Toolkit for scholarly purposes: free and open source applications
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Purpose Open source initiatives and open publishing are becoming popular among the academic community around the world. However, a significant portion of the academic community is not yet fully aware of the available free and open source software (FOSS) options that make their lives easy in searching, retrieving, storing and sharing information in a digital environment. The purpose of this paper is to present a FOSS toolkit that was used successfully for information literacy programs at the Library of Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) during the past two years. Design/methodology/approach The toolkit was gradually developed based on knowledge and experience gained through browsing the web, collaborating with colleagues and participating in workshops. Findings The toolkit consists of 83 web tools that were presented under 10 topics namely; Web Search Engines, Reference Materials, Translating Tools, Transliterating Tools, Information Sharing and File Hosting Services, File Format Converters, Screen Capture Tools, Download Managers, Reference Management Tools, Plagiarism Detection Tools. The toolkit was successfully used for information literacy programs conducted at the OUSL Library since late 2010. In the post-workshop evaluation forms, all the participants mentioned that they were certain about the usefulness of the toolkit in achieving their educational and research goals. Practical implications This toolkit would be useful for academic community in their teaching, learning and research activities. Library professionals may use this toolkit in conducting information literacy workshops. Originality/value The toolkit presented in the paper was developed by the author for the purpose of using it as a training material at the OUSL Library user-training sessions.