logo
Home | My Account | Sitemap | Ask a Librarian
University of Texas Libraries
Celebrating the Life
 
Take our Survey First
In your browser, please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/worksmarter and select the tools that you would like to learn more about!
Tools for Searching & Discovering Information
Purpose:  Search the University of Texas Libraries resources no matter where you are on the Web.
Why it's great:  Easy to install Firefox add-on.  Search the Library Catalog, Google Scholar, and more using the LibX toolbar. Conduct a search of the Catalog by highlighting and right-clicking on words on any website.  Use cues displayed in websites (Amazon, Wikipedia, etc.) to see if the Libraries have related resources.
Similar tools:  CD/DVD Search Plug-in, OpenURL Referrer, Library Catalog Search Plug-in, all found on the Library Widgets page at www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Library Widgets
 
Purpose:  Quick calculations and comparisons of data depending on your search terms. Compare sales tax across states and cities, location-based star charts, and even salary or population data..
Why it's great:  Fast and easy to use. Provides you with original sources of data. Can perform complex math. Mobile interface available at m.wolframalpha.com
Similar tools:  Google Squared
 
Purpose:  Search full scanned texts of out-of-copyright books, as well as partial text of magazines and copyrighted works. 
Why it's great:  Search inside a book to see if it has the content you're looking for and save yourself a trip to the library. Also search decades of fully scanned magazines, great for finding advertisements.
Similar tools:  Amazon's "Search Inside this Book" feature, Project Gutenberg, Archive.org texts

Tools for Organizing Information
Purpose: Quickly and easily save, organize, share and set reminders for ideas and information you want to remember. Springpad automatically categorizes information you save to it, creating a digital filing cabinet.  You might use it to take a note, create a task, or scan a product barcode.
Why it’s great: Provides you with one online bucket that can collect all of the interesting and useful web content you want to save and access later. Mobile app makes it easy to access on the go.
Similar tools: Evernote

Purpose: Manage large collections data in the cloud, publicly or privately. Create data visualizations and easily merge data sets. Upload tables up to 1000MB or import spreadsheets from Google Docs.  Now integrated into Google Docs. Go to Create new > Table from your documents list menu to get started visualizing or sharing tables of data in .csv, .xls or .kml files.
Why it’s great: Makes data collections more easily accessible for collaboration.
Similar tools: Spreadsheets in GoogleDocsWolframAlpha but more geared toward mathematical data, such as statistics.  Other data visualization tools available in our Beyond Powerpoint: Say It with Infographics guide.
 
Purpose: Save pages to read later. Eliminate cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest. Synch across mobile devices and computers.
Why it’s great: Provides offline access to online information. Integrated into browser with a bookmarketlet – one-click functionality. Perfect for traveling and situations where you might not have consistent Internet access, but still want to read information you found online. Builds a mobile collection of information that you can access from your mobile device or home computer.
Similar tools: Instapaper

Tools for Collaborating and Simplifying
Rescue Time, rescuetime.com
Purpose: This time management software shows you how you spend your time & provides tools to help you be more productive.
Why it's great: Since so much of research necessiates use of the web, this software allows you to rank websites that are productive, neutral, or unproductive so you can block yourself from those distracting websites without barring yourself completey from ones you use for research. 
Similiar tools: Time Doctor

Crocodoc,
crocodoc.com
Purpose: Collaboratively view and markup PDFs, Word documents, images, and websites. Review a document, get feedback on web designs, take notes on a class reading.
Why it’s great:
Doesn’t require an account for collaboration, which can be a barrier to using GoogleDocs for similar tasks. Makes PDFs more flexible as online content.
Similar tools: Google Docs
 
Write.fm, write.fm
Purpose: A cross between a URL shortener, cloud-based notepad and a simple file sharing service
Why it’s great: Doesn’t require an account or a download. Store text online at an easy-to-share URL. Provide access to files without a login.
Similar tools: For file sharing: Drop Box, Google Docs / For URL shortening: tinyurl.com, is.gd, ow.ly

Purpose: A bookmarklet with some simple tools you can use to make websites print better.
Why it’s great: Choose which information you want included in your printout of a website. Save paper, save trees. Integrated into browser.
Similar tools: Printfriendly.com

Purpose: Removes clutter (formatting, ads, images, sidebars, etc) around text online to make it easier to read.
Why it's great: Easy to install bookmarklet with one-click functionality.
Similar tools: Printliminator

Citation Management with Zotero
Zotero is a free bibliographic management extension that works with Firefox.
  • It recognizes websites and records in library catalogs and databases and is able to extract the bibliographic information associated with these sources.
  • In addition to its bibliographic capabilities, Zotero has several features that enable you to supplement your citation library including automatic capture of webpages, storage of files, images and links, as well as note taking and search abilities.
  • Because Zotero works in your browser, it captures information as you do your research.
  • It also allows you to create groups (public and private) for sharing citations with collaborators.
Getting Started with Zotero: A Guide from the University of Texas Libraries (PDF)

Library Class Schedule, which includes several Zotero sessions
Additional Resources
Don't Forget about RSS!
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and enables the automatic notification and delivery of any new information available from your favorite websites and journals. Once you set-up an RSS reader and subscribe to an RSS feed, you'll immediately see new blog posts, magazines articles, or journal articles in your feed. 

Here's some info to get you started:
Subject Specialist
Cindy Fisher
First-year Experience Librarian
512-495-4333

Meghan Sitar
Instruction and Outreach Librarian
512-495-4449