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RefME – Citation Tool that Frees Up Time for Research

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RefME, a free citation management tool, only launched in Sep 2014 but already has over 1 million users. It is used by researchers in industry and academia, students, and even legal professionals, and has already received numerous accolades and awards. If you cite any type of information–from journals to books and movies–I recommend you take a look at RefME. I just completed a review of RefME for FreePint. Here’s the introduction:


From the FreePint Blog:

We asked Cindy Romaine to review the product as she has many years of experience in managing information resources and runs her own research consultancy. Having reviewed RefME (Subscriber content) she found its “ease of use for generating citations for bibliographies and footnotes” in a large number of formats of real value.

As Cindy explains, “By efficiently creating bibliographic citations, RefME gives you more time to spend on the substantive part of your research and less time spent on formatting bibliographies, footnotes, and in-line references”.

“Think of it as crowdsourced referencing,” she adds.

The product has over 12.5 million books in its database and seven export options including:

As Cindy says “RefME is an excellent product for building resource lists, bibliographies and footnotes. Because RefME is free, not ‘freemium’, you get complete functionality from this product compared to other products that charge a fee for additional features.”

High End Reference Management Solution

endnote logoEndNote was designed to help corporate and academic researchers better manage references. I just gave EndNote X7 from Thomson Reuters a thorough test drive in an assessment for FreePint and found myself thinking several times, while reviewing such features as the PDF de-duplication function, ‘they’ve thought of everything’.”

Although the majority of EndNote’s user base are in academia, significant proportions also come from government agencies, research institutions, pharmaceutical and corporate R&D, as well as a small percentage from the healthcare and clinical field. EndNote has 3 million users across all its offerings – which includes the free online reference manager as well as the more robust desktop solution.

When you are considering a reference manager, it is worthwhile understanding the difference between reference citation tools and reference management tools. There is a continuum of capabilities and being aware of that will help you evaluate and select the tool that best matches your needs. EndNote falls on the high end of the scale, as it is a mature product with many robust features.

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To find out more you’ll need to log on to FreePint. The purpose of the review is help you gain an informed understanding of the tool and find out whether the price is worth the breadth of capabilities.

4 Essential Reasons to Productize

I’m just back from the annual Association of Independent Information Professionals conference, which was held in sunny Irvine, California. I have a very inspirational story to share along with some insights in to entrepreneurship.

It was another great conference this year and one of the highlights was Peter Derycz’ presentation on Productizing Your Service: Lessons from a Life of Infopreneurship. Peter is the CEO of Reprints Desk, an article solution and document delivery service, but the company did not start with a vision of itself as it is today. Peter told us about starting out making journal article copies as part of his work study duties for professors at UCLA. Later, he moved up the value chain to charging $0.85 for article photocopies that he prepared himself—powered by M&M’s. Subsequently, he established InfoTrieve and he learned on the fly about the information industry, including the Dialog information system and the ins and outs of copyright clearance issues. That company became a dominate player in document delivery services.

Peter Deryczm, left, with Roger Summit, the founder of Dialog Information Systems, which revolutionized online searching.

Peter Deryczm, left, with Roger Summit, the founder of Dialog Information Systems, which revolutionized online searching.

So take a page out of the book of a serial entrepreneur:

  • Connect with customers by providing a service they value
  • Develop your competitive instinct
  • Learn on the fly
  • Invest in technology that will deepen your value to the customer

Peter has started two reprints services companies so far, and he believes that productization of services allowed him to grow his second company, Reprints Desk, as fast in 7 years as he did in 25 years with his first company. Really! That made me sit up and listen.

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘productization’, here’s a definition from Investorpedia:
To take a new service, product or product feature – that a company has provided to a single customer or a few customers on a custom basis – and turn it into a standard, fully tested, packaged, supported and marketed product.

Here’s why Peter thinks we should consider turning our services into a product:

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It was info-church! He was preaching to librarians about the value stored in their libraries and he showed what an entrepreneur can do with that information. And he did it with enthusiasm and stories from his life that really resonated, not just with me, but with the whole audience. He had us in the palm of his hand, and the way he wove it into his life-story was enchanting. I’ve already pitched the idea of having him present for other library and information research groups.

Meanwhile, let’s get busy productizing!

Google power searching

I wanted to share an infographic that gives you great tips on how to power search Google. The infographic is from the Daily Infographic website, which regularly posts great visuals. Here ya go!

How to Become a Google Power User

Two Flats, One Spare And Brand Advocates

Recently, my husband and I were on a rockhounding field trip on a dirt road in the wilds of Idaho. We hit a bad spot in the road and bam! bam! just like that, we had two flat tires.

2-flatsNot to be foiled, we had brought along an electric tire pump for just such occasion. But, when we tried to repair the tires they would not inflate. None of the other tricks we had up our sleeve worked either and it was getting late. Ultimately, we had to be pulled onto a flatbed truck and driven 50 miles into Boise, where we arrived at midnight. Cost: $385.

The silver-lining to this story is that we have towing coverage with USAA. Within one day, the refund for the towing service was in our bank account. I’m a big fan of USAA and a brand advocate; I tell everyone about them.usaa2-150x150

And as I learned at a recent presentation by Rob Fuggetta, CEO of Zuberance, USAA has a lot of brand advocates. USAA’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), a metric for loyalty and brand advocacy, is #1 among brands in the US.

brand-advocate-book-150x150According to Fuggetta, the author of Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force, it’s not just the brand promise’s but the customer’s experience of the brand that builds advocates. Service is what makes the difference. Brand advocates are the people that, when asked “how likely are you to recommend our services?” score your product or service at a 9 or 10, out of a possible 0 – 10.

Word of mouth (WOM) recommendations happen all the time. They are now tweeted, mobile and web-enabled, but they are not new. Fuggetta made this important connection for the audience: WOM advocates have clout – they influence purchasing decisions and because of that, it is important to cultivate as well as mobilize your advocates. He also made the point that right now, the brands with the most recommends and advocates are the winners in the marketplace.

brand-advocates-2-300x225How can you mobilize your brand advocates? Here are the top techniques:

Request reviews and incentivize people to participate in your brand. Did you know that almost every category has review sites for product or service reviews? Interesting!

Give advocates an opportunity to tell their story about your brand. I just did this for USAA in the introduction to this blog post. My husband often does the same for Les Schwab Tires, a regional tire store in the Pacific Northwest that is also top in their category for WOM. That’s where we were towed to that memorable night in Idaho.

And, finally, you have to keep the energy going. Brand advocacy is not a one-time promotion. You have to work it, train on it, and build on it. Gather testimonials, collect stories, and curate the messages. Brands rarely build themselves.

Oh, and please “like”and tweet this post. Thanks!

 

Techno Sapiens, anyone?

Outsell, Inc., one of the best sources for awesome insights and keen analysis for the information industry, just came out with their Information Industry Outlook for 2014. The theme for 2014 is Convergence Now! You can’t read it without getting jazzed, buzzed, motivated, and otherwise encouraged. Here is part of the sentiment that will pull you in and keep you reading:

We see devices, humans, technologies, value chains, content, and workflows blending and becoming one human-machine ecosystem. Techno sapiens, anyone? There’s no need for more discussion about the print-to-digital shift or about device adoption. It’s all one now, as information and technology have come together as a result of the big bang of Break and Reset and industry players grokking what growth in the New Normal requires.

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Outsell’s discussion of the information industry is very broad as it encompasses IT, news, advertising, healthcare, social media and other sectors. Some of the more interesting takeaways from the report include these:

  • It’s time to stop focusing on separate services within marketing for “mobile,” “social,” and “digital” and rebel against ad agencies that set themselves up as a “Social Agency” or “Mobile Agency.” We’ve shown again and again that advertisers rate cross-media approaches (combining digital, print, and in-person events) as much more effective than any single media — certainly more effective than just digital or pure-play digital.
  • It’s becoming increasingly difficult to determine where humans end and where technology begins. Humans want access to everything — social networks, news, games, video, TV, platforms, and applications — and they want it all the time. Because of this, we embody our devices and connectivity to a point that it becomes a part of us; techno sapiens — smart technology getting smarter — live at this intersection of humans and technology.
  • This is the time to become a platform. Revenue growth is coming from integrating workflow tools and other value-added services, leveraging and repackaging new combinations of content and analytic assets, and exploring new business models. IHS, Thomson Reuters, Dwell Magazine, and Healthline all exemplify this trend and show that platform can be about coopetition and collaboration, as allowing others to develop solutions for customers on your platform can become a source of competitive advantage.
  • The trend away from mass broadcast to 1-to-1 direct marketing will accelerate. Pull, not push, marketing will flip the advertising model upside down. Trusted environments and platforms for programmatic “intent-casting” will allow customers to advertise themselves as interested and willing to buy, not the other way around as it is today.

The global library market place is $24.2 billion! While it may be too soon for substantial hiring increases, these numbers reflect an optimism in the sector that was missing in the past two years.

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