NFAIS: Innovation for Today’s Chemical Researchers

Christine McCue followed with her talk entitled: ‘Innovation for Today’s Chemical Researchers.’

Chrstine’s talk focused on the SciFinder product from CAS and how to use social media with and for the product. She found some stats about social media like 25% of page views start from a social media site – meaning we’re clicking through links on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, etc to get to new resources on the web (I know that this is very much true for me and how I find new resources, articles, blog posts, etc). That said, she has found that people are still using listservs (email is not dead). Given that – how do we know where to put our information?

They found that 27% of their SciFinder users are using Twitter, but 94% are using Facebook!! Along with that 46% of respondents are using social media for both personal and professional use (like me). When asked what they’re using these tools for 74% said they wanted to use them to collaborate with other performing similar research.

So in 2009 they beta tested some SciFinder collaboration features. They found that the Academics liked this – but the commercial and government users were concerned because of their proprietary products/thoughts/ideas. With this feedback they launched in a beta format because they wanted to see it in use, and not wait for all the data to come in. The tool allowed them to create connections on SciFinder where they can share comments and tags with colleagues you’re connected to. This made it so that peers could share resources they find on SciFinder (which goes back to yesterday’s comments that we rely more on our colleagues and friends than on what publishers say are useful).

In their survey they also asked how many people were using mobile devices and 54% said they were. So they are going to try to re-launch a service they tested in 2005 which is a SciFinder lookup for mobile devices. Unfortunately they found that there are people using too many varieties of mobile devices, making this development exponentially more difficult.

The conclusion is that they’re trying new things and seeing what works and hopefully something great will come out of it.

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