Report:Engineering Village/Other Features
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Engineering Village offers a unique filtering and refining feature, called Facets. See the explanatory section on Facets, for more information.
The Engineering Village product is notable for its embrace of new Web 2.0 concepts, which encourages collaboration among users to create and enhance content. The major way it does this is through the “Tags+Groups” tab, which invites users to add their own keyword to a document (also known as a “tag.”). Tags can be industry-standard terminology used to describe the content of a document, or they can be terms that mean something only to the individual. In Engineering Village, users have the opportunity to do both, by either 1) adding a tag for all other users to see, or 2) adding a private tag or a tag that only users in the same organization can see. The Tags+Groups tab in Engineering Village is where users can manage their tags, or search within tags.
Tags are added when viewing document records. A small “Add a tag” feature appears next to each record when it is opened in any format (other than citation view). The available options are:
- My Institution
- Any “Groups” that the user is a part of
In addition to using the tagging system offered by Engineering Village, users may also choose to tag the site via the services 2collab or del.icio.us. 2collab is a free social bookmarking site directed specifically to scholarly research; it was created by Elsevier (also the parent company of Engineering Information). Del.icio.us is a well known social bookmarking site with many general users. Tags within Engineering Village can be viewed by subscribers only, but tags using one of these other networks can be viewed by anyone.
The figure below shows this “Add a tag” feature as it appears next to a record. When a user types a word in the text box, keyword terms from Engineering Village's own lexicon will appear as suggestions, or the user can create his/her own term to add to the record.
Adding a private tag, a tag for only the user’s institution members to see, or a public tag, can be performed anytime the user is logged in to a personal account. However, to add a group tag, searchers must first create the group that they wish to share their tags with. This is done by adding those user’s e-mail addresses into the “Create Group” form, shown below. (The other users must also have a subscription to Engineering Village to participate.)
Once tags have been added to a document, these documents can then be viewed and retrieved via a search in the "Search Tags" text box. Searches can be limited to public, private or institution-only tags. As a search term is typed into the text box, a drop-down index will appear showing the terms that have been applied to records in the system.
Alternatively, users who wish to browse tags can use the "tag cloud" feature. This "cloud" shows all terms that have been used to tag various documents, and can be filtered to show only public, private, or institution-only tags. The larger a word appears in the tag cloud, the more frequently that tag has been applied to a document.
For users who wish to manage their tags, the "Rename" feature can be used to simultaneously edit all documents that have been tagged with a given item; the "Delete" feature will delete all instances of a selected tag that has been applied by the user.
These features might be useful to individuals within a large corporate setting who often collaborate on projects. However, many prior art searchers perform their work alone, and have a need for heightened security – therefore, they may disregard these features. However, they cannot be disabled from any preferences page. Companies considering implementing this product on a large scale might consider warning their users about security risks.
However, many large corporations look to user-added metadata, such as this type of tag, to help amass a type of in-house corporate knowledge. The ability to add tags with special meaning to a given research project is considered beneficial by some companies, especially when analysis is needed over large data sets. The editor believes that the importance of this type of feature in new search products should not be discounted as a passing fad.
Another way that Engineering Village promotes Web 2.0 ideals is by allowing users to easily pull records of interest into their personal blogs. The “Blog This!” option is available when viewing any record individually – it will appear in the upper right hand corner of the record, along with other options to save, print, e-mail, and download.
Once this option is selected, a new browser window will present the user with HTML code that can be pasted in to a blog or website to display the record details from Engineering Village.
Ask an Expert
Another notable feature of Engineering Village is that the service connects users with knowledgable subject experts, both librarians and engineers, who are on hand to answer search questions via e-mail. For more information about this service, see the Live Help section.
Users should note that these inviduals are contractors, not full time employees of Engineering Village, and that no copy of any type of confidentiality agreement they may have signed with Engineering Village is available. Accordingly, security concerns should always be taken into account before using this service.
One of the bibliographic files through Engineering Village, GeoBase, offers Google Mapping capabilities that complement this file’s geographical and geological content. See Geobase in the Data Coverage section for more information.