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1.4 Social bookmarking

When you find a useful web page, you probably save a link to that page by ‘bookmarking’ it (i.e. adding it to your ‘favourites’ or ‘bookmarks’ in your web browser), but you can typically only access these bookmarks from the computer you used to save them. Social bookmarking is good for improving your access to useful websites because it allows you to access them from anywhere, not just your own PC. Social bookmarking sites, such as Diigo [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and Pinterest, have additional advantages:

  • They allow you to share your favourite websites with other people.
  • You can add keyword ‘tags’ to sites you save so that they can be grouped together. These tags can also be used to search the saved bookmarks. As users choose tags already used by others a ‘folksonomy’ develops, which is a user-driven method of categorising bookmarks.

Bookmarking sites can be searched for sites that users have added to their lists on particular topics.

You can then use tags that have been added to users’ lists to find relevant websites for your own interests. You can also view the bookmarks of users with similar interests to your own research topic. Other examples of bookmarking sites include Mendeley, which stores and manages your references and helps create bibliographies, and Zotero.