Web research tools, part 1 – USING

Term “Web research tool: has a number of synonyms:

  • Web-based research tool
  • online research tool
  • e-research tool
  • internet research tool
  • Web clipping tool

Tools using main stages (processes):

  • CAPTURING and SAVING (storing) selected (clipped) information (FULL or PART (portion, excerpt, snippet).
  • ORGANIZING and REORGANIZING (managing)the collected information
  • EDITING the collected inforamtion
  • USING of the collected information
  • SHARING the collected information

At first I shall describe how to USE the collected information

1. Generating a draft REPORT (or exporting the selected information units)

Main options:

  • in HTML format (you can browse draft report, copy and paste it to Word document)
  • in Web research tool own format
  • in other formats

Typically you select a folder or category and then export the selected information.

Other option is to copy and paste selected information units.

2.Generating a draft BIBLIOGRAPHY as a second output

Two options:

  • The tool has a feature to generate bibliography of different types.
  • In draft report you delete all unnecessary information and leave only bibliography

3.SCAN or SCROLL collected information

At first you select:

  • ALL folders or
  • one folder.

Then you scroll typically in two ways:

  • Scrolling a list of titles
  • Scrolling full information units

Typically main Web research tools enable:

  • To scroll in the tool
  • To browse a selected information unit as an original source in the browser

4.SEARCH information

You can search in different ways:

· Selecting a tag (after selecting previously a folder or category) from the list

· Selecting a few tags

· Typing any tag or word (when you start typing a tag you sometimes can see a list of tags)

· Typing a few words

5.UNDERSTANDING of information

If you collect small snippets (extracts) then it is rather easy to understand a short text or a small information unit (e.g. image).

Therefore when you want to save a large snippet it is recommended to save one large and a few smaller parts.

When you try to understand a larger unit then sometimes it useful to:

  • Change colours of different words
  • Change the type (bold, italic etc)
  • Start a sentence in a new string.
  • Add your comments
  • Add new tags (later it will be easier to find using tags)

Different tools enable only a part of such features.

Other feature for easier understanding is the different viewing options:

  • Only a list of titles
  • Only a few string from any information unit
  • Full information unit.

When we analyze understanding a collection of information we need to think that we must at first to get a generalized view and later more detail.

6.EDIT collected information

There are two main types of tools:

  • Tools enabling editing
  • Tools that do not permit any editing

7.EDIT TAGS

When you retrieve information from your tool and analyze it can be very useful TO EDIT tags:

  • add new tags
  • delete existing or
  • change (edit) exisiting.

8.REORGANIZATION of the collected information

When you start using the collected information very often you see that you need to reorganize your information:

  • move to other folder (category)
  • delete folders
  • rename folders

9. FEEDBACK

Typically any tool has its own advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes there are errors.

Therefore it is recommended to create one folder (category) for feedback where you will save your proposals.

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