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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Current Awareness

Tools and tips for staying up-to-date on research and published literature in your field.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites facilitate word-of-mouth recommendations among colleagues by allowing users to save references and bookmarks to an online account, which may be shared with others. These bookmarks are organized using informal tags created by the user, which in turn can be searched and browsed, much like subject headings. Popular social bookmarking sites include Digg and Reddit.

There are a several academic bookmarking sites, many of which share some of the features of citation managers like Zotero, Mendeley, or Endnote. What sets these sites apart is that they allow you to find out what others are reading and citing, and share your citations with others.  Some of the most popular sites are Bibsonomy and CiteULike.

Example: CiteULike

Each Social Bookmarking site varies, and each will have more advanced options once you create an account. But here are some of the basic features.

The image below shows a simple searching for the topic "3D imaging."  Note some of the features:

  • You will see users who have an interest in the topic, and can navigate to their profiles
  • You can find groups who discuss and conduct research in this area
  • You will find a list of articles that relate to the topic


If you were to click on the first article result, "Techniques for Generalizing Building of Geometry of Complex Virtual 3D City Models..." you will see the image below. Notice a few features:

  • You will have options to save the citation or export it to a citation manager like Zotero or EndNote.
  • You will have some options to find the full text of the article. If there is not a PDF available via these social bookmarking sites, you may be able to access the article through the Library. For help on this, you can always use our  Ask a Librarian service or see this guide on finding articles by citation.
  • You will see certain "tags" associated with the article, which are descriptions of the article submitted by users. These facilitate discovery, as well as allow users to manage and keep track of their citations.

CiteULike item