Everyone can agree that finding information online doesn’t present much of a problem. Every second of the day something new gets added to the internet, giving users more knowledge and power than ever. However, with this luxury of growing information at your fingertips, there are certain challenges as well. One of them is going through all this information and finding what is relevant to you. There is also the matter of keeping all this information organized once you find it. But by effectively managing the research you do, you will make your job a lot easier and less frustrating.
To help you enjoy an endless source of information in record time and with much less frustration, here are some things you can implement.
- Stay On Top Of Your Source Material
With research, your work always starts at your source material. And if you take your research seriously, you want to be able to recall this information at a moment’s notice, along with the sections you may have cited. In other words, start by keeping your source material as organized as possible.
One way of making it easier is by utilizing software like Mendeley. This is a program that offers a range of options for organizing, highlighting, PDF imports, and a very detailed search tool. Additionally, you can install a plugin for Word, which opens up more options like automatically creating bibliographies, formatted according to your taste and style.
But it’s not just Mendeley worth checking out. Other programs include:
Naturally, you want to explore all your options before settling, seeing as each one has its share of pros and cons. There are bound to be certain elements that will influence your final decision.
- Stay Informed
Keeping track of what’s going on the world is as simple as spending five minutes on the right social media platform or news blog. And it will serve you well to always search for the latest developments within your field of expertise. But how exactly are you going to stay on top of things 24/7?
Chances are you’ll see RSS feeds available on your favorite website or blog, which will keep you informed if something new is worth checking out. You also have the option of subscribing via your browser or your email account. But if you really want to make it easy on yourself, check out web-based services like Google Reader. It allows you to check out all your subscribed feeds from any device you might be using other than your computer.
- Maintain Order Among Files
Your own documents can get very difficult to manage, especially when you work with different variations of a single file. Obviously, you should implement a very strict filing system you can easily keep track of. But what if you are collaborating with other people who also work on these documents? Tools like “Track Changes” should fix the problem here, seeing as it always pays attention to what everyone is doing and making it easy to follow development.
- Always Have A Backup
As a researcher, you are well aware that you always need to backup your work. The only question is, which is the best and most convenient way to do this? You can either invest in an external hard drive, or you can look at “cloud storage”. The latter is a web-based hard drive service that is safe for storing your work and can be accessed from anywhere.
For example, SkyDrive from Microsoft gives you 25GB of cloud space, which is perfect for small projects that require quick storage. And remember to backup your work on a continual basis, regardless of what method you use.
If you can master these skills then maybe you can get a job in research, like these ones from Orion.