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Author Topic: IDEA: Research Note-Taking Program (MindMapper)  (Read 10282 times)
vevola
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« on: June 25, 2006, 01:40:11 PM »

Hello! Please excuse my lengthy post, but I hope I express myself clearly!

THE IDEA
I was looking for a good software that would help me with my research, but I haven't quite found what I needed. Doing research, you take a lot of notes, and we all know that it is important to cite our works. I was looking for something that would help me organize my notes and help me create my works cited or bibliography page.

The only freeware I found is Scholar's Aid Lite, but it has a lot of extra things which I find not necessary and a lot of important features which I find imperative. I was looking for something essential, which could be useful both for the scholar and for the general high school student preparing a research project or thesis.


Here's what I was looking for in the "ideal" scholarly research software, which I've divided into two sections (taking notes and compiling the bibliography):

Note-taking
My idea takes off of something like Biblio2 <http://www.scholarsoft.com/biblio2.htm> (just looking at the GUI you can tell it's an older prog and hasn't been maintained for years) but with some other functions (tagging, portability etc): I read a book (chapter, article, webpage, etc) and I can input various notes to create a tree outline of the text (like i'd do with Keynote or similar). Each note is tied to its reference, which I input following bibliographical standards (MLA or APA are the most famous). So I'll have the head of the list being the reference, and each note hierarchically listed below, each of which includes the page off of which I took the note.

Each note should be distinguished (by color/icon?) as a quote, a summary, or an idea and have a title and a "body" (like in Biblio) but some other "types" could be glossary, images, and general. Each note should have the possibility of having given tags and linking to other notes for easy cross-referencing and searching (which is the key here and which is what I haven't found in Biblio). I also think it would be great to have the possibility of having hotkeys to create new notes, etc.

When I've finished creating an outline of each book, article, webpage or whatever, I should be able to export it or save it as an RTF or DOC. I should also be able to move around the notes so I can export or print my own mental maps using various notes from various lists (that is, using any note from any book or article). In this case the bibliographical reference should travel with the note and I should have the option of also exporting the reference with the page number at the end (see below).

Compiling your bibliography
The second part of the project should be to help me compile the bibliography. There are many websites out there that will help in formatting the bibliography using MLA or APA standards (like http://www.studentabc.com/builder and http://citationmachine.net/) and even a great freeware (http://www.biblioscape.com/biblioexpress.htm). It would be excellent to incorporate something like this within this program to make it complete, however I understand that it could become more complicated to create, especially if the coder doesn't know much about the citation system (MLA/APA). My idea would be a link to citationmachine.net where you'd be guided in the process and at the end you could copy and paste from the site both the Bibliographical citation (what would go in the bibliography) and the Parenthetical in text citations (what would travel with each note, simply adding the page number(s) before closing the parenthesis). These two pieces of information are important to keep wittied to each note.

The Bibliographical citations should be able to be organized in folders with tags and maybe a note, and should be able to be exported alphabetically, so you would have your References cited or Bibliography already compiled.

I think the key here is tagging and linking. If there would be a way to link each note to its reference, and you could create a system of tags, this would help you out in organizing your thoughts and creating effective outlines for your paper.

Often I've seen a lot of software created for almost futile reasons. I think something like this could help a lot of students in effectively organizing their thoughts and their research and be useful in their writing projects.

Hope to find a positive response! All the best!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2006, 05:46:34 AM by brotherS » Logged
urlwolf
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2006, 01:56:27 PM »

HI Vevola,

IĀ“m sure you have seen this, but just in case:
http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=2362.0

As you see, notetaking is a hotly debated topic. I wouldnĀ“t expect somebody here to start a large project to create all the functionality that you mention. Having said that I think you have some really useful ideas that I havenĀ“t seen anywhere. I really like the idea of keeping the reference together with the note, and exporting to word.

I tend to do all you mentioned using simple outiles as text files, and endnote reference formats: {like this, 1990, #234}. Since it is plain text, when I finish I can just cut and paste into word and use endNote to get any kind of formatting (e.g., APA) for the references.

Hope this helps
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2006, 03:35:34 PM »

bibliography programs are complex programs..
Endnote is the most used one now i think.  I personally have used Procite.
(now both owned by same company).  There are others.
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2006, 04:57:31 PM »

let me add i would highly recommend using a good bibliography program if you intend to publish papers - they can be invaluable not just in organizing your references, but in reformatting the output for different formats, which you will find yourself doing after a paper gets rejected and you have to resubmit it somewhere else  huh
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vevola
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2006, 05:12:36 PM »

Besides the bibliography side, what could you suggest to organize the notes and note-taking process?

URLWolf's suggestion is good, and is what I used to do in my index-card-note-taking days, but I'd also like to number the notes (I like to see the sequence) and the tag words.

What else do you suggest?
vevola
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vevola
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2006, 11:11:38 AM »

I read some of the posts on the other thread you mention, but I haven't found any software that also allows to work with bibliography.

Might you suggest other software that might serve my needs (see first post on this thread)?

Thx!
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urlwolf
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 03:20:46 PM »

well, any software that works with text can do the copy-paste trick from endnote. The only problem is that to get thie 'finished' format where the bibliography is added to the end of the page, etc you need to go to word and use the endnote plugin there.

So I'd say that any text editor/notetaking program would do the trick.
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vevola
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 04:51:43 AM »

Are there any other ideas or suggestions, please?
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Ruffnekk
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2007, 12:31:09 PM »

This is the second time today that I encounter a thread like this. About three weeks ago I started a major (personal) project to write an 'outliner' application. I need an application myself to organise my notes, outline documents and books I'm writing, etc. What I've come up with so far is an application that can have one project open at a time. A project however may consist of any number of documents. Each document may consist of any number of files. Each file consists of headers, and each header in turn consists of paragraphs. That is the basic idea.

Each paragraph can have notes attached to it which are not meant for publishing when the document is exported or printed. Each paragraph can also have footnotes attached, which should be printed in the final document.

I've picked up many ideas from several threads over the last few weeks and since I'm still at the beginning of developing the application, any other ideas are welcome for implementation. I don't have a lot of experience with these applications so any ideas are very welcome!

Vevola, I put your ideas on my to-do list and I'm researching the bibliography formats now. If you have any more suggestions... (just don't expect my application to be finished any time soon, it may take 4-6 months before I can release a Beta).

Anyone interested in this topic and have ideas I can put on my to-do list, please send me a message or reply on the thread. Maybe together we can produce something everyone can benefit from...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2007, 12:47:55 PM by Ruffnekk » Logged

Regards,
RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.
brett
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2007, 01:57:10 AM »

Hi Ruffneck

This link is geared more towards writing novels, but its worth a look (and freeware)
http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html



It could probably be adapted for a number of uses.

He has a number of other useful utilities as well.

brett
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vevola
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2007, 09:20:15 AM »

urlwolf:
It would just seem to me that each "note" would have to carry with it 1) tags, or keywords, which would have to be invisible to print/export and 2) tags, in this case the reference from the source (book , article, or whatever).

I'd then need to be able to create an outline by organizing the notes.

I thought it was like wikiing, or any casse I just thought it was much simpler...

ruffneck:
when you do get something up, let me know! Wink
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iphigenie
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 02:10:47 PM »

I haven't tried it but this just appeared today as a new version on file forum

http://jabref.sourceforge.net/
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vevola
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2007, 11:07:01 AM »

As I said before, the note-taking software I have in mind is intended for academic use:

1. Taking notes
2. Organizing bibliography
3. Outlining

Some of the essential features should be:
- exporting bibliography to APA, MLA, etc
- tagging
- advanced, but simple searching
- easy exporting of notes WITH references

I'd be interested in supporting (i.e. paying) whoever is interested in this project, or if someone can give me some suggestions of software they've used, that would be great!
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superboyac
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2007, 01:30:59 PM »

Whoops!  I didn't realize this was an "Idea" thread.  Sorry, I answered it as if you were trying to find an existing software. embarassed

Good luck finding the perfect software, vevola.  I would seriously doubt that there is one software that does the functions you're looking exactly to your liking.  My suggestion would be to find separate software for each function, and hopefully you can manage the information that way.  The only problem with that is if you have to have the content interact with each other.  Surfulater is a good notetaking program if you're going to use references.  But, be careful, I don't think Surfulater's way of referencing is conducive for exporting into a research paper, where the references have to be annotated in a standard way.  That's why for that you would use something like Endnote, but on the flip side, Endnote is not a notetaker.

Whenever I have to do something like you're doing, I usually end up using several applications.  you're not going to find one that does it all satisfactorily in most cases.
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vevola
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2007, 07:38:40 PM »

Just wanted to through this out there again. Looking for an app with the note taking/outlining/bibliography organizing functions described. Thx!
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kartal
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2008, 12:36:14 PM »

Have you tried Wikipad? It is great and internal referencing is amazing(a personal wiki). Export functions available but it may not have the particulur format you are looking for.
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kartal
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2008, 12:36:36 PM »

http://www.jhorman.org/wikidPad/
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tomos
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2008, 04:43:05 PM »

was going to direct you to this more recent thread but then I saw you started it cheesy
http://www.donationcoder....12582.msg105400#msg105400

WikidPad review here (dc)
from Perry
WikidPad - an IDE for your thoughts
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Tom
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