As a grad student, I probably destroyed acres and acres of trees with printouts of scientific articles. I love to organize with binders and I had a 4″ binder for each aspect of my thesis research: TLR2, Arenaviruses, innate antiviral responses, etc. The day I cleaned out my desk/bench space, I filled several boxes with paper to be recycled.
I really just hadn’t found a way to read and annotate articles that was convenient and portable. It wasn’t for lack of trying. For some reason, I couldn’t find a good way to organize my articles that I saved on my computer. It was impossible to find the article I was looking for when all I could search was the name, or the year. I even tried to upload articles onto my Nook. This was much more convenient, especially when travelling, but again, the ability to find specific articles was difficult, and it was nearly impossible to annotate with notes or comments. At least, on a printed article, my comments were clearly visible, but even then, finding the paper in a stack (or binder) took time.
Well,thanks to some new software, my life has been changed forever.
(someone cue the Angels to sing)
I stumbled upon some software called ReadCube.
This software does it all. It stores and organizes your articles. You can search your articles by any piece of relevant information (author, text, etc.). You can even search your own annotations. This software will “speak” to your institution journal hosting, and to Pubmed and Google Scholar, to find articles that you haven’t read yet. It also searches for the actual article for you to easily download into your database. You can highlight and make notes onto an article and its saved on that page the note is taken for.
Ok, so it sounds good. But what about all those articles you’ve already stored somewhere. Now you need to go repopulate a new database from scratch? No sir. You can drag and drop the articles you already have and it automatically imports all the pertinent information. Those articles are now searchable too.
Oh, by the way, its available for PC or Mac, and its free. No big deal.
The little smartypants inside the software will also suggest articles for you based on your database. So more excuses for not being on top of the latest findings. And there’s so much more. Just wait, you’ll see…
So do me, you, the environment, your research, and the millions of lives saved through more efficient retrieval of scientific literature a favor and try it out. I’ll never be the same again and you won’t be either.
Oh, and just for the sake of truth and honesty, I was not prompted to write this by anything other than my own experience. No one is paying for my endorsement, monetarily or with coffee, and so all emotions, feelings, thoughts, and facts are true to the best of my knowledge. OK, back to saving the world from influenza…