Google Reader for Academics

I have written previously about how RSS is a revolutionary phenomenon for people who need to process continuously updating information sources.If you are in Academia then keeping yourself updated in research publications is a must.Most people including myself used the eTOC (electronic Table of Contents) facility of journals to update what’s getting published.However after RSS came up all that has changed.I have a screencast showing how advantageous it is to go through large list of information with RSS feeds and the mighty Google reader πŸ˜‰

Papers – Review

Being a proud owner of the new Macbook Pro I decided to scribble about some of the great tools available in the Mac platform for academics. What better app to start with than Papers.I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘switcher’, I still have my Acer notebook running WindowsXP! which I also use on a daily basis.If you can identify yourself with the following text – then papers is The tool for you.

Do you have dozens of PDF files from your favorite scientific articles scattered on your hard drive? Do you also try to desperately organize them by renaming and archiving them in folders? But like the piles of printed articles on your desk, you can’t keep up with all the new papers you download, and despite all your efforts it has become impossible to find that one article.

I am not going to give you a trip around the features of this fantastic tool,but will highlight the stuff that i found interesting. I should also mention that unlike other software tools for academics, Papers is designed by two academics themselves and therefore able to capture the essence of what is really the requirement for a tool that maintains your digital library of research articles.

Pubmed search & import

Papers allows you to directly search for literature of interest on Pubmed and import them into Papers.You might consider that this not something great! well the point here is that the import feature also takes into consideration the keywords that are mapped to a paper which can be used to search for papers! consider them as tags.

Rate papers!

Papers also introduces iTunes like ratings that can be given to your research literature which is really a great feature – also helps a lot when you want to search for papers that you found interesting!!

what I’ve mentioned above should be enough to drive you to the Papers site and try it out. Finally I would like to add the most important note – Papers is not your

    reference management system

– it will not (atleast not until now) insert citations into your word processor ala Endnote. Papers is a product that fills a very narrow but significantly felt space between the reference management and file management systems. Its job is to allow you to organize your digital library of research literature and it does that absolutely great.

One of the other fantastically implemented features is the import feature.Say that you have saved a PDF file with its DOI as the file name, all you have to do is just drag and drop the file into the Papers application window and using the DOI it identifies the paper from the internet and automatically fills in the required information like author info, journal page no. etc.

It’s a pity that such a product is not available for the Windows platform yet. Papers is not free, a single user license costs 29 euros, ofcourse if you are a student you can avail a 40% discount on that price!You can however try out papers for free for 30 days, and I am sure by that time you would be prepared to pay for it. πŸ˜‰

Graduate Student life:

You need the willingness to fail all the time, You have to generate many ideas and then you have to work very hard only to discover that they don’t work. And you keep doing that over and over until you find one that does work.

John W.Backus
“FORTRAN Father”

I’ve never come across more apt words to describe research life ;-), but then again if the above was said regarding programming it does apply for research too.