Toolbox for Researchers - Third Edition: Finding and Working with Sources

    Work on any research project involves the search and study of many sources of information. The organization of this process is not an easy task. Today we will talk about tools that are designed to optimize its various components.

    Photo by João Silas - Unsplash

    Vendors of academic software often work on the principle of cooperation with educational institutions. If your organization has not acquired the product you are interested in, organizing access to it can be difficult. If individual plans exist, not everyone is ready to pay for them from their own pockets. On the other hand, open or free products created by academics often suffer from inconvenient design and lack of support.

    You can try many different tools before settling on a working version. We decided to talk about the most notable on Hacker News and in the collections on GitHub.


    DOAJ is a curated catalog of open scientific journals. In its base - more than 4 million articles from 13 thousand publications representing 130 countries. In the near future, the site plans to significantly increase the number of humanitarian, highly specialized and non-English language magazines. Interestingly, DOAJs provide an open API for automating searches on various parameters.

    Peerus - helps you keep track of recent topical publications. Every day, the archive is updated with an average of 7 thousand new materials. Peerus provides university proxy integration for one-click downloads.

    Crossref- An open archive for publication and research. The goal of the project is to bring together scientists from all over the world on one site, so that they can jointly solve research problems. The site has already collected one hundred million entries. You can find the content you need by metadata and keywords.

    SciRate is a research research web application at . There are filters by scientific field and publication date. Additionally, a user rating system has been implemented, on the basis of which each article is assigned a rating.

    ArXiv Sanity Preserver- Accelerates search on using machine learning algorithms. The start page displays the latest materials along with the annotation. You can search for publications by keywords - in the search bar, as well as by similar signs - using the show similar link, which is located in the upper right corner near each document.

    OSF is an open hub for searching and creating scientific projects. Here you can structure your research work - to establish version control and add tags so that other people can find the publication. The platform involves working in the cloud, which facilitates access to their projects. Work can be done independently and shared with community members.

    Organization and citation

    doi2bib is a search engine for working with source lists. A digital object identifier (DOI) is entered in the search bar, and the system displays metadata for the material found to organize the bibliography list in BibTeX format.

    JabRef is an application that optimizes work with bibliographies in the BibTeX format. The generated list is exported to HTML, Docbook, BibTeXML, MODS, RTF, Refer / Endnote, OpenOffice and LibreOffice. You can run the utility on Java VM ( version 8 ), under Win, Linux, and OS X.

    Mendeley- A bibliographic list manager and a cloud platform that allows you to access project files from any device. Mendeley also offers advisory opportunities and communication tools.

    Docear- An open tool for organizing sources and building scientific work on their basis. The user needs to specify a folder that will play the role of a “library” of materials for a specific project. The program will automatically scan it and add the found files to its database. The database can be structured in the form of a "tree", combining work in one direction in one branch. Comments and highlights in pdf files are automatically imported and also displayed in the interface. When the work with the sources is over, Docear will help to form the final “mind map” and provide the necessary citations.

    Duecredit- You can quote not only text, but also code. If your program borrows algorithms or methods from scientific papers, this library will help you correctly refer to them. The library is currently available in Python.

    Work with documents

    Sphinx is a tool for “compiling” documents in reStructuredText in HTML, ePub, Texinfo, man pages and plain-text. It supports 50 extensions , automatic indexing of software components, creating links for functions, classes, quotes, terms, and so on. For beginners, the developers have prepared a tutorial and guide for a quick start . Additionally, we suggest you look at the following topics for working in Sphinx: rtd - supports both Sphinx and Read the Docs ; Bootstrap is a theme where CSS templates and JavaScript extensions of the Bootstrap framework integrated with Sphinx functionality: navigation, hierarchical menus, etc.

    A photofreddie marriage - Unsplash

    Git-scribeis an open source tool for e-books. Provides functionality for structuring text, editing, proofreading, correction, collaboration, as well as publishing and exporting to PDF, mobi and epub.

    Jupyter Notebookis a text editor with a built-in environment for interactive programming in Python. Previously known as iPython Notebook. It can be installed both locally and on VPS,there arecloud versions of the product.

    Texture- The interface of this editor gives access to a wide range of specialized functions - such as creating graphs, formulas and various citation methods. The program uses a special file format, which, if desired, can be "unpacked" and disassembled into components. According to the creators of Texture, this allows publishers to simplify the editing and reviewing process.

    What's inside ITMO University:

    Also popular now: