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Telstar Quick Demonstration

Telstar Demonstration

The following screencast is a quick demonstration of some of the highights of the Moodle/RefWorks integration developed by the TELSTAR project at the Open University. Click on the play button below, or view in full screen.


  • May 17th 201017:05
    by Dave Harris

    This looks really useful and I am sure it has a great future, especially since it can work well with Moodle. I still like Zotero though myself, which seems very similar, and will capture references without DOIs ( no doubt Telstar will too). Zotero is also portable. So — much as I admire this system, and I will let people know about it, I think Zotero still works best for me. Unless you’d like to convince me otherwise ( I know a quick demo can’t cover all of it)?

  • May 18th 201009:05
    by Owen Stephens

    Hi Dave – thanks for the feedback. I agree that Zotero is a great tool – I use it myself. I think the key thing we have done in this project is to integrate reference management tools into the learning environment, making them more accessible (I hope) to a wider range of students. When students need more powerful tools for reference management they are likely to move onto tools such as Zotero, RefWorks, Mendely, EndNote etc.

    Although the recent press release doesn’t focus on the other aspects of the project, we have also developed tools for those writing course material to capture references and integrate them into their course material in such a way that links to online versions of texts can be added automatically (using DOI and other data), and any references added to a course in this way can be exported to the students personally library, preserving any annotations and ensuring the students get good quality references.

    Finally we have also written a toolkit (currently in draft at http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/telstar/remit-toc/) which looks at the issues around delivering reference management tools to students – if someone were to take this work and show how Zotero or other tools could be exploited in this way, that would be really great.

  • May 19th 201010:05
    by Fred Davies


    When do you think courses will be able to integrate this into their websites ?Will it be down to course managers to take the initiative?

    BTW your link http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/telstar/remit-toc/ is giving
    Error 404 – Not Found

  • May 19th 201010:05
    by Fred Davies

    Who selects the ‘references’? The course teams or each tutor? Not clear from the demo

  • May 19th 201010:05
    by Fred Davies

    Who selects the ‘references’? The course teams, the OU library or each tutor? Not clear from the demo

  • May 19th 201011:05
    by Rachel Robinson

    Looks really good and should make referencing a lot quicker (for me anyway!!). Hopefully it will be available soon!

  • May 19th 201011:05
    by ostephens

    Hi Fred – thanks for the interest.
    The link http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/telstar/remit-toc/ is working for me – maybe a temporary problem?

    We are currently piloting and getting feedback on the developments we have done to date – based on this feedback a decision on how this is offered to courses will be made – this should be by July 2010. Initial discussions suggest that some of the tools could be released to all students, while other course-based functions would need to be adopted by course teams based on the course requirements – but as I say, this is still under discussion.

    In terms of who can add references, there are different places references can be added, and this could be the responsibility of different people. References can be added to course content and ‘resource pages’ – this would usually be done by course teams (or people acting on their behalf such as Library staff).

    However, there is an option to add references to ‘collaborative activities’ – such as Moodle forums – and tutors would be able to do this (and students).

    In terms of existing systems such as ROUTES and MyOpenLibrary, these are both currently used by courses, and of course any phasing out of these services would need to be planned, taking into consideration current usage. The project has made some comments on how the TELSTAR developments may impact on existing OU library systems at http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/telstar/remit-toc/remit-the-open-university-approach/potential-impact-on-existing-library-systems/

  • […] See a visual demonstration of MyReferences at http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/telstar/telstar-quick-demonstration/ […]

  • Jun 24th 201008:06
    by Chrissie Turkington

    Will Telstar work with other VLEs and where can it be downloaded? Thanks.

    • Jun 24th 201009:06
      by Owen Stephens

      Hi Chrissie,

      At the moment Telstar works specifically with Moodle and the RefWorks reference management software.

      While we think that it would be possible to separate out some of the reliance on RefWorks by identifying alternative Reference Management software with an API that could provide the same services, it would be difficult to take what we have done and transfer it to another VLE without significant effort.

      What we have done is provide a ‘toolkit’ called ReMIT (Reference Management Integration Toolkit) which is intended to outline the key issues for other sites looking at similar projects, and also to explain the decisions we made in terms of implementation at the Open University. The toolkit is currently in draft form, and is available at http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/telstar/remit-toc/

    • Jun 24th 201009:06
      by Owen Stephens

      Oops – forgot to say, you can download the TELSTAR code from http://code.google.com/p/telstar/, and also ask questions and discuss it on the Google group at http://groups.google.com/group/TELSTAROU

  • […] Telstar Quick Demonstration « Telstar (tags: reference software refworks moodle e-learning bibliographie citation enseignement research academic scholar webservice metadonnees) […]

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