Helping Hands

While searching for a flexible yet powerful way to collect, document and organize all the bibliographic content I will be stumbling over during future research, I came across a few nifty tools.



The first is DEVONthink, a really clever piece of software “designed to manage and keep in order all those disparate pieces of information so important to your work or studies.”

DEVONthink stores your documents, scanned papers, email messages, notes, bookmarks, etc. in one place. Access live web pages seamlessly from within DEVONthink to review, extract further information.

Create RTF documents, edit them in full screen, and cross-reference. Clip data from other applications using drag-and-drop, Services, or the Dock menu.

Search, classify and show relationships between your documents — automatically and language-independent, with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

Share your knowledge using the built-in web server on the local network, over the Internet, and via iPhone.

Especially the drag-/drop functionality and the neat integration of all sorts of data-formats make this application really easy and fun to use. The built-in fulltext search and the suggestion of contextual search results make devonthink the weapon of choice for organizing and referencing your literature-reviews, as well as preparing paper-outlines. Here is a well-described use example of DevonThink as a research system.

Zotero. A Firefox extension.

Zotero. A Firefox extension.

Another quite useful tool in terms of keeping proper bibliographic references as you go is Zotero. I have just started using this little Firefox extension, but it seems to work really well recognizing bibliographic information on library websites or online book stores. Great features such as tagging and note-taking for your references, as well as good integration with other word processing through export functionalities (bibtex,  biblX, …) and plug-ins. One could even use this FF add-on alone to store other research material like pdfs, images, text-documents etc., simply by attaching them to related bibliographic entries. Very clever.

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