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By Andy Tattersall

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My Favourite Tipples are shared by Andy Tattersall, an information specialist at the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and chair of CILIP's Multimedia Information & Technology Group. He shares some of his preferred online resources in the areas of research best practice and news insights.


I try to stay in touch with the latest developments in technology and scholarly communications, so I can share this knowledge with decision-makers and my peers. I also want to know what is being said about my department's research over the web so I can relay it to interested parties. Here are my go-to sources for news ideas and insight:

  • Retraction Watch: This is a very interesting site in terms of research malpractice and misdemeanours. It shines a light onto some of the things going on under the surface in academic publishing, most of it on this site being pretty shady.
  • Forest: I love this Chrome Extension and mobile app that allows me to cut out distraction and get on with my job. You set designated periods of time and tell it what to block, e.g. social media, email etc. It grows a virtual tree and aids you to stay on track to finish tasks. I'm using it right now.
  • Altmetric: This is one of the really useful altmetric platforms that helps you discover who is talking about your research. It trawls the web for mentions of research on Wikipedia, Twitter and in the media among other platforms. It updates constantly, giving you a view on the reaction to the latest research.
  • Figshare: Figshare answers many of the problems that academic institutions have had for years with regards to hosting research content. It is a great place for hosting academic content like data, posters and grey literature. It gives everything that is uploaded a DOI which makes it trackable with altmetric tools.

For fun: 

  • Mixcloud: I'm a huge music fan and vinyl collector, but for my digital needs I go to Mixcloud to discover new music. Tools like Spotify are OK, but I like to go off piste as well as follow individual tastemakers and curators on Mixcloud. I also like the interface, which is similar to Bandcamp in appearance and is much better than Soundcloud.

An article in Jinfo which I found particularly interesting:

  • I enjoyed a recent article from Andrew Lucas, "Verifying the accuracy of news", where he provides a useful overview of a growing problem that many professionals may not have a full understanding of. Andrew covers some of the discussion taking place about fake news within the sector as the information community has a large part to play in identifying and combating inaccurate reporting. His article (based on an SLA Europe seminar) gives good advice going forward for information professionals who need to promote critical literacy skills to those in their organisation not currently equipped with that expertise.

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