find some interesting research? Have you made contact with any members?

You may wish to download Mendeley to your desktop, although you will need admin permissions to do this on your PC in the university. Don’t worry Mendeley works just fine from the web.


10th Thing – CiteULike

CiteULike, is a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references. It is sponsored by the publisher Springer although founded when its originator was attached to the University of Manchester in 2004.

Here’s a video clip to introduce CiteULike…

Take a look at the article, Citeulike: A Researcher’s Social Bookmarking Service, in the open access journal Ariadne.

Step 1:
Try searching for your research interests (or even your research!) and see what comes up.

Step 2:
If you like what you see, why not register and start tagging your own results? Here’s a video clip to introduce using CiteULike and RSS feeds to filter through articles quickly.

So what did you think of tagging? We realise that there is a lot to take in this week, but we hope there is something out there for you. Will you be using any of the things you discovered this week to help you organise your research? Don’t forget to blog your thoughts and tell us which method you prefer, or do you use something else?

Week 1

31 Jan


1st Thing – Read this blog

Hello, and welcome to the University of Huddersfield 25 Research Things 2011 blog!

Over the course of the next few weeks, this blog will show you a range of tools and technologies that fall under the heading of “web 2.0”. We’ll give you exercises to help you become familiar with them, and show you how they might support your research work.

Some of them you will find immediately useful, some will be fun and some you may not see the point of right away. But you will finish the course knowing a lot more about the new ways that researchers can communicate their ideas and findings, and we hope you will have enjoyed yourself as well.

Start by watching this short video clip, which shows how web 2.0 tools have developed, and the ways in which they can be used: Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us.

Each week we’ll introduce a new set of “things” – 25 in total over the ten-week course. You’ll be given exercises to help you become familiar with blogging, RSS news feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, social networks, video and image hosting and much more.

We’d like you to set aside an hour or so each week to experiment and explore. You might want to do this in several smaller chunks of time, or in one go – it’s really up to you. We also hope that you might spend some of your own time learning about the things. If you need help with any of the activities, please contact one of the team (, or talk to your friends and colleagues who are also doing this course.


2nd Thing – Set up your blog and accounts

This programme is based upon blog entries, from us and from you. During the course, you’ll need to write on your own blog about each thing you complete. You can record your thoughts and experiences, and add any ideas you might have on how to use these web 2.0 tools for yourself or your work.

You can choose to use a screen name if you prefer to keep yourself anonymous. This name will be posted on your blog, but your “real identity” will not be listed. All participants will be linked to from the 25 Research Things 2011 blog but you will be anonymous if that’s what you choose.

Why blog?

People blog because they want to share with others. They may share their opinions, rants on particular topics, or news from a holiday. They may even have a professional blog where they share views on their work, or they may have a blog all about their pet. When you’re blogging, you can adopt any persona you like. Some people have written from a cat’s perspective. We think you might find it useful to blog about your research? If you already do, then let us know!

[ Flickr photo by Sofia Torrão ]

Setting up your blog

Now that you’ve done some exploring around this blog and understand how the programme will work, it’s time to set up your own personal blog. We would also like you to write your very first post where you can introduce yourself, or your persona, or explain what the blog is for.

Remember, your blog is where you will be recording your thoughts and experiences for the 25 Things programme. If you are not sure how much to write, we would suggest at least 100 words each week, but don’t be shy – write as much as you like!

For this exercise “Set up your blog” we are using WordPress, a free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use.

Step 1:
Go to the WordPress website:

Step 2:
Fill in the form – remember, you can use a made up name if you want. Make sure you tick the box about legal flotsam. “Gimme a blog” should be highlighted, so click “Next” and follow the instructions. Make sure you make a note of your username and password and blog address.

Optional extra (A bit on the side…)
When you get your email confirming your blog, you will be able to choose a different theme if you want to personalise your blog’s appearance – just look for the link about themes and search for one you like.

Registering your blog

Cut and paste the url (address) of the blog YOU have created (this can be found in the address bar on the page from which you are viewing your blog), into an email and send it to us at

Once you have registered your blog it will be listed here on the 25 Research Things 2011 blog. The participants’ blog is a good place to gain inspiration and support each other via the comments section in the individual blogs.

Important: Bookmark your blog!

Save your blog to your bookmarks or favourites folder so you can return to it quickly later. You’ll need to add an entry to it for each 25 Things task you complete.

To take part in this programme you’ll also need a Yahoo account and a Google Mail account. Some of you may already have these, in which case use them. Otherwise follow these instructions to set up your new accounts…

Click here to go to the Yahoo home page. Click on the “New here? Sign up” link and fill in the form. Make a note of your username and password.

Google Mail
Now create a Google email address which you can use as for any other email, but also when you want to use other Google services such as Google docs. To create an account click here.


3rd Thing – Survey

We would like you to complete this short survey, to tell us a bit about where you’re starting from, and what you want to achieve from the course.

So, how was it for you?

For the first post on your own blog, tell us what this first week has been like 🙂