Q&A: Using Research

Q:

As you embark on dissertation research, post-proposal and pre-writing, how do you organize your research so that its easily employable once you begin writing?

A:

Last week’s guest poster, Julia, suggested using Excel to organize dissertation research. How do you organize? Let us know in the comments.

2 Responses to “Q&A: Using Research”

  1. on 25 May 2010 at 3:16 AM Irene

    I use Zotero: a free plug-in for firefox (available at http://www.zotero.org), and am loving it so far. Technically, zotero is a bibliographic program, but I’m using it to organize and sort. There is an instructional video explaining how it works; I highly recommend!

    It does have a few limitations, such as an inability to search for key words WITHIN the body of my notes (i.e. when I search for a term it pulls up the entire text, but won’t refine more closely than that); and sometimes I want to classify items for which they have no category (e.g. an entire folio full of documents at the archive, not just a single letter). Then zotero ties one to using firefox, which some people may not like since it tends to use up a lot of disk space, and can make other programs run more slowly. But it is constantly under renovation, so also now allows for including artwork among its “item types,” and that’s a huge improvement…

  2. on 27 May 2010 at 12:09 PM Lisa

    I bought FileMaker Pro, with big plans to create a fabulous database to do everything from link pictures to text, archive all of my pdfs, create an index from key words, etc. I hit something of a wall with setting it up (and nearly threw the computer against the wall as a result). If you have familiarity with this program I think you could do a lot with it (and if you do, can I copy your template?).

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