Papers and More

I should probably call this post paperless because Papers helps achieve this almost instantly.  I spent a significant amount of time reading through what researchers do to ensure a good workflow of reading, collating and referencing articles and books.  Had I not seen my wife’s trees of papers blocking doorways and becoming the size of furniture pieces, I would not have even imagined it would be an issue.  In the same way many projects fail because logistics are underestimated, I felt this was something of a weak link that needed addressing.

My target was, and remains, to have the ability to work on a flight, in an office, at home or in a cafe with everything – yes everything – to do with my PhD on me or accessible online.  I am pleased (and cannot believe) that with an iPad and a few apps this is truly possible.  It is not the only app I use.  I have a page on my iPad dedicated to my PhD apps.  The synchronisation of DropBox and Pages is very useful and apps that help with searches in journals are always welcome.

The only other thing I carry is a small notebook and a pen.  Whilst there are notebook type apps, I’m still more comfortable doing that the normal human way.

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Literature Review

I was not sure where to start and I was told by my supervisors that the best way to write one is to read a few Literature Reviews and not books on how-to… It is good advice and I am reading a few examples from theses online.  Howver, there is so much information online that I had to see something about the structure.  I wanted to make sure I am not falling into traps that other authors may have fallen into.  The best (and shortest) guide I came across is by UCSC and is available on their website:

How to Write a Literature Review

Update 11 October 2012: Here is another good one.