Scientific information seeking in the open network
Openness is one of the most important principles in scientific inquiry. Openness is supported, for example, by open access publishing, open research data and open research and learning methods. Open access publications are freely available online to anyone, without subscription charges. In addition to open access journals and books, many universities and research organisations maintain open access repositories. The open digital repository of the University of Helsinki is Helda.
- Open access journals: DOAJ
- Open access books: DOAB
- Open access repositories: DOAR
- Open access ResearchGuide
- The Library of Open Educational Resources (OER)
You can search for open scientific information using Google Scholar. It is a scientific version of Google. When you use Google Scholar for searching for information, remember to use the advanced search form. With it, you can make use of the most common information seeking techniques.
Research visibility in social media
Social media has transformed the roles of seeking and producing information. Information is no longer static, but rather dynamic. Information is produced and shared together online.
You can look for and follow-up scientific information with social media. Using the tools provided by social media is one way for scholars to present their research and teaching. Social media also offers a channel for interaction with other scholars in the same field. The open availability of research information is also easier and faster with social media.
Common social media include Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They also provide scholars with an opportunity for sharing their research. Through these channels, other users can follow up the researchers’ work.
Many social media services offer their users the possibility to search for contents of a specific subject field using hashtags. A hashtag consists of a hash (#) and the term or a character string describing the subject field. Hashtags are commonly used, for example, on Twitter and Instagram. A hashtag functions best when it is not too general but, nevertheless, is easy for other users to find.