blog:CiteuLike

By jenstanjenstan (1225240478|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

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When I have no idea how to work a website or search engine such as CiteULike, I find it easiest just to experiment and see what happens. After briefly reading the FAQ page, and learning the basics of CiteULike, I just dove right in to find if it would be a useful tool for a student to use.

CiteULike is a free service to help you to store, organise and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself.

Soon after registering on the website, I realized that it only works with certain specific sites. Some of them made sense like the Social Science Research Network and the MathSciNet, but then others were really random and specific that I don't think would ever really be useful in any research I would do, such as the Journal of Machine Learning Research. Another site that really intrigued me was Amazon. I was confused on what it would give me citations for because the link just brought me to the homepage of the online shopping site. So I decided to find something here and try it out.

My First Attempt to Cite

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I just looked around Amazon and decided to try the page for a "Present Time Smiley Luxe Fur Water Bottle pink". I copied and pasted the link into CiteULike like it told me, and I got this in response:

Sorry. Can't do it. I couldn't post the page you were looking at to the site because: This item on Amazon does not appear to be a book. It looks like a Kitchen.

After having a good laugh about it, I realized that if I would've thought this through I should have realized that it would at least have to do with some sort of writing or book, but now I know. And I also fell in love with an adorable pink fuzzy water bottle that I would like to point out does not look like "a Kitchen". (HINT: You should really get this for your daughters :) )

From a Student's Perspective

As a student, I feel that CiteUlike could only be somewhat beneficial, due to its lack of compatibility with most sites. After realizing that it meant that it could cite books sold on Amazon, I tried doing The Scarlet Letter, which they sell on the Amazon website. It worked. It also let me tag the page to make it easy to find in the future, which is really nice. I think that this would be very beneficial in doing an english paper or researching information from books. Once you have your sources, you can then export them and it basically makes a bibliography for you. Amazon is probably the site that I would use most, since it has such a broad range of books. Most of the other sites I have not heard of and found hard to navigate through to find information on a specific topic.

When I do research for a paper or project, I normally go to library databases for my sources. CiteULike does not recognize these files and would not automatically cite them from the URL. I could, however, type them in manually so that they appear with the rest of my sources and get tags, but it would almost be just as much work as doing them by hand. Therefore, I found the major benefit of CiteULike to be the online library that can be accessed from anywhere and shared with other people. For example, for a group project all the members could put the sources they found on CiteULike and share them with the other group members. They could also organize them by tags for the project to make it easier to find information.

Overall, I was not very impressed by its features and probably will not use it much in the future. The part that interested me the most was the amazon searches for things other than books, which doesn't really have anything to do with the actual features of the site.

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