Channel Your Science

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By: Brooks Hanson, Jay Brodsky and Jess Ludwig

Among the many challenges for researchers, these seem to be perpetual and almost daily:

  • How do I stay informed about new content in my areas of interest?
  • How do I meet and find out about other researchers in a field?
  • How do I efficiently share solutions I have found for these two challenges, or leverage tips or tricks from others?

These might be addressed in several ways. Social media tools help surface new content and connect people, but depend on someone else finding the content first; sites like Researchgate or LinkedIn, which are increasingly using artificial intelligence tools, also play an important role in both but tend to focus on journal content or jobs and people. And meetings thrive on fostering impromptu discovery and catalyzing introductions and collaborations.

Now channels on AGU.org can be added to this mix. Channels have been available on the website for some time, as a curated collection that surfaced AGU journal, meetings and Eos.org content around AGU’s broad index terms. They have now been redesigned and improved and are available for personal use and collaboration. Here are the details and what else will be coming soon:

Anyone can now create a channel around their own interests. A channel operates as a permanent saved search that is built around Boolean-connected words or phrases. The search can be as specific, or general, as you would like. It is like a content alert based on user-defined search terms, as the search is re-run every time the channel is viewed. Currently, content from AGU journals, meetings, Eos.org and blogs are included in the search. Several examples are here. The channel view allows you to filter the results further. We are working to index and scrape other relevant content, including beyond AGU’s domains, and provide an RSS feed or email alert from the channel.

Once you create a channel, it is linked to and saved on your AGU profile. You can keep it private, or make it available for others to find and follow also (you can see public channels here, and soon, in November, you will be able to search for them). You can find and connect with followers (following is public), assuming they may have similar interests. Sections or groups can form a community around them. Similarly, channels may be relevant to sessions at meetings—presenters and attendees can discover content related to specific sessions in advance of the meeting and will then also have a means to find out about new content related to that session that appears after the meeting. You can also use them to discover relevant sessions and abstracts at a large meeting (hint, one is upcoming and that content will be added shortly).

Give them a try. A short video here explains how to create one. We welcome ideas for improving them further.

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