I signed up for citeulike some time ago, dumped my refworks library into it and didn’t do much more with it. I struggled to find similar users and was just starting out with delicious at the time and felt it more appropriate to bookmark articles that way than in a separate citation manager.
However, I came back to it recently when I was looking for a solution to a problem of how a group of us could keep a collected set of citations of our own work for re-use on grant applications, reports and so on. I remembered citeulike and set up a tag for us to use. I’m not sure how successful that will be as I’m not sure anyone else in the group is joining in (!) but it reminded me that you could subscribed to RSS generated by tags, and so I randomly decided to pull a feed from ‘plagiarism’ and have been delighted with the results.
There is a fair bit of duplication (not sure why) but over the last week I’ve found a rich mine of previously undisovered papers in journals I would never have looked in. I’ve always found searching for articles in pedagogic research problematic. Coming from a science background I get very frustrated when a nicely constructed pubmed search won’t find everything I need. Papers on education research seem to be spread far and wide and indexed in a highly distributed way (any advice on other’s search strategies gratefully received!). Looking at what other people in citeulike have tagged has been really eye-opening.
The other big advantage of using an RSS feed from citeulike has been the ease of transferring citations to refworks. Every bibliographic database seems to use a different system for providing citations and I can never remember which ones work and which ones just fall over. From google reader, one click to citeulike, click to copy reference into my library, then download the RIS file and upload to refworks, off to pick up the paper, print off and bob’s your uncle (as long as I actually get round to reading it!).