Searching for the height of Ben Nevis – how hard can it be?

If you have attended one of my recent search workshops, or glanced through the slides, you will have noticed that I have a new test query: the height of Ben Nevis. It didn’t start out as a test search but as a genuine query from me.  A straightforward search, I thought, even for Google.

I typed in the query ‘height of ben nevis’ and across the top of the screen Google emblazoned the answer: 1345 metres.  That sort of rang a bell and sounded about right, but as with many of Google’s Quick Answers there was no source and I do like to double or even triple check anything that Google comes up with.

Ben_Nevis_1

To the right of the screen was a Google Knowledge Graph with an extract from Wikipedia telling me that Ben Nevis stands at not 1345 but 1346 metres above sea level. Additional information below that says the mountain has an elevation of 1345 metres and a prominence of 1344 metres (no sources given). I know have three different heights – and what is ‘prominence’?

Ben-Nevis-3

After a little more research I discovered that prominence is not the same as elevation, but I shall leave  you to investigate that for yourselves if you are interested. The main issue for me was that Google was giving me at least three slightly different answers for the height of Ben Nevis, so it was time to read some of the results in full.

Before I got around to clicking on the first of the two articles at the top of the results, alarm bells started ringing.  One of the metres to feet conversions in the snippets did not look right.

Height of Ben Nevis search results 3

So I ran my own conversions for both sets of metres to feet and in the other direction (feet to metres):

1344m = 4409.499ft, rounded down to 4409ft

4406ft = 1342.949m, rounded up to 1343m

1346m = 4416.01ft, rounded down to 4416ft

4414ft = 1345.387m, rounded down to 1345m

As if finding three different heights was not bad enough, it seems that the contributors to the top two articles are incapable of carry out simple ft/m conversions, but I suspect that  a rounding up and rounding down of the figures before the calculations were carried out is the cause of the discrepancies.

The above results came from a search on Google.co.uk. Google.com gave me similar results but with a Quick Answer in feet, not metres.

Ben-Nevis-4

We still do not have a reliable answer regarding the height of Ben Nevis.

Three articles below the top two results were from BBC News, The Guardian and Ordnance Survey – the most relevant and authoritative for this query –  and were about the height of Ben Nevis having been remeasured earlier this year using GPS. The height on the existing Ordnance Survey maps had been given as 1344m but the more accurate GPS measurements came out at 1344.527m or 4411ft 2in. The original Ordnance Survey article explains that this is only a few centimetres different from the earlier 1949 assessment but it means that the final number has had to be rounded up rather than down. The official height on OS maps has therefore been increased from 1344m to 1345m.  So Google’s Quick Answer at the top of the results page was indeed correct.

Why make a fuss about what are, after all, relatively small variations in the figures? Because there is one official height for the mountain and one of the three figures that Google was giving me (1346m) was neither the current nor the previous height. Looking at the commentary behind the Wikipedia article, which gave 1346m, it seems that the contributors were trying to reconcile the height in metres with the height in feet but carrying out the conversion using rounded up or rounded down figures. As one of my science teachers taught me long ago, you should always carry forward to the next stage of your calculations as many figures after the decimal point as possible. Only when you get to the end do you round up or down, if it is appropriate to do so. And imagine if your Pub Quiz team lost the local championship because you had correctly answered 1345m  to this question but the MC  had 1346m down as the correct figure? There’d be a riot if not all out war!

That’s what Google gave us. How did Bing fare?

The US and UK versions of Bing gave results that looked very similar to Google’s but  with two different quick answers in feet, and neither gave sources:

Bing UK

Ben-Nevis-Bing-UK

Bing US

Bing-Ben-Nevis-US

I won’t bore you with all of the other search tools that I tried except for Wolfram Alpha. This gave me 1343 meters or 4406 ft. At least the conversion is correct but there is no direct information on where the data has been taken from.

Ben-Nevis-WA

The sources link was of no help whatsoever and referred me to the home pages of the sites and not the Ben Nevis specific data. On some of the sites, when I did find the Ben Nevis pages, the figures were different from those shown by Wolfram Alpha so I have no idea how Wolfram arrived at 1343 meters.

So, the answer to my question “How high is Ben Nevis?” is 1344.527m rounded up on OS maps to 1345m.

And the main lessons from this exercise are:

  1. Never trust the quick answers or knowledge graphs from any of the search engines, especially if no source is given. But you knew that anyway, didn’t you?
  2. If you are seeing even small variations in the figures, and there are calculations or conversions involved, double check them yourself.
  3. Don’t skim read the results and use information highlighted in the snippets – read the full articles and from more than one source.
  4. Make sure that the articles you use are not just copying what others have said.
  5. Try and find the most relevant and authoritative source for your query, and ideally a primary source. In this case it was Ordnance Survey. GB officially taller – Ben Nevis  https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/about/news/2016/gb-officially-taller-ben-nevis.html

Small companies now allowed to be bigger … or smaller

One of the services I provide is company research including official registry documents and accounts. Many registries, including, the UK’s Companies House, make a significant amount of their data available free of charge. Some still charge for documents and a few insist that you register before you can even search for a company.  If I know the information is freely available I usually point the client at the relevant website but a few people come back to me when they discover that the interface is in a foreign language. If registration and/or payment are required I’m often asked to search on the client’s behalf because they just do not want the hassle of going through the registration process and recouping the cost of a small overseas transaction from their accounts department.

Regardless of whether the information is free or charged for, I often receive what I call a second stage request for more detailed accounts. Why is there no Profit & Loss? Where is the revenue/turnover figure? I then have to explain how the reporting and filing requirements differ depending on the country, or even state; and then I have the joy of taking the client through small company exemptions. Some people I know have only just got their head around the changes introduced by UK Companies Act 2006. I now have to tell them that this has changed yet again.

In March 2015 the UK Government approved new regulations that implement the requirements of the new EU Accounting Directive. The changes came into effect in the UK from 1 January 2016. There are a number of changes, which may reduce yet further the amount of information that small companies are required to provide, and there are also changes to what is deemed to a be a “small” company.  Small companies can now be bigger.

A company can now qualify as small if meets at least two of the three following criteria:

  • turnover not more than £10.2m (previously £6.5m)
  • balance sheet total not more than £5.1m (previously £3.26m)
  • average number of employees not more than 50 (no change)

Information on some of the other changes can be found on the Companies House Blog – Changes to accounting standards and regulations. The key ones are:

“… the removal of the ability for a small or medium-sized company to file abbreviated accounts with us at Companies House. A company will now be required to file the accounts they prepare for their members at Companies House (although a small company or micro-entity will usually be able to choose not to file their profit and loss account or director’s report).”

“However, this does not mean that all small companies are now required to file full accounts, the very smallest companies may disclose less information by preparing micro-entity accounts. Other small companies may, instead of filing full accounts, choose to prepare a set of abridged accounts for their members and then file these with us.”

So, as well as “small” being allowed to be bigger we now have even smaller companies or “micro-entities” who can choose to disclose less information. The whole thing is beginning to look as clear as mud!

The ICAEW has a useful overview of what is happening at The revised UK small companies regime but if you want to keep up with the latest updates then follow the Companies House Blog.

Bing extends date search option

Bing has at last extended its date search options. Until recently one could only limit results to the past 24 hours, past week or the past month, and then only in Bing US.  Bing has now added a custom range on a par with Google.

Bing_Date_US_2

The UK version of Bing has not had a date option until now but bizarrely has added the old, limited US selection.

Bing-Date-UK-2It seems very strange that they haven’t implemented the full US list. One can but hope that it will happen soon rather than in several years time, which is how long it has taken for this version to appear in Bing UK.

Advanced Google workshop – Top Tips

This collection of Top Tips is a combined list nominated by those who attended the UKeiG workshop on “New Google, New Challenges”. The next UKeiG Google workshop will be run on 8th September 2016.

1. Do not trust Google’s facts and answers
Google tries to provide facts and quick answers to your queries at the top and to the right of your results. These are computer generated extracts from pages and several different sources may be used to produce an “answer”. They are sometimes misleading or completely wrong. At the time of writing, the answer provided for a search on frugivore is an excellent example. (It explains why your cat is so fussy over its food – it is obviously craving its 5 a Day!) Always go to the original source to double check the information, but this is not always provided by Google.

2. Country versions of Google and /ncr
Country versions of Google give priority to the local content. This is a useful strategy when searching for research groups, companies and people that are active or working in a particular country. Use the standard ISO two letter country code, for example http://www.google.fr/ for Google France, http://www.google.it/ for Google Italy.

It is also worth trying your search in Google.com. Your results will probably be more international or US focused but you may see new search features or layouts in Google.com that are not yet available elsewhere. If Google insists on redirecting you to your own country version, go to the bottom right hand corner of the Google home page and you should see a link to Google.com. If there is no link then add ‘/ncr’ to the Google URL, for example http://www.google.com/ncr .

The downside of using country versions of any search tool is that the prioritised information is likely to be in the local language.

3. Search history
Your search history, which is recorded and available for you to view if you are signed in to your Google account, is used by Google to help personalise your results but it can also be useful as a record of past searches. If a user comes back to you having forgotten or lost the search and documents you gave them your search history should be able to help you find both. On any search results page click on the cog wheel in the upper right hand area of the screen and select History. You can then browse your history or select a date from the calendar (upper right and area of the History screen).

4. Verbatim
This is an essential tool for making Google carry out your search the way you want it run. Google automatically looks for variations on your terms and sometimes drops terms from your search, which is not always helpful. To use Verbatim, first run your search. Then click on ‘Search tools’ in the menu that runs across the top of your results page. A second row of options should appear. Click on ‘All results’ and from the drop down menu select Verbatim. Google will then search for your terms without any variations or omissions. Note that Google will search for documents and pages in which the words appear in any order. If you are searching on the title of a paper place the title within double quote marks to force an exact phrase match. If Google still alters your search then run Verbatim. 

Verbatim-Factsheet
If you are carrying out in-depth research it is worth trying out Verbatim even if the “normal” Google results seem OK. You may see very different and possibly more relevant content.

5. filetype: command.
An important advanced search command that is available not only in Google but in many alternative search tools. Use the filetype: command to limit your research to PowerPoint for presentations, spreadsheets for data and statistics, or PDF for research papers and industry/government reports.

For example:

plasmonic nanoparticles filetype:ppt

The command must be all lower case and there must be no spaces between the colon and the command or the file extension, otherwise Google will treat the command as a searchable word. Also you must search for pre and post Office 2007 file extensions separately as Google does not automatically pick up both.

For example

plasmonic nanoparticles filetype:ppt OR filetype:pptx

Note that Google’s Advanced Search screen pull down menu for filetype: only searches for pre Office 2007 extensions.

6. Minus sign to exclude information
Use the minus sign immediately before a term to exclude documents containing that term, but use with care as you may lose valuable information. It can also be used with commands to exclude file formats or websites from your search.

For example:

occupational asthma UK site:gov.uk -site:hse.gov.uk
-site:nationalarchives.gov.uk

7. Combine search commands
Combine multiple commands such as filetype: and site: to focus your search. Use the OR command to search for alternatives, for example:

occupational asthma UK site:ac.uk filetype:ppt OR filetype:pptx

8.Personalise Google News
Personalise Google News (http://news.google.co.uk) page when signed in to your account  and change what content is automatically displayed or add your own searches. Click on the Personalise button at the top of the right hand column. 

9. Google Scholar Cite feature
Click on the Cite link under a reference in Google Scholar and Google will give you options to import a citation in MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard or Vancouver style into BibTex, EndNote, RefMan or RefWorks. Note that if the article is only available online you may need to add a doi or a URL, and the date of access.

10. Use Google site: search on Google scholar
This is one I had not thought of but was recommended by one of the delegates as a way of using Google’s advanced search commands on Google Scholar instead of Scholar’s own. (I have not had time to test this one out myself).

Essential non-Google Search Tools – Top Tips

It has been a while since I did a Top Tips from my workshops so here is the first of two that came out of a couple of recent UKeiG events.  This collection of Top Tips is a combined list nominated by those who attended the workshop on “Essential non-Google Search Tools” on 12th April 2016 in London.

This particular workshop will be re-run later in the year on September 7th. See the UKeiG training pages for further details.

1.Use more than one search tool
Different search tools have different coverage, search features and sort results differently. If you are doing in depth research use more than one to make sure you are covering all aspects and use a tool that is most appropriate for the type of information you require.

2. filetype: command
An important advanced search command that is available not only in Google but in many alternative search tools. Use the ‘filetype:’ command to limit your research to PowerPoint for presentations, spreadsheets for data and statistics, or PDF for research papers and industry/government reports.

For example:

home ownership UK filetype:xls

Make sure that filetype is all lower case and that there are no spaces before or after the colon.

Unlike Google, most of the alternative general search engines will automatically search for both the pre Office 2007 file extensions (xls, ppt, doc) as well as the current ones (xlsx, pptx, docx) regardless of whichever version you specify.

3. Behind the Headlines – NHS Choices
http://www.nhs.uk/news/Pages/NewsIndex.aspx
This is an excellent site for tracking down the truth and the research behind sensational, front page stories about medical breakthroughs. It explains in plain English what the background is behind the story and whether or not the claims made by the newspaper articles are valid.Behind_the_headines_2

4. Million Short http://millionshort.com/
If you are fed up with seeing the same results again and again give Million Short a try. Million Short enables you to remove the most popular websites from the results. Originally, as its name suggests, it removed the top 1 million but you can now choose to remove the top 100, 1000, 10K, 100K, or million from your search. The page that best answers your question might be on a site that is not be well optimised for search engines, or might cover a topic that is so specialised that it never makes it into the top results in Google or Bing.

There are filters to the left of the results enabling you to remove or restrict your results to ecommerce sites, sites with or without advertising, live chat sites and location. The sites that have been excluded are listed to the right of the results and you can, if you wish, view the excluded pages by site.

5. Carrot Search http://search.carrotsearch.com/carrot2-webapp/search
Carrot Search was nominated for the Top Tips for its clustering of results into topics (left hand side of the results screen) that enable you to filter and focus the search, as well as the visualisations of terms and concepts via the circles and “foam tree”. This is always a popular search tool with those who prefer visualisations rather than just text as a way of presenting and refining results. Click on the Circles and Foam Tree tabs at the top and to the left of the results.

6. Compound Interest http://www.compoundchem.com/
“Compound Interest is a site that aims to take a closer look at the chemical compounds we come across on a day-to-day basis. It also provides graphics for educational purposes, both for teacher and student use.” It is run by Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher based in Cambridge.

Recent topics include:

The Chemistry of Camembert http://www.compoundchem.com/2016/02/10/the-chemistry-of-camembert/
Chemistry History: Teflon & Non-Stick Pans  http://www.compoundchem.com/2016/02/04/teflon/
The Chemistry of an Electric Guitar http://www.compoundchem.com/2015/11/24/guitar/

7. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine http://archive.org/
Want to see what was on a website a few years ago or trying to track down a document that seems to have vanished from the web? Try the Internet Archive. Enter the URL of the website or document and you should then see a calendar of the snapshots that are in the archive. Choose a date from the calendar to view the page. The archive does not have everything but it is worth a try. See also the UK National Archives of old government websites and pages at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/webarchive

8. UK Parliament http://www.parliament.uk/
Perfect for monitoring the progress of legislation through Parliament (http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/). As well as following the progress of legislation you can view the documents associated with a Bill (explanatory notes, amendment papers, report stage procedures, select committee reports etc). RSS and email alerts are available for each Bill.

9. Tineye http://www.tineye.com/
Reverse image search tool for seeing where and when an image has been used. Either upload an image or enter an image URL. Sort the results by Best match (default), Most changed, Biggest image, Newest or Oldest. Browser plugins are available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE and Opera.

10. Search for images by license
If you want to be sure that you are allowed to use an image for a project use a search tool that enables you to search by license. Bing has a license filter in its image search so that you need only view those that have the appropriate license. Run your search and use the drop down menu under License in the menu bar across the top of the results to apply a copyright filter.

Always go to the page hosting the image to check that the license does apply to the image you want and not to another one on the same page. (Google Images has a similar option).

Flickr Creative Commons (http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons) describes what the different licenses allow you to do and enables you to search for photos with that license.

Other tools that have Creative Commons or public domain images include:

Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/  (but do check the full information on each image as there may be copyright restrictions under some jurisdictions)
MorgueFile.com  http://www.morguefile.com/
Geograph http://www.geograph.org.uk/  “UK and Ireland photos of landmarks and buildings for every Ordnance Survey grid”
Nasa http://www.nasa.gov/

Flickr no longer allows easy deletion of automatic tags

UPDATE: Flickr have now restored the option to delete their automatically generated tags

Flickr no longer allows users to easily remove the automatically generated tags that it adds to photos. Flickr has been using image recognition technology for a couple of years to automatically generate tags for users’ photos but didn’t make them visible until May 2015.  As well as new photos, the computer generated tags had been added retrospectively to all previously uploaded photos. My own experience is that many  of the tags are useless and some are totally wrong. See my earlier posting Flickr pulls out all the stops with automatic tagging.

Flickr_Star_Anise_TagsUser generated tags are in a grey box and Flickr’s automatic tags are in a white or light grey box. As the tags are used by Flickr when searching for images it is important that they are correct, and it explains why Flickr search results often contain irrelevant images.

Until now, both users’ and Flickr’s tags could be deleted. Hover over a tag and a cross would appear in the upper right hand corner enabling you to delete that tag. The cross no longer appears on Flickr generated tags so they cannot be deleted that way. There is a work around which is to manually add a tag that is identical to the one you want to remove and then delete the tag you have just added. This also deletes the corresponding Flickr tag.

Several people have commented that there is an option under Settings, Privacy and Permissions  that enables you to hide auto tags. This does exactly what it says on the tin:”hides” the tags. It does not remove them so they will still be used  by Flickr’s search.

 

Debunking Euromyths

Those of us living in the UK have become accustomed to sensational headlines in the British press warning us that the European Union (EU) is about to ban British cucumbers, sausages, cheese, church bells, street acrobats [insert food or activity of your choice]. Tracking down the relevant EU legislation to find out whether or not there is any truth in the stories is a nightmare, and they are not the easiest of documents to read and understand when you do find them. But help is at hand from an EU blog called “European Commission in the UK – Euromyths and Letters to the Editor” at http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/.

The blog covers scare stories that have appeared in the UK press, some of which go back to 1992, and explains what the situation really is and the relevant legislation.

Euromyths A-Z

There is a neat A-Z index at   http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/ so you can quickly check, for example, if the EU is about to ban bagpipes:

As for banning bagpipes, Scots can rest assured that their favourite musical instrument is not under threat from EU proposals on noise pollution … they are designed primarily for those who work with loud machinery for a sustained period – more than 87 decibels for eight hours in a row. The law … will apply only to workers rather than audiences.  If, in the highly unlikely event a bagpipe player is hired to play continuously for eight hours, and the noise created averaged more than 87 decibels, the employer would be obliged to carry out a risk assessment to see where changes can be made – tinkering with the acoustics in a hall to reduce echoes, for example. If that fails, personal protection such as earmuffs will need to be considered, but only as a last resort. Banning musical instruments is not an option.

The blog is just one of many on the Europa website. A list can be found at Blogs of the European Commission.

Flickr pulls out all the stops with automatic tagging

Flickr really went to town with its automatically generated tags for my photo today. The photo was of star anise, which I took for the Challenge Friday Group; this week’s challenge is stars. A straightforward, simple photo of the spice, I thought but Flickr read a lot more into it.

This is the photo:

Star_Anise_20160311_Signed

And these are the tags:

Flickr_Star_Anise_TagsThe ones at the top with the grey background are the tags that I assigned to the photo. The rest are Flickr’s.

I deleted several of them before I thought of taking a screenshot for posterity but what is left gives  you a flavour of the range of concepts that Flickr feels are relevant.  Some of them I agree with (pattern, star shape, symmetry). Others I shall delete  as they are of no help to anyone searching on them (foliage, leaf, landscape, tree, forest, blossom,  pastel).

I do, though, rather like “minimalism” even though the structure and complexity of flavour and aroma  of star anise is far from minimalist. It  stays.

Business information key resources and search strategies – Top 10

The participants  of the business information workshop I ran on March 8th  had a variety of interests: search strategies and commands for Google et al,  UK government information, statistics, open data, social media, companies, locating scientific research.  So it was quite tough limiting the Top Tips that I asked them to nominate at the end of the day to just 10.

This is what they came up with.

  1. Get to know the key resources and starting points for different types of business information e.g. Companies House, OFFSTATS and go direct to those rather than Google. It will save you time in the long run.
  2.  Verbatim. An invaluable tool for research when Google insists on rewriting your search and dropping terms. To make Google search for all of your terms without variation, but in any order, first run your search. Then click on ‘Search tools’ in the line of options above your results. In the second line of options that appears click on ‘All results’ and from the drop down menu select Verbatim. If you are carrying out in-depth research it is worth using Verbatim even if your “normal” Google results seem to be OK. You may see very different content in the Verbatim list.
  3. Combine advanced search commands such as site: and filteype: to focus your search on types of information (PDF reports, PPT presentations, spreadsheets containing data) and websites (government, academic, individual sites). Also try using the minus sign to exclude documents containing specific terms or sites that are irrelevant.
  4. Phil Bradley’s UK Newspapers Google Custom Search Engine. http://www.philb.com/nationaluknewspapers.htmlPhilB_News_Search
    A relatively new tool that enables you to search all of the major national UK newspapers and regional newspapers. A real time saver if you are searching for local information on a local business or entrepreneur and don’t want to have to track down all the local papers and search them one by one.
  5. OFFSTATS – The University of Auckland Library http://www.offstats.auckland.ac.nz/ A good starting point for official statistical sources by country, region subject or combination of categories. All of the content in the database has been chosen and quality assessed by staff at The University of Auckland Library.
  6. Zanran http://zanran.com/ A tool for searching information contained in charts, graphs and tables of data. Enter your search terms and optionally limit your search by date and/or format type. Zanran comes up with a list of documents that match your criteria with thumbnails to the left of each entry. Hover over the thumbnail to see a preview of the page containing your data and further information on the document.
  7. Advanced Twitter Search. http://twitter.com/search-advanced Essential tool if you are using Twitter to look for news on product developments, announcements, conferences, discussions on technologies/companies, or how companies interact with customers.
  8. Wayback Machine http://www.archive.org/ Want to see what was on a website a few years ago or trying to track down a document that seems to have vanished from the web? Try the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at http://www.archive.org/. Enter the URL of the website or document and you should then see a calendar of the snapshots that the archive has. Choose a date from the calendar to view the page. The archive does not have everything but it is worth a try. See also the UK National Archives of old government websites and pages at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/webarchive/
  9. OUsefulInfo, http://blog.ouseful.info/ “Trying to find useful things to do with emerging technologies in open education and data journalism”. Maintained by Tony Hirst, this blog has useful information and descriptions of what can be involved when dealing with and manipulating open data.
  10. DuckDuckGo  http://duckduckgo.com/ This was not covered in the workshop but one of the participants recommended it as a useful alternative to Google. Aside from the absence of tracking and personalisation it provides different and a greater variety of results when compared with Google.

Edited highlights of the workshop slides can be found on authorSTREAM and Slideshare.

My next business information related workshop is Discover Open Data on  the 7th April.  The  next advanced Google workshop (New Google, New Challenges) is on the 13th April and the Essential non-Google search tools is on  the 12th April.

Business information resources and search strategies

Statista_2I’ve finally finished “updating” my slides and notes for the first of this year’s workshops on business information, which takes place next week. It was not so much an update, more  a rewrite. With all the changes at Google, UK government website transfers and disappearances, the “right to be forgotten” and the many website design changes by business resources to make them mobile friendly I was virtually starting from scratch.

Next week’s workshop is being organised by TFPL in central London on Tuesday 8th March.  TFPL have made the event the “Course of the Week” and reduced the price to £249, but you have to book by  midnight on Friday 4th March to get the reduced price.

The topics I shall be covering include:

How the legal and regulatory environment is affecting search and the provision of information

Starting points, evaluated listings and government sources

Company information: share prices, financials, official data

Statistics, market and industry data, open data

News sources and alerting services

Essential search techniques for tracking down business information

How to use social media and professional networks for business intelligence

Where to find older, archived material

As usual, there will be practical sessions for people to try out resources and search techniques for themselves.  If you are interested go to the TFPL website or contact their learning time on 020 7378 5477.

News and comments on search tools and electronic resources for research