What can CiteULike do for you?
In our discussion on Tag Based Sites, we briefly touched on a social news site for researchers and scientist, called CiteULike. I have decided to take a closer look at exactly what CiteULike has to offer students, like yourself.

The Basics:


When I first entered the site my initial reaction was not one that generated a sense of "ooow awww." The general appearance of CiteULike is kind of boring, especially for a social bookmarking site. The main page is entitled "Everyone's Library" it is just a collection of the different articles in no particular order. The top navigational toolbar of CiteULike is very useful. It has the main categories like "Post Article," "Journals," and "Groups." From the different categories there is a drop down bar that even breaks it down further. On the right there is a box of the most active tags on CiteULike.

What is it & What does it do?

I had to get over the appearance and determine what exactly CiteULike is and how it is used. I decided to do some research about it and found an article that describes CiteULike:

Citeulike, a fusion of Web-based social bookmarking services and traditional bibliographic management tools. It discusses how Citeulike turns the linear 'gather, collect, share' process inherent in academic research into a circular 'gather, collect, share and network' process, enabling the sharing and discovery of academic literature and research papers.

Basically it simplifies the storing and sharing of academic research papers. But the major draw back to this site is that its primary audience is scientist and those interested in science. Unforunately, I can not consider myself either of these types of people.


Since I don't consider myself an expert in the field of science I decided to utilize the most active tags on the right of the front page. i clicked on the "cancer" tag. It returned 950 articles. From there I choose the article "The biology of cancer and aging." It took me to a Library tag, which gave me the all different kinds of options. I could view the full text of the article in four different resources: DOI, Nature, Pubmed, and Hubmed. I could write a review of the article, find related articles from the other users that tagged it, create a BibTeX record or RIS record. The last option is what I believe to be the most useful resource. For all the relevant references you find you can export it via BibTeX, instantly creating a bibliography. That is so cool! I hate creating those darn things and to have a resource that would instantly create one for me would be so useful! When browsing through the different articles it is possible to add them to your library in just a click of a button.

Taking the good with the bad:

  • Pros:
  1. Simpilifies researching process
  2. Creates time-consuming bibliography
  3. Publicly stores references that can be accessed on any computer
  4. Can browse other people's resources
  5. Ability to create public, private, or grouped entries
  6. Comment and rate the different articles
  • Cons:
  1. Specialized for scientists or scientific topics
  2. Only supports certain sites, if site not supported have to manually add entries

In closing

CiteULike is a great resource for researches and scientist as Professor Moore noted, but as for us business students I don't see us finding this very useful anytime soon. I hope you enjoyed my analysis of CiteULike!

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