Web research tools, Part 2 – information STRUCTURE

When we collect and save selected Web information (full Web pages or snippets or extracts or portions or clips or …) we need to understand a STRUCTURE of saved information.
There is a lot of different terms to describe the same information unit part.

Main parts of information:

  • Title (it may be a title of source or part of the first sentence of the selected snippet). In a lot of tools it is saved AUTOMATICALLY.
  • URL of information source (usually saved AUTOMATICALLY).
  • Category (or folder or collection or notebook or …). It is the highest level of information topic. Sometimes the categories (or folders) can consist of subcategories or subfolders. A set of categories names should not be very large and you should understand and remember the list of your categories. If a tool has a hierarchical structure of categories (or folders) it is easier to browse (scroll) collected information without using search tool.
  • Tag (or list of tags) of the snippet. A set of tags differs from taxonomy or ontology and tags are added very easy during saving information or later. But in any case it is recommended to create not only a list of tags but a set (network) of tags or a simple table with such columns: main term (tag), higher level tag, lower level tag, related tag (tags). Typically you can add tags during saving or later during analyzing and evaluatin the collected information. Different tools enable to see a list of tags (sorted in different ways), tag clouds (or infoclouds) where you can see a level of tags using frequency etc. The best solution is to use some tool for tags set visualisation, e.g. http://www.thebrain.com or bubble.us. In some tools you can use only ONE word tags, in other – a few word for the one tag and in the third tools – hierachical tags (created as a complex tag (HigherLevelTag:LowerlelvelTag) or hierarchical structure of tags. Tags enable without searching to browse (scroll) information units that contains the selected tags. Some tools enable to use in search only ONE tag, other – use in the query a few tags and the third – use both tags and words of information unit text (both in text part and in the images or handwriting parts)
  • Comments. Some tools enable to add comments as an independent box (field). Other enable to add comments inside the saved inforamtion snippet. There are different possibilities to search inside comments of the selected category.

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