Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Online and software options

I met with the university e-resources people yesterday for a couple hours to go over some of the lesser known, start-up type services and programs out there. Below is an excerpt from a follow up email.

For software products, W=Windows, M=Mac, L=Linux.

http://www.mendeley.com/ (WML) (My favorite :) )
http://www.labmeeting.com/signin (Also has a Firefox plugin.)
http://jabref.sourceforge.net/index.php (Used by engineering students)
http://pubget.com/search (Nice for browsing a journal at a time, but duplicates much of what PubMed does already - email alerts, saved searches, etc. Does allow tagging individual articles and filtering by tags.)
http://www.connotea.org/ (Also has a Firefox plugin, requires disabling Firefox plug in security checks)
http://www.easybib.com/ Bibliography maker
http://www.scribd.com/ Didn't mention, but worth noting. Online, unlimited storage of documents (doc, pdf, txt, ppt, xls + a few more). Can be public or faux-private (the url to the doc can be shared, it just doesn't show up in searches by site visitors or Google).
http://www.nextbio.com/b/home/home.nb Another option I forgot to mention. Has a nice iPhone app that pulls down full text of articles. More about searching through databases and raw results from published datamines.

Few of the old standards:

General web services to note:
http://www.getdropbox.com/ (WML)
Public and private documents. Desktop client syncs indicated folders automatically. Direct link for each file, which can also be accessed from the desktop app side without internet connectivity.
Unlimited media-only storage. Links to website, where the file link resides (forces other people to visit their site to download, but they don't have to sign up. Can be removed by purchasing a pro account). Provides embedding code for websites.
https://www.mesh.com (WM)
I didn't mention this specifically, but it is part of the Microsoft online universe, and they have done a great job with it. Integrates with the other Live services, which is MS's big push towards cloud computing. Mesh allows the creation of a 'webtop' (web based desktop in the browser) where files can reside. Files can be synced to any computer with the Mesh client installed. The Mesh client also allows the user to log on remotely to any PC in their 'Mesh' that is online and use it as if they were sitting in front of it. Supports Mac, works in Firefox, allows sharing and syncing between any computer (so Mac -> PC and PC -> Mac). Comes with 25GB of remote storage. Mesh is the center around which MS is building their web based applications, so expect it to be everywhere eventually. It is also from their new research division, which actually makes good, interesting, and creative software, and not at all similar to the 'old Microsoft'.
https://www.foldershare.com/ (WM)
Part of the MS Live universe. Automatically syncs folders between computers directly (no Mesh desktop syncing) More online storage options broken down here:

http://www.evernote.com (WM +iPhone +WinMobile +FF Plugin)
Simple but powerful note taking app. Built in OCR, tagging, syncing between all PCs, free for 40MB, premium account allows 500MB. Allows txt, voice, and picture notes, along with web clippings and files.
Before Google Docs, there was Zoho. They are considered neck-and-neck with Google Docs, but Google Docs has the luxury of being integrated with Gmail and all the other widely adopted Google services.
I didn't get to talk about this one, but this service filters RSS feeds, repackages them, and then sends them off as a new feed.

RSS in general
Plenty of clients people can download, plenty of web based clients (Google Reader is still ranked as one of the best, and what I use). Open standard, and far more ubiquitous than thought by almost anyone I've talked to in the sciences. Implementing RSS for university services would not be enough - there would have to be a serious push to make faculty and students aware of it.

Software only products:
Bookends: http://www.sonnysoftware.com/ (M)
Papers: http://mekentosj.com/papers/ (M)
IdeaMason: http://www.ideamason.com/default.htm (W) (More of a brainstorming, organization program.)


ian connor said...

Thanks for the link to Pubget.

In addition I wanted to mention that you can also filter based on your institutions holdings (access:harvard, access:ucsf, etc. and access:open) as well as if there is a PDF at the other end (pdf:yes).

manoj said...



Old Versions Softwares- Old-Versions.org is an archive of old versions of various programs.

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