The following tool was brought to my attention the other day: Connected Papers, “a visual tool to help researchers and applied scientists find and explore papers relevant to their field of work”. It analyzes thousands of papers, selects the ones with the strongest connections to an entered paper, and generates a graph. In this graph, the tool arranges papers according to their similarity in terms of co-citation and bibliographic coupling. Unlike in a citation tree (e.g., Web of Science), “even papers that do not directly cite each other can be strongly connected and very closely positioned”, which I believe is a very useful alternative to other search strategies. “According to this measure, two papers that have highly overlapping citations and references are presumed to have a higher chance of treating a related subject matter.” With the help of the tool, I was able to identify very exciting papers that I would certainly not have found with other search engines. Connected Papers is self-funded and free.
Putting efforts into high-quality reviews for academic journals has been a task of idealists so far. Unfortunately, these efforts are mostly invisible for appointment committees. That is a pity for two reasons: First, if researchers frequently receive review requests from good journals this indicates that they are respected by their research community. Second, if researchers accept such requests they demonstrate a willingness to develop and serve the research community. However, a relatively new tool, Publons, has the potential to make a change. Publons provides “a platform that allows researchers to track, verify and be recognised for their peer review and editorial work”. The good thing: “A researcher’s peer review and editorial contributions can be displayed on their public Publons profile to show the world the impact they have on their research field and enhance their career.” Publons often even tracks the length of submitted review documents and can even be used to create a verified review report, which can be included in job and funding applications.
Are you planning to integrate process modeling in your supply chain curricula? I am currently teaching a new course about supply chain process re-engineering at Copenhagen Business School. As part of a group work, the task of the students is to model processes between supply chain partners using the standard Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Initially, I thought about letting the students model the processes using PowerPoint or Visio, but then I realized that this isn’t the most appropriate way for such a group task. Then, I found a web-based process modeling platform that turns out to be ideal for my course. It is part of the BPM Academic Initiative of Signavio. I use the BPMN teaching packages in my course and offer my students the possibility of practical training with Signavio’s Process Editor. I have opened up a collaborative workspace and invited my students by sending an invitation link. No installation is required, it is free of charge.
As highlighted in a previous post, a reviewer should identify a manuscript’s deficiencies (“gatekeeper”), but a reviewer should also provide suggestions for how these deficiencies can be addressed (“gardener”). In addition, the review process should also be fast. The depicted keypad extension, invented for reviewers and editors, may accelerate the process. (I am just not sure whether such a tool could lead to premature decisions.)
Being part of Apple’s iTunes Store, iTunes U contains educational audio and video files shared by institutions worldwide. It enables lecturers to create own courses for iPad to be accessed by students. Richard Wilding, Professor of Supply Chain Strategy at the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Cranfield School of Management, has provided the iTunes U course Supply Chain Management & Logistics: An Introduction to Principles and Concepts. “This course is a collection of enhanced podcasts and videos which provide an introduction to the principles and concepts of logistics and supply chain management. By utilising the material all users will be provided with a foundation of terminology and concepts enabling them to move forward and investigate the topics in more depth.” So, the next time you will see students “playing” with their Apple devices, be sympathetic to them. Maybe they are just accessing a supply chain management course.
In spite of high scientific quality, academic manuscripts sometimes do not survive the peer review process just because they are written in broken English. Therefore, researchers should conceal from their reviewers that they are non-native speakers. For sure, a traditional dictionary is an essential tool on the “word level”. But, a combination of correctly spelled words is not sufficient on the “sentence level”. Therefore, I would like to recommend Linguee to you, which was launched by a Cologne-based start-up company in 2009. “Linguee is a unique translation tool combining an editorial dictionary and a search engine with which you can search through hundreds of millions of bilingual texts for words and expressions.” Currently, Linguee contains English translations of texts in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, which are usually, yet not always, reliable. Linguee helps both on the word and sentence level. I am sure you do not want to miss it any more.
I recently discovered ResearchGate, which is a Cambridge and Berlin based social network for researchers. It is described by its founders as “Facebook for scientists” and helps scientists to collaborate with colleagues and find new publications. ResearchGate has implemented workgroups, which are invitation-only. Own workgroups can be created in order to collaborate in a closed and secure environment. “ResearchGate was built for scientists, by scientists, with the idea that science can do more when it’s driven by collaboration.” This ResearchGate slogan reminds a little of supply chain management. Over 1 million researchers have already joined this service, tens of thousands of documents have been uploaded, and thousands of subgroups have been formed. So far, ResearchGate is particularly popular in the fields of biology and medicine. However, the topic Supply Chain Management has already more than 100 followers and a search for the keyword “supply chain” results in more than 500 researchers.
Some months ago, the reference management software Zotero got into my hands. On the Zotero website it is described as a “free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources”. It gives yet another reason to use Firefox: Having Zotero installed, a small symbol appears in your location bar, if you’re using Firefox to browse the websites of ScienceDirect, Ebsco, Amazon, and all the other supported resources. By clicking the symbol, you can collect information on books, journal articles, and other resources in your database. You can synchronize your database with the Zotero server and create group libraries to use Zotero collaboratively. Thousands of journal-specific styles are available to turn the data into a bibliography in your own paper. Word processor plugins are available for Microsoft Word in order to automatically update your bibliography. Unlike commercial software packages like EndNote, Zotero is an open source project (GNU General Public License).