How to start Web research (search query) ?

February 26, 2009

When you start a research you very often start searching the Web.

Therefore it is very important to select the appropriate words of search query.

You can use different tools.
One of them is Visuwords.

A short clip from Visuword homepage ”

Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.

  • It’s a dictionary! It’s a thesaurus!
  • Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists.
  • The online dictionary is available wherever there’s an internet connection.
  • No membership required.

Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.”

The second tool is WordWeb.

Free version

WordWeb is free subject to licensing terms.

The comprehensive English thesaurus and dictionary includes:

Definitions and synonyms
Proper nouns
Related words
150 000 root words
120 000 synonym sets
Fixed web reference tabs


Zotero 1.5 Beta Released: Join Us In The Clouds

February 24, 2009

About Zotero

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

A short clip – news about new  Zotero option

Two major releases.
This morning the Zotero team launched both Zotero 1.5 and the first release of Zotero’s web application. Watch the screencast below for details on 1.5 and see the list below for a brief list of Zotero’s new features.

Main features:

Zotero 1.5 Features

  • Automatic synchronization of collections across multiple computers. For example, sync your PC at work with your Mac laptop and your Linux desktop at home.
  • Free automatic backup of your library data at
  • Automatic synchronization of your attachment files to a server of your choice (e.g. iDisk, Jungle Disk, or university-provided web storage).
  • Recover recently deleted items with Zotero’s trash can.
  • Rich-text notes
  • New style manager allowing you to add and delete CSLs and legacy style formats
  • Automatic detection of PDF metadata (author, title, etc.)
  • Automatic detection and support for proxy servers
  • New Website Features

  • Browse through your library online.
  • New user profiles tied to Zotero accounts.
  • Preliminary support for following other Zotero users: In the future this will generate a twitter-like eed of users public research activity.
  • WYSIWYG CV creator, with the ability to dynamically generate all or part of your CV from Zotero collections.
  • Search for friends, colleagues, and other users by institutional affiliation, username, email address, or field of interest.

List of lists useful tools for students

February 22, 2009

Today I’ve got an info “The Best Free Online Tools & Software For Grad Students

The first three lists:


CintaNotes – a free, lightweight and user-friendly personal notes manager

February 14, 2009

If you need a simple tool for notetaking you can try Cintanotes.

Main features from Cintanotes webpage

A free, lightweight and user-friendly personal notes manager

CintaNotes will be your essential assistant in the daily task of collecting numerous pieces of information, like your own thoughts and ideas, article excerpts, blog postings, famous people quotes, research data, curious facts, Wikipedia entries, you name it.

Can clip text from anywhere.
Just select it and press the hotkey!

It lets you quickly jot down and tag any piece of useful information that you come across. Unlike browser-based tools like Google Notebook, CintaNotes does not require a web browser to work: the text-clipping “magic” works in any application that can copy text to clipboard!

Fast as-you-type searching

Retrieving information is also trivial: just open CintaNotes and start typing, and only notes containing the typed phrase will remain in the list. More sophisticated search criteria are supported, like searching by title or by URL the note was taken from.

No sticky notes clutter

CintaNotes saves your screen real estate and does not clutter it with “sticky notes”. All notes are neatly organized in an easily navigable list.

Run it from your flash drive

CintaNotes is a totally self-contained application, meaning that you can put it on a flash drive and run it directly from there. In this way, your notes will always be with you.

Want more information? Please take a look at the help page or ask the program authors directly on the CintaNotes forum.”

College Students: Here are 40 Free, Useful Downloads and Apps

February 11, 2009

You will find a list of different tools for students – 8 categories including categories:

  • Taking Notes
  • Web research.

Below is the excerpt about two categories of tools:

Taking Notes

  • Notely – Created specifically for students, Notely is a an online note taking tool. It can also be used as a calendar, scheduler, and homework planner.
  • NoteCentric – NoteCentric is an online note taking application that doubles as an organizer. It allows you to save notes locally or as an html file.
  • NoteMesh – This free note taking service is designed for students and study groups who want to collaborate on notes. NoteMesh uses a Wiki format that anyone can edit.
  • shortText – This easy-to-use tool is great when you want to quickly post text online or change notes into a URL. Unlike most free note-taking services, shortText offers instant web presence and requires no log in.
  • MyStickies – MyStickies are like notes for the web. You can bookmark a page and place a little, yellow note on it explaining why you bookmarked it in the first place.

Web Research

  • Web-Chops – This free web app can clip any part of a web page and save it to your own personal topic page.
  • Diigo – Diigo is a virtual highlighter with digital sticky notes. You can use it to highlight and save text on any web page.
  • BlinkList – BlinkList is a bookmarking tool that helps you save your links for later. It’s faster than a Google search and easy to use.
  • Sync2It – This free service lets you synch your bookmarks and store them privately so that they can be used on any computer at any time. Bookmarks on Sync2It can also be accessed via wireless devices.
  • Hooey – Hooey tracks and analyzes the pages you visit so that you can retrieve links and learn how to use the web more effectively.

As you see the list lacks a lot of Web research tools – Evernote, Onfolio, Webnotes, Ubernotes etc.

Yahoo Search Pad – a new web research tool

February 5, 2009

Today I have received a lot of info about new Yahoo tool – Search Pad that can be used for Web research (online research) and note taking.  Results can be easily printed or send by email.

But I could not test it as only some users can do it.
Search Pad is currently only in testing and is not visible to all users.”

In any case you can look at demo or presentation.

One excerpt

“Search Pad attempts to mitigate search time by “intelligently detecting users’ research intent,” according Yahoo. The feature automatically collects visited sites and provides users with simple tools to organize searches and take notes.

Once triggered, users can edit, delete and re-order notes they have taken about a particular search topic. That information can then be printed out or sent in an email to coworkers, friends and families. Notes can also be saved and accessed at a later date via a user’s Yahoo ID.

100 Powerful Web Tools to Organize Your Thoughts and Ideas

February 4, 2009

You can find lists of different tools categories:

  • note taking and documents
  • bookmarking
  • Mind mapping
  • Personal Wikis
  • Highlighters and sticky notes
  • To-Do lists
  • Collaboration
  • Calendars
  • Timetrackers
  • General organization and Task managers

You should look at each category as Web research tools  do not have exact categorization rules, e.g. you can find Evernote in note-taking category and Webnotes in highlighters and sticky note category.

But I did not find Web research tool Zotero or Scrapbook in any category.

It would be useful to add the category “Web clipping” as well.

In general it is very useful list of  tools and you should read it carefully.