Twitter is an excellent place for hearing about new resources and discovering older ones that you have missed in the past. However, some links that are shared are hardly worth the space they take up – all 140 characters of it – and so it’s important to spot the ones that aren’t reliable or actually hinder your searches. But how can you separate the wheat from the chaff?
When I stumble across new resources on Twitter, other blogs and forums, instead of bookmarking each and every link that is heralded as a “great finding”, I first run through a checklist in my mind:
Source: Where does it come from? Who is the author? Is it a recognised national or international institution? Is it a commercial or non-commercial organisation? What is the domain extension? (.edu and .gov can only be used by educational institutions and government bodies.)
Date: When was it published? When was it last updated?
References: What sources were used to create it? Has the author cited any links?
Quality: Is the register appropriate? Does the text have typos? If it’s a glossary, do you “approve” of the definitions/translations when you browse through it? If it’s an article, is it written in the author’s native language?
Usability: Is it readily usable? What leverage will you get from it? Can you convert it into a termbase, add it to IntelliWebSearch or perform a quick search for a term online?
I hope the above points will be useful for vetting links shared on Twitter. I’d also recommend keeping a similar checklist in mind when you research terms in Google for specific translation projects.
In future blog posts on “Separating the wheat from the chaff”, I’m going to share my impressions of medical terminology resources that are recommended in the social media, using a traffic light system to classify them. My aim is to share links to high quality resources, explain why some should be used with caution, and flag others that should be avoided at all costs.
First links coming soon …
As usual, Emma, your work at curating contents is outstanding and truly intelligent. I appreciate your efforts very much, and want to remind here that they make a difference for busy translators around the world! Thank you!
Great tips, and I’m looking forward to your posts on specific resources. 🙂
Thanks for your comments, Paula and Marga. Hope the posts on specific resources live up to your expectations!
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Thank you Emma. Great article. I have recommended your blog on the Facebook page of Translation and Interpreting at Londonmet. Great work!
Many thanks for sharing my blog on the Londonmet T&I Facebook page, Danielle!
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