In our session last Friday Christopher Lee, Ph.D student in Lillis Business College presented on his use of the Mendeley bibliographic citation tool (Mendeley site: http://www.mendeley.com/). Chris discussed how Mendeley works as a both a free reference manager and academic social network. What was particularly interesting was how this tool functions as an individual research platform that also then utilizes a social network structure to share research with colleagues around the world.
We had an excellent group discussion also around the benefits of Mendeley in comparison to Endnote (http://www.endnote.com/) and Zotero (http://www.zotero.org/), and just in general how all three give researchers and instructors options to best coordinate and collaborate citations and bibliographies. A lot of this comes down to looking at what features are important and considering:
- The collaboration (group) interface and how this works with small and large groups.
- The tagging capabilities for allowing social bookmarking to happen, as where one is able to search through information within the platform for what others have found in your areas of interest.
- The analytics behind the scenes and being able to see stats of article popularity and who is reading what.
- The ease of the overall interface and one’s preference of user interface.
- Note taking capabilities within PDF documents and ways in which one can share these notes.
- The ease of searching out online resources such as Google Scholar and pulling in .pdf files into Mendeley.
- The main differences between the free application that runs locally on your computer and the web application interface.
- If the software can work with images and media.
- And of course the cost of the different levels of space allocation and access.
We will continue with the guest speakers and presentations on specific digital platforms this upcoming Friday (May 4th) with Marilyn Williams, Director of Education Secondary Instructional Services and Adjunct Instructor Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership, presenting on her K-12 and university experiences using VoiceThread to create interactive, multimedia, and collaborative online presentations. See you there!