One-day session explores the power of the Web

The York University Libraries are hosting a one-day mini-series for faculty and graduate students. The "Research Frontiers Day" offers four quick overviews of cutting-edge research technologies available to faculty and graduate students and addresses issues facing today’s researchers.

Each session runs one hour and no sign up is required. Those attending the  Research Frontiers Day can attend as many sessions as they like, says Mark Robertson, reference librarian at the Scott Library on York’s Keele campus. All sessions will take place on Aug. 28 in room 531, on the fifth floor of Scott Library.

The first session of the day, titled "Social Networking: An Academic Role?", will be presented by Stacy Allison-Cassin, assistant librarian, Bibliographic Services, Scott Library. Allison-Cassin will present an overview of the many online social networking tools which have emerged as one of the chief hallmarks of Web 2.0. The tools, which seem to have little application in the academic environment, offer a powerful way to connect with other researchers and students. They can assist with organizing of research and plugging into the online research network. This session will explore several social networking utilities including, Connotea and Facebook, and will look at potential future developments in social networking tools. The session will take place from 9:45 to 10:45am.

In the session titled "Google Unleashed", Adam Taves, assistant librarian, Reference Services, Scott Library, will outline the many specialized tools and advanced features built into Google that can make searching more effective. The session will explore the advanced features of Google Search, as well as some specialized tools such as Google’s Book Search. Taves will also discuss with session participants the merits and limitations of Google Scholar. The session will examine the myriad of ways to link into York Libraries’ online holdings from items found in Google Scholar. The session will run from 11am to noon.

In the session "Citation Data: Tools & Methods" offered from 2 to 3pm, Adam Taves returns with Scott reference librarian Mark Robertson to outline the myriad of ways that citation data can be put to good use. This session will introduce the main tools available to do citation analysis, including Web of Science and Google Scholar, and will highlight some of the potential uses of this data by researchers, historians and administrators wishing to document the impact and value of research. Session participants will also consider some of the limitations and abuses of citation data.

In the final session of the day, "Make Information Come to You! The Power of RSS Feeds", Steacie Science & Engineering reference librarian Rajiv Nariani will outline the power and potential offered by RSS feeds, a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content, for the delivery of tables of contents of scholarly journals and to set up alerts for publication of new material. The session, which runs from 3:15 to 4:15pm, will highlight how RSS feeds are an invaluable tool for researchers trying to keep up with developments in a particular field. Subscribing to RSS feeds saves time since it pulls relevant information into one location. In this practical session, participants will learn to set up RSS feeds from individual scholarly journals as well as from searches conducted in a database.

For more information click here, or contact Mark Robertson at ext. 33526, or e-mail

The Research Frontier Day is part of the Research Frontiers Series, an ongoing series of sessions offered throughout the academic year for graduate students and faculty.