Now that’s a headline that might leave a few people scratching their heads!  What the heck are CiteULike and Furl?  They are two free, online tools which make it much easier for me to find, collect, and share information related to my research.

As you know, I have been using Bloglines for some time to receive and sort news from a number of sources.  You can view my Bloglines subscriptions by clicking on the "TransTracker News Sources" link to the right.  In Bloglines, I "clip" items that are of interest and set them aside for later.  But, Bloglines does not allow me to clip the full text of the item, only its title, its link, and maybe an excerpt.  Additionally, Bloglines does not provide the capability to save bibliographic information–ever-so important in academic research–with each item.

This is where Furl and CiteULike come in.  Furl is a free service which allows one to save full-text copies of articles/webpages to a personal archive.  Each item can be saved with full bibliographic information.  That information can then be downloaded to a reference management application such as Reference Manager or EndNote.

Or, it can be sent to a free, online reference management application called CiteULike.  CiteULike is sort of like Flickr for bibliographic references.  That is, bibliographic references can be tagged with keywords by thousands of people.  It’s an example of what is called "ethnocategorization" or "social bookmarking".  What it means to readers of this site, is that any news article that is featured here will have its bibliograpic information posted to both Furl and CiteULike.

If you have a reference management application such as Reference Manager or EndNote, you can go to CiteULike and dowload them for use in your own research and writing.  Click on the "TransTracker Citations" link to the right to see and download citation information from CiteULike.

Of course, not all of the articles I read will make it to Transformation Tracker.  This does not mean that they are not relevant, important, or interesting.  It just means that I don’t have time to blog everything.  Only what strikes me as most interesting or important at the moment will make it to Transformation Tracker.  If you would like to see a list of all the articles that I have archived at Furl, you can click on "TransTracker ArticleBase" to the right. 

This system provides an element of redundancy in my system of collecting research information, which will make it more secure and stable over the long term.  It also makes it easier for me to share information with readers of this site.

How does this differ from "Briefs" on "Articles" and "Books"?  "Briefs" will be on academic books and articles from academic or professional journals.  As the research process continues, more Briefs will begin to appear.  Their citation information will most likely not come from Furl.  Book citations will be exported from Reference Manager to CiteUlike.  Journal article citations can come from online databases, Reference Manger, or both.  The important thing is that they will all be available to readers.

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