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Dropbox recommendation

By Research Cooperative, 2017-03-27

I have been using the Dropbox cloud online service for some years, and have been very happy with it most of the time.

As a Mac user, I had some early issues with file labels, but recently, this has not been a problem.

If members of our network would like, they can support me, as Admin (and thus the Research Cooperative) by using the following code when joining Dropbox:

Thanks, Peter (Admin)

Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments

IP address locations

By Research Cooperative, 2017-03-09

It can be useful to know where an email is coming from, or where the server for a website is located.

If you can find the IP address (usually easy to do with most email and services and internet browsers, then you can find the nearest source of the message or page you are looking at. This can sometimes help you decide whether the message or page is reliable, legal or genuine (even if it is a nuisance), or an actual fraud or scam.

This is one way of learning more, for example, about an academic journal that you think might be a scam or "predatory online journal".

Here is one Malayasia-based service I am testing:  IP2location

Neustar is a US-based and global company that gives useful background information, mainly directed at helping companies that conduct online transactions. Geolocation is one of the tools used.

Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments

Tools for organising conferences and events

By Research Cooperative, 2017-01-14

There are numerous ways to organise academic meetings, large and small. The most critical matter is having a clear aim and a theme that brings people together in new ways - not just to give presentations but also to make personal academic connections. For this reason, the social aspects of a meeting (workshop, seminar, conference, or congress) can be just as important as the academic aspects.

I have not used any of the systems below, so would welcome comments by anyone who has!

EasyChair - describes itself as "probably the most commonly used conference management system". A free service is offered, that looks useful, and then more advanced systems that are priced according to the maximum number of submissions that the organisers intend to consider. Overall, the costs appears to be about 50 cents to one dollar (USD) per submission.

Open Science Framework for Meetings -  The Open Science Framework is creating open source tools to support 'the entire research cycle'. This includes tools for scientific collaboration, writing, project management, and meeting management.  

Their mission statements include the following: ' The OSF is a free, open source service of the  Center for Open Science . We’re aligning scientific practices with scientific values by improving openness, integrity and reproducibility of research.'

Posted in: Academic | 0 comments

Wiki Calls For Papers (WikiCFP)

By Research Cooperative, 2017-01-04

This is an open-access site dedicated to registering calls for academic papers, according to subject category.

It also offers a page for authors to manage their deadlines.

See: Wiki Calls For Papers

Posted in: Academic | 0 comments

Avoiding and detecting plagiarisation

By Research Cooperative, 2016-12-18

There are many methods and tools that can be used to detect plagiarisation. The need to look for plagiarised text (and images) is most obvious when students first attempt academic writing, and lack confidence in their own writing, or misunderstand the purposes of a university education (e.g. learning how to write).

See: How to Detect Plagiarism (MIT, USA) - resources for teachers wishing to check student writing

At the Research Cooperative we are more concerned with how journals can avoid publishng plagiarised content in submitted papers. The best prevention lies in the hands of authors themselves. It is better for authors to write in their own words and acknowledge the sources of specific, special ideas and information, rather than plagiarizing text in an attempt to raise the apparent quality of their writing and information.

See: iThenticate - a commercial system developed for academic authors and publishers

Authors who are not confident about their writing can seek help from editors to improve the writing, can learn how to write better with the help of editors, and can acknowledge such help formally, thus avoiding the problem of plagiarisation altogether.

Editors should be acknowledged for their role in raising the standards of sicientific communication, whenever possible. If an editor's contribution amounts to co-authorship, this should be formally considered even if it was not the original intention. Givng editors adequate acknowledgment for their contributions is a responsibility for both authors and publishers.

Posted in: Academic | 0 comments

Academia at

By Research Cooperative, 2016-10-19

This looks like a great discovery - an Academic Q&A that puts the top rated answers to any question at the top of the stack.


... and ask or answer any question that takes your fancy.

Posted in: Academic | 0 comments

Website tools

By Research Cooperative, 2016-10-11 - html tutorials, css coding, colour codes, etc.

Everything needed (except our time) for building or redesigning a website

Digital Colour Meters - These measure the colour we can see on any selected area or point on your screen, and then give us the html code value that specifies the selected colour. One of these is provided as part of MacOS  (see ). Colourzilla has Firefox and Chrome Browser extenstions that do similar things on any computer (see ).

These should be very useful for website colour design. I can also imagine using a digital colour meter to objectively measure colour and tone differences in a series of photographs for scientific measurement of anything that has been photographed in a standardised way. Or it could be used to match the colour of digitalised slide photo with the colour of the same object photographed with a digital camera, or to adjust photos that have a standard colour chart included in the photos.

Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments

Digital file formats

By Research Cooperative, 2016-10-11

How many different file formats exist for digital information?

It is a jungle out there. Some formats are extinct, many are alive, and many are evolving.

The Library of Congress Digital Formats website has a comprehensive catalogue with descriptions of old and new file formats. The information is provided to help librarians and archivists manage digital collections. Look for their Format Descriptions tab.

Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments
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