Connotea is a free online reference management service for scientists, researchers, and clinicians, created in December 2004 by Nature Publishing Group. It is one of a new breed of social bookmarking tools, similar to CiteULike and del.icio.us, where users can save links to their favourite websites.
Unlike many of the other well-known tools, Connotea is aimed primarily at scientists (though the user community is rapidly growing throughout academic disciplines), and while users may bookmark any webpage they choose, it incorporates special functionality for certain academic resources. Connotea recognises a number of scientific websites and will automatically collect metadata for the article or page being bookmarked, including author and publication names. It is also possible to add non-recognised webpages, by manually entering information. An alternative method of adding an article is to retrieve the Connotea form and add the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for the article. Information about the material should then be retrieved automatically using CrossRef, the official DOI registration point. This function means that it is possible to quickly retrieve the reference for a print article that has an electronic counterpart with a DOI.
When saving an article to Connotea, users “tag” the article with keywords of their choice which they can later use to find it again. By categorising articles with relevant keywords e.g. “C. elegans“, the social aspect of Connotea is developed. The system recognises users who are bookmarking the same papers or using the same keywords, and alerts them to potentially related material. Allowing completely free tagging, a folksonomy will gradually develop. By default, links posted to Connotea are publicly viewable, allowing network effects to build up rapidly, but it also possible for users to keep selected links private, either indefinitely or until a specified date and time. Connotea also provides RSS feeds, allowing users to keep track of articles posted under interesting tags or by users with similar interests.
One of the most useful features of Connotea is the capacity to export the references in RIS format to a citation manager program. This means that it is possible to save references when working on a computer without such bibliographic software installed and import them into this software for citing at later stage.
Use of the service is entirely free, and the source code for Connotea has been released as open-source software.
In September 2005, Connotea won the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) Award for Publishing Innovation, and in November 2005 was shortlisted for the International Information Industry awards in the Best Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) Product category.
- Connotea Source Code
- Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Review
- Social Bookmarking Tools (II): A Case Study - Connotea
- A review of Connotea from First Author*
- Nature Publishing Group
- Web Tagging with Annotea Shared/Social Bookmarks and Topics
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