Blog of Sara Jakša

I Am Looking for A Way to Organize Notes from Reading Research Articles

Recently I am dealing with the problem of how to keep track of the scientific articles that I have read. Since starting cognitive science masters, the number of articles that I read had risen exponentially. Partly this is my fault, as it is just too interesting to stop researching.

So here I am going to explain what I did so far.

My first idea was to have the descriptions of the different concepts in the LaTeX, where I would use bib to keep track of the references. It quickly become clear that this is not going to work. So, for example, where to put the article from the Kobayashi Chiyoko (2008)?

I could put it in the neurological part, where I put all the research connected to brain parts. Or I could put it in the part connected to the theory of mind. Or at the part where I described the behavior language differences.

Even if I put the relevant information, where do I put the description of the experiment? My undergraduate education is from the Business Informatics, so I am allergic to information duplication in any kind of database. And this would be a database. Originally I thought that I could solve the problem with linking, but linking in LaTeX, while well supported, is still not natural for me.

Then I came across this article from Cal Newport describing paper research wiki, so I decided to try this way. Instead of his suggestion to use PBworks, I ended up using DokuWiki wiki for one reasons, I prefer working without internet a lot of time. But I guess an online based tool would be better for a person that uses multiple devices.

This one was a lot better at least in the terms of linking. The problem that I have now is not connected with the technological part, but more of a motivational one. Just because it is possible to link all knowledge, does not mean I do it. So far most of my data is written as notes on the articles. And for that I could have easily used LaTeX.

But I can see potential in the future. I hope that I picked the structure, that I could continue using.