8 July 2006

New tools for researchers

I've just attended a seminar session for higher degree research students on useful software for managing information throughout the thesis writing process. Michael presented a number of free or cheap tools that can be used to manage various tasks associated with the research project. Some (many) I have already used but I must find the time to check these out...

  • OneNote (part of Microsoft Office)
  • Onfolio (Embedded in the Windows Live toolbar)
  • Michael's DotWikIE (a wiki in a web page - a portable wiki)
  • 37signals.com Basecamp (project management)
  • SyncToy
  • Eyespot (not just video storage, but editing too)

A couple of other tips from Michael

  1. Ensure your data is safe and backed up. Some might think this goes without saying - but in the Library we have had a few student tears shed over the loss of a single document. Imagine the heartbreak of 3 years of research going up in flames, or being stolen.
  2. If you still love the enduring attraction of pen and paper - use them, but scan your handwritten notes and save them electronically too. Papers in the physical sense are easily lost or damaged. And at the end of the PhD you can store all your information and progress on a dvd or cdrom or usb key or website or ....

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