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Defeating Bedlam

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Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 23, 2008 at 08:36 AM

 

This article, recently shared at the Zoot list, suggests that the scientific world faces as much information overflow as many of us, and more:
http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/defeating-bedlam/

 


Posted by jamesofford
Dec 25, 2008 at 05:48 PM

 

A friend of mine forwarded Ms. Judson’s article a while ago. As a scientist in an industrial setting, I have many of the same issues as Ms. Judson, and more so. Not only do I need to keep track of the published scientific literature, but meeting minutes, proposals, emails, and all of the other stuff that floats across my desk and computer.

Like Ms. Judson, I use Papers. It is a very nice piece of software which does a good job of keeping information together. However, it is only a part of my solution. I also use Devonthink Pro Office. The nice thing about Devonthink is the ability to keep all the information to hand that I need, in a place that is easily searchable. The new version(v2.0) is out in public beta and I have been giving it a spin.

Now, if I only had the same tools on my work PC.

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Solstice to everyone.

Jim

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 26, 2008 at 04:00 PM

 

Jim,

what would the closest equivalent to Papers be on the PC?

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 26, 2008 at 08:35 PM

 

Alexander Deliyannis wrote:
>Jim,
> >what would the closest equivalent to Papers be on the PC? 

I personally can’t answer this question, not having any experience with these programs, but from the comments section of the article in question it seems like a lot of folks are saying Endnote provides very similar services on the PC—other than automatically renaming the PDFs.

Steve Z.

 


Posted by jamesofford
Dec 29, 2008 at 10:27 PM

 

Excellent question. Unfortunately, there is nothing that is a direct equivalent on the PC side. The closest that I have seen is Endnote. With Endnote, you can search the different public sites like Pubmed, and download the citation You can also download the paper and link it with the citation in Endnote. In that respect it is like Papers. However, if you are like me and have almost 1700 PDF files that you have downloaded, you can’t import them into Endnote and link them to the citation. I talked to the Thomson Research folks who publish Endnote, and they are interested in providing that function, but they haven’t yet.

I haven’t tried it, but I have heard good things about Zotero. It is web based, but seems to be more powerful than Endnote. I asked the developers if they were going to add the ability to import PDF files that had already been downloaded to the citation information, and they said that while this is a heavily requested function, they aren’t doing it yet.

It is difficult to do. The metadata for each PDF can be different, and so parsing out the information to generate a citation is apparently not easy. I believe that Papers relies on the Digital Object Identifier(doi). In so doing they hit it right more often than not, but it ain’t perfect.

There are some higher end Content Management Systems that might do this on a PC. I haven’t tried them.

Jim

 


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