Best Betas for Learning & Navigating: IL2011 Session Summary

Summary of the session: Best Betas for Learning and Navigating by Gary Price. Gary Price is Co-Founder of INFODocket and FullTextReports. Let’s get into the good stuff.

Presentation is available at (which is great because there are a lot of links to online resources in this talk.

There are a lot of great betas, but remember that betas sometimes need a little work (aka might be a little buggy).

Microsoft Academic: much more robust this year. Ability to create visualizations and has advanced search feature. [I’d never heard of this product, so I definitely agree that Microsoft’s biggest challenge will be marketing and get people to use it.]

quixey: an app discovery tool. [Very cool.] Lots of filters you can use.

Primadesk: aggregates all your cloud services. [Could definitely be a time saver, but definitely raises some privacy and security issues.]

Muse: analyzes emails with visualizations. [I love this application (Collin told me about this last year). It is really fun to use.]

TinEye: reverse image search. Can see who is using the image and for what purposes. Tries to find the exact image, unlike Google’s service which looks for similar images.

Interesting use of Zotero: using it for personal digital archiving. [Makes sense. It is an easy way to save digital objects and add notes, comments, citations, etc. I just use it as a bibliographic management tool. Amazing how different people use the same tools.]

Price’s favorite database: C-SPAN Video Library. Digitized all programs from C-SPAN and available online. Can search video via keywords. [It’s nice that the digital preservation issues were given a nod, even a brief nod, as I always worry about that due to being an archivist.]

National Archives Online Public Access: revamped search screen for searching NARA’s resources. [Having done a lot of research using NARA’s search engines, I can say this is a great improvement.]

You can find out a lot of new tools and APIs through programmableweb. You can get two free, weekly emails about what’s new. [Definitely signing up for these weekly updates.]

One point this presentation brought home to me is the plethora of new tools and services that are coming out seemingly every day. It is nearly impossible to keep up with everything, so it’s great to have a session like this to get introduced into some of the most promising betas. I’ll definitely be checking out some of these resources more carefully for my work and teaching.