Papers

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Rasha is a Mac user who likes this software …

Papers is an affordable tool, that has a web interface built on top of Mac OS X’s WebKit open source browser engine. Accordingly Papers could be used as a browser, which also features different online databases such as Jstor and PubMed. Papers provides the option to search and download articles directly (without importing and exporting any files thus it saves you time unlike similar software). The multiple tab features is a good tool in which you could match and compare between different articles at the same time.”

and Patrick is a big fan of its annotation functionality:

“I keep all of my papers in Papers 2.0 (no pun intended), maintaining an automatic database that includes PDF copies of everything I read. I make most notes and annotations directly on the pdf, but also keep a separate .txt file with short summaries of every paper I read. I find writing these especially useful: the process of rewriting an (extremely concise) abstract helps me remember the paper. In another .txt file I keep references that have yet to be imported into papers. These might be from citations or from recommendations I get emailed (…etc).

“I copy and paste the .bib citation commands into my LaTeX documents as I read papers, allowing me to structure my thoughts in an outline of how I want to arrange sources in the literature review I am currently writing. When it comes to compiling the document, I export a .bib file from Papers 2.0 into my LaTeX folder. The .bib files also act as external backup of my entire library.”

Qiqqa

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Jimme got frustrated with existing reference management tools during his Ph.D. – so he decided to invent Qiqqa as a tailor-made solution …

Qiqqa is a research management tool that picks up where all the reference managers leave off: once I have found my PDFs, how do I go about reading them, and more importantly, how do I go about remembering the juicy tidbits that I discovered in them – especially when I will only be writing up in another two years?

In addition to the searching, notes and tags functions that other reference managers provide, Qiqqa allows me to highlight and annotate in my PDFs just the information I think is important. Then, at the press of a button, I can generate a report that distils all of the important stuff I want to remember, without my having to go search through all my PDFs to find it. And even if I do want to see where the information came from, I can just click on it and it will open the original PDF. No more sifting through huge messy piles of dog-eared printouts looking for that important page with a bit of yellow highlighter.

Qiqqa also allows me to save web pages as PDFs so that I can highlight information from Wikipedia, the news, course notes or whatever.

I keep all my PDFs, notes, tags and highlights in sync across my lab, home and laptop computers, and also get at my documents on the Web. It also lets me share my papers with my lab reading group for when we want to comment on them together.

Qiqqa really takes the search out of research. And best of all it is free!

Mendeley

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Why Charlotte likes Mendeley …

“I have always been an Endnote person when it comes to organising my bibliographic references. Then I was introduced to Mendeley.

“Mendeley is the most remarkable organisational tool due its ability to go beyond the mere collating of references. It allows the user to import pdf full text documents into the bibliographic management interface. No more tracking back to electronic databases to try to find the full text of articles from once useful references! Now I can have all the information that I need from within Mendeley. I can save the pdfs in a file structure on my PC and in Mendeley, or just keep them within Mendeley itself.

“Now for the really clever bit: I can highlight pdf text and even make my own notes which are then stored on the pdf. I have always struggled with the problem of my notes being on a paper article whilst my working pattern is very much electronic. Finally, here is a solution which allows the two spheres to blend together. I can have my own notes and highlighting within the same electronic space as the references. A wonderful feature!”

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