A couple of weeks ago I attended the second group meeting of RefWorks UK users, organised and hosted by Richard Cross at Nottingham Trent University. This isn’t so much a writeup* as a list of links and a few notes. These meetings are completely informal. The “user group” (if it even really exists) has no privileged status in relation to RefWorks, is completely unfunded, and anyone is welcome to organise a meeting.
*You just had to be there
Possibly the most practical thing to come out of the meeting – we now have a JISCMail list for UK RefWorks users in libraries. It’s an open list; DMU‘s Amanda Poulton and I are acting as list owners for the time being. We already have 138 members(!)
You can post to the list (and subscribe) via:
“This list is an open forum for discussion of issues relating to the use of RefWorks reference management software by educational institutions based in the UK. Topics discussed will include technical configuration, administration, user-support, training, marketing and advocacy. Membership is open to all, but will be most useful to librarians in UK Higher Education.”
We were pleased to have several representatives from ProQuest/RefWorks-COS at the meeting. RefWorks also very kindly sponsored lunch and refreshments. They gave the attendees an update on recent developments in the RefWorks v2 interface, and also went through some highlights from the RefWorks product development roadmap – including plans for stabilising Write-N-Cite IV, and later an exclusive (genuinely – the first ever time it had been demo-ed in public in Europe) run-through of ProQuest’s plans for a brand-new, “next-generation” reference management and collaboration product – the ultimate successor to RefWorks itself. We’re not allowed to say too much about it at this stage… which is probably for the best, because unfortunately the presenters suffered from a very poor transatlantic phone line, and I missed most of the finer points of the demo
Information Librarian Hannah Young from So’ton Solent University gave an excellent presentation of their myCourse reading lists project (http://mycourse.solent.ac.uk/readinglists). Working with Owen Stephens and building on the earlier TELSTAR project, this uses the RefWorks API and shared folder RSS feeds to integrate reading lists stored in RefWorks into their Moodle VLE (“myCourse”). This replaced Solent’s use of LearnBuild LibraryLink. Hannah’s presentation slides are here.
Later we split into two groups to discuss how we promote/support and (my group) manage and administer RefWorks. We discussed our own approaches to RefWorks’ administrative tools, usage reports; the use of RefShare, RefGrabIt and Write-N-Cite, and also strayed into support documentation: I discovered there’s a RefWorks LibGuide which we could re-use/adapt, at: http://refworks.libguides.com/
Finally, a discussion on possible RefWorks enhancement priorities based on our own concerns – are there common themes amongst UK customers? We came up with a few, including:
- The ability to set a default display style for imported references;
- Federated authentication as standard on all interfaces (RefMobile, WnC IV);
- Integration with next-gen discovery environments;
- “User voice”-type systems for capturing user ideas and turning them into development plans.
A couple more informal user group meetings are in the pipeline – in the meantime there’s the new listserv!