Monday, December 31, 2007

I know I have that paper here somewhere...

I got a question.

What do you use to organize your documents/papers?

Right now I have folders organized by topics and file names that contain author, year, journal and 4-9 word summary. It makes for some friggin loooong names and annoyingly inefficient searches. I was thinking of throwing everything behind EndNote, but before I do that, I want to be sure it will work as I wanted. Are there any alternatives (must run on Windows, but easy import/export to Mac or Linux would be nice). I also hate putting all my eggs in a proprietary basket. Case in point...

I recently found a disk with some very old journal entries (early high school) and even though they were in MS Word format (Word 5 for Mac), the latest version of Office wouldn't read them. I was a smart cookie though, and saved the documents in several formats, including good ole text. Apparently I had a huge crush on Michele Brinkerhoff my Sophomore year.

Any opinions on Zotero?

3 comments:

Remy Wahnoun said...

All my pdfs are named after the title of the article, and in one folder. I use Endnote to know what is what. You can always export endnote files into several formats so no prb there.

kanzure said...

At the moment I also leave all of my PDFs in a single folder, with exceptionally long filenames that includes information like title, date, important authors, and a quick comment using a very dense terminology/ontology system. If I find it on the web, I add it to my hierarchical bookmarking system, and add the abstract as the description of the link. But this is painful.

One option I've almost taken up is making BibTeX files. Maybe to one day interface with Bibsonomy. See also KBibTeX.

I have also considered searchable tag clouds, but then you might change your vocabulary over the years and how would you possibly remember how you tagged something four months ago, or even four years ago? Ironically ... a DNI might be able to solve this one day. Save a few patterns for each file, match similiar files in search results. Or at least do background processing while you sleep to retag and recategorize the information ...

- Bryan

Brandon King said...

Yeah, I think that right now my plan is to just use EndNote. the downside is that EndNote will save a separate copy of the pdfs in the Data folders for each library, which I can tell will get confusing quickly (removing dupes, etc).

Also, I guess my best option is to make a single huge library file and add tags, like Bryan was kinda talking about, so that I can filter easily. We'll see. I'll probably put it into action at the end of the month.

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