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Guest Post: ProQuest Flow Research Tool

07.10.2014

This summer the HPU Tech Blog will be featuring blog posts from professors at High Point University who are actively using technology tools in the classroom.  This is the seventh in the series, written by Allison Walker.  Allison Walker is an Instructor of English.  Here is her post:

ProQuest Flow is my favorite new research tool. It’s free to anyone with an edu email address, and it allows me to collect, annotate, cite, and share scholarly and popular sources in a digital Library with the click of a button. The streamlined navigation is user-friendly. I didn’t need Youtube tutorials, user manuals, or other IT help to learn how to use it. After installing the “Save to Flow” icon on my tool bar, I was ready to go! While Diigo, EndNote, Delicious, and others have tried to achieve this sort of agility, only ProQuest Flow has managed to permanently alter my research habits for the digital age. I can save the content of a popular media website or database journal article to my Flow Library, then annotate it digitally as I read. Flow automatically imports as much of the citation information as it can, and stores it all in the Flow cloud, saving me loads of hard drive space and research time. When I’m ready to export the sources into a document, I can choose whatever citation style I want, and Flow does the rest. It’s not exact, I still have to proofread it, but it’s as close as any citation engine can get these days. I can even share my Flow Library via email or social media, and when I share it, I can choose to allow a read only view, reviews, or edits, meaning I can collaborate with colleagues or students through the shared Library. All in all, I haven’t found much that Flow can’t do. My students have used it on annotated bibliography assignments, and it only took one class period to teach them how to do it. It has never crashed or compromised my content, and every time I use it, I notice more improvements. That tells me that the ProQuest Flow techies are listening to user feedback and adapting the system to suit our needs. If you’d like to learn more about ProQuest Flow, check out this step-by-step guide, or email me: awalker@highpoint.edu.

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