Comment author: casebash 15 November 2017 03:24:41AM 0 points [-]

"I would recommend Semantic Scholar as a more finely-tuned alternative to Google Scholar while still having a lot of free content" - any specific ways in which it works better?

Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 16 November 2017 09:49:34AM 0 points [-]

I haven't used it in anger yet, but I think Semantic Scholar only searches databases that give you free access to the PDFs - so if you want to know you'll actually be able to click through and read the article, that's an advantage over Google Scholar, which will bring citations which are paywalled or unavailable online as results.

I believe also only searches (fairly) respectable databases like ArXiv and PubMed Central, so you are less likely to get poor-quality results.

Comment author: joshjacobson  (EA Profile) 13 November 2017 09:02:32PM *  1 point [-]

This looks great! Looking forward to doing a more detailed read when I have more time, but I already see some resources and techniques I wasn't aware of or have failed to fully implement thus far, so this will serve as added motivation and a nice reference.

Sci-Hub is another resource that is likely to be highly useful to those without institutional access to journal subscriptions. And I find that the archive of Data Is Plural is a great source for data on a wide variety of topics:

Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 14 November 2017 10:49:39AM 2 points [-]

Thanks! I can't recommend Sci-Hub or I might have my librarianship license revoked! But that archive looks really interesting.

Comment author: RyanCarey 14 November 2017 01:41:21AM 4 points [-]

Thanks for writing this. I agree that reference management is really useful for paper-writing, and I have come across a bunch of these resources repeatedly. I get the impression people vary a bunch in how much they use subject-specific databases and the structured queries. I usually get by pretty well with Google Scholar. I don't encounter too much noise with the machine learning and biology work that I tend to read, although I can imagine they would be super useful if I was publishing a literature review.

The video at the start is a cool blog post structure. I wonder if anyone else will try it...

Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 14 November 2017 10:47:53AM 3 points [-]

Thanks! I really didn't want it to be boring and dry, and I'm not on here a lot so I though having a face to put to the blog would help.

How thorough you need to be absolutely depends on what you're working on - obviously if you're writing a literature review for publication you need to do a bit more due diligence than if you're just looking for the next thing to read. I would recommend Semantic Scholar as a more finely-tuned alternative to Google Scholar while still having a lot of free content.

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 13 November 2017 07:33:48PM 4 points [-]

Thank you for writing this! The images under 'What are you going to search for?' are not loading.

Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 14 November 2017 10:45:41AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for flagging this up - I think I've fixed that now.


Finding and managing literature on EA topics

Hi! I'm Kat Steiner - a few of you may have met me at EA Global London recently. I'm a librarian at the University of Oxford, so I spend a lot of time working with people on how to find literature (books, journal articles, reports) in their chosen area, how... Read More
In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 07 November 2017 03:58:44PM 8 points [-]

Hi, I'm planning a post on finding relevant literature (I'm a librarian), as well as using reference management software to save time. Does anyone have any great suggestions for places they go for academic writing on EA-related topics, or for datasets? I'm thinking things beyond Google Scholar/Arxiv/JSTOR. All input valued.

Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 28 January 2016 11:27:19AM 0 points [-]

I'd just like to say that this is the first month I've made an effort to read the EA Newsletter, and it has been a hugely rewarding experience. Although I'm not sure I'll get through everything on there before the next one, it's really highlighted loads of great writing and speaking that I would not otherwise have sought out.

Comment author: Linch 21 January 2016 12:49:48PM 1 point [-]

Stefan: I think I mostly agree with your point, but not entirely.

"All pledgers are likely to increase the chances of new people taking the pledge. For instance, they might make their friends somewhat more likely to take the pledge." Yes, but I think this is also somewhat proportionate to how dedicated people are. In general, I would expect people who are obsessed with effective altruism to do more recruitment than people who are dedicated, but do not consider it to be the driving urge in their life, dedicated people to be better at recruitment than lightly interested people, etc. So expected donations isn't the only metric in which pouring more resources and mental bandwith into will have positive marginal returns (as you would expect!!) I think the bounds Kbog gave -- 3-6x for very dedicated vs. dedicated EAs -- is roughly reasonable for what I expect to be variance from person to person on the grounds of dedication alone (though as the other recent post noted, certain traits other than dedication, especially the ability to generate wealth, can extend the difference from person to person to somewhat beyond 6x).

"Also, I think that the mere fact that Giving What We Can can put one more pledge-taker on their site makes people more likely to take the pledge." Yes I think that's a point that belongs in the other thread as well. Quantity has a quality all on its own, and even anonymous social proof can be incredibly valuable. Anecdotally, a friend of mine is doing significant outreach at a large company mostly by persuading people that EA is a lot bigger than it actually is. :P

Comment author: kastrel  (EA Profile) 21 January 2016 12:56:39PM 4 points [-]

I don't know about dedicated people being better at recruitment. I have found my friends to be more receptive to me as a 'softcore EA' because we can relate to each others' lifestyles easily and they are more likely to make small changes than large ones. If I donated a really high proportion of my income (say 50%), I think I would not talk about that with them as they would find it instinctively off-putting to consider such a large change. I actually don't talk about the pledge at all with them unless they already seem keen for fear of sounding too 'hardcore'.

Of course, maybe if you're super dedicated you're going to try and recruit more often and with more people, so you may have better results. My point is just that I think 'softcore' may be more relatable for non EAs and that can be good to start conversations.