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?
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 …