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What is your research workflow when it comes to writing papers and using software for citations and notes? (primary relation to literature review)

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Posted by critStock
Mar 17, 2011 at 03:25 AM


One man’s “ridiculously over-the-top implementation” is another’s “just right,” I suppose. Citavi integrates several stages of my research-to-writing workflow and eliminates several other separate applications. It captures references as well as any other ref manager; allows me to embed references in multiple places in my own “knowledge tree”; and allows me to create quotations and notes that remain linked to their sources and which can themselves become part of the knowledge tree (one branch of which might be my current project, or one down the line; a single item can exist simultaneously in as many nodes as you like). It also has a nice task manager feature. It is an extraordinarily robust solution and, given its extensive capabilities, remarkably simple to use. If this is the kind of work you need to do, I highly recommend giving it a try. In my years of looking for something like this, nothing has ever come close. 

I generally use it for everything up to the writing stage, including pre-writing outlining, with the exception of quick grabs into Evernote. Evernote is great for collecting stuff, but you can’t do much with that stuff afterwards, except search it. When I clip something especially important, I generally email it to myself and use gmail + activeinbox + todoist to turn it into a task attached to a project so it will come under my nose when I’m working on that project.

I’m still fiddling around with various writing programs—WritingOutliner, Scrivener for Win, etc.  I’ll need to make a commitment in May, when I’ll be getting back to writing full-time. However, at this point, I’m not sure I need much more than a word-processor once I’ve organized and outline my notes and quotes in Citavi. More on that piece later….