Academic Lifehacker

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Tools and ideas to improve academic efficiency

Metafilter Roundup: the Dissertation/Thesis edition

Dissertation Corner
Photo by: multifinality

Helpful Guides for Writing a Dissertation

How to plan a daily schedule for a dissertation?

Dealing with Academic Writer’s Block

Thesis Writer’s Block

How do I write a thesis?

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Filed under: Academia, Advice, Dissertation, Grad School, Motivation, Organization, Thesis, Time Management, Writing

Maple and other Windows outliners

Maple

I’ve been looking for a lightweight outliner program to handle my piece-meal thesis work. I discovered Maple, which seems to be what I was looking for, from this list of outliner programs for Windows.

It lets me organize my writing into manageable sections, then easily work on each once I have the sources at hand. Also, I can export the tree as a flat file in doc, txt, html, or rtf.

In my ideal world, it would have support for footnotes or endnotes, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Maple
By Crystal Office Systems
Free 30-day trial, $21.95 US to buy

Filed under: Computer, Files, Organization, Research, Software, Thesis, Tools, Windows, Writing

The Carnival of GRADual Progress

Working on thesis
Photo by: OldMainstream

The Carnival of GRADual Progress is a monthly roundup of blog posts of interest to grad students. Hosted at a different academic blog every month, the posts range from helpful to simply hilarious.

There are six carnivals so far:
1st Carnival
2nd Carnival
3rd Carnival
4th Carnival
5th Carnival
6th Carnival

Warning: to be approached with extreme caution. Definite time-sucker.

Filed under: Academia, Advice, Computer, Grad School, Motivation, Online, Reading, Research, Thesis, Time Management, Web, Writing

Overcoming Academic Writer’s Block

I admit, reading Metafilter discussions is an excellent way to procrastinate doing actual academic work. However, this particular thread might actually have some productivity payoff for anyone struggling with a big project (thesis, book, etc).

Academic writer’s block: tips, strategies, experiences?
[ from Ask Metafilter ]

Filed under: Advice, Grad School, Motivation, Research, Thesis, Writing

Top ten longest titles of research papers

And now for something completely different…

Top ten longest titles of research papers
[ from Trevor’s Bike Shed ]

Filed under: Academia, Humour, Research, Thesis, Web, Writing

Citavi – coming soon?

Citavi

I’m impressed by the interface and capabilities of reference manager Citavi, but for the moment it’s only available in German. However, they do apparently have plans to release an English language version.

I’m tempted to download the free version, even if it is in German, just to see how it all works together. Too bad it’s not French– I could handle working in French. But I know absolutely no German whatsoever.

Citavi [ via The Efficient Academic Google Group ]

Filed under: Academia, Bibliographies, Bibliography, Computer, Files, Organization, Research, Thesis, Tools, Windows

More Bibliographical Management Tools

After my last post, two helpful commenters suggested some further tools to consider for managing references.

Michael Dunn suggested JabRef, a bibliography reference manager that works with BibTeX format.

Rick suggested wikindx, a bibliographic and quotations/notes management system that can be used for either the single-user or for collaborative efforts.

While investigating these leads, I also came upon the Bibliophile Initiative, whose goal it is to “promote collaboration between developers and end-users of bibliographic databases.” They maintain a list of bibliographic database applications and utilities which I found to be a useful tool.

A big thank you to Michael and Rick for your help and suggestions.

Filed under: Academia, Bibliographies, Bibliography, Computer, Files, Online, Organization, Research, Software, Thesis, Tools, Web

Web 2.0 Bibliographical Management roundup

Since I use multiple computers, my dream is to manage my bibliographical information online. I haven’t yet found a Web 2.0 (as in a central online solution) to successfully manage all of my bibliographical information. But I haven’t yet given up hope!

These are the various solutions I’ve found thus far. Perhaps they may be of help to others:

CiteULike
Connotea
Easy Bib (they also offer the more powerful paid MyBib Pro, which I’m considering)
RefWorks

Any other suggestions?

Filed under: Academia, Bibliographies, Bibliography, Computer, Online, Reading, Research, Software, Thesis, Tools, Web

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Academic Lifehacker provides hints, tips, tools, and software recommendations for scholars, graduate students, and researchers.