Academic Workflow: Digital Tools & Techniques

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I present some of the digital tools available for the researchers on today's market to my fellow doctoral students in McGill University Desautels School of Management, and I offer them with my experiences while trying to make an end-to-end digital research workflow.

Transcript of Academic Workflow: Digital Tools & Techniques

  • 1. Mahmood Shafeie Zargar for Desautels Doctoral Students SocietyAcademic Workflow McGill UniversityDigital Tools and TechniquesMarch 3, 2014

2. Dr. John Smiths Only Workflow CaptureComposeFormat & ReleaseWord! Family HeritageWord! Family HeritageWord! Family HeritageEndNote! Department HeritageEndNote! Department HeritageEndNote! Department HeritageStorageUSB Key! Fault-Intolerant Error-Prone Limited-Capacity Insecure Storage !2 3. One of My Workflows CaptureFormat & ReleaseComposeDEVONthink! Desktop Content Management System Papers! Reference Library" & Citation Manager Evernote! Synchronized" Note TakingScrivener Integrated Writing EnvironmentWord! Badass EditorMagic Citations! Reference Library" & Citation ManagerMindNode! Mind-mapping" & OutliningStorageDEVONthink !3+DropBox 4. What Do We Do as Researchers? ReadWriteAnalyze" (not covered here)Organize !4Interoperability" is the key 5. Reading Digitally vs. on Paper Pros Cons Low resolution (exc. Retina)"Backlight-related stress (exc. eink)"Unfriendly annotation features"Searchability (text and annotations) "Limited screen real-estate"Exportability of annotations (highlights and notes) "Transferability (unlimited)"Mobility (volume)"Security (backups, access control, etc)"Narrow focus while reading"Limited comparability"No tactile random access"Easy organization" Multicolour highlights (moms favorite!) !5Multitasking (Distractibility) 6. Formats (PDF vs. eBook) PDF is not a reading format, but a printing and archival format" Nearly all scientic journals are published in PDF format" With PDF documents loos the same everywhere, but they remain unadapted to every single screen (why vertical?!)"Supported by most academic reader softwares"eBook formats (ePub, mobipocket, etc) are designed as reading formats" Viewers change the size and ow of the text to t to your screen"Some academic journals are testing the format"Supported by absolutely no academic reader software (as of today) !6 7. Reading PDFs (in a workflow) Integrated ReaderInline AnnotationStandalone" Reader Acrobat (m/w/i) Foxit (m/w) Preview (m)" PDFExpert (i)*EndNote (m/w)Sidecar Papers (m/w/i)*" Annotation Mendeley (m/w/i)*m = Mac" w = Windows" i = iOSSkim (m)*+ = Some export functionality" * = Research-grade export functionality !7 8. Freehand annotation on tablet? It is possible.Manaf Zargoush!8 9. Forget about e-ink readers for PDF reading. They are not made for that Mahmood Shafeie Zargar!9 10. Reading eBooks (in a workflow) Format iBooks (i/m) Kindle" (a/i/m/ w/o/d) Kobo" (a/i/m/w/d)CapabilitiesePubGood Syncing Great Annotation ExportmobipocketGreat Syncing" Some Annotation Export (via Bookcision)ePubSome Syncing" Weak Annotation Exportm = Mac" i = iOS" w = Windows" a = Android" o = Online d = Device!10 11. Alternative Means of Reading (McGill)Browzine: Get access to many academic journals directly from your tablet!11 12. Alternative Means of Reading (McGill)Browzine: Get access to many academic journals directly from your tablet!12 13. Alternative Means of Reading (McGill)ebrary: Get temporary access to some book collections!13 14. All Texts: From Vanilla to RichVanilla Text (Simple text editor)"Typesetting (LaTeX)"Markup (HTML, XML, etc)"Rich Text (Word, Pages, etc)!14 15. All Texts: From Vanilla to Rich Vanilla Text (Simple text editor)"Markdown (Markdown, MultiMarkdown, etc)"Typesetting (LaTeX)"Markup (HTML, XML, etc)"Rich Text (Word, Pages, etc)!15 16. WYSIWYG vs. WYGIWYW WYSIWYG (Word, Pages, etc) WYGIWYW (LaTeX, Markdown, IWEs)Pros"Cons"Doesnt look as good at rst sight"Supposedly just one step to the nal document"Not as intuitive"Very rich user interface with a plethora of options"Takes some practice" Immediate feedback on both form and content"Fool-proof"Not presentable in raw format: always needs transformation"Adds a nal transformation to the writing process"Cons" Slow and resource consuming"Low browsability (not appropriate for very long documents)"Very simple, minimal clutter"Little structure (despite the existence of TOC)"Formatting, a mess"Focus on content while wiring, focus on format while formatting "Formatting nearly not reproducible (semi-useless templates) "Template-based reproducible formatting"Working out formatting and content at the same time"Consistent behaviour"Lack of standards and convertibility (for rich text formats)"Multiple output formats"Not editable everywhere"File transclusion"Possible loss of formatting in each content transfer"Highly standardized, highly compatible (Markdown)"Weak logics: erratic interface behaviour"Highly structured (LaTeX, Markdown)"File corruption and data loss a real possibility"Write anywhere, on any editor (LaTeX, Markdown)"Single output from single source le (source = output)Little risk of corruption (LaTeX, Markdown)!16Pros" 17. Four New Concepts - (1) Markdown!17Mou 18. Four New Concepts - (2) Integrated Writing Environment!18Scrivener 19. Four New Concepts - (2) Integrated Writing Environment!19Ulysses 20. Four New Concepts - (3) Distraction-Free Writing!20Scrivener 21. Four New Concepts - (3) Distraction-Free Writing!21Ulysses 22. Four New Concepts - (4) Collaborative Writing!22Google Docs 23. Editor Choices Editor" MS Ofce 365 Apple iWork Libre / Open / Neo Ofce Google Docs" Quickofce" WriteRoom iA Writer, Byword Writebox, wbisbi TextWrangler, Sublime Text TeXnicCenter TeXWorks ShareLatex Marked StackEdit Scrivener Ulysses OMMWriter The Journalist MouType" Word Processor Word Processor Word Processor Word Processor Word Processor Distraction Free Distraction Free Distraction Free" Code Editor LaTeX Editor LaTeX Editor LaTeX Editor Markdown Viewer Markdown Editor" ! Integrated Writing" Integrated Writing Distraction Free" Markdown Editor" Markdown Editor"Format" MS Ofce iWork, Some MS ODF , MS Google" MS Ofce" Vanilla" Markdown" Vanilla" Any Text (exc. Rich) LaTeX LaTeX LaTeX Markdown Markdown" Rich Text Format" Markdown" Vanilla Markdown Markdown!23Platform m, w, i, o" m, i, o" m, w" i, a, o" i, a, o" m" m, i" o" m" w" m" o" m o" m, w" ! m" m, i" m, i" m"Sync. via Skydrive via iCloud" n/a" via GDrive" ! via GDrive" n/a" yes" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" yes" yes" n/a"m = Mac" i = iOS" w = Windows" a = Android" o = OnlineCollaborative some" some" n/a" yes" ! n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" n/a" 24. Before Writing: Capturing Those Tiny Bits of Information You used to have a Moleskin Good old times" !Good news: The productivity app market has exploded during the last decade"A variety of products to capture not only text, but every sort of structured and unstructured information"Most either sync across platforms or are ready for the postdropbox era !24 25. Note Taking SoftwareThere are too many apps to be named here" Notational Velocity Some are simple, and some are just one notch below a full- edged content management systemSavesTypeBare-bones" Vanilla Text (Sync via Simplenote)PlatformmThe JournalistMarkdown, ImagesJournal" (Sync via iCloud)m, iEvernoteRich Text, Images, PDFs, AudioVersatile" (Native Sync)m, w, i, a, oVoodooPadHTML / Rich TextWiki (No Sync / Dropbox)m!25m = Mac" i = iOS" w = Windows" a = Android" o = OnlineIcon 26. Evernote in a Workflow Looks up your calendar, the time and the location to add metadata to your notes"Present on every device (and web) for your note taking pleasure"Does image search (character recognition)"Can search PDFs (not free)"Saves web clips"Can fetch Kindle annotations (Using Bookcision)"Lets you make simple todo lists"Lets you share notebooks"Syncs with digital pens" Livescribe "Penultimate"Can keep your business cards and recipes (moms favorite!) "Has limited but sufcient export functionality"Can transcribe your audio notes (automatic on Android, through Dragon Dictate on iOS, several additional services offered including human transcription e.g. Quicktate)"!26 27. Analog Note Taking, Digital Notebook Livescribe: Audio-annotated notes" The perfect interview device" Searchable handwritten notes"Needs proprietary paper (printable)"Penultimate" Searchable handwritten notes" Just a tablet app"Better with the proprietary pen"McGills Xerox Scanner" Not fancy!"Free OCRd PDF (but not for handwritten text)"Evernote can search in the image of a handwritten text (not perfect)!27 28. Mind-mapping and Outlining Andrew Van de Ven thinks tossing around ideas recorded on tiny cards helps theorizing!"Well, you got it"Too many online and ofine solutions for tossing around and structuring ideas: e.g Mind Manager (Mac & Windows - The best, but not free)"e.g. MindNode (Mac - Lite version free)"e.g. Just google it!Secret sauce: Adding nodes should be easy and intuitive, otherwise paper remains the superior solution!"! Specic outlining tool for the acionado: Omni Outliner (Mac)!28 29. Citation Software vs. Paper Libraries There used to be Thomson Education, Endnote and Refworks" Created the ISO standard for Citation Styles"Styles in proprietary format" This means you have to wait forever for any style correction to be released (but then it will be impeccable)"! Many alternative citation management apps today, some free" Most rely on the open-source Citation Style Language" This means a large community of users keeping CSL les up-to-date !29 30. Citation Management SoftwareEndNoteTypeStandaloneTechnologyExcellent but Proprietary not customizablePapersStandaloneCSLMendeleyStandaloneCSLZoteroBibTeXBrowser ExtensionSeveral ImplementationsStyle RenderingCSLBibTeXLibrary & SyncWeak native syncTabletElementarySearch RefactoringCitation FormattingSomeWord, Pages + Tag-basedNoneReaderBultin, Weak N/A annotationField- By author, Most Bultin, Good & Dropbox based by journal, Very capable editors + Excellent customizable synx and by book, Tag-based annotation Full etc Text Word, Builtin, Mileage Native Full Pages, OO Good but varies & Good Some sync