Tag spam?? what will they think of next!

I just started using connotea a del.icio.us clone from the Nature magazine people that brings social bookmarking and tagging to scientific citations.

Connotea makes it very easy to tag and store all online material and it has a powerfull doi lookup feature whereby just highlighting a doi (digital object identifier) and clicking on the Bookmark “Add to connotea” on the browser toolbar , adds a full citation record to your connotea library. While adding such a citation you can “tag” it as appropriate for your and others future use and retrieval.

Connotea also supports OpenURL appending which validates any licenced content with your library server if you set it up and then serves it up seamlessly. On the whole, with the doi based entry and ability to store tagged collections it is a very handy tool for anyone who reads a lot of papers online.

And now for the annoyances. I wanted to look at a sampling of references or bookmarks with the tag “Bioinformatics” on connotea to discover new material from other users. So, using the search feature, I looked for entries with the global tag “Bioinformatics “. I was then shocked to find that the top 20 or so matches coressponded, not to serious or even remotely usefull science or other website links, but to what was obviously advertisements from a drug vendor website whos name I will not mention here because it will give them some more un-necessary publicity.

This seemed like a desperate attempt by the said website to hijack the connotea system to put in links for their own products which had nothing to do with bioinformatics.

Fortunately, I have not seen this on del.icio.us yet. But this Tag-spamming is indeed an unfortunate development which could seriously pollute the web2.0 social-network.

Addendum: Kudos connotea

After writing to connotea support about this problem. I got a very prompt email informing me that all links from the offending user have been removed and that they are working on improving various automated and user driven procedures to weed out spammers. Their quick and detailed response has me greatly impressed.

I have also started using the “Add to connotea” greasemonkey script from Piere Lindenbaum . And saving pubmed searches to connotea is all very easy now.

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2 responses to “Tag spam?? what will they think of next!

  1. Thanks for using my script 😉

  2. Farrel Buchinsky

    Is there a way to use Connotea to cite while working on a paper or grant in Google Docs. The old model of Endnote running in Microsoft Word works exceptionally well only in a lone scientist environment.

    Any comparative advantages of zotero vs. connotea?

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