Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Carmun: Students of the World Unite!

Carmun "... connects students who share academic passions. It easily organizes academic research, and it is expanding the boundaries of universities by creating a database of rated and reviewed source material. Imagine an academic community where you can tap into the intellectual horsepower of students around the country or even the world."


Research Tools
Create a bibliography in half the time:
Your paper is written. All that stands between you and the finish line is the bibliography. Enter your sources manually, and Carmun will format them automatically. All you then have to do is hit print.

Organize sources from past work:
By uploading bibliographies from past papers you’ll never have to hunt for lost citation information again. All your sources can be stored on Carmun. Once they are uploaded, you can manage them in the same way you manage your music on iTunes.

Bookmark URLs and save citations you find online:
Keep track of websites and citations. To help you save time and stay organized, "Post to Carmun" will store URLs and citation information with a click of the mouse.

Insert parenthetical citations and footnotes while you write:
"Notematic", select the project list and citation style, Carmun does the rest.

Source [http://www.carmun.com/ResearchTools.php]

Sci-Tech Today Article
Social Networking Looks Beyond Facebooks
By Carolyn Y. Johnson
May 1, 2007 9:59AM

Carmun.com lures users in with the promise of convenience -- it can automatically turn a journal article or source into a correctly formatted bibliography entry for students doing research. The creators of Carmun.com hope students will form groups, post their own bibliographies, and add to the community -- as well as click on the ads.
Carmun fuses social networking and the card catalog to create a free online space where people can dish on the hottest sources for their latest 20-page term paper, in place of the latest Lindsay Lohan gossip.

On Carmun, which went online in March, users set up profiles that are a toned down version of what appears on popular social-networking Web sites like Facebook.com and MySpace.com, with some basic information and a photo.

Then, they join or start groups related to their academic interests, such as Brain and Neuroscience, or Celtic Studies. They can also use Carmun as a database for their projects -- tagging, bookmarking, and rating the resources they use, and then sharing their projects with others if they choose.

The Web site lures users in with the promise of convenience -- it can automatically turn a journal article or source into a correctly formatted bibliography entry. Then, Edson hopes students will stick around, form groups, post their own bibliographies, and add to the community ... .

Already, the site has attracted 80,000 unique visitors in its beta version, and 4,500 people have set up profiles, he said in an interview last week.



Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Ning group?


Once bitten twice shy said...

While Carmun looks promising, the current round of issues surrounding intellectual property right (faculty/institution/publisher, etc.) rather dampen my excitement to register for this site -- specifically after reading the terms of agreement.

My idealism of a free exchange of ideas has met with unscrupulous individuals who were determined to get ahead by using their employee's work. Just stating this is a tabu in the academe, but let's be honest, I'm not the only person who has experienced this.

I'll stick to the old school method and be thankful for those in library sciences.

Ian Lee said...

Does Carmun have in-text citation tool? While writing papers, one of the biggest headaches is citing sources. Manual citation management is simply not efficient so people turn to softwares such as Endnote which manage both in-text citations and bibliographic list. However, nowadays they are becoming increasingly obsolete because it is very difficult to share references.

The process of collecting references requires huge effort. From the unorganized information scattered around the web, the researcher will need to select, organize and analyze the relevant ones.

By sharing collected references with colleagues, researchers are able collaborate with each other. So web-based reference manager appeared in the market in order to facilitate the process. However, due to certain technological limitations, these online reference managers are unresponsive and not easy to use.

But over the past six months, there have been significant development in web app technologies which allow developers to write highly responsive and desktop like web applications. By tying academic networking aspect to the online reference managers, these software become powerful tools for researchers. A few such online reference managers appeared but the more notable one is perhaps Wizfolio (www.wizfolio.com).

Wizfolio is a fully functional reference manager (with in-text citation and etc) which has a look and feel of desktop. The main attraction of Wizfolio is that like windows explorer, every operation to manage references can be accessed in one page. This is in contrast to other online applications which require you to go to a new page in order to move, change or delete your items. Besides, users can share their references with colleagues easily.

I really think that online reference manager which has full functionalities of its desktop counterparts is the next big thing for academic researchers. It is due to the fact that online reference manager is a convergent application which combine both the integral part of research and the social part of it - reference management and reference sharing. But only those online reference managers which replicate not only the functionalities, but also the experience of desktop reference manager will be able to succeed.

Alice said...

I tried Carmun and WizFolio.

Very cool software, especially with WizFolio's ability to search for PDFs from the publishers website. And it even grabs the free PDFs automatically.

Thanks for the recommendations.