April 17, 2008
Organizing Digital Research
I've received a few questions lately about how to organize digital research for the academic. The askers have been interested in some product that will allow them to bring together email, web sites, web pages, PDFs, word docs, etc., in a meaningful and organized manner; something that can handle all digital information, regardless of format. Interested in hearing if anyone uses these products, or knows of any others, and their experiences. Here's what I've found so far, arranged in alphabetical order:
asksam - "It's never been easier to organize, search, and manage your information. askSam 6 is a flexible and powerful way to organize information and create searchable databases from Web pages, Email, PDF files, texts, and Word documents. For over 20 years askSam has been the choice of researchers and other information professionals."
imiser - "Download, Save, Search Organize, and annotate Web pages and links, email, images, selected text, and newsgroup messages. Save any text from EVERY drag-enabled program, such as Microsoft® Word®, Outlook Express®, or Forte® Agent. Save local text, HTML, RTF, DOC, and PDF files to the iMiser database for instant retrieval."
OneNote - "Gather, store, and manage your notes and information — including text, pictures, digital handwriting, audio and video recordings, and more — in a single location. Having all your important information at your fingertips can help you make more informed decisions and be better prepared..."
Onfolio - "Onfolio is an add-in for the Windows Live Toolbar that helps you collect and organize online content, read RSS news feeds, and share content in emails, blogs and documents. With Onfolio, you get all of these tools built into your browser for simplicity. Whether you are planning a trip, looking for a job, investigating a major purchase, or simply looking for a better way to keep up with the news that interests you, Onfolio will help you be more efficient, thorough and organized."
PersonalBrain - "PersonalBrain helps you organize all your Web pages, contacts, documents, emails and files in one place so that you can always find them - just like you think of them. This saves you time and makes your life easier! With PersonalBrain you can even find related items that you worked on, but forgot existed."
Zotero - "Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways." [seems not to allow email integration]
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I've used askSam over the last 15-20 years to organize research in a KnowledgeBase, track a large multi-million dollar securities litigation case, and to manage numerous projects requiring a tool that can mix all kinds of electronic media. Nothing comes close to askSam in its flexibility.
Posted by: John | Apr 18, 2008 11:31:02 AM