Experiences with Connotea

I was excited when I saw Peta’s blog entry about the online Connotea reference library. This is modelled on the inspirational del.icio.us social bookmarks site – my own collection of del.icio.us bookmarks is closing on the 500 mark.

Of immediate interest is the Connotea support of DOIs which are used by some of my favourite full-text digital libraries for the ACM and IEEE. Using the appropriate Connotea bookmarklet it is very easy to capture the DOI information directly from the digital library web page.

In principal Connotea entries can be exported in RIS format for import into EndNote. This works well but does not export the Description field that I use to provide very useful annotation to the the reference entry. It might be there is no RIS field that can be used for this. It is an important omission that lessens the use of Connotea.

Provided your reference in EndNote has a URI associated with it the import of an EndNote library works well. Note that only the title, authors and URI are imported. You have to visit the URI to see the full set of reference fields.

Of course it is the keyword tagging that makes Connotea an extremely useful tool. Some rigour is needed in choice of keyword, but experience with del.icio.us can be carried over directly.

New features are being added continually and we can expect Connotea to improve quickly. One of these is the ability to import from Eprints repositories and Connotea provides a list. It is pleasing to see our own School of IT Eprints server, abeit embryonic, on the list!

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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