Leveraging the university library’s RSS feeds

Throughout the summer, I will be giving Webinars to our Extension educators on strategies for improving their informal learning. This month, I am presenting on information collection strategies like RSS feeds and Twitter feeds. One of the ideas presented is on how to create a search query in the university’s digital journals, and save it as a RSS feed in Google Reader.

Rather than repeatedly search the university’s digital journals using the same search queries, you can set a search query and wait for updates to appear in your RSS aggregator. Here is a short video showing that process:

Zotero to the rescue!

Zotero
Zotero

Over the past two weeks, I have been leveraging Zotero heavily in my work and studies. Zotero is a citation management system, which allows for tagging, searching, note taking, collections, and shared libraries.

While I started to use Zotero to help sort out my dissertation research, it has started to become extremely useful. During the past two weeks, I have tapped into my research to write a paper for class, cull citations and references for a grant, and gather notes for a final exam.  I have also been using it to support this blog.

Here are a couple of things I have learned while using Zotero:

  • Feed Zotero properly – What I mean is, take the time to take interactive notes.  While you are reading a book, article, or blog, take the time to write your notes in Zotero. I picked up this idea of interactive note taking from Peg Single’s book, Demystifying Dissertation Writing. I highly recommend this book.
  • Take time to write citable notes – Review your raw notes, and turn them into something you can easily cut and paste into other documents and projects. While it takes some up front time, it will save you time later as you are putting together documents and projects. Again, this is a great idea from Peg Single.
  • Take time to tag your references – After you have added a reference and your notes, spend a couple of moments to tag the references. This will help cull references and notes later when you need them most.
If you have to write articles, write grants, cite information you are handing out, then I strongly recommend Zotero.
Here is a learning guide on Zotero for more information.

The University of Wyoming Librarians ROCK!

I have to put out a shout to the University of Wyoming Librarians whom I have had the pleasure to work with. Kaijsa Calkins, Cheryl Goldenstein, Melissa Bowles-Terry, and Cassandra Kvenild have always provided me with not only exceptional support in my personal research, they also provide great instruction.

Over the past couple of months, I have attended great instruction on how to better use the library resources. They have not only showed their skill with the tools, but also provided great instruction on strategies for getting the most out of the tools. So that you can benefit as much as I have, here is a list of recent recordings of their sessions:

Citation Management Tools Workshop – Learn how to use EndNote Web and Zotero to keep track of research references during a long-term project. Recording

Citation Chasing Workshop – When you find an article that meets your information need, you often want to find more like it. This workshop will give you strategies to find related items, articles by the same author, and articles that have cited the original item. Various library databases will be used, with a particular focus on Web of Science. Some hands-on searching will be done. Recording

RSS Feeds: Save Research Time Workshop – Come and learn how to set up RSS feeds and have new articles and information gathered in one place for greater research convenience. Recording

Writing a Review of the Literature – Melissa Bowles-Terry, a reference librarian, will lead participants through the process of collecting resources for a review of literature, and Margaret Garner, director of the writing center, will help participants learn how to put the material together for an effective review. Some hands-on work will be done. Recording

The University of Wyoming is lucking to have professionals like these librarians.

Upcoming eVolution Workshops

This month e-volution: innovations in learning environments offers other 30-60 minute sessions on a several topics. Open to anyone who has an interest in improving personally, academically, and professionally. No pre-registration is necessary. Please share this announcement with others and encourage them to pick a topic and try it out. Give us 30-60 minutes and we’ll teach you something useful!

February 16 – Citation Chasing Workshop, 3pm MST (5 PM EST). When you find an article that meets your information need, you often want to find more like it. This workshop will give you strategies to find related items, articles by the same author, and articles that have cited the original item. Various library databases will be used, with a particular focus on Web of Science. Some hands-on searching will be done.

http://bit.ly/uwcitationchasing

To add this Elluminate Live! session to your calendar, please click the following link:

https://sas.elluminate.com/mvc?sid=2008263&miuid=4718C65D876D6178A938673B4339F356

February 23 – How Teaching Adults Impacts your Instruction Workshop, 11 AM MST (1 PM EST). Confused about why your instruction does not seem to reach adults you are teaching. Come learn more about adult characteristics that affect adult learning, assumptions of adult learning, and strategies for overcoming these characteristics and assumptions.

http://bit.ly/uwadult1

To add this Elluminate Live! session to your calendar, please click the following link:

https://sas.elluminate.com/mvc?sid=2008263&miuid=2C965F217A37611E2E419FF25AD26000

February 24 — How Teaching Adults Impacts your Instruction Workshop, 11 AM MST (1 PM EST). Confused about why your instruction does not seem to reach adults you are teaching. Come learn more about adult characteristics that affect adult learning, assumptions of adult learning, and strategies for overcoming these characteristics and assumptions.

http://bit.ly/uwadult2

To add this Elluminate Live! session to your calendar, please click the following link:

https://sas.elluminate.com/mvc?sid=2008263&miuid=1BBAF75045E997EF8B7ABB96F075EBC3

February 25 – How Teaching Adults Impacts your Instruction Workshop, 11 AM MST (1 PM EST). Confused about why your instruction does not seem to reach adults you are teaching. Come learn more about adult characteristics that affect adult learning, assumptions of adult learning, and strategies for overcoming these characteristics and assumptions.

http://bit.ly/uwadult3

To add this Elluminate Live! session to your calendar, please click the following link:

https://sas.elluminate.com/mvc?sid=2008263&miuid=A81ED97B9B0ECB067255832E2D1FED4D

March 2 – RSS Feeds: Save Research Time Workshop, 2 PM MST (4 PM EST). Come and learn how to set up RSS feeds and have new articles and information gathered in one place for greater research convenience.

http://bit.ly/uwRSSFeeds

To add this Elluminate Live! session to your calendar, please click the following link:

https://sas.elluminate.com/mvc?sid=2008263&miuid=94DC596168F6FE795505A71076C03BE9

March 9 – Writing a Review of the Literature, 3 PM MST (5 PM EST). Melissa Bowles-Terry, a reference librarian, will lead participants through the process of collecting resources for a review of literature, and Margaret Garner, director of the writing center, will help participants learn how to put the material together for an effective review. Some hands-on work will be done.

http://bit.ly/uwLitRev

To add this Elluminate Live! session to your calendar, please click the following link:

https://sas.elluminate.com/mvc?sid=2008263&miuid=1423CB52602856513BABB2C2FE20910E

Please ensure you are able to connect by first going to http://www.elluminate.com/support/index.jsp

and working through steps 1 and 2.

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Keep an eye for the next technology forum at http://www.uwyo.edu/techforum/