Services that follow current research
Trends in the academic world are followed and analysed in many services. For example, from the Science Watch service you can follow current research topics and the newest trends in the academic world, and also where the most important research is being conducted. Read more about the Science Watch service.
The Science Watch Service has several different sections which enable the following of the most recent and current trends in research. The example in the picture from the Global Research Reports section.
Image source: ScienceWatch.com <http://sciencewatch.com> 7.7.2017
Blogs have recently also spread to the academic world. Many research groups and independent researchers use blogs to discuss the progress they are making in their research, or more generally reflect about and raise questions related to their academic field. Blogs also give the reader various possibilities to comment on the text in the blog; this makes blogs a potential tool for conversation and networking amongst researchers.
Blogs focussed on certain disciplines can often be found through researchers' or research groups' own web-pages; however, you can also use the various search engines that focus on blogs. These are for example Technorati , Google Blog Search etc. In addition, tens of services can be found from around the world specialising in listing academic blogs such as the Academic Blog Portal . Also, you can often find blogs related to specific disciplines on the corresponding academic journal and society websites e.g. blogs.nature.com
Nature.com offers a huge amount of blogs related to natural sciences. .
Image source: Nature.com <http://blogs.nature.com> 7.7.2017
The most read journal articles
On database and journal websites, it may be possible to search for separate listings of either a certain subject area or the journal's most read articles. You can tell from the listings which subjects are topical. In some of the databases, the number of downloads of a specific article in a certain time period can be seen. However, rankings cannot be obtained.
From the journals held by Elsevier, you can find the "hottest" research subjects in different disciplines or specific journals. In practice, what this means is those articles that have generated the most interest among readers, either form a specific journal or from "Popular Articles" section of specific research subjects.
Image source: Elsevier <http://www.sciencedirect.com> 7.7.2017
Personal contacts with experts are a quick way of acquiring information. Meeting at seminars and discussion with researchers and teachers may give you important first-hand information, even about research that has not yet been published.
Communication between researchers has become more visible because of the Internet. Various mailing lists, discussion lists, news groups and blogs offer further possibilities for communication. From the homepages of experts you can find very recent articles and their unpublished versions.
Contact information can be found from the expert register of universities or research institutes.
Image source: The Research Activities Database of the University of Oulu <https://solecris.oulu.fi/crisyp/ 7.7.2017
Research reports present the latest research results from research institutes, authorities and companies. Reports can often be obtained directly through the web pages of the institutes or authorities.
Conferences and conference proceedings
Conferences represent one of the best opportunities for networking with other experts in your field. Conferences are also a perfect source of new information as the presentations are often the first time that the research is publicly spoken about.
The best way to find information about conferences in your own field is from colleagues. In addition, there are a number of services that you can use to find upcoming conferences, examples being Conference Alerts and AllConferences.com. You can find similar separate services for most disciplines, e.g. from academic associations' websites. You can find a particularly extensive list of services that follow conferences from an article in Wikipedia on academic conferences.
From the AllConferences.com service you can find information on up-coming and past conferences for many different subject areas and disciplines. Conference proceedings are often the type of source where you can read about research and their results for the first time. Conference proceedings are often hard to locate and get hold of. Read more about searching for conference proceedings.
Image source: AllConferences.com <http://www.allconferences.com/> 7.7.2017
Research registers contain information about on-going and completed research projects. All projects normally give information about the research group leaders and the group's publications. Research registers can be found on the internet pages of universities and research institutes.
Preprints are an important source for following research in some disciplines. For example, the ArXiv service that includes preprints mainly for mathematics, physics and information technology is a significant source for following current research in those fields.
Nature Precedings is a permanent, citable archive for pre-publication research and preliminary findings. It is a place for researchers to share documents, including presentations, posters, white papers, technical papers, supplementary findings, and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts. Registered users may submit comments and vote for documents.
Image source: Nature Precedings <http://precedings.nature.com/> 7.7.2017.
Scientific societies function as networks between researchers. They complement university teaching, scientific research and discussion. In addition to your own publishing activities and different networking opportunities, you can often find a great deal of current content, such as multimedia and educational material, through scientific societies or associations. You can often also find information from scientific associations on training, seminars and conferences in the field of study. Scientific societies also publish journals etc. and organize courses and conferences.
Lists of finnish societies: the web service of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.
The University of Waterloo Library lists scholarly societies from different countries in its Scholarly Societies Project.: Scholarly Societies Project (University of Waterloo Library)